I would like to hear from others who have or are experiencing unemployment or underemployment.
In 1991, I read the handwriting on the wall, if you were 50 or older, you could be laid off. I say this because I kept running into people fifty or over who had lost their job. I had been working since I was 16, this was a new phenomenon to me.
It was not hard to figure out why. Older people are more expensive. They make more money because of the time they had accrued on the job, plus, they had a higher chance of getting serious illnesses. All around me, I saw companies hiring college grads and loading them up with the work of more than one person at a low entry-level salary.
I wasn't fifty then, but I took the message to heart.
Many years later, I was laid off. The company I had joined had been going through serial layoffs since I joined the company. About every six months you would hear of another department being reorganized and people being laid off.
To keep from going into debt, I sold my home, got rid of most of my stuff and rented a room. I had been looking for work for over 12 months, so I knew I would not be getting a job anytime soon.
Eventually, I did get a temporary job with few benefits in another state. I was able to remain with that organization for four years by applying for various temporary positions as each of mine ended. I also applied for permanent positions but was never selected.
During this time, I was able to save very little money on a salary that was less than 1/3 of my previous salary. COBRA was costing me $500 a month and it was difficult to get the medical care I needed because they would turn down my requests.
I began to develop a lung infection. A visit to a clinic cost $140.00. I got no tests, they just handed me Rx for strong antibiotics.
The lung infection returned. I made a trip to the emergency room that cost $1500.00+. I paid that bill in a series of separate payments.
But, I needed a long-term solution. I was too young to retire and too old to be hired.
So, I moved to Mexico where I can almost live on $600 from my IRA, some money my Dad left me, and my savings. In Mexico, I can get easy access to quality affordable health care.
Even from Mexico, I apply to jobs online hoping I can return home. I never get selected even for an interview.