Worked for decades and now inflation is eating up your savings? Electricity, gas, groceries and even the cost of living have been skyrocketing for months. Older people in particular are suffering from the inflationary wave. FOCUS Online gives important tips on how affected pensioners have more money available every month.
The cheapest butter now costs over 2.29 euros and consumers pay almost eight euros for a kilo of bread at the bakery. Municipal utilities raised prices by almost 100 percent at the beginning of the year. Banks and savings banks charge higher fees for simple checking accounts.
Life in Germany has become significantly more expensive. This is a burden for millions of people. Pensioners in particular have to turn over every cent twice.
This is also shown by official figures from the Federal Statistical Office, which the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND) publishes. According to this, the number of senior citizens who receive basic security in old age rose from 628,570 to 647,515 within three months from June to September 2022. That is the equivalent of 18,945 more people.
Compared to the previous year, there are even 68,420 more people in September 2021 who had to apply for basic security. This corresponds to an increase of around 12 percent.
Hard times for everyone who has to deal with little money. FOCUS Online says what senior citizens can do against the inflation wave.
If you want to reduce your expenses, you should first get an overview of what goes into the bank account every month and what goes out of it. How much is the pension? What sources of income are there? After deducting electricity, telephone, cell phone, groceries, insurance, loan agreements and rent, what is actually left to live on?
What expenses can you actively reduce? When it comes to telephone, cell phone and insurance, a change of provider can bring a lot of money in many cases. Cell phone and telephone providers even offer rates for seniors and are up to 20 percent cheaper.
The FOCUS Online Guide answers all important questions about pensions on 135 pages. Plus 65 pages of forms.
Those who have to cut expenses because their pension is no longer sufficient often go without food. But that need not be. Supermarkets and discounters, for example, sell no-name groceries. Here the focus is on the content and less on who produced it. Such no-name products are usually much cheaper than the much more expensive brand manufacturers.
But it is also true: the inflation phase puts discounters and supermarkets under pressure. They fear a loss of sales and therefore lure them with special offers. Branded products are often cheaper than no-name items.
In the next few weeks, Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord, Lidl, Netto Marken-Discount, Norma, Rewe and Edeka will be attracting customers with special offers on butter, milk, coffee, detergent and jam. These discount offers can be found in brochures or on the Internet.
Senior citizens benefit from discounts on many leisure activities such as the cinema, theatre, museums and swimming pools. And there are often special monthly tickets or cheaper tickets for senior citizens on local public transport.
To benefit from these discounts, the pensioner’s card is sufficient. Those affected do not have to apply for this separately. “Pensioners get it together with their pension notice,” says the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center.
If the state of health allows it, pensioners can supplement their monthly income with part-time jobs.
However, there is a rule: “Before reaching the standard retirement age, pensioners may take a maximum of 450 euros in addition without the pension being reduced,” explains the German Pension Insurance Association.
For those born before 1947, the standard retirement age was 65. If you were born between 1947 and 1963, the standard retirement age will be raised in stages.
Jobs that pensioners can do without much effort: museum supervisor, temporary worker or salesman.
Inflation is high – not for the first time in the long history of money. The economist Thomas Mayer explains in the free webinar at FOCUS Online where the problems lie and what a solution could look like. GET YOUR FREE TICKET HERE!
Rental prices in Germany are rising rapidly.
Moving can be a great way for seniors to save money. In more and more big cities, senior living communities are springing up like mushrooms. That is practical. All ancillary costs are shared, there is help with household chores and they also take active action against loneliness by watching TV and playing games together.
If the moving costs are too high, the social welfare office can step in.
If older people need care, the care insurance fund will cover the costs for conversions.
The health insurance company can also subsidize aids, for example a bath lift or shower stool in the apartment.
“If the total income is less than 924 euros, those affected should have it checked whether they are entitled to basic security,” explains the German pension insurance.
Since January 1, 2023, a single adult has received 449 euros in basic security in old age and 808 euros for married couples.
The prerequisite for this is that the pension, income from a job and assets are not sufficient to meet your own needs.
The basic security is usually approved for one year. Those affected can submit the application to the social welfare office. In addition to the identity card, applicants need the pension notification, all proof of income and assets, bank statements for the last three months, the applicable rental agreement, proof of health and nursing care insurance and the application for basic security.
More than a million pensioners are entitled to this assistance. “A lot of people are ashamed to have to go to the office. The security benefit was created especially for people whose pension is not sufficient to live on,” emphasizes the social association VdK.
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