I read with interest Lewis Lehe's Jan. 17 letter ("Seniors Must Share in the Burden of Their Choices"). I too embrace Barack Obama as a leader for my children's generation as well as my own. Mr. Lehe states, "Older Americans should live with their political and personal choices." I agree, but I hope that Mr. Lehe keeps in mind that multimillions of older Americans face and will face daunting financial hardships in their later years despite making prudent "political and personal choices."
I am a recently unemployed IT professional who worked for 33 years for a financial services corporation. Like many Americans, I raised a family, supported my children's college education, religiously saved by contributing to a 401(k) and made sacrifices in anticipation of what I hope will be a modest yet comfortable retirement. I certainly do not want to be a burden to my children or Mr. Lehe. But nearly half of the 401(k) is gone. Health-care costs are out of control, etc. Yet I am more fortunate than most. I expect I will receive a modest pension when I retire. That is if the pension still exists when I retire.
What do Mr. Lehe's parents and grandparents do for a living? I sincerely hope they did not lose their jobs and pensions through no fault of their own as many in this region have over the last few decades. In the meantime, like many of my brethren, I will end up working well past retirement age if I am able to do my fair share as a senior. If I am physically unable to continue to make these sacrifices, I hope that Mr. Lehe will put a couple of quarters in my cup when he passes me on the street.