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IQ: Social insecurity

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Many of us worry more and more that the givens that once applied to social programs enabling lifelong workers to survive post-work life are remnants of an America that no longer exists.

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Alberto Hernandez-Lemus
Memorial Park area

College professor

How much do you worry about paying for retirement? It worries me a lot that my retirement savings are used for stock market speculation.

What comes to mind when you hear the word "pension"? Future security.

What's the worst story you've heard about someone losing his or her retirement? Stories about retirement savings disappearing into thin air when the stock market tanked a couple years back.

What will Social Security look like in 30 years? It'll still be there, but nowhere near its present extent.

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Charlene Heise
Central

Retired

How anxious are you about your retirement? I can't work anymore due to a handicap. I'm totally dependent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and subsidized rent in a senior-living situation.

At what point did you start thinking seriously about how you'd survive during retirement? I'm an old hippie. I never really thought about retirement because I didn't think I'd live past 30. I didn't plan for anything.

What comes to mind when you hear the word "pension"? I think back to growing up, when all adults had pensions from their jobs.

What will Social Security look like in 30 years? It'll be long gone.

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Steve Frazee
Fountain

Contractor's estimator

Do you worry about retirement? Quite a bit. My ex-wife got half our savings when we divorced 13 years ago. I have a 401(k) from work, but that's not going to be enough. I'm not very prepared.

When did you start giving serious thought to these matters? When I got injured on the job five years ago and they moved me into the office as an estimator. It hit home to me that I was getting older. I began thinking a lot more about retirement.

What does the term "pension" bring to mind? A union worker.

Are you union? No.

What will Social Security look like in 30 years? I've always counted on it, but my confidence in it is lessening. It won't be enough for me to live on. I'm wondering if it'll be there at all.

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