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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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Honored Social Butterfly


@EDChou wrote:

 And no, retraining doesn't necessarily get you a job unless that training is in self employment.  The fact that a senior has to ask someone for a job in the first place instead of having them call, is the real issue.  To say there is no age discrimination is denying reality in many, if not, most, cases.

 

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 here in this shape.

 

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

................................................................................................................................

None of your comments pertain to everyone..  there are lots of seniors still working and making as much as they ever did and who did plan for retirement and will have resources to retire with...
no one should come to retirement age without some kind of plan.. come on   what do you think they can do now?  There is social security, pension, personal savings, help from an agency, help form family.. but it is up to each one of us to figure out where we stand and what we can do  and take some kind of action..   and so you are stuck at minimum social security benefits.. that is still a livable income.. unlike what you say, because if they have been living on that kind of income all their lives, this is not a big change..  and telling people who have to worked hard all of their lives and planned for their retirement that they are the problem is crazy..  
What are you looking to have happen?
Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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there are lots of seniors still working and making as much as they ever did and who did plan for retirement and will have resources to retire with

There are many more who didn't.  This is whe focus of this discussion.

no one should come to retirement age without some kind of plan.. come on   what do you think they can do now?

So much for "should".  "They" - Why not "We"?  Why don't you help?

minimum social security benefits.. that is still a livable income

Lets see some arithmetic.

unlike what you say, because if they have been living on that kind of income all their lives

They.  Who is They?  What is the difference between "them" and the rest of the human race?  The concept is part of why people are not helping people.

and telling people who have to worked hard all of their lives and planned for their retirement that they are the problem is crazy

Please show where this is in any of my posts.

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@nyadrn wrote:

None of your comments pertain to everyone..

................................................................................................................................



mickstuder writes:

 

We should all periodically re-read some of what we write..............................if we really believe it!

 

Not everyone is a winner in the DNA Lottery.....................not everyone has the same luck and not everyone is willing to make the necessary compromises - just to be - "successful"

 

I see this issue as one of reality vs shoulda woulda coulda...................

 

The people who have - won - lifes contests are not in the majority even in the United States never mind Globally........................what about the rest - the non-winners - are they simply disposable or because they have proven how adept they are at assimilating into a life of poverty - end of story?

 

@nyadrn wrote:

 

no one should come to retirement age without some kind of plan

mickstuder writes:

Really - if your major priorities all your life have been trying to provide food and shelter on a daily basis where do you learn these kinds of lifes lessons?

This get rich quick and over night if possible stock market ponzi scheme mentality has only been around since the Microsoft phenomenon....................prior to that investing in the stock market wasn't main stream and for those lucky enough to have the - extra income - or the - insight - to tie up money in the stock market had to leave it there for 20 or 30 years to achieve any kind of ROI.

My parents didn't go to college and were never exposed to anything more than - if your a man - you serve your country and if your a woman you raise a family - after the service if your a man - you go to work everyday - go to church on weekends - provide for your family and save for a 2 week vacaton once a year................they were taught the economy was based on savings not investments............................the only weekly financial deduction from a paycheck available other than taxes for the working poor were Savings Bonds

I wasn't exposed to anything different......................I graduated from High School and I don't recall any courses on investing.............................we were taught that if you got good grades you might have a chance to go to college but only if your parents could afford it........................

 

 

 

 

( " China if You're Listening - Get Trumps Tax Returns " )

" )
" - Anonymous

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According to the US Census, since 1970, 90% of the people retire below the poverty level.

 

In addition, the Wall Street Journal shows how the 401K system has not worked for many.  Check out their findings here:  Retiring Boomers Find 401(K) Plans Fall Short

 

If you didn't have a job with 401k or any other such plan, there is less money yet, many times forcing one to start Social Security early, even at 62, forever pegging oneself at the bottom, minimum amount.  Nothing "secure" about that!  Getting hired on jobs also becomes increasingly difficult with age.

