Survival mode: the impact of inflation on fixed-income Americans

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 18:35:09-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The price of groceries and other goods are at a 39-year high, according to the Department of Labor.

Those on fixed incomes are getting hit by inflation even harder. Retiree Bill Ahlman is disabled, living off Social Security and a small pension from his 40 years working as a teacher.

"There are just a lot of things that I used to enjoy doing that I can't do as much anymore, because I just can't afford things like that," Ahlman said.

He said one of those things was cooking. He said he's always wanted to be a chef, but right now he can't afford the price of groceries.

"When I have a certain amount of money to spend I get a lot less, and I find that I'm passing up a lot of things that I'd like to have, because the prices have gone up so high I just can't afford them all anymore," Ahlman said.

According to the Department of Labor, the consumer price index rose 7 percent in 2021. Ahlman said he's feeling the effects.

"It actually gets worse each year, because whenever we get a raise in our income on Social Security, then the prices go up," Ahlman said.

News 3 reached out to AARP for tips on how to budget on a fixed income. They gave us these tips:

  • Seek out cheaper substitutes
  • Ease up on energy usage
  • Buy in bulk