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Holiday money talk: inequality for all?

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Is the Capital Region middle class on life support? At holiday time families are gathering and sharing their hopes and fears.

One resident, Carol from Guilderland, told of starting her "retirement" job at age 58--at half of her final salary at her state job, which ended in 2011. Mike from Rotterdam is glad to have negotiated for $11 per hour at his new job at a truck service stop. Brian from Scotia expresses some gratitude for a few days off from his 70-hour per week restaurant manager job.

Our families share challenges beyond those of even their parents' generation:

  • Six in ten workers say they live paycheck to paycheck...and disaster is only a missed paycheck away (CareerBuilder.com)
  • More than 59 per cent have no emergency savings and must overuse credit cards (Time.com)
  • Another 50 per cent have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. (EBRI)
  • The minimum wage is lower now, in real terms, than in 1981.

Given how tough the road lies now, Capital Region families have to be hawks with their own money. Know how to pay less taxes, reduce insurance costs, and cut monthly bills are not a luxury, but a necessity.

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