What is The important part of life in the United States?

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When the early Protestant immigrants came to this country, they brought the idea that work was the way to God and heaven. This attitude, the Protestant work ethic, still influences America today. Work is not only important for economic benefits, the salary, but also for social and psychological needs, the feeling of doing something for the good of the society. Americans spend most of their lives working, being productive. For most Americans, their work defines them; they are what they do. What happens, then when a person can no longer work?

Most Americans stop working at age sixty-five or seventy and retire. Because work is such an important part of life in this culture, retirement can be very difficult. Retirees often feel that they are useless and unproductive. Of course, some people are happy to retire; but leaving one’s job, whatever it is a difficult change, even for those who look forward to retiring. Many retirees do not know how to use their time or they feel lost without jobs.

Retirement can also bring financial problems. Many people rely on Social Security checks every month. During their working years, employees contribute a certain percentage of their salaries to the government. When people retire, they receive this money as income. These checks do not provide enough money to live on, however, because prices are increasing very rapidly. Senior citizens, those over sixty-five, have to have savings in the bank or other retirement plans to make ends meet. The rate of inflation is forcing prices higher each year; Social Security checks alone cannot cover Medicare (health care) and welfare (general assistance) but many senior citizens have to change their lifestyles after retirement. They have to spend carefully to be sure that they can afford to but food, fuel, and other necessities.

Of course, many senior citizens are happy with retirement. They have time to spend with their families or to enjoy their hobbies. Some continue to work part time; others do volunteer work. Some, like those in the Retired Business Executives Association, even help young people to get started in new business. Many retired citizens also belong to “Golden Age” groups. These organizations plan trips and social events. There are many opportunities for retirees.

Reviews: Americans society is only beginning to be concerned about the special physical and emotional needs of its senior citizens. The government is taking steps to ease the problem of limited income. They are building new housing, offering discounts in stores and museums and on buses, and providing other services, such as free courses, food service, and help with housework. Retired citizens are a rapidly growing percentage of the population. This part of the population is very important and we must respond to their needs. After all, every citizen will be a senior citizen some day.


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