 

Remember, General Business and Economics were being taken out of high schools in the 1960s instead of being expanded.  Emphasis was put on getting into college then getting a job, instead of learning to manage and/or OWN the business -Hhaving a dog called MyOwn Smiley Very Happy.  Little to no emphasis was put on working smart AND hard (As per TV star Mike Rowe).

 

We didn't retool ourselves well after World War II.

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According to the Department of Commerce Fact Sheet:

 

"Digital Literacy is Necessary for Today’s Jobs

 

* Ninety-six percent of working Americans use new communications technologies as part of their daily life, while sixty-two percent of working Americans use the Internet as an integral part of their jobs. . . . Despite the growing importance of the Internet in American life, 28 percent of Americans do not use the Internet at all.[vii] * Nearly one-third of U.S. households (32 percent) lack broadband service.[viii] * The two most commonly cited reasons for not having broadband Internet access at home are that it is perceived as not needed (46 percent) or too expensive (25 percent).[ix] * There are notable disparities between demographic groups: people with low incomes, disabilities, seniors, minorities, the less-educated, non-family households, and the non-employed tend to lag behind other groups in home broadband use. * While there is no single solution to closing the broadband adoption gap, increasing digital literacy skills among non-users is key to bringing them online and opening doors to opportunity.

 

These are 2009 figures submitted in 2011!

 

What it doesn't say is that Digital Literacy is not only a key to today's jobs but to making money on one's own.  Seniors, especially, need to be at least computer literate.  That includes more than just email and/or Facebook.  A computer is a Tool, the pliers and screwdriver of the digital age.

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  • I wasn't exposed to anything different......................I graduated from High School and I don't recall any courses on investing.............................we were taught that if you got good grades you might have a chance to go to college but only if your parents could afford it........................

 

Y'know, the same happened here.  One of the most useful high school courses, General Business was taken off the curriculum my freshman year.  At that time, of course, I knew nothing about its impact.  That wasn't to hit until recently.  I got the good grades, went to college even though my parents couldn't afford it, quickly becoming an independent working college student as a freshman.  My focus was on getting a job, not doing business, having my own. 

 

Vacation 2000 Glacier-15-6199.jpgAs in your school there were no courses in economics, investing, and still are not today.  What I find appalling is that Shakespeare was jammed down our throats then, and is still being jammed down students throats as a "requirement" for graduation today.  I use Willy as the scapegoat for the the fact that this is taught the way it is, using up valuable classroom time, instead of the courses you mention, and has little to questionable use in the real world.  In many if not most schools, "English" is taught an hour a day, 5 days a week.  We were taught real English in grade school:  The structure, how to lay out and diagram sentences and the like, about the language itself, what verbs, adjectives, etc., were, and how to use them - the beginnings of composition.  Think of the impact replacing this period with Introduction to Business and related courses like you mention can have.  With 4 years of that Before college - - - Whew!

 

As retirees, what can we do?  The challenge is finding things we want to learn, things we want to do, stuff that drives us.  What we're faced with is having to DIY - Do It Yourself.   Finding what we want to, and can do, is challenging to say the least, as is figuring out one's own skills.  Factor in finding things to do that make money and it becomes more complicated yet.  We weren't, and aren't, schooled that way.  The practical courses you mention are invaluable here.  I waded through 50 years of doing to find the 3 or 4 things I do now.  I'm bald from it!

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Yes!

Exactly why this thread was started.

Thank you.

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None of your comments pertain to everyone..  there are lots of seniors still working and making as much as they ever did and who did plan for retirement and will have resources to retire with...

Nothing in the post that says "everyone".  Just the opposite.  If you read it, its focus is clearly laid out.

 

no one should come to retirement age without some kind of plan.. come on   what do you think they can do now?  There is social security, pension, personal savings, help from an agency, help form family.. but it is up to each one of us to figure out where we stand and what we can do  and take some kind of action

Please read the post.  This is not about what "should" have been.  If there actually were enough, there would be no need for this chorus. 

