If, as many doctors agree, stress is related to all diseases, Maine will soon drop from seventh to near the bottom of the list of physically healthy states. Economically and psychologically, people in this state are in peril.

Unless during your earning years, your income was at least six figures, the house is paid for, there are no auto loans, no college loans, health insurance coverage is good – don’t plan on retiring. You’ll have to get a full- or part-time job to make ends meet. Luckily, I fall into the part-time job category, as I am not only supporting my family, but have to partially support my father, 84, who cannot survive on $700 a month. Food, heating oil and medications are the necessities to keep him alive. If I miss one of the three, he dies. How many Mainers are in the same boat as my dad? Gas for his car is a luxury now, so groceries have to be bought by my sister.

I’m retired, but my retirement checks are shrinking – $100 more a month for oil, $60 more a month for gas, $1,700 extra for my property tax this past year because I live next to a lake I can’t use.

Is this fair?

George A. Ferguson, Sabattus


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