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Care2 Members Share Their Economic Struggles

Care2 Members Share Their Economic Struggles

Care2 and the National Council on Aging have recently launched a petition to Congress telling them that seniors in this country need our attention. Since comments are stories are proven to make more of a difference when contacting Congress, we asked Care2 members to share their stories about how the economy is affecting seniors in their life. The result has been heart-wrenching.

Care2 members from all over the country are sharing their stories. Please read the stories below from brave Care2 members who were willing to be featured here. Then, please go to the petition and tell Congress your story. With all of our stories in one place, Congress has to listen.

James from Florida (left in photo):

At 71, I have to live week-to-week. My Social Security benefit is less than $1,000 monthly from which my Medicare payment is deducted. My mortgage payment takes the entire balance that remains of the SS benefit plus an additional $60.00. I have a very small additional income from an investment that barely covers my utilities, food and medications. At the end of the month I am lucky to have $5.00 in my bank account. For my age, I have very good health and remain very active. Although I am experienced in sales and office administration and look much younger than my age, I have been searching for a job since my tenure with Census 2010 ended last August. Although illegal, age discrimination is rampant. So unfair! And then more cuts to Seniors? C’mon legislators! Have you no conscience?

Laurie from California (center in photo):

My Mother will be 88 yrs old next month. Both she & my Dad had good 401K’s & took out long term care insurance many years ago. The problem is arising that she is likely to outlive the funds available from her 401K, even if she lived frugally, which she does. Her long term health care was adequate to cover nursing home costs back when it was purchased, but now wouldn’t even come close! It’s ridiculous for someone who worked from the time she was 15 to 65 to be having to worry about whether she’s going to outlive the money she earned/saved. I can’t help her since I, too, am a victim of this economy & am making 1/2 of what I was making 5 years ago, have NO savings & NO 401K. This whole situation is messed up & wrong.

Barney from Delaware (right in photo):

I served in the military and I educated myself earning a doctorate in mathematical physics. I am 64 and there are no jobs for which there are not over 100 candidates and unless you have been well employed less than six months ago, discrimination is guaranteed in addition to age discrimination. Laws against age discrimination and any rights for those lucky enough not to have been laid off to prevent pensions are a joke. The life expectancy of a street person over the age of 45 is less than a year. If I get thrown out of my home because I have to steal my food it is a death sentence. I could work if I were allowed to, but America will not allow it. I consider the system my enemy which threatens my survival.

Sylvia from Michigan:

My mother was laid off over two years ago from her job at a cleaning outfit that was bought out by another company. The manner it was handled was as tacky as could be. She found out she was no longer employed by way of a pre-recording on the phone time clock, rather than by written notice or being told by a supervisor. They later tried to fight her unemployment benefits by saying she quit rather than was laid off. Fortunately, Mark Schauer, the congressperson at the time, was very helpful in helping mom navigate through this mess. She is now employed, but only for 20 hours per week, which is not much to live on. She has been forced to take the county health plan for low income people and get food stamps to cover the shortfall from not earning enough, as most employers do not want to deal with “older employees.” At this rate, she may have to work until her 80s (if she is still healthy enough to do so).

A huge thanks to these Care2 members for bravely sharing their personal stories and telling Congress what real Americans are going through. Please add your story to the petition today!

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Photos courtesy of James, Laurie and Barney

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55 comments

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6:32PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

The "Golden Years" are really "FOOL'S GOLD"

2:25AM PDT on Apr 15, 2011

I live in Italy, which, strangely, is one o the richest economies in the world. So they say of America. Well, here, just as you can see from the stories that are being shared on this thread, only a handful of people are really well off; the vast majority of Italians bought into the lifestyle 'they' presented us: earn a rather low income and pay for your morgage, bills and taxes but don't worry, for all your - absolutely essential, latest - consumer goods, just take out loan after loan and use your credit cards... When I was little my dad used to talk to me about anything, including the economy; once he said that he didn't think this system of buying goods that you are not able to pay upfront was a great idea. Looks like he was right!

12:21AM PDT on Apr 15, 2011

It's bad now for the seniors. Just think of those who are now unemployed and had to pull their pensions to keep clothes on their kids' backs because finding a job is still a dog eat dog world out there. And now, the jobs are paying $8/hr rather than the livable wages. What will these people do when retired?

