By Terry Savage on January 07, 2024 | Wild Card

Terry, what advice would you have for a widowed, Disabled woman due to several brain surgeries, unable to work, currently on Social Security, which, of course was cut by 2/3, both mine and my husband’s, and a pension. I can never get ahead, and I feel like I’m slowly going to just drown. is there anything I can do with a very small amount of money that I have left over from my husband’s death benefits, which was almost 20 years ago, I currently have it with Fidelity, is there something more I can do? Thank you.

Terry Says

Gosh, I thought about responding privately because this is such a poignant and terrifying situation. But perhaps it will make others realize their problems are small by comparison –or induce younger readers to save and invest more for retirement.

Have you turned to your state’s elder department for resources — whether subsidized housing, Medicaid (in addition to Medicare), food assistance (including meals on wheels)?

Since you are able to write and post this question, I’m going to direct you to some resources.
Start with the department of Health and Human Services, using this link:
That will give you an overview of some senior benefits you might not be receiving.

Then google your own state’s department on aging for assistance closer to home. For example, if you live in Illinois, here is the site you want to visit:

There you will find all kinds of resources, including a hotline for assistance. And every state has a similar website.

As for the money you have, and you didn’t say how much, keep it in a money market account at Fidelity,where you won’t risk losing ANY of it.

And one other thing bothers me– Why was your Social Security cut by 2/3? Did you or your spouse have a public service pension? That does cut into SS benefits. But at this stage with changing income limits, you might be able to get more from SS.
Please write back to the email you receive, saying your question was answered, and give me some details and your phone number.



a personal
finance question