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Haves and Have-Nots

Cal Coast 76-080.jpgThere is a wide and growing, gap between those who have in the world, and those who don't.  Not only is the gap growing but so is the un-willingness to address it in any meaningful way that gets toward actual resolution of the problems at hand and/or, especially, its root causes, which are many, by those who have.  The 2014 economic conference at Davos, Switzerland was supposedly focused on issues of the widening gap between the rich and poor and how to work toward alleviating it.   Almost no time was devoted to this.  Hmmmmm.

 

In the US are many new retirees who are stuck at  minimum Social Security benefits forever, due to having to start their payments early at 62 in order to have ANY income at all.  These decisions are not made of freedom but of necessity - decisions made under duress. 

 

With no other income, the arithmetic does not work out at all for living.  This is existence, not living!  If one is forced to do file early and receive minimum benefits, due to bad economics, the benefits need to increase each year according to what the rate is for that year, as if one is just entering the system, until the maximum is reached at 65 or 66, for those who have no other income at all!  Lest we forget - This is America!  Where are the organizations who "say" they support the well being of seniors?

 

The availability of actual assistance is near nil, with none of that offering anything more than emergency or band aid "help".  (Don't be a single male with no children!)  All the government hype about ending homelessness, helping those who have the least, is just hype, as the "Tale of the Tape" reveals the actual story - Homelessness and need have increased drastically among have-nots.  (An exhaustive and continuing, study is done of Connect-To-Care, the Dallas government's excuse for a help mechanism, which showed their listed "resources" to be the same overworked, underfunded, organizations that have always been there.)  There has been repackaging of the same "resources" lists in other websites and organizations, while the resources themselves remain unchanged or less funded, leaving those who actually need help the most, in the same or worse overall shape.  If there are little to no actual resources available, which is the case in reality, what do these organizations actually do?  Jobs for those who have!  Notice how many low income people are employed in any of these.

 

With the baby-boomer generation coming into retirement age, there is a large number of retirees just entering the social security system, who spent their working lives at relatively unskilled jobs that offered no retirement plan, no insurance, no 401s, and the like, that paid so little that saving was out of the question.  This was influenced by the full scale and unregulated "outsourcing" of jobs, and the demise of unions.  Life after 50 meant jobs and job offers, lessened or ceased altogether.  This economic forced many into accepting less than livable Social Security, made and is making, a large group of retirement age have-nots who are out of work and in need of available assistance.

 

(Of sour note is the many who are plagued by student loans whose collection arms are more than willing to accept and/or forcably take, from those who who have no other income than Social Security and/or who are below the poverty level, leaving that individual with nothing at all, below where rent can be paid, food purchased - a loose cannon.  If you are living on the edge, not making enough for basics, this particular organization will still try and take from you, oblivious to the fact they can be rendering  a person homeless!) 

 

And no, retraining doesn't get you a job or help with age discrimination.  The fact that a senior has to ask someone for a job in the first place instead of having them call you, is the real issue.  To say there is no age discrimination is denying reality in many, if not, most, cases.  Experience is relatively meaningless after a certain age.

 

The question is Not how anyone got to retirement without having, but how to remediate it starting, Now, without looking at how and/or, especially, why, that individual got to retirement age in this shape in the first place. 

 

I think that's called - Non Judgemental.  Remember that one.  Takin a real beatin since the internet!  So has honesty.

 

And especially, of question, why this subject is one that so many don't want to address, see others address, have commentary/dialogue about, and why the refusal to offer explanation to back up this "reasoning"/stance for not wanting such discussion.  If a stance is solid, it stands on its own merit, and there is no fear, no reasoning for not putting it up for scrutiny!   Of question is the unwillingness-refusal to help anyone who doesn't have, without knowing their pedigree, or more.

 

What happened to helping someone who doesn't have, without knowing, or even trying to find out, how they came not to have?  Not just band-aid motion but sufficient to help fellow humans get themselves out of the cycle of poverty itself.

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It is perfectly legal to ask how old one is.  Be proud of your age and experience!

 

"Most" employers do not do credit checks, plain and simple.  Many who deal in finance and insurance do.

 

Having a handicapped person in your family is not on most applications.  This is voluntary information on most, if at all.

