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Inflation Killing Older Americans

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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19 Comments
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American flag with the word inflation written on wooden blocks

Inflation is killing older Americans, plain and simple. Unless corrected, Democrat overspending and cuts to fuel production will have a growing impact on America’s seniors, already suffering. Primary research drawn from AMAC’s two million-plus members, makes the point poignantly.

As AMAC’s national spokesman, what the latest research unearthed is unreported, an important story: Social Security benefits are adjusted annually, but that adjustment misses the mark – because inflation, which triggers elevated interest, reduced value of lifetime savings, hits older Americans hard.

Objectively, the Social Security “cost of living adjustment” is based on the percentage increase in the consumer price index for “urban wage earners and clerical workers” (CPI-W) in the third quarter, applied to the next year.  But that measure greatly underestimates inflation’s impact on seniors. Here is why.

First, the CPI-W is based on the price of a “basket of goods” typically purchased by younger, urban, working Americans. That basket fails to account for older citizens’ purchasing habits.

Thus, those who have retired often spend more on housing – mortgage, rent, property taxes, insurance, repairs, and senior living – than others, their largest expense.

Similarly, older Americans tend to spend a disproportionate amount of retirement income, whether savings, pension, or Social Security – on medical care, for obvious reasons. That includes everything from prescription drugs to mobility accommodations.

On the numbers, conservative estimates put medical expenses for seniors well over working citizen expenditures, closer to $6800 annually the younger cohort’s $5190 annual average.

Transportation is another overlooked expense for seniors, as commuting may fall but 80 percent of those over 65 live in rural and suburban locations, are “car-dependent.”

Add higher expenses for winter heating and energy mandates such as electric versus gas stoves, and life gets expensive fast. Then look at inflation effect on life savings. Dollar values are dropping markedly.

Not only do older Americans buy things that cost more before inflation, and pay higher prices due to government overspending and energy costs, but the value of their saved dollars is falling.

As they are no longer earning, seniors with savings and pensions get no wage inflation to match the inflation associated with goods and services rising in cost, unlike those – say – working in unions.

Comments from those surveyed by AMAC are stunning, and make the point better than numbers. A few worth pondering:

“Being retired and living on a fixed income… to survive has gotten very expensive.” “No vacations so that we have enough money for meds and food.” “We’re having to cut back … to be able to afford those we cannot cut back on, such as insurances, repairs to car, house.” Many include cutbacks on medicine.

“Am a 70 year old who collects Social Security and works at least 26 hours a week to be able to make ends meet each month… cannot keep up on monthly expenses” and “because I work, 85 percent of my Social Security is taxed.”

“My home is most likely going to be taken away due to my not being able to pay taxes at the end of the year.”

“The rise in prices in every area of my life, from housing, gas, food, services and just plain living has made a big dent in my ability to live without the anxiety …” “Biden has been an abject failure … gas prices are ridiculous and grocery increases are off the charts.”

“Our payments for mortgage, food and utilities increased more than $1,000 a month for our expenditures …We will never again be able to buy a new car …Biden is killing us, not so slowly.”

“Never thought I would see things get so bad in my lifetime.” “The present Administration seems to arbitrarily set new increases in every phrase of our life…”

“I have to be very conscious of what I am buying … to decide whether I can do without certain foods or services, such as electricity or saving gas on trips. It is criminal what this Administration is doing …”

“The cost of gas, groceries, clothing, utilities and other necessities has risen beyond what the government would have one believe… We had to cancel plans to visit relatives in other states…no longer do I drive to town … We eat twice a day now rather than three times.”

“Inflation has driven up the cost of everything. As a retiree, most of my income is fixed. So inflation limits my economic freedom … to buy, choose, travel, entertain…Gas prices are killing our budget.”

“Higher prices on food, gas and electricity! Less money and higher costs.” “My wife and I are retired … were doing fine 3 years ago with our Social Security. Now we are barely paying our bills … had to cut back on many things … eating out once a week, travelling to see the grandkids … Sunday drives.”

In a nutshell, hundreds of comments parallel these, with no end in sight under this Administration. When you think inflation is manageable, think again – not for older Americans. Thank you Mr. Biden.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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PaulE
PaulE
8 months ago

Inflation impacts everyone to varying degrees. Not just the elderly, although they are generally the least prepared to deal with it when it occurs since many seem to only have SS for income. When President Trump left office, the rate of inflation was 1.4 percent annually and the economy was rebounding quite well from Covid and the artificially extended shutdowns imposed in many Democrat run states. Energy prices were far lower than today, and prices were stable and we were energy independent.

As soon as Biden took office, he signed a stack of over 40 executive orders put in front of him by his handlers that very first day that effectively killed our domestic energy industry, flung open our borders creating a national security nightmare that sill soon rear its ugly head and initiated a spending spree that would fuel an inflationary spike to our economy the worst since Jimmy Carter. All despite repeated warnings from various organizations and individuals around the country, that this would result in a severely damaged economy and eventually higher inflation and interest rates.

Team Biden has never let up once on any of their disastrous policies despite the damage that followed. If anything, the more things implode or gets worse, the more this administration doubles and triples down on its ruinous policies. Intent to make the damage impossible to recover from on as many fronts as possible. The one aspect that you’re not quite acknowledging is that this administration does fully understand what they are doing, and they are doing what they are doing to complete the transformation of the United States that Obama promised he would deliver. They are ideology driven, not operating on sound economic or rational national security interests. When the transformation process is complete, the United States will be a much poorer, less powerful and much less respected part of the world community than we were just 3 short years ago. This administration is applying most of the standard socialist policies found in bankrupt and starving countries around the world. The end result here would be quite similar.

