Many Seniors Are Becoming Nomads To Survive

Discussion in 'Money & Finances' started by Marie Mallery, Jan 26, 2023.

  1. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    Many seniors can no longer afford an affordable place to live, are turning to their vehicles and life on the road.




    Blog Home | The Senior Nomads
     
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  2. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    Trying to find a site with info.


    On The Road With America's Nomadic Seniors | On …


    You pass that nice little old couple in the little RV on the highway and think, “Ah, how nice. Retirees savoring their golden years.” Well, maybe not. In the years since the Great Recession, a new population of older Americans has taken to the road - in RVs and campers and just their cars - out of something like desperation. Unable to afford their homes. Traveling for seasonal work wherever they can find it. Amazon warehouses. National parks. This hour, On Point: The new nomads of the changing American economy. --Tom Ashbrook.

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  3. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    Any opinions on this?
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    As with stories of elderly people who can't afford to eat or purchase their medications, I don't get it. Unless someone prefers traveling, which I can understand and appreciate, there are a ton of programs that would provide housing, food, and other necessities to people for nothing, or on a sliding scale based on income. Unless you are living in the country illegally, you've probably got Social Security, and, of course, in some ways, there are special privileges for those who are here illegally.

    True, sliding-scale or free housing in large cities might be limited to neighborhoods where you might not want to live, but I'm not persuaded that this is the case, necessarily. Nevertheless, there are plenty of places around the country where this is not the case. I live in a town of only a couple of thousand people, yet we have seven or more apartment complexes that rent on a sliding scale, and they are nice enough that a lot of people choose to retire to one of these places when they no longer want to maintain a house any longer, and some of them pay full-price. A former neighbor abandoned his house rather than continue to pay the mortgage after his wife died, and he's living in one of these apartments and loving it. On a sliding scale, he gets enough from Social Security to pay the rent and he no longer has to make repairs or even shovel the driveway or sidewalk.

    There are programs like Meals for Me that provide meals for seniors at a very low price. They're not great meals. They're kind of like TV dinners, as far as taste goes, but, if I could talk my wife into it, I could live on that stuff, save a bunch of money, and probably lose weight, since the proportions are more realistic than we generally do when we're cooking our own meals. But, she doesn't like them and enjoys cooking, and I don't know if I'd care to be eating that stuff while she's eating stuff that's far more palatable. When it comes to survival, though, there's no need to go hungry.

    Either some states don't have senior programs that are as good as the ones we have here in Maine, or some people don't know how to look for them, but these are federally-funded programs so I would assume there is an equivalent in every state. We're not particularly poor. We're certainly not wealthy, but we have some income coming in besides our Social Security, yet a couple of available programs here in Maine have paid for the entire cost of insulating our home and bought us a heat pump, the combination of which has helped us go from about six tanks full of heating fuel a year to just over two, and another program for seniors pays for at least one tank of fuel a year, and more when the winters are especially cold. The same agency also pays seniors who can drive to transport those who can't to doctor's visits, dialysis, or even grocery shopping.

    However, I can imagine someone, particularly an unmarried or widowed senior, deciding that the rest of his or her life might be more interesting traveling around the country like a vagabond, especially given that Social Security payments are made directly into the bank account now, so they don't have to be somewhere to pick up a check every month. I get that, but I can't imagine why this would be a necessity for someone who would rather have an apartment to live in.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  5. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    I can't imagine the truly poor investing in a depreciating asset such as an RV and living a nomadic existence. For one thing, RVs are expensive to buy, expensive to operate, and require expensive maintenance, expensive insurance, etc. Very seldom would I ever consider RVing an economical solution, especially when the money invested could provide a small house or apartment that would likely not plummet in value each year.

    I know people who sold everything to live full time in an RV, but they are far from poor. They just had a dream of traveling extensively and saw no point in maintaining a house that they weren't going to live in.

    On the other hand, I have read of people living in cars, vans, etc. because they simply have nowhere else to go.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I had an aunt who suffered a major stroke. She was in a nursing home and I don't think anyone expected her to recover. While she was there, her son (a real estate agent) sold her home. She had a full recovery and had to sue her son to get the money from the sale of her home back. She spent the rest of her life, more than twenty years, I think, traveling around the country.

    She had raised a bunch of kids and had a bunch of other relatives who had moved all over the country, so she visited relatives for the rest of her life. She wasn't poverty-stricken, since she had the money from the sale of her house, Social Security, and I think some retirement benefits from her late husband, and I doubt that anyone felt that they were being put out when she came to visit for a week or two. She visited me when I lived in California, where I had a cousin who she also stayed with for a time. When I moved to Texas, she visited me there too and had other relatives in Texas, as well.

    She finally ended up in a nursing home in Texas, but it was in the only one there that provided good care to residents. She finally passed away there, while I was still living in Texas. I'd visit her often, and would also stop by to see her when I'd bring patients back to the nursing home from the hospital since I worked for the ambulance company that covered McAllen.

    I suppose one could say that she was a vagabond, but I think she probably enjoyed her last twenty years more than she would have had she remained in her home alone.
     
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  7. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    Most of the ones do live in cars, vans trucks. A few do live in RVs. Old people feel safer on the road than in a low-income community now. I read many stories about how many live in fear. Also none want their children controlling them or their lives. Many times, our grown kids think they know what is best for us.
     
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  8. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    Ken down here things are different, lots of crime in low to mid income housing. But I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it yet. I do know that I don't want to pass in a home for elderly if I don't have to. Unless I could afford a good one, which most can't.
     
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  9. Elle Lewis

    Elle Lewis Member
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    Given how late I am in starting to save for retirement (long story) I have already prepared myself for that possible eventuality....not to be nomadic because that could be quite expensive, but to live in an RV or trailer on someone else's property for very affordable rent.

    Fortunately for me I have lived in an RV before (loved it, I am a minimalist).
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Having moved several times in my life, that's not something I can relate to.
     
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  11. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    I have read about seniors who stay on cruise ships full time. They don't pay the price of a normal ticket. But have a suite with meals and places to see. Maybe a bit pricier than living in one's van but an option for some.
     
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  12. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    I have too and it seems a good option for many. But very expensive from what I hear .Of course that may not be the case for all ships.
     
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  13. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    I think we had a thread about this years ago. Seems like Lon had checked into it and said it was actually less expensive than some assisted living facilities.
     
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  14. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    If I had my rathers, in that case, put me on a lifetime cruise.
     
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  15. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    I get motion sickness so I wouldn't do well with that. I'll just stay right here in my home as long as I'm able.
     
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