I am 53 years old.
My job was relocated too far to commute during Clinton’s last year. Since then I have lived a gypsy’s existence, working and living hundreds of miles from my home as I support my family.
When I had cancer I found that my private health insurance policy protected the insurer, not the insured. Despite working as many hours as I could while on chemotherapy, I could not continue to pay my bills and mortgage without tapping my savings. By the time I had fully paid for my cancer treatment, the funds that were set aside for my children's college educations were exhausted.
To help my children though school, I borrowed against the equity in my home for a total that came close to six figures.
My real estate investments have crashed in value since I made them and because of this seemingly endless recession, I cannot raise the rents I charge my tenants.
My retirement portfolio is as reliable as the Texas Rangers bullpen and I have little faith that Washington will make the Social Security payments they have promised to me. I hope to retire before I turn 70, that's a little less than 20 years later than the teachers my age who've retired from Wisconsin schools and who’s pensions I am paying.
Because of the crashed housing bubble, new lending requirements have made it nearly impossible to qualify for a mortgage. To buy my second home. I eventually had to borrow from my 401(k) for the down payment. I now work 50 hour weeks in a job that is 1,500 miles from home in order to pay for my lifestyle, make the mortgage payments on my two houses, and to help support my three adult children as they get started.
I am sorry to admit that I am not one of the 1%. I don't have the talent or drive or risk tolerance that it takes to get there. I am the 99%.
I am also one the 53% who pay income taxes.
I’m not complaining. I am living the American dream.