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Old 02-11-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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One of my very best friends who I've known for about 40 years is also my age (60) and because she spent a great deal of her adult life caring for her ailing Mother until she died she is now in a miserable situation financially. She has been unable to get anything better than a part time, low paying job in recent years and I don't believe she has accumulated enough lifetime wages to get much of anything (if she gets anything at all) from Social Security. She even lived in her car for a period of time which just makes me sick. I visited her in Montana a couple of years ago and she was living in a tiny run down apartment and just scraping by. I realize that there are probably a large number of individuals who have found themselves in a similar situation. Even people who get Social Security or are living on a fixed income have the difficulty with inflation which cuts into their buying power a little bit more every year. I don't see any easy solution to this predicament and I realize that the government can't pick up the tab for everyone who is poor. People are also living much longer these days and I can't even conceive of how my friend or millions like her are going to make ends meet if they live to an age that is far beyond what any employer would even consider as an employee. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Maybe a live in position caring for children or old people, for example, since she has experience as a care taker. When she will be old enough to qualify for the little money in social security benefits, and depending on the amount of that income, she could look for a country where the cost of living is still low, like India, for example.
Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:17 PM
 
Location: WA
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Over the years I have seen the very old working low paying jobs out of necessity. I had a 72 YO mail clerk working for me that was at one time a captain in the military. I have seen more than one elderly person working in restaurant kitchens. One big issue in today's world is the competition for jobs of any sort. Many struggle along on welfare programs in subsidized housing using food stamps and Medicaid (which is too bad for them as well as us paying the bills).
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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My advice would be self-employment. Find something which generates income but you don't have to answer to anyone much. My grandmother--who was on welfare in Guthire, Oklahoma in her later years--made quilts and sold them. You can make cookies and sell them at farmer's markets. You can do all sorts of things and work off the grid, if you must. What you can't do is sit around and wait on someone to help you.

I never knew until I was an adult that grandma was on welfare. I don't think it matters. She had a nice little home and was very comfortable from what I could tell.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
354 posts, read 1,088,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
my friend or millions like her are going to make ends meet if they live to an age that is far beyond what any employer would even consider as an employee. Any thoughts?
MontanaGuy, there are not millions like your friend she is extraordinary. By rights, her family should take her in or help her get by considering she dedicated so much of her life to the care of a another family member.

People that live for today without a thought for tomorrow counting on someone or something to materialize and take care of them are in for a struggle. Others who made a clear eyed decision to sacrifice to care for a love one know they have a hard way to go but are in a better state to face the challenge.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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There are many programs available to help the poor in every State but you have to apply for them. Most of them are handled through the county social services. There is income assistance, food relief and rent assistance; state pensions for people who do not qualify for social security. There is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)and Medicaid. There are many other programs, depending on the State.

What you are indicating is a person who qualifies for many programs. However, many get bad advice or no advice and they fail to seek the help from the proper social service agency who know what is available and how to apply. The best thing you can do is take your friend to the County and help her apply.

Livecontent
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:48 PM
 
Location: At the Lake (in Texas)
2,070 posts, read 2,034,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
One of my very best friends who I've known for about 40 years is also my age (60) and because she spent a great deal of her adult life caring for her ailing Mother until she died she is now in a miserable situation financially. She has been unable to get anything better than a part time, low paying job in recent years and I don't believe she has accumulated enough lifetime wages to get much of anything (if she gets anything at all) from Social Security. She even lived in her car for a period of time which just makes me sick. I visited her in Montana a couple of years ago and she was living in a tiny run down apartment and just scraping by. I realize that there are probably a large number of individuals who have found themselves in a similar situation. Even people who get Social Security or are living on a fixed income have the difficulty with inflation which cuts into their buying power a little bit more every year. I don't see any easy solution to this predicament and I realize that the government can't pick up the tab for everyone who is poor. People are also living much longer these days and I can't even conceive of how my friend or millions like her are going to make ends meet if they live to an age that is far beyond what any employer would even consider as an employee. Any thoughts?
I think that many of us baby boomers who find themselves in that position should consider pooling assets -- that is, several people together going in to live together and help each other...it is a healthy alternative to aging alone, provides company and security to the participants, and while one may struggle to get by, three of four people (or more) pooling their assets to maintain a safe, good dwelling and food, etc. can live much better. We would have to be willing to give up some of our expectations of having it all in retirement, but it beats the alternative! I think this is going to be a viable option for people if they allow themselves to consider the possibilities.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:53 AM
 
694 posts, read 1,096,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnoliaThunder View Post
I think that many of us baby boomers who find themselves in that position should consider pooling assets -- that is, several people together going in to live together and help each other...it is a healthy alternative to aging alone, provides company and security to the participants, and while one may struggle to get by, three of four people (or more) pooling their assets to maintain a safe, good dwelling and food, etc. can live much better. We would have to be willing to give up some of our expectations of having it all in retirement, but it beats the alternative! I think this is going to be a viable option for people if they allow themselves to consider the possibilities.
Sort of intentional community thing like in the 70's.

Why not, it may work if there are assets.
It does not seem to be this lady's case though, is it, MontanaGuy?
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:09 AM
 
Location: At the Lake (in Texas)
2,070 posts, read 2,034,332 times
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Well, I don't mean like actually combining assets, as much as a sort of "roomie" situation...in other words, three or four people pay a portion of a rental, a portion of the groceries, etc. and kind of look out for each other...that way, even someone with few assets may be able to barter -- i.e., she has less income to pay for rent, but in return for that shortage perhaps she can take care of some housework or errands that she has more time for since she works part time, etc. I guess is would be communal, of course, and also kind of a work in progress to see what works for each situation. We all need to consider taking care of each other since so many of us have found retirement and aging creeping up on a group of people who never thought we'd see this day come!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 16,791,559 times
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Thanks for some interesting suggestions. I think the idea of having several people share a place and the expenses is a very plausible and practical idea. I was also not aware that there are state programs that will aid people who can't qualify for Social Security. She lives in Montana and I'm not sure what they might have but I'll look for information on the internet. Thanks again.
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