 

 

Nuff sed.

 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

"....Without some sort of cohesion, solidarity, and honesty, there will never be workers rights....".

 

    Workers have never, in the history of the world, had more rights than they do now. You're mixing 'rights' with comments on job applications and other issues. Also, never in the history of the world, have we had so many people with drug and alcohol problems, police records, graduating high school barely literate, etc. Of course applications are going to be tough and geared to trying to screen these people out.

   And yes, unions have seen their demise. As you stated, they blew it ---- corrupt, outrageous rules, outrageous salary/bene demands.  You don't control unions by third party --- that was their responsibility and they crashed and burned in so many ways.

    We mostly have an issue with the skills gap --- there are many jobs going unfilled because there is no one with enough background to go into them. Some companies are addressing this and have some type of variation on the old idea of apprentiship. More community colleges are working with local businesses.

   The world has changed. We have too much population chasing fewer jobs due to globalization, robotics, immense increases in productivity, , and immense leaps in technology.

   And don't forget, Walmart became a huge corporation because they instituted so many forward thinking ideas on marketing and logistics. If they didn't have those minds that expanded the company, the jobs they do have wouldn't be there.

   Also, many of us don't like Walmart as they sell almost everything foreign made. Some of us don't shop there. But, many people choose to shop there, and have done so since Obama was a baby, and made Walmart the large company it is today. That is not an issue with workers rights -- it is an issue on how Americans choose to shop.  

      


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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I put a lot of different but related subjects in this post to elicit your responses::D.

 

Thank you.

 

 

It is true that workers have more rights now than ever but those rights are in many, if not most, cases, insufficient, and/or virtually nonexistent, where there are no unions, which is where most jobs are, especially low paying jobs.  Unions have been on the decline, not only by their own doing, but with systematic help.  They wielded too much power for the big companies.  There was massive corruption from base level to top management.  The history and effects of this demise has been well documented.   Weak, to no, workers rights is a natural and direct outcome of diminished union strength.  What about the question of why the government didn't actively oversee the cleanup of unions and help them flourish, like they did the big companies, when they got in trouble, instead of actively aiding their demise?  For what constituency does a representative work toward making conditions worse for workers?  This is where voting and unions are valuable.

 

Unions today can be more heavily scrutinized and controlled by its users, better serving their constituency, the worker.  One more reason they are so discouraged by big business, i.e. government.

 

Less Worker's Rights =Mo Money

 

Screening "these people" out is endemic of the problem.  Dead Horse Point 9-91-058.jpgWhenever a person can be assigned some nomanclature other than "human" or "individual", they can more easily be seen as different, giving "reason" to discriminate.  (An extreme of this was exhibited in the Rwandan genocide, where many of the dead were said to be "cockroaches" and could be treated as such!)  I ask the question of where a person with the ILLNESS of drug or alcohol addiction is any less human, and deserving of ostracism, as opposed to an equal application of help, AND by whose judgement.  Where does the dollar become that almighty? 

 

A police record places anyone with one in more need of job than those, who don't, as they have that extra hurdle that in reality, does need extra help.   A person can't be assumed to be a "criminal" solely because they have a "police record".

 

I want to take the one about illiteracy and not graduating from high school with enough skills.  Look back among these posts and you will see some of the examples where high schools didn't prepare a lot of people.  Look at the post by mickstuder about his school.  They took out Economics.  Huh?  In my school as a freshman, General Business was being eliminated.  As I said, this is not something anyone purposely did.  It's nobody's FAULT!  The educational system needed updating then but instead we were left with "Shakespeare".  There's nothing "wrong" and the people who came out of this system are not "these people" but US!

 

And no I don't demonize Wally World.   They save money to make money.  I shop at Wal-Mart but I stay away from their cheap stuff for the most part.  The fact that they sell a lot of foreign made products is that most of it can't be made as cheaply in the US.  The products Americans can make the most money from are high end, high dollar products, to be sold to these burgeoning, foreign, economies.  They are looking for "Made in the US" and are willing to pay top dollar for it.  They want it made here by Americans, with American materials and savvy, too, and are willing to pay even more for that.

