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60 Plus Association
60 Plus Association
August 13, 2010

Forced to retire, some take Social Security early

Unable to find work, unemployed turn to reduced Social Security checks early to stay afloat

Associated Press | By Matt Sedensky | August 9, 2010

Paul Skidmore’s office is shuttered, his job gone, his 18-month job search fruitless and his unemployment benefits exhausted. So at 63, he plans to file this week for Social Security benefits, three years earlier than planned.

“All I want to do is work,” said Skidmore, of Finksburg, Md., who was an insurance claims adjuster for 37 years before his company downsized and closed his office last year. “And nobody will hire me.”

It is one of the most striking fallouts from the bad economy: Social Security is facing a rare shortfall this year as a wave of people like Skidmore opt to collect payments before their full retirement age. Adding to the strain on the trust are reduced tax collections sapped by the country’s historic unemployment — still at 9.5 percent…

Read rest of story here.





Personal Stories from 60 Plus Members

I was laid off in Jan. 2009 and have not been able to find full time work.  In order to survive I registered to take early Social Security for monthly income.  I am now doing limited contract work with no benefits, plus I am learning to do taxes to hopefully open a franchise or at least prepare taxes for a source of income.  Unemployment is running out, I have gone through all retirement funds and am selling my house.
-
John
California

I opted for early retirement at age 63. I was a self employed Information Technology Consultant for over 20 years. When the recession hit, I couldn’t find any assignments that paid a decent billing rate for my expertise. Additionally, the IT jobs dried up in my field and any available assignments were going to low cost IT firms in India. Instead of taking menial jobs, I decided to pack it in and go on Social Security to supplement my retirement needs. Initially, the Social Security Administration hassled me to no end about being a self employed professional, but eventually I received my first check on October 28th, 2009. I am very happy that I went for early retirement since the break even point financially for retiring at 63 vs. 66 years of age was 89 years of age. So it was a good move on my part.
-
John
New York

I was working for a company who provided aviation support to another company. The company I supported was purchased by a larger company who has their own aviation assets. That was a major contract lost. This turned out to be the beginning of the end. Those of us who were supporting the purchased company were laid off immediately. A couple months later our whole operation was closed. I certainly understand- no work- you have to lay people off, bad timing for me. Actually it’s bad timing for everyone.
At the time I had just turned 62, and even though there’s no such thing as Age Discrimination I seemed to be have a tough time finding another job. Especially with the economy in the toilet and so many companies cutting back.When my unemployment ran out, I decided I must be retired and started Social Security. I was a little over 63 by then. Had I known unemployment would be extend I wouldn’t of started Social Security.
I still would like to continue working and am still looking for work. I hope to find something. I would love to find a job that pays enough, to allow me to pay back Social Security. Then I could start Social Security over, when I decide to retire.
Unfortunately, with the current band of morons and idiots in DC, I don’t see things improving anytime soon.
-
George
Idaho

I have been unemployed and underemployed since 2000, when the company I worked for dissolved their partnership. I was on unemployment for 9 months, then I did part time work in In-Home Support Services, childcare through state programs for mothers returning to work and off of welfare. I finally filed for my Social Security at age 62 because I couldn’t get any work at all. I suppose I’m too old for construction work, but for the last 10 years of my job, I was the office manager, did all the paper work, paid out payroll and all office bills. Still can’t get a job even in an office. It very difficult at this age to get in anywhere. I just found out that by taking it early I gave up 25% of my monthly payment. I only get $176.00. How much living can you do on that?
-
Janet
California

I had to retire early, three to four years ago, on SSD. I am NOT happy about it, but grateful that I get a, barely, subsistant ‘allowance’.
I, OFTEN, wonder if I’d been able to manage/spend my Earnings, My Way, if I’d be Able To Live Better??
What the libs are doing to Our GREAT Nation IS ABHORRENT!
Thank you for this forum.

-Linda
Wisconsin

I am a male, age 61(next month).  I retired early in part because I knew I could receive my benefits at age 62 1/2.  That looks a little precarious at this point.  It appears that we can not trust the promises of our own government.  I believe that any changes in the system should either be voluntary, or only apply to the beginning wage earners.  This is only fair as they have the time to plan for the changes.  At 60+, it’s a little late for me to redo my retirement plans.  I would like to see Obama bail us out instead of the unions!!
-Bruce
Washington

I struggled with my travel business after 9/11 and in 2006 finally closed it. My wife had found a Job in Yuma, so I followed her here.  I took whatever job I could get; had several part time jobs, one with the Office of Personnel Management giving tests and worked as a temp for Kelly’s.  Yes I was a Kelly Girl! I found full time work with NCO as online rep for T-Mobile, in May of 2007.  I was looking forward to the raise I would receive at the end of two years; instead I was laid off in May of 2009.  I had 26 weeks of unemployment.  Towards the end of my unemployment: I started a Community College program for Medical front office, then applied for Social Security. I had only one interview in six months.
-Bert
Arizona

Thank you for this opportunity to vent.
In May 2006, I settled on a 20 yr old condo – the first home I have ever owned. On the day I settled I was 60, had $50,000.00 in an IRA, $30,000.00 equity in my condo and a full time job as an office manager. I planned to retire in 2010, sell the condo, and move to Florida so I asked for an interest only loan.  Condo prices were up $20,000 on a similar unit within 3 months.  Things looked great. Six months later I lost my job immediately after the yearly health insurance quote arrived. I received unemployment off and on through that year while I looked for a job with or without benefits. I set a tight budget and started paying off my debt.  For two years I worked as a temp without benefits. However, I never regained full time employment so my unemployment benefits finally ran out, my IRA funds were wiped out, my interest only loan payment grew, my credit card balances went unpaid, and I stopped buying anything but essentials.

Where was the help that I kept reading about?  The help that was promised always edited me out.  Debt relief programs want a minimum payment which I could not promise; refinancing was out because my credit rating was in the tank; and bankruptcy in Maryland expects you to pay off your debts.  Loan modifications? First the banks just blew you off and now the only people who can actually get you a loan modification want $2500 to do it. Where do you get money when no one will hire you, the “help” programs you desperately need think you have too much, and the only people who know how to get you meaningful relief want thousands to do it for you?

