Skip to main content

Note: The WYFP community mourns the loss of life in Boston and stands with those who yearn for justice, closure, and peace. By sharing our problems in this forum tonight, we do not seek to compare our issues to those of others. As always, we strive to support each other in this diary, and we also extend our support, love, and comfort to those outside our circle who are hurting tonight.
WYFP is our community's Saturday evening gathering to talk about our problems, empathize with one another, and share advice, pootie pictures, favorite adult beverages, and anything else that we think might help. Everyone and all sorts of troubles are welcome. May we find peace and healing here. Won't you please share the joy of WYFP by recommending?
It's coming up on five years since I lost my job as the marketing manager of a prominent architectural firm in New York City. It's nearly four years since my son and I moved from NYC to rural Indiana. It's almost three years since I received my last unemployment check. It's six months since I worked steadily (though part-time). And it's a month and a half until my 50th birthday. Is this what our generation has to look forward to for the rest of our productive lives?

Come with.

Baby Boomers arguably are having a particularly rough time in this economy because we were brought up on promises. Promises that if we worked hard, went to college, invested wisely, gave our children roots and wings, yadda yadda yadda, we would spend our senior years contemplating the pounding surf from the deck of our summer cottage, coffee cup in hand, the diffused light of eternal summer glinting off our slightly silvering hair, while our investments were hard at work supporting the lifestyle to which we felt entitled to become accustomed.

These promises were not made by our parents. They were made by our culture. From my earliest memories of learning about economics in school, retirement was presented as the inevitable final stage of a person's worklife. A reward for a lifetime of contributing to society. An entitlement for years of hard work and sacrifice. Something to look forward to.

I now believe that, along with millions of other Boomers, I will never have the opportunity to retire. Though I am barely working sporadically now, I fully expect that the last half of my life will be spent scraping and scrambling at tenuous part-time jobs as I struggle to meet basic expenses every month.

I grew up assuming such that a lifestyle was the hallmark of the uneducated. But I have a bachelor's degree in education, a master's degree in English literature, and twenty years of experience working in various capacities ranging from high school teacher to college professor to corporate trainer to business manager to business owner.

When I was laid off, I had been making an average of $60 an hour. When I first moved back to Indiana, I was stunned to find people grappling for $10-an-hour jobs. As I joined the fray, I found that my best prospect was substitute teaching at $60 a day. That's making in one day what I used to make in one hour. True, we're comparing New York money with flyover country money, but that hardly eases the sting. Or the debt. I'm in the hole for more than $3,000 for past-due medical bills, and no ten dollars an hour is going to take a bite out of that anytime soon.

So with my 401K gone, savings nonexistent, and subbing sporadic, I'm living the nightmare that so many of our generation has had to face over the last few years. And it doesn't look as though it's going to end anytime soon. Retirement? Not in this life.

Enough about me. Floor's open. What's your fucking problem?

Originally posted to Greek Goddess on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by WYFP? and In Support of Labor and Unions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site