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Ways Seniors Can Survive the VI’s Financial Storm

Monday, January 27 th Governor John P. deJongh delivered his final State of the Territory Address to the 30 th Legislature and the people of the Virgin Islands. He provided his listeners with a snapshot of his administration’s accomplishments and shortfalls and described the many challenges facing Virgin Islanders in the very near future.

 It was no surprise that the Governor’s remarks were solemn and focused primarily on the economy. Our local newspapers prepared us for some of what the Governor would share when they reported earlier in the month that our government is facing a $70-million deficit this fiscal year.

 What does this mean to the average Virgin Islands retiree?

 AARP feels these territorial financial challenges should trigger changes in our seniors’ thoughts and behaviors. Obviously, becoming more cost conscious should be at the top of every senior’s “to do” list. There is much that seniors can do and AARP has a few suggestions.

 Look at where you spend your money. Food, healthcare, and utilities, for instance, are usually at the top of a senior’s spending list. Give serious thought to each category and how you can lower the expenses related to each. Don’t get discouraged if you think the changes you identify are small ones. Small changes eventually will add up to big savings.

Take advantage of advertised weekly specials

  • Present your senior card for added discounts
  • Shop once a week so you won’t have to make multiple trips which end up costing you more in gas
  • Take advantage of locally grown, fresh vegetable and fruit markets which may be less expensive and may also help keep a Virgin Islander employed

Not only will you save money when you take good care of yourself, you will be healthier and happier.

  • Take advantage of the free preventative screenings offered by Medicare
  • Enroll in the Medicare Part D prescription program so you get the best possible medication prices
  • If your medications are very expensive, see if you can save money by using a mail order prescription drug program.  The cost reduction may help you to your take your medications as the doctor prescribed
  • Participate in an exercise program that gets that blood flowing, lowers your sugar level and blood pressure and gets those “happy hormones” flowing.  Exercise can be fun, i.e., enjoy the absolutely beautiful weather and walk, swim, take a dance class or participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities

Utilities are a great place to gain financial savings.

  • Get an energy audit of your home so you can find out where to make modifications and save big bucks
  • AARP VI expects to initiate a home survey program later this year.  Keep an eye out for the program’s announcement in late spring so you can find out how to save.

 These are just a few suggestions AARP VI feels may help seniors weather the financial storm. For more ideas on how to make the most out of your life, visit our FaceBook page at: or let us hear from you on Twitter at

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