 

and so you are stuck at minimum social security benefits.. that is still a livable income

Please back up your statement with arithmetic, figures showing exactly how "living" off this figure can be done.

 

unlike what you say, because if they have been living on that kind of income all their lives, this is not a big change

Just who is "they".  And why are you unwilling to help without such judgement?  This kind of rhetoric is part of the problem, not part of the solution. 

 

and telling people who have to worked hard all of their lives and planned for their retirement that they are the problem is crazy

Where do you see any of that in my posts or my comments? 

 

Why do you have such problems with people who didn't do the same as you?   Especially exhibiting such negativity, disrespect, and disdain for fellow humans? 

 

Positive feedback would be appreciated.

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@EDChou wrote:

 

Why do you have such problems with people who didn't do the same as you?   Especially exhibiting such negativity, disrespect, and disdain for fellow humans? 

 

Positive feedback would be appreciated.

You know,  this same thing has been discussed over and over and over here..  you are not interested in what I have to say..   and since this is your issue.. perhaps you should offer some solutions that you think others will accept and that have the possibility of being initiated.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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  • You know,  this same thing has been discussed over and over and over here..

It has not.  And please explain why you have such problems with continuing such discussion, and especially, the negativity.

 

  •  you are not interested in what I have to say..

Please add something of more substance than negative vitrol and what you say might have merit in relation to the stated focus of the discussion.

 

  • and since this is your issue..

It is not Just MY issue.  It obviously pertains to a large sector of society.  Whether or not you admit it, the reality is not going away.

 

  • perhaps you should offer some solutions that you think others will accept and that have the possibility of being initiated

And why don't you?  That's exactly what this discussion dedicated to.  It's open to your positive input just like anybody else.  It's also open to any explanation for your negativity, your show of disdain for those who don't have. 

The folks who have commented have done things "right" and are in the same predicament as if they hadn't.  This discussion isn't about what's "wrong" with that, but how to go forward  in a positive way.

 

 

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  • and since this is your issue.. perhaps you should offer some solutions that you think others will accept and that have the possibility of being initiated.

 

Help someone and document what you do so the process can be repeated?  Post here as you go.

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  • and since this is your issue.. perhaps you should offer some solutions that you think others will accept and that have the possibility of being initiated.

 

There is nothing in here that says this is My issue.  This is not just My issue but an issue for all.  It is a special issue for those who have, in the face of the economic gap between those who have and those who don't.  Those who feel exempt, please state your cases and exactly why.  There is a large number of people who subscribe to this exemption.

 

There is a certain book that has a part in it that says

 

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
 

I don't have to cite the book or the part - it is That well known and accepted.  This tenant carries the same weight both within its tome as well as standing alone.  It is That strong!

 

Given this, what is the problem with those who have, helping freely, without judgement, those who don't, and, especially, why so much resistance to having meaningful dialogue about it?

 

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Here's one example of how to directly help:

 

A friend came to me asking for help last month.  No one person among us could afford to help him enough to do any good, but once a help group was voluntarily created, the picture changed.  Nobody has much but collectively . . .  .

 

 

Smiley Happy
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In a post last March in this cooler was reported a plan to help a friend who didn't have, and was about to fall out of the system due to not having enough to maintain, even though he has a job.  His family had experienced some difficult times, as most normal humans do, so friends pitched in support, both financial and material, such as extra food and petrol.

 

A group of friends who also individually had little, threw in what we had.  This gathering of resources helped this family to get back on track and the mom also find work.  Thanks to their own work and perseverence they are in better shape than before! 

 

Recently they wanted to begin repayment but nobody allowed them to do that, saying instead to Pass IT Forward, and/or maybe, throw in with us when someone else needs help.

 

It is interesting to note that among the help original group was one person who had always bragged about the things he had and the money he made, but refused to help, citing "reasons" like "tough love" and "I made mine - Why should I help anybody who didn't?!". 

 

He recently asked why the group no longer calls, won't answer his calls, or why nobody visits.

