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Universal Basic Income for 55 and Over

There is no doubt that we are living through uncertain times, both in our health and economically. If you’ve reached the golden years of your life, there is an excellent chance that you might not be as financially secure as you would like. Is there anything that can be done to help? While planning, investing, and careful use of savings are all acceptable practices, they can only get you so far. That’s why many people, young and old alike, are exploring the idea of a universal basic income or UBI.

What Exactly is Universal Basic Income?

At the core of this idea is the concept that every person deserves to have enough financial security to provide for their most basic needs – food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. So, the idea is that the government, or perhaps a charity, should provide everyone with a regular influx of cash or financial payments.

The idea is not a new one and is certainly gaining popularity in recent times. For example, in 2017, the country of Finland provided a stipend to their chronically unemployed to help lift them out of poverty and rejoin the economic landscape. While it was not technically universal and viewed mostly as a failed attempt by 2018, most researchers did conclude that the method of study and implementation would have to be improved for it to work. And in Kenya, a charity organization by the name of Give Directly designed a program to provide 6,000 Kenyans with enough money to escape poverty for a decade in the hopes of providing financial security and boosting the economy overall.

What UBI Could Mean for Those 55 and Over

One of the groups most often cited as beneficiaries when it comes to UBI is those who have entered the later part of their employment years and are looking at the idea of retirement. And UBI, in theory, does provide a good deal of financial security to the older generations. By having a regular source of income during the retirement years, that could conceivably take care of basic needs; a person could use other financial resources to help improve their lives significantly. Imagine not having to worry about choosing between your monthly prescriptions and your monthly electric bill, as so many senior citizens do.

Implementation and Other Alternatives

Of course, the idea of UBI is not a new one. Quite a few politicians, economists, and even religious leaders have cited the need for something of this nature. One of the major stumbling blocks is in the nuts and bolts of implementation. Put in the economic landscape of the United States, which focuses on individual responsibility and funding, the most straightforward way to raise funds would be to increase taxes to obtain the necessary funds. The question of where the new tax burden should be and how wealth is distributed becomes vital.

And then there is the method of distributing the money. Most support an expansion of programs already in place, such as Medicaid or Social Security, since these programs are already well known and accepted. However, programs such as these are already overburdened with requirements and red-tape bureaucracy. In the eyes of many, they are making the idea of a newer, sleeker method of distribution to be more desirable.

Whichever the case, the idea of UBI is an attractive one overall, but is unlikely to be implemented for quite some time simply because of the complicated nature of management.

References

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/27/free-cash-handouts-what-is-universal-basic-income-or-ubi.html

https://www.knowablemagazine.org/article/society/2020/universal-basic-income

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/14/11410904/givedirectly-basic-income

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