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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:40 AM

Is the better economy too late for people like me?

I lost my job in the mortgage industry in 2006. I have been working as a petsitter and using savings for 6 years now. My SS is all that I will have because my savings is just about gone.

The computer world has left me in the dust.

Now I'm 64 and no one wants to hire someone my age. And I don't think I could even begin to catch up now.

There must be millions out there just like me. I am just planning on working until my health goes. Then I will just go off and find and ice flow to sit on - except by then the ice flows will probably all be gone.

Such a strange turn of events. Who would have ever thought this could have happened the way it did. I did everything right. I put every bit into savings that I could. And the market crashed not once but twice. And then the whole mortgage industry went under.

Life is just so odd.

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Reply Is the better economy too late for people like me? (Original post)
leftyladyfrommo Feb 2013 OP
TheMastersNemesis Feb 2013 #1
CalFresh Feb 2013 #2
cbdo2007 Feb 2013 #3
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #4
pscot Feb 2013 #5
ipaint Feb 2013 #6
hfojvt Feb 2013 #7
life long demo Feb 2013 #8
leftyladyfrommo Feb 2013 #9

Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:09 AM

1. I Hate To Say It

I hate to say it but the present state of affairs began in earnest under Ronald Reagan. When I was at DOL I used to interview older workers who were let go just before they were eligible for retirement. Discrimination against older workers really began to be significant as early as the mid 1960's. We had an age discrimination act but it was fairly weak and penalties were light. We still have it but there is little enforcement now in the age of "deregulation.

The most evil thing that came from the Reagan era was the "end of the social contract" and the dismantling of pensions by corporations. The millions of people who loved Reagan and considered themselves conservative kept voting for the Republican party that pushing pro corporation agendas and supported deregulation.

Meantime the working public became pretty much anti union. The public stayed silent when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. The public remained silent when the corporate world began to change its policies toward workers. Too many voters rejected progressivism and liberalism where it protected workers' rights.

When outsourcing began and offshoring began the voters kept electing politicians who supported such measures. Democrats found themselves on the defensive because big money began to take over the airwaves. Politicians who ran on a pro labor agenda got their pants scorched and lost elections by huge margin.

Clinton came along and won based on a "New Democrat" agenda that abandoned the old New Deal policies and he moved to the center. After he won he was convinced to pass NAFTA and Democrats were manipulated into voting for it and lost. Sure Democrats were weak and on the defensive, but they were compromised because the public bought the Reagan antigovernment and antiunion rhetoric. Democrats were weak because they could no longer compete with corporate money so they had to move to a more pro corporate arena. People voted for the monied interests and not their own.

Now a lot of Americans hate government and unions because they have been programmed to do so. The American people still reject those institutions because they will NOT elect enough progressive politicians to change direction.

The worst part of the Reagan agenda is it guaranteed that older workers would be out of the work force by 50. And the entire GOP agenda is based on third world wages because it is so profitable. Older workers have no place in the new economy because they are too expensive for the modern corporate world.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:15 AM

2. First thing is

 

you have value. If not in the mortgage industry then something else. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have your health? If so millions of people would trade places with you in a heartbeat.

Volunteer for some local group. Maybe helping people with their mortgage problems. You will meet people with networks that can will help you find a new job.

Keep busy and I know thing will get better.

Cal.



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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:42 AM

3. The housing market is coming back. Keep putting resumes out there to Mortgage

companies and someone is bound to bite at some point. Especially here in Kansas City, it took longer to fall and is now taking a bit longer to recover but it is definitely starting to pick up. Hang in there!

Where all else have you been applying??

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:52 AM

4. I know it's hard but you have to value yourself and be able to present that to others

If you don't value you neither will your potential employers. Do a little gloating about some of your previous accomplishments and what you can bring to their company.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:21 PM

5. Don't give up

Skilled office workers are still in demand whatever their age. At 63 my wife was a refugee from the health insurance business. She found a job manageing the office of our local chamber of commerce and is still at it 7 years later. Look around. You might surprise yourself.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:28 PM

6. Truthfully, yes it is.

There are no jobs for working class older people. I'm a 57 year old ex full time artist and I clean houses full time and try to restart my art business in my off time. My ex-construction worker husband is 60 and has been unemployed for 6 years, no one will touch him.

I've been through 7 recessions in my working lifetime and this one took both of us out. No health care, no dental care, no eye care, exhausted savings and very little retirement down the road.

Read Bright-sided by Barbara Ehrenreich before you blame yourself or your "attitude" for your predicament.

"..positive thinking has made itself useful as an apology for the crueler aspects of the market economy. If optimism is the key to material success, and if you can achieve an optimistic outlook through the discipline of positive thinking, then there is no excuse for failure.
The flip side of positivity is thus a harsh insistence on personal responsibility: if your business fails or your job is eliminated, it must because you didn't try hard enough, didn't believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success. As the economy has brought more layoffs and financial turbulence to the middle class, the promoters of positive thinking have increasingly emphasized this negative judgment: to be disappointed, resentful, or downcast is to be a "victim" and a "whiner".

But positive thinking is not only a water carrier for the business world, excusing its excesses and masking its follies."

http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsidedexcerpt.htm



You won't be alone on that ice flow.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:45 PM

7. at 64 why aren't you already collecting social security?

and what is your goal? To work until you are 70?

quite frankly that sounds like a nightmare to me.

I think you should have been collecting SS for two years now. By now you might as well wait the year and get the higher payments, but you gave up thousands of dollars by not collecting.

Okay, perhaps it is 67 for you too.

My report from 2007 says $656 a month at age 62 or $993 a month at age 67 or $1,257 a month at age 70 (ha, as if). That's $39,360 for the five years. Divide that by the $337 difference and you get 117 months. You pretty much have to live to 80 before you start losing money by retiring early.

Now, my dad is gonna turn 80 this December and hopefully will live another decade. Me, I am not sure I am taking that good a care of myself. I would rather take the free time when I am 62 than the extra money when I am 80.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:49 PM

8. From someone who got a job in 2004 at age 61

No it's not too late. Laid off in February of '04 at 61, spent every day looking/applying for a job. Kept lowering my expectations of what I wanted. Finally after almost 10 months, got a job in customer service in a heating oil co. Was paid $12/hr. I had been making $26/hr. I spent the next 2 years learning as much as I could about how things worked at the company, and was able to transfer into another job that I loved, still didn't make much more but was happy. Spent 8 years at that co., and retired now because you can't keep up with the 8hr/day working, I'm 70 now. Shifted my lifestyle to the extreme, everything extra went into an IRA or savings. I was able to refinance my mortgage back to a 30 years mortgage but to a very modest monthly payment. I still live very modestly but I can pay my bills. Am I happy that I had to do this, no, but there was no alternative. BTW, the company I worked for till '04 moved to Mexico and I was sooo pissed for a long time.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:23 AM

9. Thank you so much for your comments.

One thing about having nothing is that there is nothing to worry about. Freedom really is having nothing left to lose.

I try to get up and just enjoy the day. I can't control tomorrow so I'll just take today as it comes.

(I'm such a Pollyanna)

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