Tuesday, October 6, 2009
In Her Own Words
MinnEESI sent out request for stories of economic struggles that elders are facing. Below here is a glimpse into the life of a 70 year old woman living with so little:
"I'm about 8,000 in debt, will not pay my house off until 2018 and have a $14,000 lien in additional to the mortgage. Need a new roof, defective shingles that would be under warranty if the seller of my house had pulled a permit or would look for any records. NO luxuries, no travel; theater or eating out only if someone takes me. And, because of medical such as dental, that is not covered, cannot get out of debt, medicines that are not covered by Medicare D, etc. Social Security, below national median; state pension is pathetic ($225), other pension funds will expire in about 10 or less years, tiny pension from the UK ($70). Medicare and Medicare D will go up next year, social security I gather won't.
Not sure how many more years I will be able to work and then no idea what I will do and am not even sure if the business pays enough to make it worthwhile. When I work (and business has been awful this year) I inspect houses for mold (have a doctorate in botany specializing in mycology-so much for "get a good education and get a good job"). I usually make about 11,00-12,000 a year from the business before expenses although this year income is down fairly badly -combination of very dry summer and people selecting to do other things with what money they have. Losing my sense of smell after brain surgery in 2006 also hurt my business because my nose was my most important tool. Surgery was not mandatory and surgeon did not warn me that this could happen. Am hoping for some sort of payment from the 2006 car crash, which will go to feed my credit card debt.
Most people have family they can turn to. I don't.
So, constantly worried to distraction about paying bills, whether I will get my property tax rebate before or after October 15th - difference between managing to pay and being in further trouble. I don't 'barely meet my basic needs', I cannot meet them