Ways to make sure your COLA goes further

by lmallernee | November 9th, 2012

According to stltoday.com , there are some practical ways to help make sure that the small 2013 cost of living (COLA) increase can go further for you.

1. Review healthcare requirements and coverage.

For those already receiving Medicare benefits, annual enrollment season (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7) provides the opportunity to make healthcare coverage changes.

2. For those awaiting Medicare eligibility, be sure to investigate extending existing healthcare by evaluating COBRA options.

Check out healthcare resources that can help lower costs, such as prescription drug subsidy programs.

3. Reduce credit card debt.

According to TransUnion, the average credit card debt per borrower is about $4,971. “Applying even a modest extra income to credit card debt can help you pay it down and strengthen your overall financial position,” a personal  financial planning manager said.

4. Find mortgage assistance.

It might be time to get help with your mortgage. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides many resources to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, as well as providing a list of HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies.

5. Pursue additional resources.

There are many government-sponsored programs available to low-income individuals, including assistance with heat, electricity and telephone bills; reduced public transportation fares; property tax credits; and food stamps, food pantries and free meals for children attending school.

If you or someone you know needs help with COLA benefits, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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