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What is Living in Poverty Mean to You???

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posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 06:47 PM
OK, so I was in another thread which will go unnamed and the subject came up about poverty. The person I was debating with eluded that I was whining about my family living in poverty yet I had already disclosed that my surviving mother had assets totaling over half a million dollars. To me that isn’t poverty.
The discussion was on Social Security and I had volunteered the information that without it my mother couldn't afford the care she needs. But basically I was told she is on welfare by receiving it and she is in poverty.

Here is some of the background. My father passed last year I managed to see him before it happened and the one thing he asked me was to make sure my mother was taken care of which I stayed in Florida to do. He had told me she was sick but I didn’t see it back then, I did after. My mother has dementia and after several doctors visits they told me if she stayed in her home the way she was she would get much worse very fast because she had zero interaction with the outside. If she had her way she would watch TV the rest of her life (the same exact show because the memory was going) and never meet another living soul again outside of her doctors and I.

It took me several months to canvas all the ALFs around here which in total I visited 65 before deciding on one. All the while my biasness was falling apart. I did eventually find a good one in her price range, but it would require her SS money. For those who do not know the lowest price I had seen for one was about $2750 a month plus anywhere from $250 to $500 extra for each level of care like regulating medication is the first level. The highest I had seen for a place was around $5500 a month and then there is still plus for levels. Those places even charge a non-refundable entrance fee from 1K to 5K. One year can cost well over 60K.

I ask how many people can pay that out of pocket for 10-15 years or more? Who can save for that? My family was fine with their savings and investments living at their house but who can save for something like that. FYI I found a great place that runs about 4200 to 4300 a month but it will go up when the disease progresses. I have everything set up where the IRAs now pay out monthly and with her SS payments and what they call Aid and attendance which is a program she qualifies for because my father was a war veteran I know she will be taken care of. Since she has been there she has improved greatly and her quality of life has done the same.

I am glad I took the time to see all the places I could one thing I found is the closer you got to the beach away from the Orlando area the better the places with much more reasonable pricing. I didn’t even look at ALFs that were people’s houses which may be cheaper, but I am just not comfortable with something like that for her.

What I am asking as the title says what does ATS think poverty level is because I sure as hell never considered half a million as being in poverty, but it sure isn’t enough to take care of you on its own when dealing with the medical field. The way I have distributions set up for her right now it can last for 20 years if necessary considering she is young comparatively I aired on the side of caution, but I know she will get the best of care for it.

And yes I do visit often except when I am out of the country. So do you guys consider a 74 year old widow with over half a million saved as living in poverty and ill prepared?

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:05 PM
You found somewhere that costs 4.3k per month?

The average person in the uk now earns less than 1k per month (US 1,666.56).

I understand what your getting at but I hardly think what you describe is poverty.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:09 PM
a reply to: VoidHawk

I don't believe that is poverty either, but the person I was debating basically said my mother lived in poverty.

I think my family did pretty damn well for themselves. They had a lot more before the market crashed but even then they managed to save quite a bit.

It just struck me as extremely odd the person eluded to my mother being in poverty.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:21 PM
For me poverty is..
When all the bills that MUST be paid are paid, we are left too little to buy healthy food.

Would it not be cheaper for you to employ a carer full time? In the uk you could get four carers for that kinda money! That way your mother stays in her own home and has 24/7 personal care.

edit on 6-6-2014 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:38 PM
a reply to: VoidHawk

I looked into it. I really looked into it and when everything would be said and done it would cost more.

At first I could have had one come in 3 to 4 hours a day that would still be over 2K a month but she wouldn't have gotten the level of care she needed.

I had to move in with her the last few months before I found a good ALF because she nearly burned down the house trying to cook some chile and forgot it was on the stove before going to bed. On top of that she wasn't keeping her doctors appointments because she would sleep through the day I believe it is called sundowners syndrome and she is diabetic. The diabetes part is what really sealed it because she didn't regulate herself nor would she test her sugars or let me.

She is very intelligent but with the dementia things were getting bad to where she would go out at night looking for her child (me) thinking I was her brother reliving her younger years and always thinking my father would be coming home soon. She didn't understand or refused to acknowledge his death. At other times all she would do is watch the TV same exact show over and over because it was recorded and just kept hitting repeat. As long as she was in her house she wouldn't listen to anyone.

Now that she is at the ALF she seems coherent the doctors come see her they go on outings to parks or the beach where before she didn't leave the house for almost a year. She was getting so much worse real fast at home. With dementia and Alzheimer's interaction with others is crucial in slowing the progression of the disease.

