Friday, August 10, 2018

Many seniors declare bankruptcy even before Social Security starts; many work in retail or pimpy sales jobs

Tara Siegel Bernard has a booklet-length article in the Sunday New York Times on Sunday Aug. 5, “Too Little, Too Late: Bankruptcy Books Among Older Americans”, link

She notes the numbers of filings in the year or two before Social Security eligibility, which creeps up.  More and more old people are taking minimum wage jobs in retail (with some risk of security to themselves).

I went through the “paying your dues” phase of job interviews for a few of these in the 2000s, even before I worked as a substitute teacher. 

Ironically many of the jobs are cheesy sales pyramids or multi-levels (starting out with hotel weekend sessions) in areas like cash flow.  Many of them are in debt collecting or credit counseling, of people in much worse shape than you are.  They call it, people skills.

Some were in “development” – raising money for non-profits, which has come to seem demeaning.
The established custom in the past of expecting salaried professionals to retire as early as 55, and then freezing pensions and replacing them with 401(k)’s with too much money in an employer’s own stock, is backfiring.  I came out of this OK but a lot of people didn’t.  I came out of 2008 OK because I saw it coming in time.  Is that capitalism?    (No, it wasn’t insider trading.  It was a feeling you can’t get something for nothing forever.)

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