At 62, I was at my wits end and staring at a cut-off notice from the Baltimore Gas and Electric.  I went to the local Social Security office just to see what kind of income I could expect in 2010 when I turned 65. I had no idea what I was going to do in the meantime.

They told me that I could get $1939 a month right away and, with COLA raises, I thought I’d certainly make it through this rough patch.  Who knew that 2007 would be the only COLA I would ever see. So I immediately took care of the paperwork and started getting my SS checks. I’m going to make it I thought. And, in the main, I survived.  I can’t make the repairs I need to the broken toilet, leaking shower, my incomplete dental work, my tv, or sputtering refrigerator but I was happy everyday to be able to stay in MY condo.

It is now August of 2010 and here comes the next backbreaking expense – health care.  After all my expenses including $200 monthly for food, I will have $58 left. I usually spend about $300 a year on prescriptions so I don’t want to get health care now.  But I am mandated to spend $1326.50 a year on hospitalization while I still pay for prescriptions, dental and vision myself. What kind of realistic health care insurance is this?

My utility bills have climbed higher and higher and I can’t afford to replace my 20 year old appliances with more energy efficient ones. I don’t have any disposable income which prohibits me from entering into a debt payment plan so I have gotten a IRS lien placed against my property.

Don’t let me forget to mention that I “can’t” file income tax returns anymore which makes my mortgage interest deduction ($7,000 a yr) worthless to me. I only got to deduct it TWICE and got 1 COLA raise.

This is the first home I have ever owned. It is the most important accomplishment of my life. No matter what obstacle comes up, my first check is to pay the mortgage. I have lost all my cash, credit, and investments. However, during this time of financial crisis, I paid off my car, lived by a budget without allowances for any unnecessary expenses, and made my mortgage payments on time.

What’s wrong with this picture?
-Judy
Maryland


Posted Under:


48 Responses RSS

  • From: Albert O'Connor 08/16/2010 @ 6:00 PM

    Noticed that you subtitled this article “…to stay afloat.” Nobody is getting rich taking Soc Sec. This is only a survival method, I think all of us would like to find work, but I believe I have worked my last paying job. I’ll keep volunteering because I need the people contact, but sure would like an honest paying job.

  • From: KATHY 10/04/2010 @ 5:37 PM

    I AM ON SSD, DO TO A BAD KNEES AND A BAD HEART.
    HOW MANY PEOPLE ON SSD SHOULD NOT BE ON IT…
    A LOT

  • From: Earl 10/08/2010 @ 8:50 AM

    Kathy: Your comments about a lot of people who should not be on SSD is correct but the problem goes back to all the lawyers running ads on T.V. that they can get people SSD even though previously denied by the government. Lawyers run and dominate all three branches of the U.S. government and this is known as the “legal caste”. Late American newspaper publisher and edior E. W. Scripps wrote: “If there is such a thing as true freedom and democracy then the road to that goal lies over and through the ruin and annihilation of the legal caste.”!

  • From: Larry W. Garrett 10/08/2010 @ 3:46 PM

    Obama doesn’t want to create jobs for older people and this is done by design. He hates older people, and I can not tell you why, unless it is the idea of keeping people dependent on the Gov.

  • From: scott meth 10/18/2010 @ 10:37 PM

    welfare bloodsuckers use their welfare debit cards to buy cigarettes and alcohol and gamble at casinos with our taxpayer dollars.While our responsible hard working educated seniors are forced to survive with no cost of living raise for two tears in a row.Seniors have paid with their taxes into the system for 50 plus years while the welfare deadbeats have been living off the system for 50 plus years. maybe if pelosi would take fewer private plain trips with her private tax payer jets you would have the dollars for the cost of living raise to our tax paying senior responsible citizens.

  • From: franklyn jones 10/20/2010 @ 6:51 AM

    I am a Disability Retired Police Officer on a State Pension Plan that I had to pay into not some free-bee as some States have. I did not pay into Social Security once on this Pension plan. I was short one Quarter from being able to collect SSI Disability along with my Pension , so I have survived on my Pension since my Retirement in 1986. 24 years have passed since that time and my Retirement was based on my 1986 wage scale of $8.00 per hour. When Disabled I was Married since 1972 with five children from 1975 through 1981. My Pension is now at $1,530.20 per month “BUT THE FIRST THING I MUST DO EVERY MONTH IS PAY FOR MY HEALTH INSURANCE AT A 50% RATE AND THE TOWN PAYS THE OTHER 50%. I PAY $ 766.80 PER MONTH , LEAVING ME WITH $763.40 . My Wife has R.A. and unable to work but at age 60 the SS Administration is refusing her disability because of her age and that has been an on going battle for the past year “even with a Lawyer” who will end up taking 1/3rd of the eventual award when ever that happens. We had to file Bankruptcy and was finalized on August of this year. Looking forward to paying cash for everything from this point forward for the likes of “HEATING OIL IN THE NORTH EAST” ,GAS FOR OUR CAR , CAR INSURANCE , HOUSE INSURANCE , PROPERTY TAX , ELECTRIC , ON AND ON . I was forced to file early at age 62 for my SS but when 3/4 is deducted because of my Disability Pension , I net $194.00 per month.
    I forgot to mention that I only have a 20% lung capacity due to inhalation of “PLASTIC PARTICULATE FROM TUPPERWARE THAT I INHALED IN A HOUSE FIRE CAUSING ME TO HAVE C.O.P.D. , on O/2 most of the time , and Medication up the Wazoo. With the present Administration running the printing presses on over time in an effort to “SOCIALIZE THIS COUNTRY” , as poor and as dissatisfied , I will fight to my dying breath against this “COMMUNIST ORIENTATED BASTARD AND HIS SOCIALISTIC APPOINTEES AND CZARS”. EVERYONE NEEDS TO VOTE AND REMOVE THESE MORONS FROM OFFICE AND IT’S NOT PREJUDICE OR ANY OTHER REASON EXPERT “total incompetence and a socialistic change over of our free country that has been paid for with the blood of every American who ever put on a uniform and gave the ultimate sacrifice for a free America. “WE MUST NOT LET THEN DOWN OR THEY WILL HAVE ALL DIED IN VAIN”!!!!!!!!!

