Too poor to retire and too young to die — “Nearly one-third of U.S. heads of households ages 55 and older have no pension or retirement savings and a median annual income of about 19,000 dollars. A growing proportion of the nation’s elderly are like Westfall: too poor to retire and too young to die. Many rely on Social Security and minimal pensions, in part because half of all workers have no employer-backed retirement plans.
‘Eight in 10 Americans say they will work well into their 60s or skip retirement entirely. Westfall hadn’t planned to keep working. But in 2008, as the U.S. economy spasmed, she lost her home and tumbled out of the middle class. Today, Westfall is one of America’s graying nomads. Although many middle-class retirees ply the interstates in Winnebagos as a lifestyle choice, for Westfall and many others, life on the move is not as much a choice as a necessity… Her monthly income consists of 1,200 dollars in Social Security and a 190 pension, plus pay from her seasonal jobs. She owes 50,000 dollars on her credit cards. There’s also a 268 dollar monthly loan payment for her aging rig.”