 

  •  We mostly have an issue with the skills gap --- there are many jobs going unfilled because there is no one with enough background to go into them. Some companies are addressing this and have some type of variation on the old idea of apprentiship. More community colleges are working with local businesses.

This is major and America, we need to look at this and take full advantage of it.  Just because you're 60 doesn't mean you can't learn.  Opposite!  Y'wanna stack that knowledge.  Exercise that gray matter!  Another factor is that jobs are where they are AT.  You have to go to them.  America has always been made of that.  There's an oil boom in North Dakota right now.  Housing can't keep up.

 

And c'mon, isn't DOING fun.  Waddya think about being alive and kickin at 60+?!  This generation of retirees is more mobile, more able.

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Lee Iacocca's fathe told him that when things get really tough.  Do something with food.  People have to eat.  When my son was laid off for ten months and had just bought a house with his second child on the way, he bought equipment for a kettle corn operation.  He worked mostly week-ends at flea markets, fairs, etc.  After determinining which type of venue had the best results, he was able to earn from $1000-$1200 per day.  Even getting a gig once per month would help pay the bills.  Just takes a little hustle and creativity to survive. My 74 year old widow neighbor works for Wal-Mart.  She always says she will have to work until she dies. 

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Thank you, Liltman.

 

Yes food is a very good way to make money.  In some places licensing is strict but for the good of both the business and customer.

 

For any endeavor, determining the best venue will help.

 

I work part time also and it does really help, especially when stuck at minimum Social Security.  As much as folks complain about Wally, they DO hire the daylights out of seniors, who do really great work for themselves and Wal-Mart.  Keeping active after "retirement" is a major key to longivity.

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Got a computer?  How about printer, preferably a laser printer?

 

I've mentioned this one before.  These are two of three major tools that can be extremely useful, even profit making, in retirement.  There is a world of opportunity in home printing:  Menus, Flyers,  Obituaries (Careful here due to the nature of the job),  Programs,  Who knows what else.  A lot of action from small businesses and individuals here. 

 

One of the keys to getting any of this business is being able to produce your own flyer for your own business and getting that flyer out by hand.  I found the half page format, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" to be the best handout.  That's half a normal page so it can be cut in two, doubling your flyer output.  The size itself is an excellent drawing card to help attract business.  The laser printer is the most economical printer, and can be cheaply obtained or scrounged, and repaired.  They are fast and give sharp, waterproof prints.

 

A third tool is OpenOffice, the open source, free, counterpart to Microsoft's Office suite.  This one of many free tools that allow one to set up pages.  There is extensive help both built in and on the web.,  Check the licensing though, depending on what you want to do, otherwise it's free to use.

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With the growing economy in China as well as other countries, is the demand for goods tagged Made In America that are actually made in America.  These products are not only status symbols, but, many times, better products, not cheaply made, And with higher grade materials and workmanship that are only found in certain places, like American steel.

Small shops, mini operations that supply product to bigger assemblers, manufactuers, can be profitable here.

If you have a hobby, know some skill, even have some dream that can be realized, about producing some product, there is a growing market internationally.  The challenge is finding what sells and how you can produce it.

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Honored Social Butterfly

Retirement planning is something I did starting in my 20's. Planning and investing was always a daily part of life: saving, learning how to invest, improving my job skills.

   You're asking what you can do now if you did not, for whatever reason, garner the savings.  You're going to jump on me, but my answer is, you're screwed.

   Everything I know about retirement planning is based on the idea of 'wealth accumulation' through the decades. If you did not have a good income leading to good SS benes, it's too late. If you don't have savings, it's too late. If you're already living marginally, meaning you're barely able to pay rent, buy food, purchase clothing, there isn't much you can do other than look for various types of 'welfare' --- freebies, subsidies.  Of course, there is the obvious: try to get some type of job. How realistic that is for many seniors is questionable.

    It seems, from your posting, you think there is some way that seniors who have not saved, have 'marginal' income, can now 'take charge' of their finances and make things better. 

    It kind of seems, from your own postings, you know this cannot  be true. I make no judgement, just a dose of reality. SS was never intended to be a 'pension plan' --- it was created so that seniors had a roof and some food.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Retiredtraveler:  " It seems, from your posting" and " It kind of seems" are OK but not what the  posts say.