  • From: Susan Justice 10/20/2010 @ 1:00 PM

    What plan has Obama have for all the early retirees as far as health insurance. I am on cobra now, but that only last another 4 months. I took my SS, but it isn’t enough to pay for the high price of health insurance and my prescriptions???????

  • From: scott meth 10/20/2010 @ 4:09 PM

    the senior citizens are looking for a cost of living raise just to survive day by day. however this govt believes it is more important to take care of the welfare deadbeats and the illegal invaders who work here without paying taxes,rather than the hard working citizen taxpayer who fought in our wars and paid into this govt for the last 60 years.I guess they feel it is more important for them to spend 160 billion dollars in tax payer money to study the sex lives of the fly or to payback their special interests, and leave the precious senior citizens to eat crow again for another year.Lets reward the screwups and punish the responsible to secure the sacred vote.

  • From: susan smith 10/25/2010 @ 7:59 AM

    Mr. Jones,
    While I feel for you and your family and understand just a little of what you are going through, we must all accept that this “change” Obama wants to implement is only possible because we, the People, have not done our job. WE have allowed these “representatives” in both houses of Congress to systematically put into place the “power” he needed to push through his agenda thus far. My Congresswoman has been there 28 years and is a “Pelosi want to be”. Thank God we have a “novice” to run against her; never even ran for student council in school! We have overlooked career politicians in both parties that support the “new world order” as they move from job to job preparing the way; local office to state office to federal office. You are correct. WE need to make the changes. PLEASE VOTE! Beware of career politicians; they are only out for themselves.

  • From: Countyhack 10/27/2010 @ 1:32 PM

    I am 62 in 2011, and going out. I’m taking early SS and State retirement… take yours while it is yours to get!

  • From: DenaO 11/04/2010 @ 11:51 AM

    I have taken SS at 62 after being out of work for 18 months. Working with benefits was how I got and was able to keep Med insurance. I have heart desease and high blood pressure but now with Cobra and unemployment running out this month I will no longer be able to afford my medication or doctor visits.I have worked all of my adult life but have no other 401 or pension to add to my income. All I want is to work! Now I walk into interviews and the faces of the interviewers change as I smile and extend my hand. Frustration, Frustration Frustration.

  • From: Ronald Sliss 11/08/2010 @ 1:48 PM

    I have read the comments made (between 08/13/2010 and 11/04/2010) by follow citizens which primarily consists of being forced to take Social Security earlier then planned because of unfortunate job loss, and for some with additional circumstances (medical costs, mortgage costs, ex-spouses, child support, etc., etc..).

    Added to the above is an additional two year Social Security no cost of living increase.

    I truly believe these follow citizens are not takers, but believed in the American Dream. They believed in Social Security and Medicare when they were first legislated, just like I believed (pay into it and receive its’ benefits).

    However, our past Congressional Representatives (including probably some of our past U.S. Presidents) did not keep the intented Social Security LOCK BOX. This SS LOCK BOX was raided to pay for other general U.S. expenses. Today there is no Social Security LOCK BOX. And most likely no Medicare LOCK BOX.

    Now we have a two year Social Security no cost of living increase. Why? My guess is because of the Federal Reserve. It is the Federal Reserve that controls INTEREST RATES. My other guess is the present Congressional Democrates’ and the Obama Administration’s over-abundance of give-away SPENDING to UNIONS and LOBBYISTS through their so-called STIMULUS PACKAGES, and yes, it also includes the over 2,000 Page OBAMA CARE Package.

    Think about it! NO INFLATION means don’t need SS cost of living increases. NO INFLATION means don’t need to INCREASE INTEREST RATES for SAVINGS or CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSITS (which are Government FDIC Insured) for our elderly SENIOR CITIZENS on FIXED INCOMES.

    Therefore, the Liberal Democrates and Obama Administration can have more DOLLARS TO SPEND for their SOCIALISTIC AGENDAS of SPREADING THE WEALTH.

    Other things to THINK about is “Why did the Liberal Democrats wait so long to ACT on President Bush’s TAX CUTS” and “Why those same Liberal Democrats “pushed” to give MORTGAGES to people who could not eventually pay for them”?

    I believe that is why you and I and our country are where we are today, currently unfortunately in a economic mess.

  • From: GARY R TOMS SR 11/08/2010 @ 3:07 PM

    How sad all the above stories; seniors that, like myself, have paid all or most of our lives in SS just to be punched in the face either because our health failed(my reason for SS at 61 – wife supported me fully until 62) and it was tough.

    Bought a “fixer upper” house 12 yrs ago but 2 yrs after moving in my health declined steadily…am now 67 and unemployable obviously because age discrimination DOES DEFINITELY EXIST but try proving it…we who are the experienced workers dumped for younger totally unexperienced grads because they are both paid less and totally unqualified.

    Welcome to SENIOR CITIZENSHIP! Before 40 could conquer any obstacle but life has unintended consequences.

    I am not overweight, never ate fast food but genetics from both sides of my family have done me in…diagnosed finally with ADHD (attention disability hyperactivity disorder at 61)….well at least (too late) I finally know what I need to be treated for as everything but my allergies are caused by this “born with” condition”

    Fortunately, my wife is 6 yrs younger and has the “average income in America” so we survive..but that’s it!

    What happens when she MUST RETIRE!!! Too much pressure on her….the Greatest nation the world has ever seen has been sabataged by Presidents and Congresses for 50 years spending the Social Security funds and now here we are!

  • From: Chaplain Paul Slater 11/08/2010 @ 8:07 PM

    I heard about 60 Plus today on Fox Business, a very impressive interview. I told my wife I would visit this website to learn more. The first section I noticed was this one on Early Social Security.

