Monique Louvigny, an event coordinator in the San Francisco Bay Area, talks about economizing and reinventing herself after being laid off at 57. She now earns less than $30,000 a year, but feels fortunate because she has health insurance and paid off her mortgage. She is a freelancer and plans to start receiving Social Security benefits soon. A recent study found that lower middle class nearing retirement is losing ground financially more than ever and that has negative implications for health and life expectancy. This group now divides into two categories, the upper middle class, and the increasingly precarious lower middle class.
Lower middle class has less income and resources than it had in the early 1990s, widening the gap between different middle classes. In the early 1990s, the lower middle class outcomes was pretty comparable to the upper middle class in measures of health and economic well-being. There has been a 5% increase in homeownership for the upper middle class but a 31% decline in the lower middle class. Lower-middle-class workers earnings also fell by 5 percent. Those working in physically demanding jobs tend to claim their Social Security benefits early. Differences include the level of smoking and chronic health conditions and life expectancy. The gap between the two middle classes also shows up in measures of health. Long-term measures are continuously being suggested to improve social security’s solvency. Ms. Louvigny recommends being frugal and to worry less.


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By hassani

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