SENIORS: You’re old but you aren’t a door mat .

2016-11-12_15h50_13

Trump’s a blessing:

My anger with his election
angers me into positive action.

Too often seniors are addressed as ‘second class’ citizens and I won’t accept this ageism. Speak to me objectively and properly, especially when it comes to financial advice.

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Give me financial advice pertinent to my age and status
I don’t want financial advice which relates to younger people. I’m a senior. Give me advice which applies to my age group and my status as a retiree. I do not want advice which applies to someone who is still working and not retired. I’m retired and I have to look after me. Nobody else will. I want advice pertinent to my age. Financial advice which advises putting so much aside for old age, saving a set amount each month for the ‘golden years’ and so on, really irks me. It doesn’t apply. They’re singing a different song; singing hip hop, rap and such while I hum slow waltzes, gentle fox trots and swaying tangos as sung by Frank, Englebert and even Elvis.

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Golden years, my butt!
Listen these are the brass years; where I have to have the brass balls to withstand all the challenges and difficulties that society, the establishment, institutions and the government throw at me. It might not be intentional, but the resulting outcome is the same, my money vacuumed out of my accounts; sucked away without me having any recourse to slowing the flow, restricting the drain, and controlling the expenditures. I want and need financial advice that helps me with my future and financial impacts on my budget: medical costs, pharmaceutical expenses, medical assistance and services, retirement homes and more. These issues worry me and they have to be addressed with great care, with much planning, with adept limited flexibility and concrete strategic pragmatism.

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Those at their revenue ceilings
Many of us retirees are at our peak of earning potential. Our only recourse in dealing with endless ‘hits’ on our finances is to cut back on expenses. I resent being told to turn down the heat and don a sweater and that’s saying it mildly. I resent having paid taxes for many, many years, paying into unemployment benefits, paying into old age pension thinking that when I have arrived, I will be able to sit back and enjoy the last chapters of my life in relative comfort. I resent having to scramble to pay increasingly expensive bills with a restricted or handcuffed income. Don’t go labelling me a whiner; I paid my dues. Now I should be entitled to draw some entitlements.

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Whining is pointless
There aren’t more than a handful of people who empathize with our situation. There aren’t many people who are going to sympathize with our situation, let alone come to our rescue. The hard reality is this there are likely none who will be in the sympathy camp. Even politicians disregard us once the campaigning is done.

Where do we go from here
Our only recourse, sad to say, is to bite the bullet and cut back; cut back on luxuries, (I say that with a grain of salt), cut back on dining out (ditto), cut back on take-out food orders, cut back on shopping at regular priced stores, drive the clunker even longer, if you still can drive or afford to. The bottom line is we are up against a wall without any recourse but to diminish the life style we had hoped to maintain.

What else can I do
Cutting back hurts; there are just so many cut backs which can be made before depression and resentment creep in. So turn to positive strategies. We are in a cold, dire situation and unless you win a lottery or have a rich relative that is seriously ill and looks at you with great favour, you are in a situation where you need to find positive ways to fight this financial war.

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You declare war
Get indignant; declare war: war on prices, war on buying from regularly priced stores, war on everyday shopping without meticulous price scrutiny. If they don’t give seniors discounts, shop elsewhere. If they won’t consider giving you an age considered discount, walk away. My money’s may be more desired elsewhere. I may not control increasing my money, but I can control where I spend it.

Shopping schedule
Shop when and where you get discounts, price reductions, price considerations and seniors discounts. Many stores appeal to older adults to shop on certain days by offering reductions in prices for the day. Make those days and those stores priorities on your shopping list.

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Coupons
Coupons may not be actual currency or even significantly valued currency but they are real money, in your pocket. Hunt for them, cut them out, put them into your wallet just like real money. Then use them. And also remember, they may be usable in your regular shopping store. Ask!

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Price matching
The store which won’t match the lower price of another store ain’t my store, no more. There are enough retailers who see you as being the consumer you are and appreciate that you have chosen their store for shopping. They show their appreciation by price matching the lower price as advertised by another store. Be sure you bring the flyer to validate the lower price offer. My kind of store.

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Need a financial advisor
Got a little bit of money set aside in a pension fund, an investment nest egg? Consider getting a financial advisor to help you safeguard what you have, help make it go further, last longer. And ask that advisor hard questions: how much will he or she charge? What will it cost you over the years? Get some real numbers because you don’t have money to throw away. Neither do I.

A financial advisor should be looking at how to safeguard what you have; how to stretch it out further; at real things which impact on your future financial situation and how you can prepare to deal with it from where you are at this point in your financial time.

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Gut feeling…you need more information
Though I like the idea of going with my gut feeling, I have to be realistic and confess that my gut feeling may not be as good as it should be. I don’t have the financial skills that a good advisor has; I don’t know investing as well as a good financial advisor will. But most importantly, I don’t really know the person who is so eager to become my financial guru. Who are they? What done for others successfully? I want to know the answers to these questions because it is my future I am worried about and want to safeguard. Ask for references and follow up on them. I want a bit of reassurance that the person who is going to look after my finances has my best interests in mind and has the capability of doing a good job. There is no second chance in my future. So I may feel my gut saying one thing but I won’t rely on it to make my financial decision. That’s reserved for my head!

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