Barbara Perrin, Eugene

During most of my working life I was a divorced single parent with a liberal arts degree and very few resources, I cobbled together a series of low-paying, flexible jobs on which to survive while caring for my family. All along, while I worked, I paid into Social Security. But, as a single mother raising a family on my own, figuring out a retirement plan and saving money for my retirement was beyond my ability. Too many other needs took priority...I would have welcomed the opportunity to participate in a plan like the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan because it’s accessible, safe, and portable. It makes sense and I believe it will benefit all Oregonians.
— Barbara Perrin

Barbara Perrin is a mother, a grandmother, a resident of Eugene, and an AARP volunteer. For most of her working life she was a single mother who spent her time focusing on other priorities than saving money for a retirement plan. Eventually she worked her way into a professional career in educational publishing with a middle-class income. But by the time I was earning a better income, she was in her fifties and had very few years left in which to build up savings for her retirement. Thankfully, a lifetime of frugal habits enabled her to start a small nest egg and to buy a modest home, which I had always been taught was a safe and reliable investment.

In early 2010, she moved from Colorado back to Oregon, to be with her family. She left with some savings, a plan to sell the home that she owned in Colorado, and to start a publishing consulting business in Eugene. Unfortunately, with the recession, and the decline of the print publishing industry combined with the slow job market, she was not successful in finding either clients or a job. And, with the collapse of the housing market her house failed to sell. Eventually, she had to use up her savings to pay the mortgage on her unsold home.  While relieved that she was finally able to sell, her savings and equity have been depleted. 



AuthorChristine Saunders