1) There are positive living and there are negative living. These are numbers I mean. We live with positive possessions or negatively without burdens and use public assistance.
1.1) Most of my clients are seniors and I am senior, too. I do comprehensive consultation with all my clients. Without the specifics, allow me to provide as much insights as possible for your reference, concern, and feel free to follow up.
2) A person with assets or income lives up to his/her maximum ability, to go out to eat, to charter an airplane, etc. Well, as a result, this person is liable to be in debt even if the person is high income and with wealth.
3) A person with little assets or low income or no income can qualify for medicaid, public assistance in health care, housing, utility, food, transportation, property tax, etc. Most public assistance program allows for ownership of one house and one car. So, this person can live happily around his/her house. From time to time, this person can go for a short trip and/or join family reunions.
4) If a person is absolutely without resources, the person is qualified for Medicaid and can live in long-term care facilities after age 66 with all food, housing, health care, regular entertainment and social activities, etc. taken care and with $30 monthly allowance. The only draw back is if no one signs him/her out, s/he cannot walk out of that housing facility on his/her own will. The person is under the government supervision and protection because everything of this person is paid by the government.
To respond to your question, we have many programs already, we just need to learn about them and use them correctly. Seniors have even more services available to them such as home care and/or home health care which are not mentioned above.
Seniors for now are much fortunate than the new generation to come. The new generation has learned to share and not to own. They cannot afford it as a generation. If they don't save it up, there is no insurance for them when they grow old as we do.
Here are some suggestions which other seniors or long-term planners have observed:
1) Consider to relocate to a state with lower property tax and lower standard of living yet still with good health care and public services.
2) Consider reverse mortgage which can provide a life long income if we qualify. The only persons have objection to the idea are our heirs because this action affects their inheritance.
3) If we are very poor, consider Medicaid, reverse property tax, food stamp, social security supplemental income, etc.
4) Keep a good relationships with our relatives including the second and third generations. A good human being relationship worth more than cash later on in our lives. Be kind, be gentle and care for the others. Find ways to encourage others. There are a lot of hurting people around. And this mentality is not encouraged any where and any more. We just raised up a whole generation ME.
5) Use public library, take free or low cost senior classes in a nearby university or college. Join church. Dealing with others can bring us pain; but we need to force ourselves to go out to learn new things and to be a sort of normal and social to take the pain and inconvenience.
6) Do not have a happy 60s to enjoy life after retirement. We need to financially plan to live to 90s and over 100.
Our generation relies too much on wage income. Go on line and see what we can do to still earning if possible. Publish a book if we can. Amazon.com now has self publication. The author gets 75% of copyright. We may not be able to write. But if we have old manuscripts written before, workbook designed for small groups to use, publishing by ourselves now is available.
Learn to sell on line. This is a huge business now. If we can learn how to sell one, we can sell all. Of course, we have to have some basic training and knowledge on what we sell. There are people, common citizens, shopping and reselling on line used items including art, collections and furniture even shoes and clothing. There are buyers for used items. We can start to sell our stuff from home. Or we can start to do consignment sale with people who open up storefront e-bay or amazon.com stores to do 60/40 split with us.
In terms of the next generation, a perfect younger person has to have skills to be self-employed and to be self-employed somehow. Relying on W-2 income is not the way to go any more. Today is the first time I tried to use a McDonald ordering machine in their restaurant.
Saving for 401(K) is the first and only line of defense for taxation on wage income. Investment in real estate is still a basic way to go.
There will be no another social security program if we cannot maintain and update this one in the U.S. We are fortunate to have a healthy and safe senior population group in the U.S. There are relatively large younger population in the U.S. without income of any kind, jobless, and/or homeless. And the U.S. is the best economy around the world.
Please feel to follow up.