 

"it was created so that seniors had a roof and some food" -  Please read the stated purpose as per the Social Security administration.

 

"there is some way that seniors who have not saved, have 'marginal' income, can now 'take charge' of their finances and make things better" - It's not about what I THINK but about the reality that MANY (Too many!) seniors are not economically soluble in America today and neither Social Security nor society addresses that in any meaningful way.

 

What are the choices?  Since we are in a system with a government that does not effectively help those who don't have, in a society where those who have will not help those who don't, there are far fewer choices.

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Nope I'm not going to jump on you.  I commend you. I don't think we're screwed though.  We're products, not victims, of an evolution that no One person controlled.  I thought I was screwed too once I bottomed out on the streets.  My vehicle was gone, pockets empty.  I could grab a meal at any one of many soup lines, maybe spend the worst nights on some gym floor because the shelters were too crowded otherwise.  I wasn't eligible for Social Security yet.  I didn't ask anybody for help because from the bottom up one can readily see the apathy of those who have for those who don't.   I've been asking for discussion, explanation, of that rationale.

 

GCNP-End 7-30-96-5032.jpgThe first priority was to get to some source of money short of crime.  (In reality, of course, for many, crime is a part of the equation.)  Having camping gear made possible sheltering near some job.  Finding a job turned out to be easier in a smaller town where word of mouth was thick.  So I left the city.  I asked and found.  Camping near that, finding a bathing source, were then done.  A week's work for cash, even at $10/hr, a popular under the table directly paid wage, and there was a glimmer.

From both asking and listening, a small, broken, 80s pickup was found, for less than junk price.  The priority was to get a vehicle.  As I have said, one can live in one's vehicle, but can't drive their apartment.  With a $15 set of tools and a book, the truck was running.  I had a new home, some dollars, and a way to work.  This job was continued through finish with the money and truck used to return to the megalopolis.  IF you are homeless, please take example as I have used this  multiple times to pull myself off the street itself.  Nothing works for everybody, though, OK.

 

I started this discussion in hopes of collecting ideas on how to overcome this situation.  True, it Does look like we're screwed.  I'm glad you pointed that out.  Hope is not gone.  It's just on vacation.

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Hi Mick and Ed,

 

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

 

One thing that tends to "hit a nerve" with me in general with people is that they never think that anything bad can ever happen to anyone in life. You can "plan" all you want for your retirement, and guess what? It can be wiped out in no time by illness, accidents, or more than one job loss. Then, you have to start out all over again. That is what happened to us. 

 

 

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OlGray;

 

There are many people who planned as you and had things happen that wiped them out economically and in many other ways, effectively taking them out of society.  There are many happenings that no planning, no foresight, could have fixed and/or prevented.  Nobody's "Fault".  There is nothing "wrong".  The question/issue is where's the help once it does?!

 

Devil's Tower 2000-151.jpgThe question of "Where is and was the system?" keeps coming up.  It is cited that many  foreign countries where one pays little to nothing for health care, where the same happening would not have left them financially insoluble, and ask why, in such a mega economy as in the US, the same type of system, or better, is not in place, Plus, why and especially, from whom, there is so much resistance to having any system anywhere near similar.

 

The same is asked of the AARP. 

 

Of course this led to the question of why there are so many disenfranchised people whose numbers are increasing - instead of decreasing - daily and why there is no push to help those who don't have, as opposed to resistance to even having dialogue about doing so.

 

The Increasing Socio-Economic Gap Between Rich And Poor
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Honored Social Butterfly


"...The question of "Where is and was the system?" keeps coming up.  It is cited that many  foreign countries where one pays little to nothing for health care, where the same happening would not have left them financially insoluble, and ask why, in such a mega economy as in the US, the same type of system, or better, is not in place, Plus, why and especially, from whom, there is so much resistance to having any system anywhere near similar. The same is asked of the AARP.....".
   Oh. The answer is very simple. It is angrily discussed all the time on the political threads. Socialism. You want a system that takes care of everyone, gives free or extremely small cost healthcare, eliminate abject poverty, and everyone has a roof over their head and food. Then you have to tax at a 50% (or so) rate and have cradle-to-grave socialism. I have no problem with a system like that --- many, if not most, do.
   Plus, many believe other countries have problems with their health systems. Long waits for various medical procedures and such. 

