I have a friend who has been unemployed for 18 months. He now has completely exhausted both unemployment benefits and retirement savings. He has not started collecting SS benefits yet (his FRA is 66), because he doesn't want to get locked into permanently lower benefits. He lives in a HCOL area (SF Bay Area, though he has a rent-controlled apartment.) He is continuing to seek jobs in his field, but he has a history of difficulties in the workplace, leading to a spotty work record, that would be a red flag to most employers.
I fear that he has reached the point where every month will be a scramble for him to put together sufficient funds to make it to the end. Even if he took SS, that would cover maybe half of his expenses. Frankly, he is in danger of homelessness.
Clearly many of his problems are of his own making (aargh, the reliance on astrology and "psychics" drives me CRAZY!), but I am trying to figure out what sort of advice to give to him. I have urged him to consider starting his SS, despite the hit he will take, just so that he has some income. I also have suggested that he try to find any kind of part-time work he can, just to get some money coming in, even temp type work. He hasn't indicated much interest in any of these ideas. I have considered suggesting that he explore food stamps, but he is probably aware of them. Not surprisingly, he wants me to loan him money. I gave him $1000, and I have more or less decided that I am willing to give him another $1000, but no more. It pains me, because he is not a bad person, and, in fact, he has been unreasonably generous with other people. [When he has told me what he is doing, I have wanted to repeat what they say on an airplane: "Secure your oxygen mask before helping other."] That said, I am not willing to become his primary means of support. But I want to make any practical suggestions I can to try to help him avoid homelessness.
The short version is: What advice do you give to a broke 64-year old friend who can't support himself?