Skip to comments.This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like [in CA]
Posted on 02/23/2018 6:58:53 AM PST by daniel1212
CORONA, Calif.Roberta Gordon never thought shed still be alive at age 76. She definitely didnt think shed still be working. But every Saturday, she goes down to the local grocery store and hands out samples, earning $50 a day, because she needs the money.
Im a working woman again, she told me, in the common room of the senior apartment complex where she now lives, here in Californias Inland Empire. Gordon has worked dozens of odd jobs throughout her lifeas a house cleaner, a home health aide, a telemarketer, a librarian, a fundraiserbut at many times in her life, she didnt have a steady job that paid into Social Security. She didnt receive a pension. And she definitely wasnt making enough to put aside money for retirement.
So now, at 76, she earns $915 a month through Social Security and through Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, a program for low-income seniors. Her rent, which she has had to cover solo since her roommate died in August, is $1,040 a month. Shes been taking on credit-card debt to cover the gap, and to pay for utilities, food, and other essentials. She often goes to a church food bank for supplies...
Today, about 12.4 percent of the population aged 65 or older is still in the workforce, up from 3 percent in 2000,... In 2014, older women received on average $4,500 less annually in Social Security benefits than men did....
In America in 2016, nearly half of all single homeless adults were aged 50 and older, compared to 11 percent in 1990....
Roberta Gordon, in Corona, was barely scraping by when I talked to her. A few months later, she was much more stable. Why? Shed gotten off a wait list and been accepted into the housing-voucher program known as Section 8
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
As one now 65 who has been blessed with generally good health and a faithful God, and never used gov. health care or needed/used its welfare programs as a believer (but have received abundant free will charity over the years in working for free in the Lord's work), this article led me to do some research, and learn some things I never knew:
" she earns $915 a month through Social Security and through Supplemental Security Income," which to be precise, means she receives money she earned thru SS, while it turns out that SSI [not SSDI/SSD] is funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes), and is for those 65 or older, as well as for those of any age, including children, who are blind or who have disabilities (according to the SSA definition) and can demonstrate their financial need (insufficient or no income and less than $2,000 in assets). People do not need to have worked in the past to get SSI.
Then there is SSDI , which is funded through payroll taxes: "The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven't earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD." "The amount of the monthly benefit after the waiting period is over depends on your earnings record, much like the Social Security retirement benefit."
To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple) and a very limited income. But, you cannot receive SSDI Benefits if you are working and making more than $1,170 per month in 2017 (or $1,920 if you're blind) There are exceptions to this rule. However , "there is no limit to how many cars you can own [under SSDI]."
However, what the Atlantic article also does not state is (research shows ) that the state of California provides a State Supplemental Payment (SSP) For most people, the maximum possible SSI benefit (including the SSP) is $910.72 for an individual and $1,532.14 for a couple. In California, people who qualify for SSI also get Medi-Cal benefits automatically.
Plus she would be eligible for Medicaid, ans , if having a Gross Income under $1,276 then she would be eligible for up to $194 in Food Stamps.
(if she works 50 Saturdays days a year at $50 a day then she makes 2,500 a year, and the Social Security earnings limit for people age 65 and younger increased from $15,720 in 2016 to $16,920 in 2017.)
In addition , Seniors are offered help for " special-needs housing and affordable rentals, as well as get assistance with your utility bills and more. You or your elderly loved one can get a low-income tax credit from HUD. Through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Database, you can find affordable housing or rental properties .."
And this lady was accepted into Section 8 housing, for which "you must be a low-income person (below 50% of the Area Median Income). The voucher will pay anything above 30% of your adjusted monthly income up to an established limit. For example, if you earn $2,000 per month and the home you want rents for $900 per month, you would pay $600 and the voucher would cover the difference of $300 as long as the Fair Market Rent for your area is equal to or greater than $900."
Thus while the Atlantic want to burden the taxpayers more, it would seem there is substantial help for a lady such as this. Yet if any class of persons should be prioritized it should be the elderly who worked and the disabled ( I have a friend who was left a paralytic after getting hit by a drunk, and has a hard time getting reliable help), beginning with veterans, versus subsidizing indolence and unmarried and fatherless families, and students who do not pay off loans, or forgiving their remaining debts if they work for the gov. or secular non-profits steadily for 10 years and make 120 required continuous payments during that time.
So marriage and the stability it creates and having kids and the stability it creates may actually be a good thing ( sarc ).
My mother in law lives with us. My wife and I provide ALL the meals to my folks who live nearby.
The old ways definitely work.
The Fast Food industry used to be exclusively teenagers and younger people.
Now it’s the opposite..................
Gonna need to be a lot of Golden Girl living situations. No way can a typical single senior afford $1000/month rent, like the one in the story who then got into Section 8 housing.
Getting accepted for Sect. 8 is not the same as getting into a Sect. 8 apartment, while being om SS means the senior can move anywhere in the US without losing that income. Thus she could escape CA for a lower cost apt, such as
Wichita, Kansas: $470