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Are your clients cutting back?

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The Senior Citizens League has released a troubling new study revealing the tough choices seniors are being forced to make due to the economy. More than 1,040 respondents over age 65 took part in the survey, which revealed that seniors were not taking their prescribed medications and/or were cutting back on their food budgets.

According to the survey, 42 percent of seniors had either postponed filling their prescribed medications or were taking a smaller dosage than recommended, 62 percent had reigned in doctor visits or outpatient services and 77 percent had reduced their spending on food items.

Senior Citizens League chairman Daniel O’Connell said, “Millions of seniors have been struggling to make ends meet for many years, but this survey makes clear that the recession has made things go from bad to worse for older Americans.”

Furthermore, 32 percent of respondents reported that the cost of their drug plan rose in 2009. Eighteen percent said they would need to postpone their retirement, and 6 percent said they would be claiming Social Security earlier than expected due to job cuts.

Since the beginning of the decade, seniors have lost 20 percent of their buying power, according to a Senior Citizens League study published in May. To make matters worse, the Congressional Budget Office predicts no cost-of-living increase for the 37 million Americans over 65 who receive Social Security for the next two years.