The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

March 10, 2013

Working towards retirement while in poverty

RICHMOND — When you reflect on the country’s Great Recession, what are the most important topics that come to your mind? Would it be high unemployment, record numbers of home foreclosures, or increased numbers of adult children living at home with their parents? Have you stopped to think another serious consequence of the recession – those retiring into poverty?

Consider the following scenario describing one of many loyal and hard-working employees across our country and then imagine how it will impact the retirement plans of many U.S. workers nationwide. 

Our fictional character’s name is John. He worked for a business that was devastated by the Great Recession. John’s employer decided to close the location at which John worked in 2008, leaving John and hundreds of his co-workers suddenly unemployed.  John was sixty years old and had worked for the company for the past twenty-five years.  He held a college degree, worked his way up the ladder, and earned a salary of $65,000 per year. John was planning to retire in five more years using the nice nest egg he had built for himself.

Fast forward five years to 2013.  John depleted all of his unemployment insurance benefits and now works as a customer service associate at a business located an hour from his home.  Although John submitted hundreds of cover letters and resumes, it took him three years to finally land a job. Although he’s thankful for his current job, he is only able to earn half of his former salary.

John’s unemployment benefits were only a fraction of his previous salary, so he began making withdrawals from his retirement account to pay his mortgage and monthly payments immediately after his layoff. John attempted to sell his home after a year of unemployment, but no one was buying and the value of his home plummeted after the town’s largest employer closed its doors.

John now believes he’ll never retire because his retirement account is quickly depleting. When he lost his job, he also lost his health, dental, and life insurance policies.  This means that when he had to have his gall bladder removed and a root canal performed, he was responsible for paying all of his medical and dental fees, doctor bills, and prescription medicine costs. John didn’t what to do, so he used his retirement savings to pay bills. 

John’s health is suffering from the long work hours and the constant stress. His car is falling apart from all the driving he has to do to maintain a job, plus he spends a substantial portion of his income on gasoline to drive back and forth to work.  John doesn’t have life insurance and can’t afford a new policy. John is not alone and his story is not unique, but we can learn from his situation. Stay tuned to next week’s column to learn what John could have done differently to have avoided his current situation.

Jennifer Napier is the owner of Jennifer Napier Career Consulting. Find her on Facebook: JNCC4U, or visit: www.jncc4u.com

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Beef Cattle Association field day is Thursday

    Make plans to attend the Madison County Beef Cattle Association field day on Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the farm of Dr. Eugene Bowling, 1437 Barnes Mill Road in Richmond. Signs will be posted.
    This meeting qualifies as a CAIP educational component.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04.23 JessaTurner1.jpg Eat local and eat with the seasons

    This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, and what could be more important to our survival than clean air, clean water and clean food?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Proper care enables planting of Easter lilies

    Did you receive or purchase an Easter lily? If so, be sure to treat it right and you will be able to plant it outside this spring.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lisa Adams.jpg 4-H Camping Season Nears

    Hopefully, we have seen the last of the snow for the year, so now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H Camp.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg These things cause me concern for the future

    I was just thinking the other day about things that are happening in this country that do not bode well for the future.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results