    I do identify with those who lost jobs and have not been hired so they took SS early. I have been toying with taking SS at 64 rather than wait til I am 66. If it were not for my websites earning enough to pay our housing costs each month, my story would be much like those I have read here.

    Before applying for SS, I will write some articles on my career focused website regarding the whole process. Fortunately my wife is still working but has cut back drastically due to heavy administrative duties sapping her strength as director of a preschool.

    I have been impressed with the “spunk” of those writing their stories and their determination to make it.

    Onward with purpose,
    Chaplain Paul Slater

  • From: scott meth 11/09/2010 @ 9:48 AM

    Take social security and medicare benefits from the old and keep and raise benefits for the young welfare leeches who dont want to contribute to society but just want to abuse the system.I see whose side the govt is on. Wake up taxpayers.They dont want to seal the borders just cut cost of living raises for the elderly, wake up twice.

  • From: Tom B. on-the-lake 11/19/2010 @ 7:08 AM

    I never expected to retire on social security, but I also never expected to be classified as a “drain on the system”, even though I paid into the program for 43 years. The left seems to classify us boomers collecting SS as they would an entitlement program.

    TB

  • From: ron 12/02/2010 @ 3:45 PM

    i have been forced to retire early because of a job loss,i am 61,i was told you can apply for ss 6 months before you turn 62,to start receiving ss quickly,is the true?anyone who can enlighten me would be greatly appreciated. thanks

  • From: Ernie Gs 12/04/2010 @ 3:35 PM

    I was severance on Dec 31, 2000, along with hundreds to thousands of employees from 55 through 60′s. (I was 55, my boss was 66, and a Chinese friend was 63-he was involved in every Culture Exchange that the bank offered – it didn’t matter). We were going to receive a Severance package if we signed a form that said we couldn’t tell anyone about the amount and could never sue the bank, or the money spent would be taken back- sign the form immediately – or the offer would be taken away and never re-offered. This house cleaning was the result of the “YEAR 2000 Calamity” and clean out the OLD GUYS and bring in young well educated engineers to run the data processing operation.

    On January 1, 2001, I already had a full time and 2 part time jobs waiting. Then, on January, 6, 2001 I was working late on my new job, developed stomach pains around 3AM worked for 2 hours longer then went home. I called a friend Sunday, and ask to be taken to an emergency room, when I arrived, I was immediately taken to surgery because my appendix had burst. During the week I had several conversations with my Sister (PhD Medical), she and her husband came to my home on Fri, and did not like what she saw – On Saturday, I started to eat every pill they had given me, she called the surgeon for antibiotics, they did not work so she called the surgeon again and told him she was taking me to an emergency room and for him to meet us there if possible. When I finally got on the exam table, one of the doctors just picked at the tip of the band aid like suture; I blew up. From that point, I was not allowed to work for 8 weeks. I lost my 2 part time jobs immediately and the full time was gone in a couple of months.

    Somewhere in 2003, I was able to remove almost $300,000, put some in an IRA and other stocks – I took enough to live on, look for work and pay my bills. Two of the stocks were Enron and World Com, I owned the some of the original MCI stock. Ugh-Oh, the dominoes were falling, my business venture failed, my House was going south and did. I filed bankruptcy and lost everything I owned. In the second qtr of 2003, I was calling for opportunities, there were some, then by August, 2003, those jobs were gone and most had filed bankruptcy.

    What to do, I looked for work sent resumes in many hundreds, only one response at $7.50 per hour – no way, I was making 6 figures before I was severanced, so that amount was just a waste of my time – so on and so forth; I took jobs of all kinds, I worked in Telemarketing (it broke my heart – these people generated their business with the $2.50 checks they sent in the mail, people would cash them, amounts up to $139.00 would be deducted from the account the customer provided, years could go by (15 years was my max, the lady was 83). When her daughter found the charges, a nasty call was received by hundreds of telemarketers, they were to sell, then re-sell, then re-sell – of course using scripts. I was exhausted when I got home because all of us were expected to sell, or we could quit or be fired….I got fired.

    It is going on 10 years since I worked at the bank, and not ONE meaningful job. I gave up, tried to write a book on the adventure, but, found that I was not a writer. Several small jobs later, I landed an apartment manager job that paid me $400 – before SS tax, and a FREE apt valued at $409 – I paid all utilities…. NOT a lot but I had a roof over my head.

    So, the end of the story, I received my first SS check in December 2009………then January 1, I was fired by the apartment owner and also quit at the same time. I am living on SS and small amounts of money from my Internet Marketing Businesses. NO, it was not the best choice but I had too. I have met 10′s to hundreds’ of us all exactly the same except the amount we used to make and I wonder what this has done to Social Security (and other entitlements) and how much we lost by working for 60 to 70% less for the remainder of our lives. I have never heard this ever mentioned in discussions about our economy, also, never hear the impact of $6 Trillion lost by DOT.BOM.

  • From: Brigitte 02/02/2011 @ 4:25 PM

    My husband and I both took social security at 62…so glad we did because my husband passed away last year just as he turned 64. I guess that’s what the government hopes will happen to all of us.

  • From: Ron Nelson 02/04/2011 @ 9:15 AM

    About your taxes owed, you can get them put on hold for good.Just get a hold of a legal aid office. If you are on a fixed income that can not force you to pay. I became disabled at 57 and I was helped by a legal group based at the University. They will help you out from under that burden.

  • From: Ruth 02/14/2011 @ 7:26 AM

    I can’t believe this administration can not give seniors a cost of living raise. Our medication prices have doubled in 2 years and Obama and Congress should be ashamed for not taking care of seniors but worry about education programs and welfare programs. Kids today are not interested in working. We seniors have worked all our life and paid into this system only to be spit on this administration. It’s a sad day for the rest of the world to see how America takes care of seniors. Even Bush & Clinton gave us cost of living raises. This is the worst administration in the history of our nation and we can’t wait to vote them ALL out.

  • From: Stella Ove sixty 02/15/2011 @ 4:00 AM

    Unemployment is not just for seniors. My daughter has been out of work closed to three years, she is not able to get any paid jobs at all. I help her with what I have, I am sure I can’t help her until she is 62 years old to collect SS checks. I am 60 years old, I have never seen so many people being unemployed in my life before, I sincerely hope the administration will start taking care of the people instead of taking care of the Unions.

