Wednesday, April 22, 2015

After 6 years of un/deremployment I have given up any belief that I will ever be able to enjoy a retirement.

The 401k is long gone. And the guv'mint took a healthy sickening chunk of that when I had to hit it.

We live paycheck to paycheck and more often than not much closer to the bone than that.

If our oldest daughter wasn't helping us with groceries and the cellphone bill REGULARLY we'd be eating ketchup sandwiches and talking on tin cans.

The mortgage is behind but we have been able (thus far) to keep the house but not do any upgrades or improvements to it.

A faulty house heater can (and has) thrown our budget completely into crisis.

Eating out is a fantasy we have now. If we can put a pizza on the table now and then it is a feast.

Downsizing? Downsizing here means selling stuff to help pay the bills.

And why would anyone be touting minimalism as a way of retirement? Isn't part of The American Dream to be successful and enjoy all the thing you earned during your working life?

The line at The Church food pantry gets longer each month.

There is no recovery. Not for the most of us out here. Too experienced for most places when cheaper costing kids are coming out of college. They look at the graying hair and won't say it but...

I am 53 now. My hope of ever holding a meaningful job again fades quicker with each passing day.

I know the crash happened under Bush's watch.

But I also know who has been in office since. Who has done nothing NOTHING to set the ship right.

Except maybe keep the caddies in business.

Well done Mr. President.

Well done.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go throw boxes around the backroom of The Big Box Retailer.

The one that DIDN'T raise their employee's pay.

The one where the kids are management and older workers (especially but not solely) are made sure not to get more than 30 hrs a week (often much less) so they don't have to offer health care benefits.


Gallup: 50 Percent of Americans Worried About Multiple Financial Challenges

The economy has been in recovery mode for almost six years now, but that doesn't mean everyone is feeling financially comfortable.

Indeed, Gallup's Financial Worry index, which tracks the percentage of Americans concerned about multiple common financial challenges, stands at 50 percent, up slightly from 49 percent last year.

While the index has dipped from the 56-to-61 percent range that prevailed from 2008 through 2012, it remains higher than it was before the Great Recession.
  The gauge measures the percentage of Americans who are worried about three or more financial issues out of the seven that Gallup tracks.

The most common worry, afflicting 60 percent of us, is not having enough money for retirement. The most minor wary, confronting 20 percent of us, is not being able to make minimum payments on our credit cards.

"Americans' current levels of worry suggest they have still not fully recovered from the recession," writes Gallup's Lydia Saad.

"While they are less worried about everyday financial matters than they were during and immediately after the 2007-2009 recession, Americans remain more worried than they were in the years preceding it."

When it comes to retirement, now that spring is here, it's a great time for retirees and those approaching retirement to get rid of extraneous possessions, says Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT's AgeLab.
 "Spring-cleaning is an opportunity to sort that stuff — making the option of downsizing possible, aging-in-place easier or simply helping family members make sense out of all that stuff you have accumulated for decades," he writes in an article for MarketWatch.

"The more you have, the more there is to maintain, clean and organize. A house full of furniture that was once the home of a family of five, but now only has two, makes the decision to downsize difficult. . . . A new ritual of retirement, may be the adoption of minimalism."

Then there is the stuff you'll want to organize rather than jettison. That includes "documents that you and your family need access for managing legal, financial and health matters that will become more critical as you age," Coughlin says.


Always On Watch said...

Oh, MR!

I don't know what to say.

You are not whining. You are in a state of despair. I get it, my friend. I wish that I could help you, but we're barely keeping out heads above water here.

midnight rider said...

Yeah it's not whining. At least not intended to be. Just a statement of the bare ugly truth as it exists today out there for myself and so many others WHO ARE EVEN WORSE OFF THAN WE (much more so) and the gov't and media wants everyone to believe it's all hunky dory happy days are here again.

I'm not sure it's despair, though, either. I think I passed that some miles back and have now moved on to resignation and utter disgust.

All the banks and businesses that took gov't bailouts (should have never happened. there is no such thing as too big to fail) have turned very little of that around to actually help the economy here in the U.S. (how many times do you get a call center rep in New Delhi instead of New York?).

All the banks and businesses that are sitting on piles of money because they are afraid to invest it in anything, let alone in hiring more people.

Why did it take a Walmart and McDonald's to raise employee wages unilaterally? I'm no big fan of minimum wage (it had it's purpose and place, just like unions, but that has now largely passed). And why the fuck are conservatives deriding these companies for it? If they want t pay their workers more, for whatever reason, then hut the fuck up and let them alone. No one forced them to do it. It isn't coming out of your pocket UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO SHOP THERE. If you don't like it, shop somewhere else.

If more companies did this on their own maybe just maybe we might start to turn things around.

But no, what we have is a bunch of greedy bastards who think "hey jobs are scarce these days they'll take the job for whatever we choose to pay and if not SOMEONE ELSE CERTAINLY WILL". There is no incentive for them to pay more.

Now I understand responsibility to shareholders and making a buck and all that but for heaven's sake greed for the sake of it is killing this country.

So what it has come to is family and neighbors helping each other. My mom lives around the corner. She helps us we help her.

And we used to joke with our daughter about becoming a doctor and taking care of us. But now she's an E.R. tech and our son in law a Physicians assistant and what was once a joke is actually reality.

ok, rant over. For now ;-)

midnight rider said...

I mean really, Hillary? Jeb?

We can't get any fresher ideas than that?

Pastorius said...

Nothing's gonna change unless we get Scott Walker and Ted Cruz as our ticket.

I don't think Marco Rubio would truly change things. He'd be better than Bush or Hillary. But not fundamentally different than the same pile of shit we've had.

Anonymous said...

I send my father money every two weeks. Every other week he goes to the local food bank and they give him a box of food.

My mother? I assist with her groceries.

This is the new reality for many Americans who have never sought government assistance.