In 2018, the Social Security Administration is giving seniors a slight increase. The estimated benefits for all retired workers increases from $1,377 to $1,404. For a couple, it increases from $2,294 to $2,340.
While any increase is helpful, some wonder if a 2-percent raise is really enough. It may be time to take a closer look at your parents’ budget. Here’s a look at some of the areas where bills may rise in 2018.
The final tax plan hasn’t been set yet, but one of the items on the chopping block are deductions for medical expenses. Many hope the Federal Government will realize this will hurt many elderly taxpayers and leave those deductions in place.
If medical expense deductions do get cut, your mom or dad will no longer be able to claim medical expenses that they pay for out of pocket. This means their taxes may be a lot higher. For one woman from Maryland, she spends about $20,000 a year on out-of-pocket medical expenses. If the deduction is cut, her reported income will increase by about $20,000.
Depending on where your parents live, there may be increases in 2018. PG&E in California asked for a 2.8 percent increase on electricity rates. In Maine, Central Maine Power is increasing rates by approximately 8 percent. Some residents of Colorado will see utility bills increase by 2.2 percent. Duke Energy in Florida recently requested an 8.5 percent increase.
Many towns are going to see increases in water rates. In Montgomery County, Ohio, water and sewer bills will increase by 14 percent in 2018. Council Bluffs Water Works in Nebraska is raising rates by 5 percent. PWSA in Pennsylvania is aiming for 13 percent increase on sewer bills.
How Can You Cut Your Parents’ Bills?
As increases pile up, you need to find ways to help your parents save money. One of the best places to start is by having an audit of their home’s energy usage. Older doors and windows may have gaps that are allowing heat to escape. If the insulation in the attic is old, new insulation will help keep heat from escaping.
Purchasing food in bulk can help. Your parents won’t need a lot of food, but you and your siblings could buy bulk meats and produce and split it with your parents. You’ll all spend less.
Finally, help your parent stay safe and help avoid unexpected medical bills. Having an elderly care professional prepare meals, drive your mom and dad to stores, and help with laundry and light housework can reduce the risk of a costly fall.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Havana, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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