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Seniors- The Working Poor.

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posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 08:26 AM
I'm seeing a trend lately that is gaining speed and it's not pretty. Seniors having to work to augment their pension. The greeter at Walmart is obviously in her 70's. So is my cab driver. He says he HAS to work.

My parents are in their mid to late 60's. They have a pension from DND, not a bad pension but with their health fading and the cost of meds rising, they have to be creative some months just to get by. What happens if things start getting worse? Neither of them CAN work. Will they lose their hoouse?

The manditory retirement age in Ontario has been suspended, many want to continue to work, like a Correctional Officer here at work. She's in her late 60's but in good shape and she likes her job. Is this why the retirement age was done away with or was it because it became appearant the some seniors would HAVE to work?

Sure, we can say, "We've seen this coming for a while now". True but was there enough time for this generation of seniors to prepare for it? In some cases I'd have to say no. What's going to be done about this? Something has to be.

Well, gang, are you coming up for retirement in the next 20 years or so? I'm inside that group and better sock funds away, things might, and probably will, get worse in that period of time. I'd hate to have to be on the Freedom 85 program.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 08:55 AM
This is a sad fact all over. Here many of our retired officers end up coming back to work construction escort because they can't afford the medical insurance. So after working 30 years as a corrections officer here they are again. My Dad is also retired he makes it but I shudder to think what will happen if he gets sick.

Yes, I am coming up on retirement this summer I'm due a raise which will allow me to start a Roth IRA. I don't know what the Freedom 85 program is but doesn't sound good.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 12:03 PM
This is a disturbing trend, and one that shows no sign of ending anytime soon. What's to be done? Some would say the gov't. needs to step in even more than it does already, more social aid programs etc... Others would say people need to save more...

There are problems with both of these...for more gov't. aid, either spending on other important things get cut, or taxes get raised higher than they already are. I personally, would say gov't spending needs to be reassessed, the older generation that my father belongs to has earned the right to expect a little more from the gov't than he's getting. Three wars, and most of the Cold War, he was on the front lines...dammit he deserves better. If that means Interstate 90 has to wait for that shoulder be it. Or some bridge that doesn't need replacing this year can wait 'til next year, or the next decade, so be it. My dad's generation isn't going to be with us much longer, and most of them don't have the means to invest in privately run investments, they need the gov't, and the gov't. is failing them. Remember this, come the election in Nov.

Private investment for retirement has its own sets of problems. One of which is if you are living paycheck to paycheck, you can't really do it. I am fortunate that I can invest a little each month, not a lot mind you, but enough that in 20 years or so when I retire, hopefully I won't have to rely on social security at all. So far, so good. But many others can't do this.

What's the solution? I haven't a clue. I suspect it comes down to having several choices, a combination of gov't. aid and private investment, with the ratios determined by the individual. I really can't think of another way to do it.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:22 PM
Amen Seagull Dad does deserve better as do all our seniors. Government spending should indeed be reviewed why do we need all these new highways and bridges when the old ones were just fine. And while we are at it lets do away with the Congress' pension let them live on Social Security. If they had to I'd bet they would fix Social Securiy instead of talk about it.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:45 PM
Excellent thread intrepid.

This is a serious problem that many of our seniors have to deal with on a daily basis, but one that is not discussed enough. With the cost of living always on the climb, they find themselves cutting corners to get by. When my grandfather passed away four years ago, my grandmother was left with her Old age and a few of his pensions from the army and coal mines. I am amazed at this woman's strength to juggle everything she has.

I watch her on a regular basis sit with a pen and pad, and try to figure out what payments to make this month and what ones that have to wait until next month. At the same time she is looking at the payments she had to skip last month, and try to get caught up on those. Her stress level is absolutely through the roof, and it worries me to no end. She tells me the day she stops worrying, will be the day she doesn't wake up. Frankly, this is the truth.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but something has to change.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:46 PM
Well, the way I look at it, IF I get a chance to achieve old age on this decrepid planet, I won't be retiring anytime soon,or at least only when my body gives out and I have to be taken care of.
I have nothing left to save 'all my income are belong to them'.

And they say, oh yeah, seniors don't want to sit around and be unproductive in this day and age, seniors want to be productive!
, My arse they don't, they want to be lazy, they've worked for it, but it costs more to live now, property taxes etc. are out of control, so they get a job, or lose their house!
The government is feeding us this active, wants job senior, no mandatory retirement BS, but we know what it means, no rest, as long as you can move and still mentally function.

What next, a retirement pill? A nice dose of cyanide?
I'd rather take the pill than work 'till I'm dead, because, I'd rather be dead than work till I'm old, because I'm still young(ish) and I am tired of working already!

