Many workers dream of the day they’ll be able to retire. They dedicate the best years of their lives to a company, toiling for the opportunity to live their golden years in peace.
Some dream of travel, while others long for a serene little homestead to garden and entertain their grandchildren.
Unfortunately, as one story illustrates, the stark reality is far from the dream.
Returning To Work
A user from the popular Antiwork community on Reddit shared a heartbreaking tale of retirement gone wrong. The poster said they unexpectedly ran into a former coworker who was recently rehired.
The meeting was unexpected because the coworker was 74 years old and retired two years early. Despite working all her life, her pension and social security income weren’t enough to make ends meet.
Healthcare is the Biggest Culprit
The poster shared that the colleague is married, and her husband also collects social security. However, he’s disabled, and their combined retirement income isn’t enough to cover the costs of his healthcare and medications.
She had to return to work to afford his care.
Retirement is Not a Thing Anymore
The poster was just venting their frustration at a system that makes the elderly work until their last days, but many users told them to get used to it.
Retirement is a luxury that most people can no longer afford.
“If you’re born 90s-2000s, just accept that we will be expected to work until the day we die,” stated one user.
Users born in earlier decades agree, saying it was a problem long before the 1990s.
“I was born in the 70’s. I’ve been worried about retirement since my 20’s,” said one.
Younger Generations Have it Even Worse
Some pointed out that this 74-year-old has both a pension and social security. Most companies no longer offer pensions, and many worry that social security will become insolvent long before retirement age.
Seeing that someone with both resources still can’t retire doesn’t bode well for those without access to either.
Lamenting America’s Healthcare System
Many users shared their own tales of woe regarding America’s healthcare system. One says their retired mom has Medicaid but still pays nearly $2000 out of pocket monthly for coverage. Others said cheaper options are available, but they limit your choice of doctor and specialist.
Another said they have an elderly coworker who only works to pay for her healthcare coverage.
“I’m 64, disabled and retired, but I’m forced to work 35 hours a week now for the same reasons,” shared a third.
The US is Messed Up
Redditors from other countries gasped at the injustice inherent in the American system. A Danish user thanked their lucky stars that Nordic countries provide the populace with healthcare, while Canadian workers said there’s no way they’d ever want to live in the States.
Even users from so-called “third world” countries lamented America’s policies, asking why such a wealthy country has so many problems.
Fixing America’s Culture
Some users wondered if there was still hope for a better world. Many think abandoning America in retirement to live in Europe or Latin America is the best option.
Others insist we can still fix the culture at the ballot box by voting for pro-worker candidates who support healthcare and social security reform.