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!
Photos courtesy of James, Laurie and Barney