How can $50/month really affect us? Back in 2005 our lives we so different; both daughters in college with dreams of future careers, me as a recent grad with my B.S. and my wife a 2002 B.A. under her belt. We both had our careers and lived in an affluent suburb in our $100k house. Sincxe then my wife's job moved to CA in July 2008 and in Jan 2009 I lost my job of 24 years with Xerox because of positions moving to india. I went back to shcool again and am now trainied in data processing of patient samples for a local hospital, I paid for the tuition myslef and had no aid for it. In Jan of 2012 we were forced to sell our home of 14 years as we couldn't pay our mortgage anymore along with my wife's student loans. My wife has also taken classes to change careers but our income is now 1/3 of what we made in 2007. Neither of our daughters are employed and our younger daughter has over $80k in student loans, and the best she can get is jobs that pay no more than $10/hour. Our older daughter married an Army sargent and all looked promising for them. Then 2 weeks after their daughter was born he was sent on his 3rd tour in Iraq. The stresses proved to be too much and he returned with PTSD. He left the Army and is back in school again working on another degree because the 1st college would not release his grades as he still owed for the first degree. The main reason he enlisted, in the first place, was to pay off his student loans for his B.S. in math that he never finished because he couldn't afford to pay before enlisting, by the way he is still paying that loan. Luckily I still have a job and now have a second part-time job instructing adults what I do as a full-time job (which doesn't require a teaching degree). My wife is a paralegal but she was recently laid-off due to lack of work. So ultimately $50 a month is a lot to us, but if it helps someone, then we can manage. As for the American dream, I only hope that this year will prove better for our family. I would love to see our daughter employed and able to pay their bills, and to afford medical insurance. My wife and I have insurance, but our daughters and granddaughter don't. We would love to continue our educations, but with limited prospects for improved income, we can't afford the loans necessary. Either a teaching certificate or a furthering of my education into the medical field to be a medical lab tech or even a job in my first career as an electronic technician would make it so that $50 would not be such a big deal, and MAYBE we could save for retirment again and not worry that with my current income that I will need to work until 70 as a min. But it's sad that between 5 adults that were once employed only 1 of us is working and I used to earn $60k per year and now I'm working 2 jobs 12 hour days and I'm earning $32k per year. Hope that $50 helps.
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