  • From: Eliot W. Collins 03/18/2011 @ 9:53 AM

    I am not interested in retirement. I enjoy going to work. As they say, “Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need.” I look forward to working until I am no longer physically able to do so. On the other hand, if I lost my job, I anticipate having great difficulty finding another one. Raising the retirement age is fine, but only if those who want to work still have a job.

  • From: old buck 04/02/2011 @ 10:22 AM

    I’m an old retired guy like many of you folk. We struggle to find the answers. I’ll tell you what the governments solution will be, whether you agree is up to you. Here it is in a rhyme I wrote recently:

    Wherein Lies the Answer?

    As I set here at the keyboard,
    And think of things, today I saw.
    It reminds me now of something,
    I’m roughly Quoting: Bernard Shaw.

    “You surely must know someone,
    There may be 5 or 6.
    That if you set them down, and asked:
    My friend what makes you tick?”

    “As you set there and think real hard,
    Just how have you helped out?
    We’re asking you today to tell,
    There is no time to whine or pout?”

    “Have the things that you accomplish,
    Made ‘you worth ‘what you have cost?
    We’re running out of “green” resources,
    And must remember when they’re lost.”

    “There is no magic money tree,
    That keeps us well supplied.
    If you’re not doing all you can,
    It may be time you died.”

    “It may sound so very harsh,
    As we’re now asking you.
    But science has come up,
    With their solution too.”

    “There is a painless,
    And yet efficient gas.
    One long, deep, whiff,
    This moment too. . . shall pass.”

    “I didn’t say with one long whiff,
    You’d suddenly pass gas.
    I’m really saying, here so gently,
    Your life will soon be past.”

    “End of paraphrased quote.”

    I can imagine what you’re thinking,
    Where do these notions start?
    When we seek answers near the end,
    Each one must do their part.

    We’ve asked our government workers,
    To take some minor cuts.
    The Union Bosses looked at us,
    And said: ” You must be nuts ! ”

    We went then to the schools,
    Their budgets seem to grow.
    They were amazed that we could ask,
    With those little tykes all in a row.

    We went to Nations, near and far,
    And suggested we’d make cuts.
    They can’t live without our help,
    They’re living in a ‘hand-out’ rut.

    There are those poor and needy,
    Some living under concrete piers.
    How can we now, cut off the funds,
    And starve these innocent dears.

    Of course there are those “elders”,
    Some seem to live near poverty.
    They’ve all paid, long in advance,
    Now simply state, “Just leave us be.”

    Some said:” the Pentagon’s our mark,”
    It’s our budget, near a fourth.
    But even we, with hardened heart,
    Can’t short the U.S. Force.

    Of course the Politician’s,
    They could all afford to give.
    But here again the laws are such,
    That they may “privileged” live.

    Here my friend is where we’re at,
    So everyone must sooner die.
    So we can keep on, keeping on,
    Living as always. . .Some too high.

    But as you read tomorrows news,
    In days to come, when a shoe fits.
    Remember this, the answers plain.
    It will come down to this. . . .

    “You’re it.”

  • From: john mccorsley 05/04/2011 @ 8:12 PM

    January 2010, I am 58 years of age. I was finally awarded disability for degenerative joint disease of both hands, both ankles and one knee.

    Prior to that, I had worked in the printing profession for over 35 years. In 2008, my position as Manager of Operations at a community newspaper in NC along with 6 other managers were laid off due to progressive drops in advertising revenues and rising production/material costs.

    I then decided to start my own business and all was going well until I became unable to use my hands and could barely walk.

    I do empathize with and relate to the individuals who have posted the previous comments. However, it appears to me that every single person wants to point the finger to someone in government for the American citizens being in the situation we are at present.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news here but the facts are this. In Congressional elections the average percentage of people who vote is no greater than 23-28% of the registered voters. And; in the Presidential elections the average voting population is only 43-46%.

    I as this, How in the world are we as American’s going to change a darn thing IF WE DO NOT VOTE?????

    I used to be a Democrat in the 70′s then became a Republican in the 1980′s and I now am not affiliated with any party.

    We as American’s have no one to blame but ourselves for the representatives we have in office because the majority of us do not vote! And in addition, i do not believe the average american realizes that it is Congress NOT THE PRESIDENT, who is responsible. Refer to the Separation of Powers related to the Constitution of the United States below. It is pretty clear who is liable for our mess.

    Separation of Powers Provisions in the Constitution
    Article I, Section. 1:
    All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Article II, Section. 1:
    The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

    Article III, Section. 1:
    The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

    Article I, Section. 7:
    All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States:

    If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it.

    If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent together, with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.

    If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    THE ONLY WAY TO CHANGE IS TO VOTE!!!

  • From: JonO 05/20/2011 @ 12:31 PM

    Voting is not the only way. According to Thomas Jefferson, “(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  • From: Researchpro 05/20/2011 @ 2:35 PM

    I agree that voting is essential but it must be an informed vote. I also agree with JonO and that is why we have a right to bear arms. We must elect people who adhere to the Constitution. This includes eliminating the Federal Department of Education, The Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve. Seniors, especially ones who have saved for their retirement, are being severely hurt on multiple fronts. These include the Governments false evaluation of inflation that excludes the increases in very costs (food, energy, medical) of ones survival in order to eliminate giving cost of living increases to Social Security recipients. It also includes the Federal Reserves policy to “print” money through their fancy name for it “quantitative easing” which devalues the hard earned savings. Eventually we will wind up with nothing to pass on to our heirs.

  • From: Joe Wasylyk 06/12/2011 @ 12:51 AM

    I personally think that most Seniors are at the Crossroads now, and because of the larger numbers of 65 year old Boomers it is time for us to speak up and be heard. Poor Seniors that are not capable to be creative or productive need to have more than the cost of living increases. Let’s eliminate Seniors Poverty by raising every Senior at least above the official poverty line income.

