A nation’s shame: Seniors Working until Death

Tonight I had a very sad encounter. A man in his 80s was working at Kroger collecting carts. He couldn’t stand up straight and had bags under his eyes. I offered help but he declined. Is this what America has become, working until you’re dead just to survive? I wonder if he cares that a portion of his paycheck is going to Ukraine, or gender research in Pakistan, or gain of function research in China?


Today, nine million senior citizens work, compared with four million in 2000. In 2020, before the pandemic made everything worse, Motley Fool wrote:

Retirement is supposed to be a relaxing time, when you can finally unwind and start living life on your own terms. For many people, though, it’s exactly the opposite.

This is wrong

New research shows that millions of older Americans are barely scraping by in retirement. In fact, roughly half of adults over age 65 who are living alone can’t afford to pay for their basic necessities, according to a recent study from the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging. Among couples, nearly one-quarter of households are financially insecure in retirement.

Going into retirement with a less-than-ideal nest egg can make your senior years much more difficult than they need to be. And the problem could get worse in the next couple of decades.

If you are in great need, particularly if you have cancer, there are advisers out there who work with clients for free, or charge very little. You can find these advisers a few ways: the Financial Planning Association, the Certified Financial Planner Board and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, to name a few. You might also want to reach out to a cancer association, as many of them have professional networks they can tap into to help people in need.

The Financial Planning Association has a financial planning for cancer program, where planners help families make sense of the finances behind this terrible disease. The program was developed with the Foundation for Financial Planning and Family Reach, an organization dedicated to helping people overcome financial obstacles associated with cancer.