"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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@retiredtraveler wrote:

"...   Plus, many believe other countries have problems with their health systems. Long waits for various medical procedures and such. "

There are SOMETIMES waits for specialized or expensive procedures, yes. But not always. And there is also the offset that almost all countries with socialized medicine have better mortality and cheaper preventive care than the US. The US ranks very poorly in return for each dollar spent.

Super Contributor

retiredtraveler
 
I was surprised to find:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates.
 
The difference is how the taxes are applied.
 
The Buffet Rule https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Buffett_Rule_Report_Final.pdf
 
In these countries there are few waits or long lines.
 
Why is it that many, if not most, do have a problem with having more socialism, especially those who are seen as not paying their share - See Buffett Rule?  And what about the resistance to having dialogue about the subject?

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Social Butterfly

We live in a community where people go to Whole Foods to spend almost $100 weekly on holistic dog food, while people two blocks down feed their human family for a month on that...barely. What is wrong with this picture?

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What's wrong with that picture?

The dog food buyer thinks nothing IS wrong!

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Social Butterfly

Interesting what I read the other day about the mindset of some "haves". That by going green and so on and so forth that they feel an offside of entitlement. They'll bring their own bags and shop earth friendly, but still run over winos on the way home from the store.

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Please share this article.
Thank you.
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Social Butterfly

Just day dreaming...in a perfect world a store like Whole Foods, or even including brand specific like Coach...they would have an additional tax for a total order over say $100-$200 that would be earmarked for an appropriate charity.

 

So you could load up your cart with your grain free, gluten free, holistic dog treats and that hand crafted hummus for twenty five bucks a pound oh and don't forget the organic pomegranate and locally sourced oatmeal cookies. But know you are also automatically kicking in $20 additionally towards hungry humans or needy companion animals. And you know some people would be fine with that. Unfortunately the most well to do would go ballistic.

Contributor

Hopefully, these persons are paying it forward by also donating to the local food bank or the ASPCA, in a very worthwhile manner.

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MaddieB;

 

"Hopefully, these persons are paying it forward by also donating to the local food bank or the ASPCA, in a very worthwhile manner."

 

Noble hope but "It ain't happenin" and does that exempt them from directly helping those who don't have?

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Don't forget HUMANS who never had good jobs, were never able to accumulate anything, who did nothing "wrong", and had nothing to plan retirement with?

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Reality is harsh, especially when benevolence is on crutches, being ushered out the door by our ol' buddy, Greed.

 

Man has yet to invent any system that can withstand catastrophic events.  When Social Security first came into being, there was no way to forsee the present day.  Health care is debated heavily today.  We're straddled with having to carve out a new way.

 

The choices are self reliance, self reliance, and self reliance.  That self reliance can also be group efforts.  Families working together.  Friends working together.  Folks helping other - (Huh!).  (Shhhhh.  Some of that requires trust.)

 

THE biggest challenge today for seniors who need to make money is to figure out  what We ourselves, Can do since  "Jobs" are not happening.   Options are look and see what we have, look and see what we have, and look and see what we have.  Now we have choices.  Smiley Wink Lets select option 1.

 

We've all done a ton of things, had a crapload of experiences.  With some thought, a little imagination (dreaming), some of it might produce an idea that has potential to make profit.  As previously mentioned, even the introduction to the kind of thinking that makes that easier, was going away when we were in early high school.  So we are where we have to learn How to make money as well as work for it at retirement age - a lot harder than when we were young - Or is it?  I try to make it sound easy when it really is one of the most difficult questions.

 

Once that money is made - jumping ahead to success not gained - how to manage and expand it to do our bidding - another sport that taken off many carriculum before many of our high school times - becomes the issue.   A lot of the information needed though, to learn about starting and doing business, can be found on the web for free.  The Small Business Administration is  an asset here for information.  They have complete models for a lot of businesses if you go that deep.

 

Lets look at something more grass rootsy:

 

One of the popular money-makers in this part of the world is barbeque.  Some folks have mobile rigs and sell in parking lots and the like.  Some of the rigs are rudimentary, 55 gallon drum cut in two, bolted to a set of wheels, is a popular low end starter.  Check your local regulations, though when it comes to selling any kind of food.  You may already make something that can be a seller.  Another of popular home made item sold is the tamale.