    Secondly, the rest of us cannot and should not depend on income from Government entitlements. This is really just your basic survival income. There are many Seniors that if they only had an extra couple hundred dollars per month it would make a big difference to their lives. This is not an exaggeration.

    I suggest that more Seniors become more active, creative, productive and useful in Society. To define what I mean let’s go back in time when… eg. Colonel Harland Sanders received his first monthly Government Social Security cheque for $110.00 US. He thought to himself that he waS not going to sit on HIS Rocking Chair accepting all of these small income Government cheques. Did the Colonel complain to the Government OR did he try to study his own circumstances and see if he could still work on a new business idea. Well, the rest is history and the Colonel wasn’t the same senior citizen again.

    Myself, I retired at the young age of 65 and decided to write my first new book about Seniors(50 Plus) empowered to become Entrepreneurs. The book is titled, Encore! Encore! Seniors(50 Plus) As Entrepreneurs: Their Time Has Come self-published by Lulu.

    If all of us Seniors get together not only in the United States but around the World I have no doubt that we can make a big difference in this world; especially in the area of Financial Literacy leading to a new Entrepreneurial life that could supplement any Government pensions received.

  • From: Varnice McClellan Parker 06/12/2011 @ 5:52 PM

    where to persons such as I, with a cavernous malformation or another name for my tumor is cavernous sinus hemangioma which spures off to the base of my brain, which has caused numbness to the left side of my face, double vision when I look to my left, balance problems, hearing loss in left ear, sight loss in my eyes, I drop things and what else I don’t know most I thought was just getting older, now I know is the tumor. Last 10 years the stock market and I have made bad decisions that had left me without the funds to go out of state to surgeons that have experience with this type of tumor. My husband and I made bad investments, that we are paying on, our income is enough that I can’t get medicaid, we can sell the property we invested in , three years age the two largest employers in that town moved out and young people are moving out, we are left paying on property and no one in town to buy it. Any one out there know where there may be assistant on travel, lodging, and food. VMP

  • From: Alisia 08/18/2011 @ 11:14 AM

    OMG! I’ve been cking out SS; I’m a nurse, 62 yrs old, good health. 40G IRA & a 40 hr job; didn’t save much cause I raised my son as a widowed single mom (spouse killed in VietNam in /68)…Of course, got no help from USGov nor SS. They managed to dub me out of that as I couldn’t pay a lawyer to fight them! Managed to survive all these years & the “pennies” I earn…doesn’t keep IRS from stealing/robbing me ea year. What to do: I’m going to apply for SS at 63, get what I can. sell my car, have a huge garage sale, sell my house (still have a mortgage) to collect equity & move out of the country. Where? Anyplace but here!

  • From: Cauthon 09/23/2011 @ 1:11 AM

    I have a different story. If any of my fellow RWE’s (Right Wing Extremists:-) need any further evidence that the government as presently constituted is crazy, here it is. After reading about all these people who are out of work and taking Social Security early to get through the hard times ’round our cabin doors, here I am, still working at the same old job I have had for years, 68 years old, and receiving full Social Security as if I had retired. Every step of the way I asked the people at SS if they were sure this was legal, and they assured me that it was, and apparently they were right. I did not retire and take a different job, I am still in the same place, not retired at all. I can use the extra money, and I may eventually be able to accumulate enough money so I can retire, but it is crazy for the government to give me this money when we are all worried about SS running out of money for people who really are retired. I wish I could have had an option like what Bush tried to

  • From: Al 01/14/2012 @ 9:55 PM

    It is time for a subsidized federal jobs program like the one they had in the 1970s known as the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. It ran under Republican and Democratic administrations until Reagan killed it. Jobs were created for skilled employees caught in a recession, and there were programs for the unskilled who needed work experience and vocational training. Everyone on this blog wants to work, so why not be employed to meet some public service need offered either by government or non profits. Better yet* why not subsidize the private sector to hire skilled unemployed workers through tax incentives. Everyone who is able to work should have the opportunity. All of this wasted talent and experience!

  • From: Lou 02/13/2012 @ 2:02 AM

    Dear Friends: I will keep you all in my thoughts an pray that things work out for all that took the time to write. This is just a bumb in the road, hang in there for the rest of the trip. The road will smooth out for all.

  • From: Dan 04/12/2012 @ 1:53 AM

    I am 60 and would like to be able to end my life on my own terms. I never wanted to retire, but irresponsible Wall Street bankers have mucked up the housing market to the point where I haven’t been able to get work for 15 months. I had a business in home remodeling for 35 years. Now I am flat broke, in foreclosure and am very, very tired. I can’t collect unemployment insurance or SSi, so I sell my tools and personal effects to pay bills.
    Good thing I never married and have kids, or I would have to sell them too.
    Where is Dr Kervorkian when I need him.
    People say at least I have my health, but that’s only because I don’t have health insurance. I’m too poor to be unhealthy, and too ugly to get a rich women to marry me or adopt me.

