Basics: White, 72 years old. The Hudson man is retired from a job as a manager of marketing research. His household income is between $35,000 and $75,000 now. Before retirement, some seven years ago, it was more than that. Retirement is what he and his wife envisioned — golfing, reading and outdoor activities. And he’s thankful his career ended when it did.
How has retirement changed of late? It’s a frightening world for those 45 or older, he offered. Companies are dropping pensions for faithful employees and doing away with health benefits when they walk out the door.
How is it that you can maintain the lifestyle you had prior to retirement? “Because we had planned ahead. We were not extravagant spenders in terms of automobiles, housing. Sure, we could have afforded a bigger home than what we are living in now, but we didn’t need it.
Every once in a while, we think about moving to a condo, but my wife likes to garden. We thought about moving, but we have developed a lot of friends here. We know a lot of people and it has been a lot of fun. So we decided we might as well stay here.”
Is there anyone in particular, or any policies, that you think are responsible?
“The biggest concern I have with the economy is the debt. You can’t add a trillion dollars worth of debt to this economy every year and nothing is being done about it. The president comes out with a budget that’s going to add another billion next year. It’s stupid. We have a spending problem — we don’t have a taxing problem.”
What government changes would you support? “If someone came to me and said, ‘Hey, here’s what is going to help solve our entitlement and spending programs and everybody across the board has to support this.’ I would be willing to give up 1 or 2 percent of our Social Security if that’s going to help the situation.
“If somebody said, ‘Hey, your Medicare is going to go up a little bit,’ that would be fine — as long as there is a cutback in all of this stupid spending they [the U.S. government] have going on.”
America Today project seeks citizen input
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