May 15, 2013

According to recent studies poverty increases among the elderly as they get older due to:

          • Insufficient Retirement Funds
          • Housing
          • Prescription Drugs
          • Long-term Care
          • Debt

Growing Financial Concerns

By 2036 nearly a quarter of the Canadian population will be seniors compared with just over one-eighth in 2006.

According to some studies, poverty increases among the elderly as they get older – with 23 percent of people over the age of 75 living on or below the poverty line.

Why is this happening? Many consumer advocate groups believe that higher prices and fewer alternatives are the cause. Some of the main financial concerns for senior citizens today are:

          • Insufficient Retirement Funds – Due to improper money management, unforeseen circumstances or the lack of government assistance, many senior citizens are finding their banking accounts easily drained.

          • Housing - According to CMHC older people live in homes that cost too much, are in poor condition or fail to accommodate their needs or capabilities. Many advocate groups consider the lack of affordable, safe housing the main financial problem facing older citizens today.

          • Prescription Drugs – The cost for prescription drugs affects the financial well-being of many older Canadians.

          • Long-term Care - Unfortunately, for many of us, long-term care is an issue that can’t be avoided, but with high prices and insufficient funds, we may be left leaving our loved ones in risky conditions.

          • Debt – more and more seniors are in debt and declaring Bankruptcy and or going to Credit Counselling for assistance.


          1. Set financial goals – Short-term and Long-term

          2. Create a Budget

          3. Use Credit with extreme caution

          4. Economize when Possible

While consumer advocates work with Government to promote better services for senior citizens, there are actions you can take now to improve your financial well-being.

First, set financial goals. This could be short-term, such as finding way to reduce the cost of your medication – to long-term, such as paying off your credit card debt in five years or less.

Second, create a budget. Once your goals are set, create a budget that will allow you to achieve them.

Third, use credit with caution. Only charge what you know you can afford to repay. Credit card debt can happen quickly, so avoid impulse purchases and instead use it only for financial emergencies if you must.

Finally, economize when possible. Stop buying things for the “Kids” they don’t need any more “stuff”. If you have a grown child that is back living with you, charge them “room and board” It will help you and help them in the long run. No one gets a free ride. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them, shut off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, shop at outlet store and take advantages of sales and coupons. These slight changes in your habits will help reduce monthly costs and increase savings.