 

The beauty of selling a food item is that usually the recipe can be found at home with many being family secrets of superior taste.  Many a recipe has been tested, tweaked, and proven for generations.  One can find home recipes sold at the corner stores, profitable for both store and cook.   There are clubs, bars, and pubs, who buy certain products made locally. 

 

Simply put - How much does it cost to make it and for how much can you sell it.   (Don't forget to figure time.)  Then the question is Will it sell.

 

Think of the fun you have in the test stages.  You can't lose with food, whether it sells or not.Smiley Very Happy

 

 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

My heart goes out to seniors or anybody who are not somewhat prepared for whatever their future brings.  However, I will have to admit, my 1st thought is WHY and I do get frustrated with the answer; usually very much the same answer.  Preparation is everything when you know something will happen.

For most of my working life, I was self-employed and knew from the beginning that there were things which I had to provide for myself, had to be done by me, alone.  I did plan along those lines and my lifestyle through the years mirrored those priorities - health insurance, retirement savings, other savings, disability insurance, paying into the SS and Medicare system, etc.

 

Today, I guess you would consider me a "Have" but a very longed planned out "Have"-  I live within a budget - a budget that I have established based on my income from the sources which I have planned.  Not rich but comfortable, at least within my life.

 

I see a future (actually NOW) where a lot of seniors (boomers) have to be provided for in their retirement years with government and/or charity provided subsidies - food, housing, transportation, medical cost, caregiving, LTC, etc.  These things will supplement their retirement income from only SS or SSI or those with only SS and a bit of savings.

 

I believe you and I may have discussed this before - Seniors on limited income can take that amount and change their lives so that it can go further.

1.  Work longer if they can - course, then you have to keep in mind taxation on the SS benefit if early retirement was taken.

2.  Meals on wheels, SNAP, food banks, gardens, community gardens to supplement the food budget

3.  Subsidized housing -

4.  Medicaid - Extra Help - Dual Eligibility for medical needs.

 

Not the retirement idea that many envisioned, I'm sure, but choices made in all those previous years do have consequences.

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My husband and I were prepared quite well for retirement at age 70....then I had two massive heart attacks and our insurance capped on the first one.  After paying off the bills left by the crappy insurance (which we thought covered all my expenses) I had the second attack.  After a week in critical care the bills were so huge our ONLY recourse was to completely deplete all IRA's, savings accounts and sold the house. We moved to a state where the COL was reduced, bought a "fixer-upper" and the husband found a job. Unfortunately his salary is NOT as nice as it was prior to our move which I suppose goes right along with the reduced cost of living.  I still have over 500K in hospital bills and am no longer capable of working. So for me it is social security's measly check to try to suppliment my husbands reduced income. I've read some of the comments that seem to blame the working poor for the situation they are in, and it disturbs me.  

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@sh70419902 wrote:

My husband and I were prepared quite well for retirement at age 70....then I had two massive heart attacks and our insurance capped on the first one.  After paying off the bills left by the crappy insurance (which we thought covered all my expenses) I had the second attack.  After a week in critical care the bills were so huge our ONLY recourse was to completely deplete all IRA's, savings accounts and sold the house. We moved to a state where the COL was reduced, bought a "fixer-upper" and the husband found a job. Unfortunately his salary is NOT as nice as it was prior to our move which I suppose goes right along with the reduced cost of living.  I still have over 500K in hospital bills and am no longer capable of working. So for me it is social security's measly check to try to suppliment my husbands reduced income. I've read some of the comments that seem to blame the working poor for the situation they are in, and it disturbs me.  


What's wrong with this picture?!!

What does this say about the American health care system as it stands?!

Where's the help from those who can?!

