My parents are like a tiny microcosm of everything that’s wrong with America.
In their late 50’s, working dead-end jobs meant for high-school dropouts because the industries they worked for most of their lives either were victims of offshoring (my mom) or corporate consolidation (my dad). My dad actually just lost his, because the “SMALL BUSINESS JOB CREATOR” where he worked decided to just close up shop and sell everything off, with about seven days notice to his employees.
Neither have pensions, because companies don’t really do that anymore, and their meager retirement funds (use a 401K! control your own retirement!) were exhausted during long stretches of unemployment.
Still don’t own a house, even though they’ve been in a mortgage for the past 35 years, it seems like, because they had to refinance during hard times and are now paying a monthly payment that’s twice what they started with in 1985.
Both veterans of the military, which after years of service left them with no usable real-world skills, completely unprepared to live in the real world (without even the knowledge to balance a checkbook).
Both just trying to scrape along until they reach the age of 62, so they can start drawing from Social Security early (at a much reduced rate, but it’s better to eat than to go hungry).