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For many older Americans, record high prices are jeopardizing their financial security as they move into or live into retirement, according to a recent survey by the Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan seniors group.

The online survey was conducted online in the first quarter and included 3,056 participants, 96% of whom relied on Social Security as a source of income.

Seniors are spending savings, taking loans

The survey found that half of respondents age 55 and older have spent the past 12 months making emergency savings in response to high inflation.

Meanwhile, 47% have visited a food pantry or applied for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits. In addition, 43% have taken a loan on consumer credit cards for more than 90 days.

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Other common steps survey respondents took include applying for help with home heating or cooling costs, liquidating a retirement or savings account, reducing retirement savings more than usual, or seeking medical or medical assistance from the Medicare Savings Program. Or applying for Medicare Extra Help. Prescription drug cost.

interest rates on credit cards are ready to go up After the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday 0.75 percentage points, the biggest increase in 28 years. It can’t help older Americans who have taken on more debt to cope with higher prices.

“When people are facing this type of inflation, people with less savings take on more debt to pay bills during the month,” said Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior. Citizens League.

Social Security, Medicare changes may provide relief

How high Medicare Part B premiums are for 2023 will also make a difference for beneficiaries who are watching their wallets. This year, the standard monthly premium is $170.10, a 14.5% increase over last year, driven in large part by the potential cost of covering Alzheimer’s drug Eduhelm.

However, the cost of Alzheimer’s treatment has since been halved, with government officials indicating that Medicare Part B Premiums Can Adjust Increases next year to make up for it.

According to Johnson, one way older Americans can try to cope with higher prices is to continue working.

a Recent Retirement Survey from Schroders found that 69% of working Americans plan to continue doing so in retirement. Covering basic living expenses was the top reason with 56% of respondents; followed by willingness to engage, 51%; And to be active and in good health, 49%.

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