  • From: GAB 05/08/2012 @ 10:06 PM

    My husband and I are 62. In 2004, he became sick with asperation pneumonia. He nearly died. Lost short term memory for about 6 months, and still struggles a little. We had a very strong manufacturing company, in a building we owned for 30+ years, in the biggest industrial area in our city, and was known as the top quality product in our industry. The business used computers, but in our age group, for the most part, the final work was on paper. He did all of the final bookkeeping, checking orders, inventory, sales, etc., on a daily basis. The memory loss took a tole. He had also been struggling with debilitating joint pain, for which he needed surgery. He still has pain. Employees took advantage. He also found what I call a “predatory lender.” By the time it was all done, we owed 33% interest a month, and 3 points every 3 months. He wouldn’t let us out of the conventional loan, so we could pay him off, and survive, because as he said,” he liked the Juice,” and laughed. We lost everything. The property, and building were taken from us by the lender, but we were left to pay the taxes on all sales. At the onset of this, relatives planned and took the rest of what was left, along with stolen trade secrets, CAD programs, etc., and moved in literally next door, for a pitance they called “buying it.” They now have their name on the front as well as our business name (and it says, “family owned for 40 years”)- a business we owned for 38 years, and which we retired every family member early and well. We have nothing but what we left our house with. I even lost my 10 year old car. We went to a rental house where we could keep our dogs, that was priced ok, and thought we could stay there. At the end of the 2 year lease, the landlord stood at our door and said we had to move in 20 days because he was selling the house. At that time, 38 years of accumulation to move again, in a short 2 years. Shock!…again. It cost $4000 to move from there, which we had to seell “stuff” to do. We cannot afford to move again, however, we don’t know how long we can last here. My husband is now on SSD. I took the first job that would hire me, Christmas Season 2008. I’m still there. Hours are part time, up and down. I took a second parttime job Christmas 2009. I can’t do that again. They keep hiring at our retail store and everyone’s hours get cut, unless you are a friend the management hires. I used to be able to at least pay my monthly medical insurance and a little beyond, but not anymore. I am afraid to go to the doctor because of the costs above and beyond. I need back surgery, and it is very painful to even walk to the borrowed care, that goes back tomorrow, after work. The doctor told me last year that if I go 10 more years with this, I will not want to walk because of the pain. My job is walking. My heart is broken. After putting out over 200 resumes since 2009, my husband finally got a small part time job, stocking in the clothing departments at Walmart. After doing so well, taking care of everyone around him, giving to our church all we could, this wonderful, kind hearted man took the first job that would hire him. I am so proud of him. His ego is broken, but I take my hat off to him. His body is so broken, and so is his heart. It is difficult for him to walk and bend that much. He can only make so much money because of SSD. We could have used some government help, especially when this all started. We do not eat like we should, can’t afford to. Prescriptions are expensive. At least in our state, employers cannot get unemployment. He paid about half a million dollars over the years for every employee for retirement, government programs and pentions. The employees were in a union and were the 2nd highest paid in the industry in our state. He paid close to $500 a month per employee for medical and dental insurance for their whole families. Rather than being thankful, they stole from him and did not do their part when he needed them. We are not even sqeeking by. I need to get a crown on a back tooth after the root canal I had, and now I am one told I must have oral surgery before they can complete it. have one little bits of the completion of this since last fall. I cannot find a better job, as my credit score is low due to the business loss , and I have been told that is the reason. I am also 62, and though I am bright, and am consciencous, and work hard for the company I work for, there is the age factor, no matter what they say. We are trying to finish the Bankruptcy for the business, and also for us because of the business. Time passes by, and it costs money to declare Bankruptcy. Hopefully it will happen next month. No breaks. Haven’t been away from this since 2004. If we had a day away, it would go with us anyway. We are tired.

  • From: Mary Shepard 05/18/2012 @ 10:46 PM

    My husband is a veteran,age 60,and has put in a medical claim for being disabled. He has been exposed to agent orange while in the military,which has caused some heart damage,after being denied the first time he put the claim in in,then they re-opened his claim. We have been waiting a year now for them to settle this claim,are not allowed to call them as they will only say they are “backlogged”and not to call again. This is the way veterans are treated,shame on the veterans administration for the uncaring way they treat these men and women who gave so selflessly!Sadly,he is too young to retire,is trying to find a job,but who will hire a man of that age?And he has scoleosis of his spine,but STILL trying to find work? Many times his upper torso has completely twisted to one side of his body,only a chiropractor can straighten him out. Shame on the ones who care so little,but they will answer to a higher power one day.

  • From: JonC 06/20/2012 @ 4:45 PM

    When you can’t find any job and go to apply for Social Security, learning only the last 10 years is used to determine your benefits. No matter that 11 years ago and prior years you averaged $92,000 in yearly salary. No dice. Yet someone who has never worked their entire life, then worked the 10 years can apply, and they get SS Benefits for the rest of their lives. Government Employees get their full A-One retirement funds, which we pay for, with no stipulations whatsoever. Puerto Ricans, who can legally live and work in the US, pay no taxes at all on their earnings made in the US, and they, too can apply for Soc. Security. Illegals who have lived here are now being offered citizenship with few qualifications. What of their years of money earned by illegally working and paying no taxes, SSI, etc? Some Americans are now forced to retire early, due to finding no employment and having had their investments depleted by Wall Street and to survive, can no longer afford to live here and are forced to relocate to Mexico, Belize, etc. Maybe we could all relocate to the Philippines, etc. and get some of our old jobs back and retire as well.
    Yet, we welcome illegal immigrants, give their illegal children citizenship, hire and give Visas to foreigners to work here, and outsource American jobs to be “competitive” in the New World Order’s version of a global economy.

  • From: Gay Beach 08/04/2012 @ 11:35 PM

    I worked for 40 years. 31 years at HP- Agilent Technologies. Was laid off at 58 years old. That was 2009. Lost my home in 2009 also. Got a part time job as a caregiver in 2010. Then fell at a clients home in 2011. My arm didn’t heal right so had to get a operation late 2011.. Now have a rod and pens in my right arm. I live with family and friends. All my things are in storage and I can still pay for my medical. But can’t use it since I pay each month but can’t afford the deductible to see a doctor. Can’t get my teeth cleaned anymore. No new classes. I live out of suitcases and plastic bags. My 2001 car is paid for and thank God it’s still running. I get interviews but no job offers. These are very hard times for so many. I am 61 now so can’t get ss benefits yet. My full ss benefits are 66 years old. Getting it at 62 would be 500 dollars less a month from 66 years old. Now I pay $500.00 a month for medical. So that would be my medical. And medical is going up. 40 years working and nothing to show for it. I sure would die for someone that wants to live. I have lived a long time and no wants to hire a old blond that works hard.
    It is hard to be almost out of money and don’t want to go on when you can’t support yourself anymore. Don’t want to be a burden. You have always supported yourself and helped others.
    Now you don’t want to be around people anymore. Put on a fake smile and your heart is breaking on the inside. We are not on this sinking ship alone. But it’s so hard on so many right now.

  • From: markf 01/21/2013 @ 12:57 AM

    my name is markf I was force to retire at the age 56 because of memory loss I don^t get that much income from my retirement I go to doctors & I had no answers what they tell me it gets boring now I wanted to know if i can get ssi for my income thankyou markf.

