Nancy Reynolds, age 74, of Cape Canaveral, Florida, works as a cashier at Walmart while struggling to make ends meet on her work income and social security benefits of just $709 a month.
“I can’t live on $709 a month, so I have to work. I have no choice, even though my body says you can’t do much more,” said Reynolds.
She explained her benefits are lower due to years where an abusive husband didn’t allow her to work, and she had also taken time off to care for her father before he died. Reynolds relies on Medicare insurance, though she still has to pay co-pays for doctor visits, and receives only $19 a month in food stamp assistance.
Reynolds is one of millions of Americans who are either senior, disabled or survivors of a deceased worker, and rely on social security benefits for the majority of their income, but the average benefit of just over $1,500 a month doesn’t provide enough income to cover basic necessities.
“The government is failing all of us seniors. We have to choose whether we eat or we go to the doctor, do we eat or do we buy medicine? The struggle is out there even though I’m working,” added Reynolds. “I’m wondering how long am I going to have my home, how long am I going to be able to pay for it? Should I buy a tent now and store it, because if I lose my job, I’ll be homeless because no one wants to hire a 74-year-old.”