On the other side of the family I have a grandmother who is sharp as a tack and 94 years old where she has outlived all her sons and some of her grandchildren.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:40 PM
I would describe my take on poverty in the U.S. like this:

1. you are without a home and job
2. if you have a place to live, you intermittently lack water, electricity, or both, or the threat of utility shut-off is looming over your head
3. if you are "working poor" you follow the monthly juggling act: For example: "Do I pay the car insurance premium so I can get to work the next week, or do I pay all of the electric bill and save a little for groceries? Or do I "compromise" and send $x to the electric company, pay all of the insurance and cut corners on the groceries so I can save money for gasoline?" You can substitute any variant here.
5. You work two jobs, just because neither one pays nearly what they should. The CEO needs money to send his kids to summer camp, and you need money to send your kids to school in descent shoes.
4. You consider things like new clothes, shoes, name-brand foods, buying organic, and heath insurance luxuries.
6. You laugh at the upper-middle class and all their "ways to save money," especially pervasive in the media since the 2008 collapse, because all the "new tricks" they've come up with you've been practicing as a way of life for as long as you can remember.

The list can can go on Ad nauseam, and is from experience. I've also worked my way from homeless to professional school, so I know digging your way out is possible...but only if you've got the right mix of luck, opportunity and realization that it's possible. Social programs WORK, but only if people WANT to better themselves.
edit on 6-6-2014 by FatherStacks because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:57 PM
a reply to: Grimpachi

Living in poverty means you spend all your time working a job in which the paycheck is ate up by food, utilities, healthcare, rent and various necessities. When one lives in poverty they have no money or time to actually enjoy life at all and spend their existence paying for only that to survive.

Most people living in poverty do the above plus they also have to share a house with other people.

That is my definition.

It may be that someone living in Manhattan making 15 dollars an hour could be living in poverty while the same paycheck in Texas affords them to have a new car, apartment and the ability to eat out once in awhile. It will vary depending on location. It is not a dollar amount but a standard of living.


Homelessness is also living in poverty. Although homeless people aren't necessarily jobless. If the above criteria of food, shelter, utilities, other necessities and healthcare are not within reach a person may very well be working yet without some of the above items. I would label that "extreme" poverty.

Then sometimes there are those in poverty with homes. Then there are those in poverty who are also homeless. It all varies.
edit on 6-6-2014 by OrphanApology because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:58 PM
a reply to: FatherStacks

Right now without my mothers social security and veterans benefits the money for her care wouldn't last 9 years but some feel as if that makes her a welfare case.

She paid into SS throughout her life as my father did and he fought a war to where she is covered by the benefits and he was shot several times during it.

Personally I feel the cost of healthcare in ALFs is ridiculous and not all are equal in care. I toured some that were so creepy I couldn't wait to get away and I was told by staff at another that many should be shut down, but the need for them is too high.

It took me a long time to find a good one where she could get good care and age in grace with her dignity.
edit on 6-6-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:07 PM
Now, don't know exactly what you are referring to here. But there are many who are living on fixed incomes and poverty, who have land and assets that have exploded in taxes over the years. Doesn't mean they're not low income or poor, and no one has the right to think they should sell their homes and things, everyone needs to have hearth and home.

So a person living in their paid off home with utility bills of over 400 a month, is not considered poor, if they're making 1200 a month?

I agree that someone making 1200 a month and renting for 600 plus the utilities is even poorer, but both are low income.

And I know that the wealthy elite politiicians would love to steal that land, and force sales and sell it to their favorite immigrants or whatever group is in favor with them, while the children would be deprived of their only chance to have a home, their inheritance.

edit on 6-6-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:07 PM
a reply to: OrphanApology

Yes thank you and I tend to agree with your definition.

I tend not to write rants and try to stay away from starting threads with mostly my opinion because I generaly do not convey what I am thinking or asking the way I wish.

So I will try better next time but for this thread would you classify someone like my mother as a poverty case because she needs her social security check to have a standard of living?
edit on 6-6-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:12 PM
a reply to: Unity_99

Sorry I wasn' clear enough in my OP. I often have a hard time conveying my train of thought on such matters.

Would you call a person who collects their social security as a person living in poverty?

Maybe I should rephrase.. because they need their social security check to live decently would you clasify them as a being in poverty?

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:18 PM
a reply to: Grimpachi

If she is retired and her standard of living cannot be sustained then I would consider that poverty. For example, if at age 65 you find yourself with 10k saved up and probably 20 more years of life then by my standard you are already in poverty even though you have 10k in your bank.

In regard to your mother if she is still having her bills ate up by the items I listed in my above post and she has no extra money for actual life or enjoyment then I would consider that poverty.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:19 PM
a reply to: Grimpachi

To me poverty means living paycheck to paycheck, deciding if you really have to pay that bill because that means you won't be able to eat.

I'm poor, and there are days that I don't eat because I have to buy medication. If I don't take my medication i will die. At the end of last year, I did not eat for 3 days because I couldn't afford to. I work full time and my husband is self employed, his income fluctuates during the year.

