09 Jul Aging in New York: City Wrestles with Poverty Among Seniors
Roma Lowther began planning for retirement in 1974, the year she immigrated from Granada and took her first job in New York. As a nanny, she asked the families she worked for to pay her on the books so her earnings would count toward her future Social Security. Most did not, so she took temp jobs doing telex in the garment center to beef up her Social Security credits. She tried the stock market and bought certificates of deposit at her local Chemical Bank. She says she “never, never” got paid without putting some of the money aside for her children’s education and her own old age.
Now 69, Lowther still works one day a week cooking for a family whose grown children she had cared for when they were little. Having amassed just “the bare quarters” to qualify, she receives $441 a month in Social Security benefits.
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