AGING AMERICA: For some blue-collar Americans, retirement is nothing more than elusive dream

  • Article by: EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 31, 2013 - 7:25 PM

Tom Edwards grew up in a family that's been cutting trees and hauling timber in the Pacific Northwest for more than a century. The Spanaway, Wash., resident says he has worked as a logger since he was a kid — it's just what an able-bodied youngster was expected to do.

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george13Dec. 31, 13 7:44 PM

First of all, social security will "be there", please stop repeating that tired nonsense. With that out of the way, why is it a surprise that if you don't save any money, whatever the reason, you won't have any money. Somewhere along the line people have picked up the mistaken notion that there is some divine right to "retire" and live a live of leisure and plenty. There is no such right and never has been. Social security will provide a very modest standard of living, but it is not now nor has it ever been meant to provide anything approaching a comfortable life style.

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jeffportDec. 31, 13 8:58 PM

Social Security will be there and why is a home is a retirement vehicle? That's the first & biggest mistake. If you are in your 40's, 50's and even your 60's you can still get some money put aside for your golden years. Better late than never people.

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pitythefoolsJan. 1, 14 9:54 AM

george13: "Social security will provide a very modest standard of living, but it is not now nor has it ever been meant to provide anything approaching a comfortable life style."

When SS started it was 2% of pay. Now at 12.4%, it should be my ENTIRE retirement program, and a d@mned good one at that! What a scam.

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A440Jan. 1, 1410:11 AM

Except for a small portion of recent history, reality dictated that you worked until you die, then call that "retirement". The modern economy has developed alternatives to that end, but you need to build it yourself, i.e. 401K. In spite of liberal expectations, the world will stubornly refuse to "owe you a living".

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mnavariceJan. 1, 1410:54 AM

When SS started it was 2% of pay. Now at 12.4%, it should be my ENTIRE retirement program, and a d@mned good one at that! What a scam ----- ain't government grand

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FrankLJan. 1, 1411:23 AM

george13 is right. SS was designed to prevent you from starving to death, not maintain your lifestyle.

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pitythefoolsJan. 1, 1411:42 AM

mnavarice: When SS started it was 2% of pay. Now at 12.4%, it should be my ENTIRE retirement program, and a d@mned good one at that! What a scam ----- ain't government grand"

Yeah, and GWB wanted us to put our SS money in the stock market! Wouldn't that have been grand if you'd chosen Lehman Bros and WaMu!

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smarterthanuJan. 1, 1412:44 PM

George and A440 raise an interesting point- the historical norm is to work until death or until you aren't capable of working any more. The whole concept of "retirement" is not a right- it is and always has been reserved for the few lucky enough to have a pension or far sighted enough to save for it. The example (Mr. Edwards) cited in the article should not be surprised that he won't be able to "retire" any more than he should be surprised that if he shows up at a grocery store with no money he will leave empty handed.

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FrankLJan. 1, 14 7:06 PM

There's nothing wrong with blue collar work, but you need to have a plan to not be just grunt labor. Still need education or skills training so that later in life you can be guy giving the orders. Too many people think long range planning is what to do on the weekend.

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odinmanJan. 2, 14 3:25 PM

@pitythefools-"Yeah, and GWB wanted us to put our SS money in the stock market!" *** In truth, he wanted the people to have the "option" of investing a portion of their SS withholdings. And despite recessions and market ups and downs over the years, if you invested even 5% of your income in the stock market when you started working in your 20's and are now approaching retirement...you would have a pretty good chunk of change right now. Just saying....

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