My employer doesn't offer insurance and we are still waiting on California to care (submitted my request for insurance on MARCH 10th.) My husband and I have computers that our parents gave us (hand me downs) and our landlord owns a local internet company, so we get that for free. Since I use my phone for work, my employer pays 1/2 my cell phone bill, that helps a lot.

Some people really have no idea of what poverty means, they honestly don't comprehend what it means to struggle. While there are people starving in this country, someone somewhere is sitting down to dinner with a table full of food that will go to waste, eating off of gold plates, using silver utensils and drinking $$$$ bottles of wine out of crystal glasses. It makes me sick.

edit on 6-6-2014 by Jennyfrenzy because: spelling

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:33 PM
a reply to: OrphanApology

Thank you.

As to how you defined it no she is nowhere near poverty. Everything is paid and she has enough combined with her Social security ( she is retired and age 74) to last the next 20 years where she is at however if tomorrow the govt stopped all SS benefits to everyone then her money would run out in less tan 9 years.

I was just really irked while debating someone that they insinuated that because she needed those SS payments that ment she was in poverty.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:39 PM
a reply to: Grimpachi

No problem.

Yeah, Social Security is a government run retirement ponzi scheme that everyone pays into and hopes will still be standing when they're old enough to take out. Just because you take it out doesn't mean you're in poverty.

Maybe they were thinking of welfare?

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:43 PM
a reply to: Grimpachi

Yes your mother is living in poverty but it's because the system of your country doesn't provide the basic needs for it's people and it's down to the lack of socialism.
In the wealthy European countries with a national health care system we have public care homes, sheltered housing and every need for an elderly person, every elderly person in our country even get a winter fuel allowance if the temperature goes below 0 degrees.
I really feel a deep sorrow for America because there is so much selfishness and lack of compassion and fear that i fear it's only going to get worse. People are so scared of their fellow human it's made you more isolationist.
edit on 6-6-2014 by mclarenmp4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:44 PM
a reply to: Grimpachi

The 1200 I am referring to is our Canadian basic level old age pension, and those in their own homes and those renting are still poor, but a tad better in your own home, which is the estate of the family.

Elderly pensions should be universal and have a sliding scale depending on alternative income, but be high enough to be above the povery level and that woudl be higher than 1200.

Nothing to do with their home and furnishings.
edit on 6-6-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:46 PM
let me tell you what poverty is poverty is donating a part of yourself so you can earn money to just to eat a stupid sandwhich and couldnt even have cheese on it for weeks...and nothing else

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:54 PM
The poverty level in the late 90's in Canada, was 22000 a year.

Its higher now! No matter what they may have done to the figures and I haven't checked for at least a decade.

No one on earth should have less income than middle middle class.

Years ago wrote an article on Bcpolitics, just prior having my computer toasted, and that week a similar article appeared in the paper, so it was used by others apparently on such things as BChydro sale, wich was absolute treason, and a breakdown on stats I got from Statistics Canada then and a US site, about the 90-100%, the 80-90%, the 70-80%, and so on and so forth down the line and attributing to each group a percentage of national income.

US had a very bad distribution rate, with most people living on a small amount.

In Canada, what was most interesting was the 70-80% group, Moderately Wealthy??? That 10% was living off 11% of the income in that year it was taken.

So, we should all be living at least middle class, with prices controlled.

And everyone has the right to their own land and property and their family to that inheritance, NOT THE GOVERNMENT.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:54 PM
a reply to: Jennyfrenzy

I hope things take a turn for the better for you. I really do. I think you are absolutely right that there are many people that have absolutely no idea what poverty is. I was a bit infuriated when I wrote the OP because of another thread. I probably shouldn't have let myself get that way as it was probably that posters intentions to do so.

Before joining the military in my teens I had set off on my own at 16. At that point in life no one could tell me different and I wanted to prove I could make it on my own. I held down a job on the other side of the country from where my family was and lived paycheck to paycheck just making ends meet but by the time I was a few months to my 18th birthday I had already realized the path I was on wasn't going anywhere. I had the good sense to by a greyhound ticket back and I immediately got my GED and my father signed a waver for me to join the Army.

The Army did me a world of good I continued my education while I was in and after 2 tours I got out went to college but within a few moths joined the NG. Funny I hated my first tour only re-uped for bonuses when I got out I was missing it just a few months later, then 911 happened and at a certain point I had been activated so long I figured I may as well be active duty again.

Anyway, I went off track but I had a taste of poverty when I was younger and I wish you and yours all the luck. Sometimes a little luck is all you need to change things and other times no amount will help. As far as this thread and the one that got me to right a rant well to be quite honest the one who got me riled up struck me as someone who doesn't have a clue as to what poverty is. Seemed to me that anyone that made less that him was considered subpar and to be looked down upon.

Oh well. I appreciate the responses here. For a minute I was thinking things had really changed.

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