1:45PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I remember now.....
hitler made the Jews his base on which to build and he convinced people that a number of others should be part of th Final Solution. And so he demonized the disabled, the mentally ill, homosexuals and anyone else who did not agree or fit in with his "master race" nonsense. I have no doubt that some elderly people went to the camps and some of the poor. Today, we have the TPGOP saying that the elderly, the disabled and the poor (and those who are all three) are expendable and so it is really OK to cut the programs that aid them. The only ones who are deserving of help are those who have so much in the bank that they couldn't spend it in two life times. Why are they deserving? because of the lie that they are the ones who create jobs. Then we have womens' issues. Hitler created the Liebensborn, a place where the "right sort" of women were required to service multiple men in order to give birth to "proper" babies. The "wrong" kind were forcibly "spayed". Not quite the same, but essentially telling women what they could do with their own bodies. The truth is, the TPGOP wants to produce lots of "worker bees", they have said so, "more workers, more taxes". It won't affect the well to do, because they have always been able to abort. More children born into poverty. It is the TPGOP who want to rule, and to tell everyone what to do from abortions to the proper form of religion. Disgraceful is the only word for them.

1:25PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I got cut off while writing about Nazis, but I want to thank Sylvia for the start, but....
For 27 years I was a crack smoking addict who worked to feed my habit (and keep a roof over my childrens' heads). Using drugs is really really bad, but that doesn't make us bad people, just sick ones. When I started on the path to recovery, I was very soon diagnosed with severe depression and C-PTSD, from my "interesting" childhood. You will find that many women, at least,come to drugs as a way to ease the pain of childhood abuse, and I was amazed to find exactly how many did. So, please don't define us by the drugs, but by what is in our hearts.

11:08AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Yvonne C. says Apr 5, 2011 11:16 AM: "I have to wonder why all these people never planned for retirement? I mean proper planning, which includes paying off your debts, not adding more. Who reaches 71 years old and still has a mortgage? All these stories seem to be mostly bad planning problems."

Wow, what arrogance. I'm sure if anyone looks closely into your lifestyle, you most likely are a heavy crack user and are only working to support your drug habit. Given a chance, you'd leach off everyone else. I'd be careful, as karma can be a cruel mistress.

6:16PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

Great question, - "Isn't it amazing that MOST Americans and Canadians do not benefit from the natural resources in their OWN countries! How come only a select few make millions & billions from gas, oil, gold, coal, food and the banking system!" - this means we don't need the same globalization as our leaders/our business(es) and ourselve defined. How to workout the real globalization is in question? Escape from world matters, focus your own people first.

6:40PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Isn't it amazing that MOST Americans and Canadians do not benefit from the natural resources in their OWN countries! How come only a select few make millions & billions from gas, oil, gold, coal, food and the banking system! Seems to me that the average citizen should be sharing in the profits, but instead we pay top prices to use them!!!!!!!! We the people have been sold a rotten bill of goods!!!!!!

2:08PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Many of the Tea Party and their ilk refer often to Hitler in speaking about the Prez. If you just look and compare Nazi Germany to what's happening in America today, you will see who is really driving the "Nazification" of America. Hitler's rise was through political manipulation, power was gained by the demonization of a segment of society, and the reproduction rights of women were done away with. Sound familiar? We have Big Business using money to get their puppets in power, unions (especially teachers), Muslims, Jews and immigrants have all been demonized and womens rights are being chipped away. In Germany it was just the Jews who were demonized.

12:07PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

WALTER G , YOUR SPOT ON!!!!
SEEMS AS IF THE PHRASE "FOLLOW THE MONEY" IS AS APPROPRIATE NOW AS IT WAS IN THE PAST.
NOW, AS IN THE PAST, IF WE AND OTHERS CAN CONVINCE THE CORPORATE CONTROLLED T BAG MOVEMENT AND OTHER SO CALLED INDEPENDENT THINKERS TO EXERCISE THEIR BRAINS AND NOT THEIR MOUTHS AND GUNS WE ALL WILL BE BETTER OFF AFTER THE 2012 ELECTIONS.
IT REALLY IS VERY SAD AND DISAPPOINTING THAT SO MANY AMERICANS CAN FALL FOR THE SAME CRAP ELECTION AFTER ELECTION, AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT.
HOW CAN ANY RATIONAL PERSON NOT CARE ABOUT THE CORPORATE SOURCE OF FUNDS THAT POLITICIANS SOLICIT/ RECEIVE TO BUY ELECTIONS AND STAY IN OFFICE.
SADLY, GIVEN THE RECENT DECISION OF OUR CONSERVATIVE RIGHT WING SUPREME COURT, WHICH GRANTS "PERSON HOOD"TO CORPORATIONS, IS LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THE MESS THAT ALL OF US ARE CURRENTLY IN.
ARE THE WORDS "PAY TO PLAY" REALLY WRITTEN IN OUR CONSTITUTION???

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