“If I were younger, I think I would be able to recover from all my hardships,” she told me. “I never expected to be in this position at the age that I am.”
please help! I just turned 65 [am] Handicapped on disability. My husband is on Social Security and we can’t even buy groceries. This was not what I had in mind for the golden years.”
When asked about her problems, the 65-year-old spoke of a tornado that swept through central Florida on Groundhog Day in 2007, destroying her home. In hindsight, she learned that her insurance coverage was insufficient and would not replace most of her belongings.
To make ends meet, Ross began working two jobs: a hairdresser and a customer service representative in a convenience store. With her new husband, Douglas Ross, a mechanic, she bought a new home. Recovery seemed possible.
After that, Eileen Ross fell twice over the course of several years, breaking her leg, and ended up having three hip replacements. In an effort to manage her diabetes and struggle with pain, Ross quit work in 2016 and applied for Social Disability Insurance, which now pays her $919 a month.
She does not have a pension. Douglas quit his job in 2019, and is no longer able to handle the demands of his job due to his bad back. He also does not have a pension. With Douglas’ Social Security payment of $1,051 a month, the couple lives on just over $23,600 a year. Their meager savings evaporated with various emergency expenses, and they sold their homes.
Their rent in Empire, Alabama, where they live now, is $540 a month. Other regular expenses include $200 a month for their truck and gas, $340 for Medicare Part B premiums, $200 for electricity, $100 for medication, $70 for a phone, and hundreds of dollars — Ross did not provide an exact estimate — for food.
“All this inflation, it’s just killing us,” she said. Nationally, food prices consumed at home are expected to rise 10% to 11% this year, according to the USDA.