Reader Response: Managing Life on a Fixed Income

I am a senior living on a fixed income. My year started with a sick tree in my garden that needs to be removed. Estimate: $1,650. I also broke a crown that needs to be replaced. Estimate: $1,625. I haven’t had glasses for two years and mine are all scratched. Estimate from an optometrist: $900. My cat needs prescription flea medicine. I was told I had to take him to the vet every year or they couldn’t write a prescription for any medication. My cat is in good health and does not need to go to the vet. Although the drugs are budgeted, the $200 office visit is not.

I need to find $4375 for things that I should get fixed right away. I save money every month for house maintenance, so I have money for the tree. I have a son who lives with me so I can use his contributions for household expenses to pay the crown in a few months. I have a monthly budget for medical care, but I don’t have vision insurance, so it will take me more than six months to save up for glasses.

Life is not easy as a senior. I wish there were more resources because I know that while I can manage, a lot of seniors can’t.

Please support initiatives to include dental and vision care in Medicare. And for Pete’s sake, would Oregon lawmakers make an exception in the law that requires veterinarians to physically examine an animal within the last 12 months before prescribing flea medication?

Jean-Philippe, Florence