Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Too poor to retire; too young to die
Old 01-29-2016, 05:01 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,609
Too poor to retire; too young to die

An LA Times article about retiring, travelling, nomading, and what not

http://graphics.latimes.com/retirement-nomads/

(Apologies if already posted.)
__________________

__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-29-2016, 05:24 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
timo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rio Rancho
Posts: 1,438
I read it this morning, but it made me too sad to post. These type of stories are going to keep coming at us for the rest of our lives. We all are of the sums of how we lived our lives. Beyond my charitable donations, there is not much a person like myself can do for them (including family members that will be in this boat one day). Maybe vote to improve the safety net for seniors. I recall before medicare all the stories about destitute old people eating cat food (before McDonald's was cheaper than cat food). I don't want that stuff to start up again.
__________________

__________________
"We live the lives we lead because of the thoughts we think" Michael O’Neill
timo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 05:40 PM   #3
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Quote:
Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
These type of stories are going to keep coming at us for the rest of our lives.
I have several relatives I can see this happening to. One is now vacationing in Costa Rica.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 05:46 PM   #4
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,804
That was depressing. Unfortunately, I know some folks like that - no planning, no financial sense, and when they get old, they don't do so well. It's one thing to *choose* to hit the road in an RV on vacation, then return home. It's another to live full time in an RV that is breaking down, with no home to go to, and need to take itinerant menial work to make ends meet.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 05:55 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,318
That was sad.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 05:55 PM   #6
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,850
Not that I'd claim that this article was purposely written to be a seriously maudlin and emotional tear-jerker, but
Quote:
The Great Recession would hit older Americans hard. [...]The financial fallout had rendered her modest stock portfolio worthless, and she’d never put away much in savings.
Worthless? Really? *AND* she lost her house the same year? I don't want to be unsympathetic, but I do wonder if the author might be stretching the truth just a wee little bit, for effect.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:04 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,400
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
An LA Times article about retiring, travelling, nomading, and what not

http://graphics.latimes.com/retirement-nomads/

(Apologies if already posted.)
I skimmed through the article. As an RV'er myself (for travel, not for full-time living), I have read blogs of several full-time RV'ers. Quite a few show very poor financial planning, and often spend their precious little cash on what I consider frivolous things for someone in their shoes. For example, when you are on SNAP you should not shop at Whole Foods! I often have to keep coming back to their blogs, because it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It's fascinating!

I seriously doubt if anything can be done for them. They need to learn to help themselves first.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:17 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 3,042
Quote:
Her monthly income consists of $1,200 in Social Security and a $190 pension, plus pay from her seasonal jobs. She owes $50,000 on her credit cards. There’s also a $268 monthly loan payment for her aging rig.
It's hard for me to feel sympathy for anyone like this. There are shelters and lots of public assistance available. There is also plenty of public housing.

Homeless vets have it worse.
__________________
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
Senator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:25 PM   #9
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
It's hard for me to feel sympathy for anyone like this. There are shelters and lots of public assistance available. There is also plenty of public housing.
Well, agreed that she's doing it the hard way. But the "safety net" can get pretty thin in some places, like here in WV. Go across the border to MD and things suddenly get a lot better. I have a distant relative in MD living quite well on her $800/month SS income plus lots of public assistance. She has a nice apartment that has reliable heat and A/C, safe location. Not much in the way of luxuries but she's a long way from cat food.

In WV, she'd be hurting so a lot depends on the "where".
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:36 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
It's hard for me to feel sympathy for anyone like this. There are shelters and lots of public assistance available. There is also plenty of public housing.

Homeless vets have it worse.
I wonder if some of the issue is a problem of not knowing what kinds of assistance are available? It seems like she also needs some basic budgeting help. Prime rib at a restaurant? $21.36 could buy quite a bit of food at the 99 Cents Only Store - maybe a weeks worth of vegetarian or vegan food.

I do have sympathy for her. She is working working really, really hard but needs direction on budgeting and social programs.
__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:36 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,400
One thing about RV'ing: You'd better know how to do small repairs yourself.

Quote:
Big Foot was another problem. The roof still leaked, and the plumbing was acting up...

The mechanics confirmed the busted water pump. Without it, she couldn’t save money by parking at truck stops and would have to pay to stay at campgrounds with water hookups.

But the mechanics wanted thousands for the repair. So Westfall did without it, scouting half-price campgrounds while hopscotching south to the Carolinas, where she found a mechanic to fix the pump for $200.
One can order an RV water pump for around $50, and replacement requires only common hand tools. It should take about 1/2 hour.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:50 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
Ronnieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 646
This was a sad read, but it is geared, as W2R said, "written to be a seriously maudlin and emotional tear-jerker"

The first person is making $16.6k a year in ss and pension, I would find it too difficult to live on that but add in working income and I wouldn't be as picky about not eating food from the shelters if it was available.

