Like they always say, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Well, I would consider adding our seniors expressing their right to vote to the list too.
There are many reasons that senior citizens seem to turnout to vote at election time, but their commitment and flexibility seem to lead the way:
Seniors believe it is their civic duty to vote. Having lived through countless election cycles, seniors understand the importance of being a part of the election process and one election can impact their position in life.
Seniors have more time. Many older adults have reached retirement age, so they have more time to track the issues. On many occasions, seniors may have to reschedule their medical appointments or miss their civic club outing, but typically they have more flexibility to rework their daily routine to vote.
- Seniors are more stable. Most of the time, seniors have lived in the same location or area for many years, so they are familiar with their voting precincts and sometimes know the names of election officials. By knowing their voting precinct and officials, older voters feel more comfortable about voting and understand if they don't show up, someone may recognize they passed on their civic duty. On the other hand, the younger population is starting new careers, working overtime to try and get ahead or may have to simply care for their children. With so many responsibilities on the backs of young voters, it is easy to get pulled away on election day.
Seniors care about issues that affect them. On many occasions seniors care deeply about the issues that impact their wallet, but Social Security, Medicare and taxes are at the top of their list. They are also concerned about their personal safety and crime.
With 62.4 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits and one out of three seniors counting on it for 90 percent of their income, our public officials must get serious about the financial future of our older Americans. It is imperative that our elected officials put politics aside and come together to provide stability to a program that our seniors paid into for their retirement needs for decades. Financial experts have told us that Social Security will be depleted by 2034 if we don't make changes. However, with the Trustees of our Social Security and Medicare trust fund dipping into the reserves for the first time in 36 years ramps up concerns about their financial future.
Medicare provides health insurance for 46 million Americans that are 65 and over who paid into the Medicare system through their employment with a payroll tax. Medicare also provides benefits to those who have disabilities and are not yet 65. Typically, Medicare covers about half of the health care costs and the balance is handled out of pocket or through a supplemental policy. The news indicating Medicare's hospital trust fund is projected to go broke by 2026 makes many seniors worried, but President Trump's campaign pledge not to cut Medicare has provided a level of confidence among his supporters.
With so many seniors living on fixed incomes, working part time or living pay check to pay check, tax increases have a way of wrecking their meager budget. Even the slightest uptick in expenses can cause major concerns for our elderly, so most of the time our older adults oppose tax measures. Seniors don't want to support significant changes in the tax code that will jeopardize their financial stability of our seniors.
Many of our seniors are vulnerable and are easier targets than ever by the criminals and fraud artists. A majority of the time, seniors will support candidates who are tough on crime. As a general rule, senior citizens support the criminal justice system, law enforcement and elected officials who are interested in protecting our elder population.
If you are an elected official serving in Congress, it makes plenty of sense to focus on doing the right thing for our older adults regarding Social Security, Medicare and taxes and you will get plenty of love from the senior community. If you are a serving in the state legislature, you should strive to keep taxes low, crime down and ensure our seniors are receiving good quality care. If you follow those keys, the senior voting bloc will probably support you.