Many seniors live on the cusp of poverty

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 17, 2013 1:00 a.m.

    80 year-olds working at Wal-Mart, is that the future we have in store for our seniors? I think we can do better...

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    June 15, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    After a lifetime of looking around and judging the unseen realities of the disabled, I was laid low. After the same lifetime of working for wages and paying my way and trying to develop ways to increase my income by starting businesses that didn't make it, I was unable to work. I had savings and food storage but those assets only lasted about a year. I had tried to save more and had started and then abandoned retirement plans of one sort or another several times but was unable to keep them funded or lost the money in poor investments. I did(do) not enjoy turning to government for assistance but I am pretty grateful it is there. I don't feel I am one of those predicted to drop into poverty in this article but I could be with some scenarios that have been published as possibilities. I worked for 40 years at or near the bottom of the wage scale, even after I obtained a B.S. in Horticulture.

    Please get off my case. You don't know the fit of my shoes or shirt. I did not give up easily. And there are millions like me.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    June 15, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Now is to late to complain about decisions made in the past. Sure the politicians did a lousy job, but most who made them are dead or about to die. They lined their pockets and got out. Question is what does the country do now and for the future? Answer will be some hard decisions the politicians don't want to make and a large part of the population that would be affected don't want them to make.

    It will take poverty, violence, struggle, probably death before a better world will rise from the ashes. There is no rainbow stew and free bubble up. Time for people to stand up and do what is right.

    If we don't?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 13, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    I'm a conservative and the thing that really makes me mad is that our government has managed to squander close to 17 trillion dollars in debt and still can't provide the basic SS and Medicare that has been promised to millions since Roosevelt. As a conservative I probably would have tried to find another way to work these programs, but since they were in place, the government has no right to deny the people who for decades worked and HAD to contribute to these programs. What a shame and crime that our Congresses and Presidents for decades now have been spending money they didn't have. Now the ones who will need it most, will likely suffer most. I doubt that Clinton, Bush, Obama, Kerry, Feinstein, Hatch, Boxer, Schumer, Gore, Boehner, ect... will notice the cutbacks though. The elected people who have done this should be held in contempt.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    June 13, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    Inflation just kills the financial prospects of Seniors...isn't it a mark of an advanced society when they take care of the Elderly, and a sign of decay when Seniors are no longer cared about, or for? I fear our young President and our elected leaders have spent money, stolen it, from those who made their very lives possible.

  • tdwds South Jordan, UT
    June 13, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    A lot of it is because people rely on broken financial wisdom. Look at what most people are doing to prepare for retirement and do exactly OPPOSITE!!

  • sally Kearns, UT
    June 13, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Isn't life about learning from good and not so great experiences. We have been independent most of our life. Sometimes in life we need to deal with death of family members, illness, unemployment, disabilities (not always visible to the human eye), criminal behavior, lawsuits from others, well I could go on and on. Life is not always rosy. As we and others we know are going into retirement, choices need to be made. Some we know are living with family members so they have others to watch and share life experiences. This choice actually gives them more independence because they don't have to do all the maintenance and household cooking, etc. Someone is always at home to watch over their belongings if they want to leave town. Many that we know insist on living on their own so it costs more to maintain lifestyle. Many of these are the ones who are always needing rides, help with home repairs, etc. They are not really independent. We are all in different circumstances. We just help out others when we can. We don't have the same energy level we used to have.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    June 13, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    This situation will continue so long as there are not realistic cost of living adjustments. The administration has ceased to regard the spiralling cost of food as being a part of inflation. I believe that the increasing cost of gasoline is no longer part of the formula either. Why? People must eat and get to the store etc.

    Then we get comments such as "the cost of food is not really an issue" because, say these administrative geniuses, you can buy cheaper and cheaper food (or less and less I suppose). What kind of people have we elected and what kind of people are we ourselves? A good question. The elected kind are not worried: they live now and forever on the taxpayer having their own special retirement benefits, often in addition to social security.

    Yes those who have never worked are a different matter, but surely most retired people do not fit into that mould at all.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 13, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    The institute claims Ryan’s plan would result in more at risk seniors.

    The institute puts forth false claims and distorts Ryan’s plan, as Ryan’s plan does NOTHING to current seniors.

    Obviously the institute has a leftist political agenda that causes it to warp and distort to further that agenda.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 13, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    So Patriot your plan for those who don't meet your qualifications for government assistance is? Based on what I have read it would be let them fend for themselves, starve steal or whatever? They get a job theory really doesn't work because there are not that many jobs these people are capable of doing, and lets say they do get a job, but the pay does not cover their basic life expenses, again starve steal or what? It is easy to say we shouldn't give people anything, but what do you do with those people who can't or won't get a job.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    June 12, 2013 4:26 p.m.


