The cost of living is on the rise — and seniors who are on fixed incomes are finding it hard to make ends meet.
William Smith is one of the countless senior citizens facing the same reality; the retirement and pensions seniors received that once kept them comfortable now can’t even handle the basics. A career restaurant worker, Smith was forced into retirement early after being hurt on the job. Now DoorDash is the only way he and his wife (who is also a Dasher) can afford to survive.
“It’s the reality of life. When I was younger, I didn’t really think about retirement. I was forced to retire because I was hurt on the job. But disability just don’t cover it.”
With the Social Security Administration capping monthly earnings while on disability at $1,470 a month, that means they can only work 20 to 25 hours a week and still maintain adequate status for their benefits. For the Smith family, these benefits need to last to stay alive and do ok.
Yet Smith is ok with the work. “As long as my body will hold up. Life is a pickle. You don’t know when things will change. But here I’m not sitting in front of the TV and gaining all the weight back. This is it. I like the extra money I’m getting. I don’t know what else to do. I wouldn’t switch.”
He isn’t alone, either. According to the AARP, 27% of seniors are doing freelance or gig work, with 89% doing it for the extra money, with 87% loving the freedom of choosing their schedule for once. With the average “platform worker” earning under $1,000 a month, according to JPMorgan Chase, this extra money can mean the difference between living on their own and being forced to accept outside help.