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@EDChou wrote:

 

 

Existing are many retirees who are stuck at  minimum Social Security benefits forever because of having to start their payments at 62 in order to have ANY income at all.  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 this due to economics, the benefits need to increase each year according to what the rate is for that year entering the system, until the maximum is reached at 65 or 66.

 

 

 

With the baby-boomer generation coming into retirement age, there is a large number who spent their working lives at relatively unskilled jobs that offered no retirement plan, no 401s and the like, no insurance, paid so little that saving was out of the question.  Life after 50 meant jobs lessened or ceased altogether.  A large group of have-nots!  That economic forced many into accepting less than livable Social Security.

 

 


This post could as easily have been part of the discussion about raising the minimum wage - although I'm glad it has it's own post - I would venture a guess that many of the opponents of a hike in the minimum wage are the same people who advocated doing away with Social Security - it's all part of the same philosophy - elimination of the American Dream and consolidated the wealth in the hands of the least amount of people possible - working hard your whole life and having a comfortable retirement as a reward at the end used to be the American Dream available to all - it's been exchanged for investing in the Global Lottery - the Giant Ponzi Scheme called the Stock Market - hoping that without the inside information that a majority the already rich are privy to you might be lucky enough to pick one of the same stocks the richest of the rich did and you get to go along for the ride..........but I apologize - I degress - yes Social Security should have a mechanism for unpunishing those who in order to survive have had to apply early and I also think the COLA should be increased.......................

 


My own personal situation is an example of what you speak of - I've worked at mostly minimum wage jobs my entire life - I've worked full-time almost every week since my discharge from the Military in 1968 - my goal was to hold out until I was at least 66 years old before applying for Social Security

 

I am currently work full-time as a Flagger with seasonal weather related layoffs for aprox. 3 months during the winter - my job is directing vehicular and pedestrian traffic safely in and around construction zones - my hourly pay is 9/hour around 15k annually

 

I am 64 years old and I have been doing this work for the last 4 years - not because I choose too but because I have to. I stand on my feet from 8 - 12 hours a day - usually 40+ hours per week in al kinds of weather - lunch is eaten while standing and doing my job and there are no scheduled breaks of any kind - bathroom breaks are attempted in the wild when traffic is light but again there are typically no extra Flaggers available to relieve anyone on a scheduled basis.

 

I'm not complaining - it's just the nature of the job and I'm happy to have the work - are there Federal and State laws that prohibit these kinds of working conditons - yes of course there are but there are also millions of people out of work and minimum wage whistleblowers are a misnomer

 

I was doing ok until this year because for the last 5 years I had around 100k in a IRA but have had to supplement my income by drawing out about 20k each year just to survive. My IRA ran out at the end of last year so I had to apply for Social Security at age 64 this last February because when I am laid off each year around Xmas I file for unemployment but my weekly benefit amount is only $126 week.

 

I lost approx. $200/month by filing at age 64 vs waiting until age 66

 

Just to add some perspective - to collect $126/week in New Hampshire you file for benefits the first week of your layoff - it takes a few weeks for the paperwork to be processed and then if you are approved there is a one week - "waiting period" - so by the time you start receiving benefits it could be 3 or 4 weeks since your last paycheck from working - while you are waiting for your unemployment benefit to be processed you have to attend - in person workshops at a regional unemployment office which in New Hampshire may require driving 30 miles or more one way and remember gasonline costs $3.50/gallon and New Hampshire has no Mass Transit to speak of - my drive is approx. 30 miles round trip.

 

While collecting unemployment in New Hampshire you are required to do - unique new work searches every week and to document at least three searches every week when you file yur weekly benefit request - the longer you are on unemployment the number of documented searches required also increases as do the frequency of the in person workshops.

