'Why pick on us, the people who protected their city?'
23 October 2013 Last updated at 12:29 BST
Retired police officer Gordon MacDonald, 87, and his wife Erma, 82, have been describing their fears that his pension, earned over 39 years with the Detroit force, may be a casualty of the city's bankruptcy filing.
Detroit owes up to $20bn with $9bn due to its ballooning pension and healthcare costs.
The city's emergency manager Kevin Orr has argued bankruptcy would bring a fresh financial start.
Gordon told the BBC, "We've been getting by - if they take my pension away, then we'll be in bad shape."