This morning, I was sitting on the end of the bed watching Windy City Live while getting dressed for work and almost fell off the bed when I heard Val Warner say that you can’t live comfortably on $18,000.00 a year.
She, Ryan, and Ji were discussing a story about a young man and his wife who retired at the age of thirty and were raising their son on $18,000.00 a year.
I watched as Val wrinkled up her nose and shook her head at the thought of living on $18,000.00. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Val Warner and Windy City Live, but Val Warner there are hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans living, working, and raising more than one child on $18,000.00 a year.
And I do believe, we have just raised the minimum wage in the state of Illinois to $10.00 an hour which, if a person worked 40 hours a week would come up to about $18,000.00.
And just so you know, most of those same workers who had their salaries raised to $10.00 an hour also had their hours cut.
Comfortable to me means a roof over our heads, a clean home, food on the table, clean clothes on our backs, and a reliable car to get us back and forth. Movie night means renting a movie from Redbox or the local library and dinner out is Chili’s or Applebees and Red Lobster for really special occasions. Clothes shopping is done at Marshalls, Target, and Burlington’s and there are no designer shoes in our closets but isn’t that what got Mrs. Blagojevich in trouble with the media and then her husband investigated?
And Val, have you heard about retiring on Social Security? I’m sure most of your viewing audience is made up of retirees living on Social Security that pays abouth $18,000.00 a year or LESS.
I say all of this to say, ‘comfortable’ is a state of mind, or, like beauty, relative to those observing it.
And if you’re listening Windy City Live, there’s a show in there. Why not find a family that is living comfortably on $18,000.00 and find out how they’re doing so.
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