Every day brings a new spending demand from Old Joe, who throws around billions of taxpayer dollars like they were confetti. Even before Congress has passed the last batch of requests he made, with no real justification for the amounts requested, he issues new promises of even more billions to be sent for all manner of things. This continuous runaway spending, along with the disastrous spending bills Congress passed in 2021 and 2022, is just continually stoking the very inflation that the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates to try and suppress. In essence two parts of government working at polar opposite purposes. Expect inflation to be a problem for everyone for a long time, as long as Team Biden is running the show.

Db
Db
8 months ago

Democrats throwing seniors off the cliff.

Ben
Ben
8 months ago

That’s because he shut down all of our energy which We produced in the United States locally he didn’t try to bring any businesses back into our country they would pay good wages instead they’re shipped overseas enforcing electric cars and inflating our national debt.

David Millikan
David Millikan
8 months ago

Excellent article telling the Truth.
And we have Dictator Beijing biden and the LOSER democrats to thank for it. More blood of Americans on their hands.
Meanwhile, they live high and mighty on our tax dollars while supporting Illegal Alien Terrorist Invasion and supporting Terrorist by giving them $Billions.
But what do Americans get? Higher Inflation and more taxes right along with violating our Constitutional rights and freedoms.
But don’t worry. Inflation won’t affect all of our money and tax dollars that are going to Communist China, Terrorist, and Illegal Alien Terrorist Invasion including in Dictator Beijing biden’s pocket and his comrade Soros. Why? Because Bidenomics is working. For who? Not Americans and American Seniors.

Rod Noll
Rod Noll
8 months ago

Why would any Democrat vote for this dementia driven moron ? All of his progressive policies are killing this country financially ! . more worrisome is what he is doing to our military !

TC 10
TC 10
8 months ago

And the moron keeps saying the economy is thriving. At least Jimmy Carter realized he was failing! Worst president in history!
The democrats cheated to get this guy in and now hopefully he will damage the party beyond repair

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
8 months ago

Very important — and I would add the word “useful “– article Robert . So, the inflation is killing older Americans — Well, I’m 73, and I ain’t going to let inflation kill me! I’m sort of determined about that. It just isn’t going to happen. There are many things that need to be done and I am just to busy to get knocked off by inflation. Since the 1970’s I have been designing and making tools and parts for instruments for navigation ,meteorology and microscope systems. Have made some tools for plumbing, carpentry, electrical and mechanical use too . Being resourceful has always been a requirement and I reckon I have become very good at it. May God bless America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. A good way to not let inflation get the better of people would be to keep in mind the ideals of what AMAC is all about — respect for Faith,Family and Freedom. Then that leaves no time for inflation to foul up the works . I have been trying to be just a bit humorous about this matter, on the more serious side of it — I look at it, inflation , as being something that is a combination of things that can shorten people’s lives — if they are not prepared to deal with the complexities of doing without many things that were available prior to inflation . And if the concept of resourcefulness is not appreciated. So, back to some humor — it helps to have a respectful, uplifting sense of humor, and it can be a great way to see things clearly — when the complications of inflation become a problem — it is a great time to remember having a sense of purpose in life, living by a code of conduct, and having a sense of humor by looking at the situation in a way that is just plain nice ,and joyful and is spirit lifting. Praise for your good work on this article Robert , Well Done !

David Millikan
David Millikan
8 months ago

If Congress wants to help us then eliminating that unfair CPI-W and change it immediately to CPI-E before 2024.
Currently under the CPI-W, Dictator Beijing biden’s Inflation has already wiped it out and we aren’t even in 2024 yet. Just like this year’s COLA was already wiped out on January 1, 2023, because of Dictator Beijing biden’s Inflation Increase Act and Bidenomics.
And he is raising taxes to support his Global Warming lie, Terrorist, and Illegal Alien Terrorist Invasion (including giving Illegal Alien Terrorist everything free at our expense).
The Illegal Alien Terrorist live better than we do. They’re living FREE in expensive hotels with everything at their beckon.
One last thing. Dictator Beijing biden is changing the law AGAIN on your 401k’s and IRA’s to tax them more and giving you less and less and less. That’s how Dictator Beijing biden and his Communist democrat party take care of Seniors.

BillBoyBaggins
BillBoyBaggins
8 months ago

Everyone needs to share this via all of their social media Outlets.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
8 months ago

It’s pretty sad when inflation is so bad even Joe Biden has to accept foreign money to compensate for his meager government pay.

Letts Brandon
Letts Brandon
8 months ago

Older Americans being generally wiser and more conservative are a threat to the Marxist world government takeover and can be done without. If they are put out on the street and unable to survive it is a win for the new Marxist government.

mmoor
mmoor
8 months ago

So what is Amac doing about this?

Guillermo
Guillermo
8 months ago

Why don’t we 2 million plus members of Amac vote the dummies, including the old dummy, out of office. But not Trump, please. I know , you are all going to tell me that we were better off with Trump back then but this is not back then. We need a good leader with some experience in running a large state with a growing economy and not subject to these communists and hard left ideas. I should know, I escaped a communist country to the United States of America, the best country in the world. We just need to vote out these people and replace them with some conservative to follow and support our Constitution.

Michael
Michael
8 months ago

I wish that only the biden worshipers uh voters would take the heat.

Rik
Rik
8 months ago

And exactly what does an avowed Communist know about the Truth?

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