Hate working

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:49 PM
intrepids opening statement that the greeters in Wal-Mart are in their late 70's. I honestly wonder if it is a requirement in the job application. It is always an old lady or gentleman that appears to be happier than a pig in you know what. Personally, I couldn't see me wanting to hold down a job at that age but I would want to remain productive on some level.

We need some form of security for this age bracket though. They were once the backbone of our economy, wouldn't be fair to turn our backs on them now. We too will be in that situation, some sooner than others, but we should make the strides today to ensure our protection when we reach that point in our lives.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 08:28 PM
Some seniors do enjoy working. My boss is almost 70 and I can't keep up with him. They shouldn't have to work, however. There are so many facets to this problem, it's hard to even know where to begin.

The seniors that actually own their homes are the lucky ones. They can take out reverse mortgages. Seniors who rent are really getting squeezed with inflation.

Duzey's retirement plan: I can't afford to retire. I'm working on dying young.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 08:49 PM

Originally posted by Duzey
Duzey's retirement plan: I can't afford to retire. I'm working on dying young.

Well allow me be the first to say, I hope you fail miserably!

I am all for senior citizens who wish to work. If there are jobs looking to be filled, who are we to tell them to stay in their homes? They should not be mandated to work, but the option should always be there.

Inflation is a serious problem for our seniors, and it is a problem that is only getting worse. My grandmother owns a home with an oil furnace and twice a month she fills the tank. Each fill runs her about $450, so this cost alone is quite concerning.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:02 PM
Well, thanks for the 'well wishes'.
I have a few speculative investments that may allow me to revise my retirement plan. Either that, or all my family members have to die in a specific order.

$900 a month for heating is absolutely insane! That's more than I pay for rent, cable, phone and utilities all together.
Most seniors (aside of my grandmother who has never worked a day in her life) spent years working and paying taxes and they deserve to enjoy their retirement.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:06 PM
I think this is a problem in every established industrialized nation that established government retirement programs like in '30s. They're really pyramid schemes and doomed to failure.

All I can say is young people now should invest all they can on their own, don't rely on getting anything from the government when you retire.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:08 PM
Yeah the same is true for my grandmother. Well she worked a few jobs here and there, but nothing with any future. My grandfather worked hard enough for both of them and then some. He worked in the pits for many years, and lost all lung capacity at a very young age. His breathing was horrible when he died at the age of 81, and it was no different when he was in his 40's & 50's.

Its frustrating to think how the hard work of seniors years ago, is almost all for not because they are still left short due to inflation.

Another issue in my family is the lack of options to keep seniors occupied. This immense amount of free time has my grandmother spending a lot of time on VLT's. I watch her pour money into these cancerous machines on a daily basis, and it frustrates me to no end. Today more than ever our seniors face serious crises.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:55 PM

Originally posted by Duzey
Most seniors (aside of my grandmother who has never worked a day in her life) spent years working and paying taxes and they deserve to enjoy their retirement.

I'll bet if you said that in front of your grandmother she'd paddle you rear end. She may not have held a job outside of the home, but unless she had servants, I'm sure she worked fairly hard.

My grandmother passed away a few years back at the age of 98. She didn't work outside of the home. She did laundry with a washboard and wash tub before my grandfather bought her a newfangled wringer washer. She cooked on a wood stove until the county strung electric lines to her home. She raised chickens and rabbits and had a huge garden. She also raised five boys and two girls.

When her husband passed on in the mid sixties, she received a small pension from his job. How did she survive? Those seven children and over 30 grandchildren pitched in and helped her out.

My own parents, who recently passed away, were in their seventies. Dad had CHF for the past nine years and Mom took care of him. They lived on Social Security and the welfare of their kids and friends.

Instead of expecting the government to take care of our parents and grandparents, why don't we do it. After all, if they could sacrifice to raise us, we should be willing to return the favor.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 10:18 PM
My grandmother paddled my butt once. My mother explained to her that paddling my rear was my mother's job and that nobody else was allowed to lay a hand on it.

But since you want to make assumptions about my grandmother's life, here's a quick rundown:

My grandfather was a minister. He worked one day a week and the rest of the time he was at home. He took care of all of those things (aside of the cooking) you have mentioned, with the help of my mother and her two siblings. When my grandfather died, she received his SS and his church pension. Then she moved in with my aunt, who was also a minister. Like her father, she worked outside the home one day a week. The only thing my grandmother did was cook for her. My aunt did everything else.

When my aunt died, she moved into the guest suite in my uncle's home, but was invited into ours. She preferred to live in the city where my uncle was. She has someone come in to clean and my aunt and uncle do everything else (not a good idea to let an almost blind 94 year-old woman use the stove). Now she's bored and wants to move into a seniors home. I think it will be great for her, and again, someone else will take care of all of life's little details.

