Senior News Line
by Matilda Charles
I’ll be worse off financially this year, despite the Social Security increase we just received. I won’t be the only one.
For the average recipient who receives $1,460 per month, that 1.6% equates to a gain of $23.36 per month. Medicare went up $9.10 to $144.60, so that drops the extra cash to $14.26.
Except my Medicare supplement went up $42 and the drug plan went up as well. Rent went up $20 per month, justified by management with the “big increase” in Social Security we all got.
With so many of us in the same situation, we need to think of ways to save money:
If you take a daily newspaper and pay for it by the month, calculate whether you’ll save money if you pay for it by the year. If you have a tablet, ask if they offer a digital subscription at a lower rate. Making yearly payments might also work for your car or homeowner insurance.
Call the local food bank about getting free food. Don’t worry about running into someone you know. Just make the call. Whatever you get from them you won’t have to buy at the store.
Check into “senior helper” groups in your area. These are people who volunteer to take care of home repairs for free, instead of paying a plumber $150 per hour.
If you have a credit card, make payments on time. Check AARP’s member discounts. Buy at Goodwill.
Ask for lower prices. Buy generic groceries. Get serious about clipping coupons. Ask about senior discount day.
Have you ever tried to remember all the words to a song from your childhood or teenage years, or something you heard your parents sing? If you can remember one or two lines of a verse or the title, you can find the whole song on the Internet.
Here’s an example. I put one line of a song in Google, and there it was! Not only did all the lyrics pop up but there were links to videos of groups singing the song. There were links, too, to more information. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the song was written in 1911.
World War II was full of good music, and chances are you remember at least parts of some of the songs. Search online for World War II songs or any other era you’re interested in. Wikipedia even has categories such as “Songs of 1950s.” Or search Wikipedia by singer and click on their discography for all the songs they released.
Remember “Any Bonds Today?”, the 1941 song written for a war bond drive and presented in a Bugs Bunny cartoon? Or for younger seniors, how about “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Bob Dylan’s 1962 song. How many verses do you remember?
When the weather warms up, you might consider haunting garage sales and antique marts for old sheet music. If you no longer have a keyboard, look on Amazon for compact 54-key electronic keyboards for less than $100.
And what do you do once you’ve collected all the music from your youth? Consider sharing it. If you play well enough, ask about visiting a retirement facility and playing for the residents. Make copies of the lyrics and hand them out for a sing-along. For Alzheimer’s patients, hearing or singing music can animate silent patients, reduce stress and strengthen memory.
(c) 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.