Will you be able to retire with dignity?

Far too many Californians fear they won’t have enough saved for retirement to pay for food, medicine and housing. When it comes to retirement security, the American Dream of passing on a better life is at risk. Three out of four Californians has less than $20,000 saved for retirement. Half of Californians have nothing saved. Social Security is the only reliable source of income for many working families.

Are you worried about whether you’ll be able to retire—or how you’ll make ends meet when you do? Do you have an example of how the retirement security crisis is affecting your family, co-workers, or neighbors?

Read the personal stories below and submit a comment at the end of the page, or click here to share your story or sign.

How you can help bring retirement security for all California workers:

1. How do you feel about retirement? (Are you excited, nervous, or both?)
I would love to retire, But I can’t afford to! I will have to work till I’m 65 or dead first!

2. How would you like to spend your retirement years?
Traveling.

3. What does the phrase “comfortable retirement” mean to you?
Being able to eat, make the house payments and pay the bills and still have medical care!

4. What are you doing to prepare for your retirement?
Just working without missing too much due to illness.

5. Do you worry about whether you will have enough money for your retirement?
Of course, I won’t ! The mortgage rates are going up, Medical Coverage is going up, Food and Gas are on the raise! Now we have only one income that is mine!

6. What effect does the retirement security crisis have on your family? Friends?
Well, this month a year ago, my husband was laid off by the at VMC.  So they could spend more money on the S/O than they have in the Co.’s. budget! He was then forced into early retirement most of his retirement went to TAXES! Now we have nothing ! But my income.

– Rita, San Jose

 

Lorainne

Lorraine

1. How do you feel about retirement? (Are you excited, nervous, or both?)
Nervous. My answer to how I would like to spend my retirement years, may very well not reflect my future reality. I tell people that I will work all my long life. Many people say this, sort of jokingly. Actually, I do love my work and love to work, but I realize that my ability to work may be compromised, perhaps long before the end of life.

2. How would you like to spend your retirement years?
In an ideal world, I’d like to be able to give back by volunteering. At the same time, I do not want to take another person’s job by volunteering to do work that should be paid employment! I would love to have enough income to travel. Perhaps I would still work, but be employed in a job with flexible hours.

3. What does the phrase “comfortable retirement” mean to you?
Something more than safe, adequate housing, health care that doesn’t threaten my ability to meet basic needs, clothing, transportation, ability to travel to at least visit my daughter and grandson. Ability to furnish my home decently and have guests for dinner, ability to travel beyond just visits with my family once in a while and dine out or go to a movie or concert once in a while. Not much, just some  feeling of security and a feeling that I’m not living on the fringes of society.

4. What are you doing to prepare for your retirement?
In addition to social security and pension, I just signed up for deferred compensation. I need to see a financial counselor and figure out, how much of the 457 to put aside for retirement and explore additional strategies to save. I am not doing so now, but may look into promotional opportunities at the County.

5. Do you worry about whether you will have enough money for your retirement?
YES! I’m 60 now and just recently became a full time coded employee  with the County of Santa Clara and have been paying into CalPERS, but can’t expect that to help much at my rate of pay. My jobs, mostly “women’s work”, have not paid enough to allow retirement savings.

6. What effect does the retirement security crisis have on your family? Friends?
My sisters are okay, but some friends have perhaps less chance than I of being able to meet basic needs during retirement. One of my friends works for the post office as a mail carrier. Their jobs are threatened and they are increasingly pressured as moves to privatize the post office continue. The post office organized and once had a strong union, but fears run rampant now and my friend may very well be one of the many casualties.

– Lorraine

 

Ronnie

Ronnie

1. How do you feel about retirement? (Are you excited, nervous, or both?)
I’m very excited.

2. How would you like to spend your retirement years?
In comfort.

3. What does the phrase “comfortable retirement” mean to you?
No worries, ever.

4. What are you doing to prepare for your retirement?
I’m looking into an IRA.

5. Do you worry about whether you will have enough money for your retirement?
Yes.

– Ronnie

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