The second couple has military pension and disability supplying them with $32.4k a year. I have seen budgets on this board that are less than that and MMM supposedly supports his family of 4 on $25k a year

The third couple, the wife was a nurse for 25 years?!? No retirement planning what-so-ever? Weird.


At least one thing I can say, it is admirable that they are still working and willing to work any job they can to keep money coming in.
__________________
I don't want to spend my entire life at work. I deserve more. - Want2retire aka W2R
Ronnieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 06:51 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,971
Despite what the article says, she is living in an RV by Choice not necessity. She has a higher income than I do even without her odd jobs. She could easily get an apartment and get by just fine. Maybe not in California or coastal Florida but she could do it. I have a 85 year old neighbor in my condo building who still has a mortgage and lives on just SS of about $1000/mo, nothing else. She has no savings, pension, or family help. She does get some heating assistance and food stamps but that still doesn't add up to this women's $1390/mo income. She's just a spendthrift. Many people get by on less. I'm one of them.
__________________
aaronc879 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 07:27 PM   #14
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: seattle/dahlonega
Posts: 77
I'm sorry but this woman is living the life she wants. She is having a blast moving from town to town, job to job. You get bored, tired of the scenery, move again. I actually envey her life style.
__________________
hurricane harry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 07:43 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 2,092
I too am an RV'er. But a part time RV'er keeping my new fifth wheel in a mountain campground in storage.

I'm not brave enough to liquidate all "my stuff" and hit the road as a full timer. And after watching 3-4 RV forums daily, I seldom see any full timer's not liking their lifestyle.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 07:51 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
jfn111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 205
My sister lives in a converted garage up on the reservation in Northern Mn. She survives on SS of around $800 bucks per month and a couple hundred she makes cleaning two small churches.
Her son and I have tried to get her to move to the Twin Cities where we could help out more but she loves it up there.
She spent her life making no plans for the future and has no plans to change.
__________________
jfn111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 08:24 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,086
"Should she go to the dentist, or take a guided tour of buildings designed by her favorite architect, Frank Lloyd Wright? Each cost $100.

She picked Frank Lloyd Wright. Her teeth could wait.

“I believe doing something fun, no matter how frivolous it might seem, is food for the soul,” she said. “You need to feed yourself some pleasure once in a while to keep feeling alive. Otherwise, it’s just drudgery.”

I can have some sympathy for this woman's plight, but I feel no responsibility towards her. A lifetime of living that philosophy has its consequences, and they are hers, not mine. I've had family members try to lay a guilt trip on me because I have some money squirreled away. I've told them, "hey, I didn't get up at 5AM to work instead of ski because I preferred to work. I would have preferred to go skiing. I did it because I didn't want to be poor.. And no, I won't lend you $5,000"...
__________________
HadEnuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 10:49 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 402
This was a tear-jerker article, but one-sided. We need to realize that these guys move around a lot to see the country and spend on gas, expensive food on the road (ribs for $21 ?).

Regarding the single woman, she clearly wants to travel around and the article says "She could hit the road, but she will have to keep working". Her income of $1390/month is enough for her not to work if she stays put in one place and rents a room or small studio apartment for $390 or $490/month. She'll still have $900-$1000 for very cheap home cooked meal and other expenses. RVing is expensive with gas, renting on RV lots, expensive fast food, and maintenance for the RV. Traveling expenses pile up.

The couple with the guy having a $2,700 pensions from the military + disability .. could also stay put and rent a cheap apartment and survive. He lost the house because his mortgage was $2,150/month. But $2,700 military pension is plenty to survive on and rent a cheap apartment. Again, they just want to travel, so travel expenses cost money and they have to work as janitors.

The last couple didn't have stats on their income, but it says 'he works at RV campsites ..and dabbles in photography, fly fishing, and gold panning' and she says 'we have a warm bed, food, etc." So, the guy has work income but no savings. It does not say if they have SS or pensions. I think the third couple is the most hard up.

Lastly, this is an LA Times article .. so these guys are mostly in California. CA is an expensive state compared to many southern states. But I have a retired friend who survives on $900/month SS in CA for rent and food. For travel/entertainment, she has to do some work.
__________________
No to consumerism, Living a simple life, enjoying the experience - not the material stuff
cyber888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 11:15 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,425
It's not the new James Bond film?
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2016, 11:20 PM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 189
"prime rib special and an iced tea — expensive at $21.36,"

I guess most people think this is normal and eveyy one is entitled to this.
__________________

__________________
landover is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Too old to retire young, but too young to retire Schutzie Hi, I am... 4 07-25-2014 11:52 AM
Too Young to Retire LarryBob Other topics 16 03-04-2010 07:14 AM
Live Long? Die Young? Answer Isn’t Just in Genes Eagle43 Other topics 6 08-31-2006 12:12 PM
Poor habits lead to poor future~an old concept mickeyd Other topics 0 05-29-2006 11:24 AM
Too young too retire Familyretired Other topics 18 11-13-2004 01:23 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:55 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.