At the Waxahachie Senior Center, the talk is focused on the afternoon card game and inflation.
“You have to learn how to budget, even more than what we did before. Inflation keeps going up, but our income stays the same,” said retiree Pat Middlebrooks.
“We don’t know how high it’s going to go. If it keeps going there’s going to be a lot of people in trouble,” said retiree Doug Holliefield.
According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index jumped 8.3% year-over-year in April.
The nearly 40-year high is hitting retirees hard.
“They are being hit significantly because seniors are on a fixed income. The inflation of housing, food, energy – energy being utilities and gasoline – all of them are skyrocketing, and that’s 75% of a typical senior’s budget,” said Steve Benton, a financial counselor with The Senior Source.
The Dallas nonprofit has seen an increase in the number of seniors asking for financial assistance. Their services include financial planning, utility assistance, job fairs and employment counseling for retirees re-entering the workforce.
In the last six months, The Senior Source helped 3,707 people through their elder financial safety center, averaging between 75 -150 more clients a month.
The Senior Source will host an in-person utility assistance day on June 1 starting at 9 a.m. They’ll help clients pay utility bills through their partnerships with Atmos Energy, Ambit Energy, Garland Power and Light and TXU Energy.
“There’s a lot of struggling going on out there and we just try to come beside people as best we can,” Benton said.
Back in Waxahachie, the retirees NBC 5 spoke with were grateful for places like their community senior center where costs remain low.
A yearly membership is less than $100 and covers several services.
“Nothings gone up here. We can come and enjoy our days here. We can get a meal that stays at a reasonable price for us and have fun, ya know,” said Holliefield.
That’s good news, especially since climbing gas prices have already added $50 to Hollifield’s weekly trips to see his kids in Denton County.
“Fortunately, so far we haven’t had to cut back on that, but that mayday may come,” said Holliefield.