  • From: shirley painter 03/25/2013 @ 5:20 PM

    What a messed up world we live in!!! I am a 61 year old widow receiving my husbands social security. He passed away at the young age of 69 in 2011.He served in the air force for twenty years,doing a stint in Vietnam. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I am in the process of losing my home of twenty years. I tried asking for help everywhere that I could. I was passed from one person to another. I don’t have the fianances to hire an attorney. Dept. Of Defense is denying that agent orange had anything to do with my husbands death. Therefore any assistance that I feel is their duty to help me through these difficult times is denied me.I don’t know who else to call or where to turn to for help. My next step is to write the President of our United States. I am afraid of what happens when they take my house. There isn’t enough income to support myself. Rents are high here.I do wish all of you the best of luck. By the way. I have been looking for work to no avail.

  • From: Bruce 05/31/2013 @ 5:29 PM

    I am another 62+ yr. old unemployed person who is considering turning to early Social Security Insurance payments in order to pay for necessities. The prior employer increased profit by cost cutting measures – Employers prefer out sourcing functions that utilize lower cost off shore labor. Green card India nationals are hired to effectively manage the outsourced, India Labor. Since 2009 I’ve searched relentlessly for a job. The few interviews I went on were staffed by India nationals 1/3 my age? My job loss enabled participation in Dept. of Labor Trade Assistance Act for which I am grateful. I’ve managed to stay financially afloat after 99 weeks of unemployment benefits (26 wks. + 4 extensions) then 108 weeks of participation in Dept. of Labor Trade Act training in which I improved education from A.A. to a BS degree. I’ve appreciated the extended assistance. Through 3+ years I’ve been unemployed while desperately seeking another career related position. At age 65 my chances are slim to none that I can return to a career related job. From time to time I am earning a few dollars as a restroom attendant. I am financially thrifty, a handyman and lucky to have enough income to survive on. I am not embarrassed with used clothing, driving a worn out used car, consuming price reduced expired food, depending on self medication products such as Fish Flex/Mox/Ceph and shopping for cheaper dented can food products. I do not depend on credit and buy only what I can afford. One way or another I’ll get by!

  • From: Ronalsd Gradomski 10/20/2013 @ 7:32 AM

    I was forced out old high paid welder fitter of 30 years

  • From: veronica jackson 01/19/2014 @ 10:37 AM

    I was fired at age 63, the new administrator fired all the nurses over age 60. she was 23 and had her friends new nurses takeover. i was a nurse 46yrs. i was devastated. i looked for work over a tear but noone hires older nurses, so many new young ones out there and i was making more money. so i retired early. then in oct. of 2013 my husband lost his job of 8yrs., he is not old enough to retire and is having a very hard time finding a new job. our house is going to be forclosed on in feb 2014, we cannot survive on my ssi. i am also raising my two grandkids, they have been with us since before they were born. i get no help from anyone. we are all so scared. i even thought of doing away with myself. i have worked my whole life taking care of others and now we will be homeless and i am scared.

  • From: Rosemary 03/18/2014 @ 5:18 PM

    I moved to Arizona in December 2013 to be close to my family. Left a position in Medical Reception, being in the field over 25 + years.

    Although, I am newly looking for a position since I left New Jersey. I am finding it very frustrating. I feel for everyone, who is in this position. I will be 63 years old this year and am feeling that there is discrimination towards people of our age group.

    What is going to happen to all of the “Baby Boomers” when be become of age. We are human beings, not objects and it is not fair for anyone to be treated like this.

    We are capable working people, who want to work and be helpful in society.

    Blessings to all of you. One day at a time. Be well.

  • From: Bill Osborne 05/18/2014 @ 8:02 PM

    After reading most of the above comments, it seems that we all pretty much have the same problem. I was a builder and owned my own real estate firm. My wife and I lost everything totaling around $2,500,000. We like so many others are starting over again. Like everyone else, finding work at 68 is difficult at best. All I can say is; how come we didn’t get bailed out by the government? The other thing, we are a tough generation, we don’t give up easily. Hang in there everyone.

  • From: Al Lin 06/04/2014 @ 11:23 AM

    I just turned 61 last month. Unemployed for the last two years. No income at all. Suffering of panic attacks, pain in my wrists and other parts. Would like to find me a decent job but I guess my age don’t help. I heard disability is very hard to get.. Trying very hard not to break but feel very weak often now. Planning on getting an early retirement at 62 but struggling big time to make it every day…
    What can I do ?

  • From: Pam Berge 07/01/2014 @ 7:19 AM

    Happy to find this website. Don’t know where else to go at this point. I’m almost 60 and was in a 13 year marriage where my ex did not want me to work. I should have followed my heart and worked anyway.

    Now, after being divorced 7 years he is taking me back to court to terminate my spousal support. That would be fine with me if I had been able to secure employment . . . but, that has not been the case, I have done everything possible to get a job and have never had a problem securing employment until now. I guess it is because of my age?

    It really makes me ill because I have all of the qualifications for all of the jobs I have interviewed and tested for. But – I just don’t seem to get hired these days.

    I have great employment history, education, ect. Is there any one else out there who is experiencing this?

    If my ex is successful this week I will literally be out on the street with no place to live.

    Never thought that this kind of thing could happen to me – no matter what my age is.

    I am an educated paralegal – but, what happened to fairness and justice in the legal system?

    I have no where to go.

  • From: Bobby Gay 07/27/2014 @ 11:06 AM

    I was forced to make a call not to work because of a injury onthe job. Didnt want co. to be liable for deaths or damage to others. After making that call was forced to go on S.S. disability . Let the company know, went To my union hall let them no. They said if I couldnt work as operator that there they had nothing I could do. Ask them if they had provisions to get my pension..they said I wasnt completely vested. Had to be in union 15 yrs in order to get disability!!! Seems if I left a company because of injury and got ss disability the first time out that there should be someway to get my pension without being completely vested!!!! Any advice?

    ?

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