    You are correct that Seniors are very much at the mercy of interest rates to survive on saved income or SS payments. Part of the problem is that people today have an expectation that they are ENTITLED to a retirement at a certain age. Until recent history (less than 100 years ago) such an entitlement was a foreign concept. You worked as long as needed and only "retired" once you were confident enough that things like interest rates weren't going to be an issue. Or, if absolutely necessary, you turned to your children for help.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    June 12, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    You make a good point that, from the article's description, there is a correlation between those seniors who are on the cusp of poverty and those who probably come from backgrounds of being on welfare. Subsidizing behavior increases the behavior, including subsidizing dependency on the government.

    Regarding Social Security, part of the problem is that SS has been marketed to the public with a blatant lie. SS is not a retirement account, but is retirement welfare structured as a Ponzi scheme. The SS taxes you pay are used practically immediately to pay the retirement welfare of someone else. It has always been that way from the first recipient, Ida Mae Fuller, who paid $24.75 in SS taxes, but received almost $23,000 in retirement welfare payments.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    Seniors depend on Interest Rates to be at reasonable numbers in order to live of saved income.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 3:06 p.m.


    There in lies your problem though. So are you suggesting only retired WWII vets can take taxpayer money when they retire if they have not saved enough?

    You began by saying . "I believe if a couple has NOT been on welfare for extended periods of time and has worked hard and contributed to society then our society should help them with a reasonable safety net to retire with."

    So now the rules are if you are a WWII vet and you didn't live on welfare for extended periods of time then others should be forced to take care of these people if they haven't saved enough is that right?

    What exactly are you suggesting the criteria be that allows others(through the govt) to take money the government took from others?
    Please don't tell me you're proposing a new group that researches the life history of each retired person to determine if they are due additional taxpayer money?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    re:Chris B

    Actually Chris if you visit the streets of many of our largest cities - Detroit, New York, LA, Chicago.. you will find alot of people who DO NOT work hard at all and in fact - more than ever before - are content to just sit back and "pick up their Obama check" every month whether it be a welfare check or a phony disability check. The poverty rate is at its highest ever under Barack and the progressive wrought. I feel no obligation to provide for those types after age 65. If they want to cast their net into the sea of Socialism then they can expect the predictable empty net coming back. For the retired WWII vet who served his country and worked hard free from welfare to provide for his family I do feel a sense of obligation to help those types after they retire. I want these type of people to actually retire with some sense of dignity and not be left to live with illness in some sort of depressing ghetto.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    Every one of us is under a divine obligation to serve others. Whether we know it or acknowledge it, we receive from God everything good that we have. As we have been given much, we too must give.

    Some don't.
    Some do through government...
    Some believe government ought not, that citizens should step up...

    How we promote good in the world is debatable, but not whether we do it. We all need to be serving. Writing unconditional checks doesn't help anyone, whether it comes from neighbors or the government. They are really the same source. The only difference is that government is more susceptible to abuse, red-tape, and slower resolve.

    My ward gives food, service projects, and time to help others, LDS (Mormon) or not. I'm not preaching holier than thou, but saying that all problems come from somewhere, as do solutions.

    God holds us accountable for how we spend our time, our stewardship over helping those in need, and how we invite others to the same cause. We can serve, encourage, uplift, and help, or feast on our possessions until our time is up. The reward for service is real happiness.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 12:22 p.m.


    I think if a person works hard for 45 years before retiring and makes smart financial decisions, then certainly they will have saved enough for retirement.

    The fact that someone "worked hard" has nothing to do with anything.

    We all work hard.

    I'm saving a SIGNIFICANT percentage of my monthly paycheck so that I don't have to steal from others when I retire

    If you don't have enough to retire, keep working.

    I don't know why that is so tough to understand.

    I can't retire right now. I haven't saved enough.

    So I keep working.

    It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to take care of me after I retire.

    It's my responsibility.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 12, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    "Its data show that states with large minority populations — like the District of Columbia and California (55.8 percent) — tend to have the highest levels of elderly vulnerability"

    The fact of the matter here is that the majority of those mentioned especially in the District Of Columbia are black generational welfare folks. Instead of pouring money into a bottomless pit it would be better to get those people OFF of government dependence for good. It all starts when people are young - teaching them to get an education and avoid welfare at all costs. The Obama model fuels the exact opposite - making welfare easier to get and planting in the minds of people that somehow they are owed a living and can sit back and let others redistribute their wealth to them. America needs a leader in the White House who can not only inspire self reliance but also create innovative ways to achieve it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 12, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    I'm a conservative - I believe in SMALL government - I also believe however that America needs to take care of those older Americans who retire on minimal. I have no problem helping hard working - tax paying - Americans who need help after their work years are over. No problem. I believe if a couple has NOT been on welfare for extended periods of time and has worked hard and contributed to society then our society should help them with a reasonable safety net to retire with. Social security needs to be beefed up substantially along with other new programs aimed at older Americans.