“Everything is costly”: Seniors are forced to cut back on socializing, and eat less as inflation hits

Talking about inflation strikes a chord at the Senior Friendship Center, Sarasota (Florida), really strikes a chord.

Seniors on fixed incomes at a card table discussed the pressures that came from the steep price increases over the past year.

Katherine Janes, 81 years old, stated that she needed financial help from her son.

Janes stated, “It makes it a little easier.” “Everything’s expensive.”

Ron Longhurst has cut down on socializing at night, something that was difficult for him as a single 79-year-old.

He said, “Day-today, I stay at home more.” “You should think twice before you go out on a big night. I take maybe a week between haircuts.”

Ann Smith, age 82, has cut back on her “simple pleasure”, soda drinking.

She said that she used to drink a few Cokes a day. “I do one per day now, or maybe one every other day”

Senior citizens on fixed incomes have been particularly affected by inflation. September prices rose 8.2% compared to a year ago. In areas such as Tampa, Florida, the housing market has exploded, and the price increases are even more severe.

The white-hot housing market is making matters worse

Sharon Johnson, 67 years old, stated that her family’s Tampa rent increased by $350 in the past year to $3,100 per month. It has also caused chaos in her budget due to other rising bills, such as her utilities.

Johnson stated that the cost of living is not a good deal right now. Johnson stated that it is difficult. Johnson said, “I have never felt the need to worry about what we would eat. But today, we are only eating light food, sandwiches.”

They have already packed some boxes and are expecting another rent increase when their lease expires early next year.

Johnson, a retired university counselor, and her husband, an engineer, and teacher, made the move to Florida three years ago from Michigan. She brought her sister and nephew along to live with her.

Although the family wants to purchase a home, the soaring housing prices and hot market make it more difficult. Johnson suggests that they might have to downsize.

Johnson stated, “We have a middle income but less work than when we were working full-time.” We have worked hard. We’ve also been truthful. Why is it happening in reverse?

Social Security beneficiaries will be receiving an 8.7% annual cost-of-living adjustment next year. This is the largest increase since 1981.

For now, however, seniors feel little relief.

Barbara Smith, 70 years old, is a caregiver and volunteers at Trinity Cafe in Tampa. This restaurant provides free meals for the poor. She said that she relies on the take-home meals she receives after work, and it is often all she eats throughout the day.

Smith stated, “Then I don’t have to go to buy it, since I don’t have the cash to do that.”

She’s had to stop buying puzzles as her favorite hobby because of the price increases on gas and food. She said that inflation can be a strain.

She said, “If it weren’t for volunteering I’d probably go insane by now.”

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