As people get older, their lives can become both more fulfilling and more challenging. Retirement brings the freedom of not having a set schedule but can also lead to a number of difficulties, including financial ones.
Working at the Hoyes, Michalos & Associates, I am hearing from more and more people who are concerned about their aging parents getting into serious financial debt.
The trouble is this: Many seniors are living on a pension income that barely covers their living costs such as rent and food. Often, those who are aging are in need of many medications and it seems the government has cut-back on what is available free or at a reduced cost. This leads to a situation where seniors are unable to cover their monthly living expenses as well as the cost of their prescriptions and are forced to use credit cards in order to get by.
In addition, taxes are not always deducted from CPP and old age pension cheques, so often Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) comes to the person at the end of the year asking for these taxes. They will then use their credit card to pay the CRA for these taxes as well. If the pension was taxed at the source, this would not happen however, it would mean a less income each month to put toward other things because taxes would be taken off each month. It is easy to see how senior citizens are at an increased risk of creating huge credit card debt that they will be unable to pay back. Making the problem worse is that many older people believe it is unacceptable to speak about their finances and are very embarrassed that with all of their life experience and after having raised their own family, they have now found themselves in financial trouble.
If you are concerned about your parents’ finances, or you are a senior who needs help getting out of financial trouble, please know that at Hoyes, Michalos & Associates we understand how easy it is for even the most experienced and hard-working individuals to find themselves in debt. We are committed to helping you get out of financial trouble in a way that works for you.
When you contact us, we will walk you through all of the options that will be available to you or your parents so you can make them feel more prepared and comfortable if they would like to come and see us.