Honored Social Butterfly


@EDChou wrote:

@sh70419902 wrote:

My husband and I were prepared quite well for retirement at age 70....then I had two massive heart attacks and our insurance capped on the first one.  After paying off the bills left by the crappy insurance (which we thought covered all my expenses) I had the second attack.  After a week in critical care the bills were so huge our ONLY recourse was to completely deplete all IRA's, savings accounts and sold the house. We moved to a state where the COL was reduced, bought a "fixer-upper" and the husband found a job. Unfortunately his salary is NOT as nice as it was prior to our move which I suppose goes right along with the reduced cost of living.  I still have over 500K in hospital bills and am no longer capable of working. So for me it is social security's measly check to try to suppliment my husbands reduced income. I've read some of the comments that seem to blame the working poor for the situation they are in, and it disturbs me.  


What's wrong with this picture?!!

What does this say about the American health care system as it stands?!

Where's the help from those who can?!


  I don't think there is enough information to answer your questions.

  I noted several points in the posters story . . . . any of all of them seem like questionable decision making in my view based only from the information given.

 

1.  the type and coverage of the insurance which they had at the time

Each of us have to pick the best coverage based on our health, network coverage, insurance plan coverage and our total financial picture.  Knowledge and understanding about the insurance product is paramount in planning.

 

2.  Depleting retirement accounts

This should never be done since they are protected funds.  The purpose of these funds are for retirement and that does not go away if you survive.

 

3.  Moving to a lower COL area was probably a good decision as long as there was adequate medical care, so it depends on where the relocation was located.  However, many times medical cost and insurance are higher in rural areas than in urban areas because of competitive forces and of course, availability is lower in more rural areas.

 

4.  a "fixer upper" can be a money pit - renting might be cheaper especially when considering that rent would be a known cost whereas a fixer upper could have escalating cost in many different areas.

 

EDChou, I believe that a lot of our problems lie in financial education and decision making - which covers all aspects of a person's use of money - from savings to buying products (like insurance of all types) which also cover the financial aspects of our lives.

 

There is always Medicaid for those who meet the criteria of income and need.

 

We have tons of housing programs under HUD - subsidized and Sect. 8 - which covers the elderly, disabled and the poor.

 

Those that CAN or those that HAVE, as you categorize the differentiation,  support all of these programs with their tax money and this is just talking about government programs; there may be even more at specific state levels especially since these programs are designed by the various states.

 

 

 

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

I had blue cross blue sheild of texas, silver plan ppo.

When the hospital started to destroy our credit ratings we had no choice but to pay them off, thus turning in first our retirement plans and savings, then ultimately, without my salary the mortgage became too much. we were unable to refinance through any program so we sold the house, thus able to relocate and pay off the bills.

 I fail to see that any of decisions were wrong as you seem to imply.

We PAY our bills, if we can't then we do not incur them if we have a choice in the matter. We took responsibility for ourselves instead of requesting some iffy goivernment assistance. 

You suggest that one should never turn in retirement funds..we had no other choice. What would your suggestion have been then? take out a loan against the funds? no way to pay it back but mess up our credit rating more? wrong.

I have medical care, just no insurance. it is called the free clinic where I sit for hours waiting for a possible place, then receive my medications either directly from the manufacturors or on a scale basis.

Our "fixer-upper" may be a money pit to some, to us it represents a HOME. So what if it has no central heat/a/c? so what is the carpet is gross? it is a HOME. Something we would have ultimately LOST if we had made any decisions other than the ones we made.

you said "there is always medicaid".....well, actually no there isn't. If one makes a salary or paycheck over 1500.00 per month for two people then that person makes too much money to receive medicaid. I know as we were turned down for making "too much money".

And if you have ever seen, lived in or visited section 8 housing then YOU TOO would have chosen a "fixer-upper"  just as we did.

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Here's a couple of tips for folks who have fixer-uppers:

 

Home Depot and Lowes both offer Do It Yourself books that are quite helpful.  I carry one with me.  There are general offerings that include a little about a lot of subjects and more specialized books on specific subjects.  Check them out.  I caught one on clearance for under $15.

 

Have you looked under your carpet to see just what kind of flooring is there?  Many houses built before 1950 have hardwood.  Lots nicer than carpet.  Takes some work.  Cost is for poly and sanding if needed and you might need to rent sander - $20 or so for a day.

 

Minimum drywall is not hard to learn and can be quite a valuable tool.  Again, it's in the aforementioned books along with much more.

 

This is not an ad for either of these companies but when there's a good product, HELP SOMEBODY.

 

 

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