Home Consumer Brother Can You Spare – Anything (Opinion)

Brother Can You Spare – Anything (Opinion)

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Some of you may remember the song “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” It was considered the anthem of the Great Depression. Sadly, it comes to mind when I think about the inflation baring down on Americans today.

Fewer of us have any spare change to share. That’s because inflation is now at a 40-year high. Seniors are especially feeling the pain of soaring prices for everything from rent to groceries, utilities to gasoline.

A report from Florida TaxWatch, revealed that in February 2020 the median price of rent was $1,340. Now, it’s more than $1,760.  The rising cost of rent may end up forcing families and young singles to consider a move elsewhere.

Leaving the state may not be an option for senior citizens living on a fixed income. With 56 million Americans over 65, many rely on Social Security and limited savings to pay their monthly bills.

High rental rates are already taking a toll. Homelessness is rapidly rising among seniors according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, homelessness is expected to triple in the next decade. Seniors are worried and rightfully so.

We are starting to hear stories about older Americans cutting back on certain foods, driving less to save on gas, and even taking fewer showers to reduce their water bill. Food banks report an increasing demand among retirees and grandparents raising grandchildren.

In addition, the psychological effect of inflation can change the economic behaviors of all consumers as well as businesses. If the belief is that prices will continue to go up, purchases may be delayed, and that could lead to stagnation or a recession.

Americans should not have to live like this. Lawmakers must be prepared to manage the rising costs and the expected challenges that come with inflation.

During the last legislative session, Florida lawmakers agreed to set up a $1 Billion dollar “Inflation Fund”. And at least a dozen states are considering giving rebate checks of several hundred dollars directly to taxpayers. But that might not be enough.

Pandemic-era relief funds helped families but didn’t do much for retirees. For seniors relying on Social Security, there really isn’t a process in place that allows for flexibility when prices increase.

These issues are a real concern and that’s why I set up Seniors Across America. I am working with lawmakers to fight for programs and services that benefit seniors. SAA is committed to this mission, making sure all seniors have a voice and aren’t left behind to sing the blues.


John Grant

Author Bio: John Grant, former State Representative, and State Senator, an estate planning attorney, and a member of the National Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, has spent much of his career working on behalf of seniors.  John is continuing the advocacy work by heading a new venture called Seniors Across America to continue speaking up for our elderly population.

Website: Seniors Across America

 

You can reach John at: john@seniorsacrossamerica.net

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