I have been a 56 year-old, single, working mom my entire life supporting two daughters, solely. I was in an executive career with AT&T for many years as a National Account Manager for the number one retailler in the world. Along came the merger with SBC and I was promptly offered a 'package' for AT&T to downsize along with over 1500 other executives in order for AT&T's books to look solvent. Of course, being over the age of 50, I was promptly replaced with a newer, younger model from outside of the company in which they could pay less for her salary. Due to the fact that my age and experience resulted in me searching for employment for over 18 months, I was forced to cash out my 401K in order to not be evicted and be able to exist and support my children.
Now, I find myself, under-employed at a menial hourly wage job and having to live with one of my adult daughters as I am not able to afford a house, doctor medications, utilities, etc. I am saddled with an additional burden of paying off a hefty IRS debt due to the cashing out of my 401K early and am continually harrassed by bill collectors as I don't have the funds to pay off bills incurred while I was unemployed. The current organization I work for has a pathetic 401k that depending on whether or not they make a profit for the quarter, will depend on whether they match our contributions.
It is a sad state of affairs when organizations throw out dedicated employees as they would not be able to pay out the pension monies owed if individuals were allowed to work until their age of retirement. It's amazing that our politicians continually raise their own salaries and have benefits until they die no matter how long they 'supposedly' serve in their office.