Thrifty old habits formed during the Great Depression still are valuable skills for easing seniors through the tight spots of today, according to officials at "Best Ways to Save," a new free consumer guide from The Senior Citizens League, one of the nation's largest nonpartisan senior groups.
The guide helps seniors and their families with:
Prescription drugs - A national study found that most seniors pay more than they should for prescription drugs. The study found seniors could save between $300 to $1,400 a year if they were to choose the lowest-cost Part D drug plan based on the best match to their actual drug use, yet most seniors never shop around.
Federal, state and local benefit programs you may not know about - There are dozens of public programs available for seniors, especially those with limited incomes, but people often don't know about them or how to apply.
The best time to start Social Security benefits - With large numbers of older workers losing jobs, many are starting Social Security early. But early retirement can lead to permanently reducing benefits by as much as 25 percent. Start benefits too soon and you may wind up without enough to cover your Medicare costs by the time you get to your 70s and 80s.
Property tax relief for seniors - Although real estate values have plunged, property taxes have not gone down correspondingly. Some seniors worry they will lose their homes even after they paid off their mortgage years ago. The guide offers information about tax relief programs aimed at helping seniors keep their homes.
Planting a fall and winter garden - In many areas of the country, August is just as good as May for starting a vegetable garden. The guide points out which crops thrive in cold weather and how to grow nutrient-rich vegetables and greens for harvest throughout the fall.
Using less energy, cutting auto repair costs and spending less on eyeglasses.
The "Best Ways to Save Guide" has helped many seniors live better in retirement with valuable tips for getting the most out of Social Security and Medicare benefits and stretching retirement income.
To request a free copy, send $2 for postage and handling to: The Senior Citizens League, attn: BWTS, 909 N. Washington St., Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314 or visit www.SeniorsLeague.org.