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Faces of Social Security: Margie Metzler

Claimed early benefits, dodged homelessness

I claimed Social Security at 62, a year after I was laid off as webmaster for a nonprofit. I was pretty scared and desperate. I knew taking it early would cut my benefits by 25 percent for the rest of my life, but I had no choice. It saved my life. I'm single and solely dependent on it.

Margie Metzler, 67, interviewee about social security

Margie Metzler, 68, California. — Photo by Jose Mandojana

After paying my Medicare, making ends meet is tough. My rent is $865. I have no TV, no car. I went for over a month last winter without power. I used flashlights. And it was a very cold winter. I really missed heat. I never realized how much ageism figured in my not getting another job. It was shocking and scary. I get part-time jobs off and on, but they don't provide enough to live on or health care. I never thought this would happen to me because I have so many skills. I would definitely be homeless if I didn't get Social Security, no question.

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