 

One of the questions on the weekly benefit application is - have you received any monies not previoulsy reported to this department - the first month I started receiving my $1449/month Social Security payment - I had to answer the unemployment income question yes -

 

Guess what happened next? Yup - my unemployment checks were stopped - because in the wisdom of the unemployment system in New Hampshire - if a person is receiving Social Security they must have retired and no matter what they say they are no longer seriously looking for work and even if they were the Social Security earnings limit of approx. 15.5k/year is most likely going to prevent them from working full-time which is a requirement of receiving unemplyment in the first place - heh heh

 

Now keep in mind - I only applied for Social Security because I couldn't live on my seasonal weekly unemployment payment of $126. I have worked at the same job for the last 4 years and have every intention of returning to it once the weather allows for work to resume - the Social Security earnings limit is aprox. 15.5k and I make $9/hour - a normal 40 hour work week equals 2080 hours a year - 2080 hours x $9/hour = $18,720 - but we cannot do much construction in New Hampshire when the ground is snow covered and frozen so my annual layoff is around 12 weeks each year and 12 weeks x 40 hours/week = 480 hours x $9/hour = $4320 and if you subtract that from my annualized salary of $18,720 it = $14,400 approx. $1000 below trhe Social Security income limit.

 

Bottonline - I am one of those locked into a lower Social Security rate for the rest of my life and I still continue to work and probably will have to for the rest of my life - so yeah I agree - the Socail Security system already doesn't provide for a - living wage and it's only going to get worse - many will argue well it was never intended to be a persons sole source of retirement income and my response is - maybe so - but it is for a lot of us who have worked every day of our lives and it's something most of us are just going to have to deal with - but we don't have to like it!

 

 

( " China if You're Listening - Get Trumps Tax Returns " )

" )
" - Anonymous

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075_2A.jpg

Today's Pliers & Screwdrivers

 

Retirees, Baby Boomers, Seniors
Time to become Computer Literate

 

As well as Facebook, email, and entertainment, the computer does actual work.  Because of its connection to the internet, it is THE major tool today, in some places replacing "pliers & screwdrivers" altogether.  The jobs it did before the internet are still done, like word procesing, graphic design, accounting.  The beauty is that now all these and more can be used at home.

 

Being a semi retired technician, one can't help but notice the sheer number of seniors who don't use the computer for any more than email and social media.  Having one at hand, as most folks do, is one of the major keys, especially for any senior with little to no funding, to finding ones way forward in this world.    Nowadays nearly any idea, at only the cost of your own time (which is very expensive Smiley Wink ), can be expand by modeling it on your computer, through your goal, without ever leaving your desktop, by way of the internet and free software.  Budget, time, feasibility, can be estimated.

 

One of the greatest tools for becoming computer familiar is a series of books called the Dummys series.  This is now a whole library of  computer related subjects designed with a tongue-in-cheek approach to learning that has proven its worth over the years.  You can find them in many places from Amazon to thrift stores.  Half-Price books is a good resource if you have them in your area.  Or - Use the Internet.  Look for the yellow and black cover.  It's good to have the book beside you with the computer in front of you. 

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I too did that kind of work.  In Colorado the weather changes from minute to minute in the mountains where I did most of my flagging.  And yes, it is hard on the body.  I took it in stride - I was in Colorado more like a working tourist geezer :).

 

There are lots of people who have similar backgrounds as you.  Done things "right" and wind up mired in a system that doesn't stand up for you.  When a complaint is made, a story is published, the solution I received from the AARP for one, was to "write your congressman".  What a cop out.  I didn't join to "write my congressman".  Seniors today need both AARP and congressman that represent them.  Isn't it more progressive to have actual help than grocery coupons and Oprah trending?

 

On the unemployment numbers:  Note that the published unemployment rate seen in the daily news is just the number of unemployment claims processed and paid.  This does Not reflect the actual number of unemployed.  Many people are ineligible or have already exhaused benefits and are not counted.  The estimated actual unemployment figures for any area are more accurate and in many cases appalling.

 

Notice that Obama has never said anything about raising the minimum wage for ALL, Immediately.  This increase is over some period of time and for only certain workers.  There is no realistic raise like that for the average worker.  By the time the words left the president's mouth, they were paleolithic.

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Please clarify your post, explain how these sites are relative to the subject matter of the group.

 

 

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