My family has always taken care of my grandmother and I'm fairly sure I know a heck of a lot more about my grandmother than you do.

[edit on 20-10-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 01:30 AM
Back in the day, people could count on having a job for decades...and the pension that goes with it.

As the population ages, and the economy aren't anywhere near as really is a race to keep up, with technology, information and education.

If you can't get a good job and keep have only CPP to live off of and or Disability for many Seniors past the 60Yr mark...

My friend who fosters doesn't even have that. A foster parent has "no income" and thus pays nothing into CPP. Sure you don't pay taxes on those earnings, but you also have no old age security.

At a time when she should be retired...she's still taking in Kids - partly because there's no other income, partly because it's all she's ever done - doesn't want to do anything else and really at her age can't do anything else.

Her Hubby, once fairly high up in the Telecom industry...can't go back to work for them due to mandatory retirement ages...Technology took off and he's been left behind... CPP contributions will be "diddly" by the time I need it's a Walmart job, a waitressing job, hell maybe even McDonalds...

Very frightening to think about...the best you can do is try to save, maybe invest small amounts in GICs or term investments...Waterhouse...things with less risk (especially if you're on a tight budget) and hope some of it pays off.

It's sad...

My Mother and My Step dad have the same issue - My mother has health issues and cannot stepdad works in the US and will have to keep doing it because there is nothing in his speciality here in Canada...

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:00 AM

Originally posted by Duzey
But since you want to make assumptions about my grandmother's life, here's a quick rundown:

Chill out dude, it was not meant to offend. Your grandmother just happened to be the exception at the time and not the rule.

My experience is from observation in the south. Most of us were dirt poor, but we just didn't know it. Since I was one of the few girls in our extended families, I not only got to witness, but was included in the execution of household chores. My step-mother's mother lived on a farm. I became acquainted with a butter churn at age five.

I meant no offense, and was not judging your grandmother.

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 06:47 AM

Originally posted by darkelf
Chill out dude, it was not meant to offend.


I wish I could say the same for my grandmother, as Duzey can say for hers. When my grandfather was alive, his health was poor for many years. So my grandmother tended to him on a daily basis, which kept her busy. Nowadays she finds herself moping around with not much to do. In the dead of winter she will still walk to the grocery store, and carry the order home. Refuses to take a drive, grant it she does complain about it every second she can get.

My family hasn't been there for her as much as I wish they would. I am currently in the process of finishing a degree where I can work with troubled kids in our justice system and find work near my home community. It is my goal to take my grandmother in, and finally give her the retirement she deserves. Shes loud, outspoken, and almost racial at times without even knowing it but an absolute angel at heart. She grew up in a time when things were different, and change scares her. I just want to give her some comfort that I would hope would come anyways in our old age. Unfortunately for many, it has not.

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 10:58 AM
Chissler. She sounds like a sweet lady. Enjoy her while you got her.

The "greatest generation", for lack of a better term; has earned our help, and the gov't's. They were the ones who rebuilt the countries after the great depression, rebuilt the world after WWII, kept the peace during the early days of the Cold War. No other generation rose to the occaision like the "greatest" did. Personally, I think the shabbiness of their treatment is criminal. I just can't for the life of me figure out why this is such a contentious subject in Washington DC, and elsewhere. I suppose doing the right thing is hard for politicians to do. What say next month we remind them.

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 01:14 PM

Originally posted by darkelf
Chill out dude, it was not meant to offend.

The dudette is feeling much better this morning, thank you.

Yes, my grandmother is an exception, both in the fact that she never had to work and that she does not have any financial difficulties and draws on two pensions. And yet, she can still manage to make the rest of us feel guilty for working and not being there for her 24/7. We still love her though.

The situation is only going to get worse. With all the 'baby boomers' retiring, there is going to be even more of a demand on the Canadian Pension Plan. Some of these people will choose/need to stay in the workforce. The jobs that would open up due to retirement aren't going to be available to the younger generation, leaving them at a lower standard of living than their parents at the same age and with less disposable income. Less disposable income = less savings for retirement = difficulty taking care of their elderly parents.

I think the current maximum monthly payout from the CPP is $850. Without additional income, I don't see how any senior citizen is supposed to be able to live comfortably. That won't even cover the oil bill for Chissler's grandmother.

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 02:11 PM
I hear what you're saying chissler, oil, or electricity, for heating is a killer for Nova Scotians. If you can burn wood you get some savings. I can heat my house in Ontario with natural gas and it cost me less for the whole winter than it costs for my family for 1 month.

Elf makes a good point, why don't we help out our folks. We could, a little. My brothers on the other hand are just scraping by. Funny thing with my parents situation though is that if they need help it's my GRANDMOTHER that helps them out. She's a srewd buisnesswoman. She made some amazing investments in the 80's and did very well.

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