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Thread: Nomadland by J Bruder

  1. #11
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    So here many seniors have section 8 housing which pays the landlord a set amount for rent if they will accept it. So I have 2 friends (one with lots of $) and one with none that live in the same nice 2 bedroom apartment complex for seniors. The one with no $ pays 30% of her income. The building has a community room and a card room. The tenants organize all their fun activities themselves and their is always something to do. Some can't afford cars but the people that have them often take the ones that don't when they go on errands. Talk about busy-my 2 friends have a huge friend network and are busy all the time. No more rules then having to live in a regular apartment.

  2. #12
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    So here many seniors have section 8 housing which pays the landlord a set amount for rent if they will accept it. So I have 2 friends (one with lots of $) and one with none that live in the same nice 2 bedroom apartment complex for seniors. The one with no $ pays 30% of her income. The building has a community room and a card room. The tenants organize all their fun activities themselves and their is always something to do. Some can't afford cars but the people that have them often take the ones that don't when they go on errands. Talk about busy-my 2 friends have a huge friend network and are busy all the time. No more rules then having to live in a regular apartment.
    I'm sure some people really do enjoy it and thank God it's there for them. My lawyer son has been trying to talk BIL into applying for Section 8. He's not retirement age--he's 55, but he's a minimum wage worker with very few SS credits. I looked up the apartments available under Section 8 in this area and they're very nice.
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  3. #13
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    Plus once you have a address you can apply for any benefits you may need, access to decent healthcare, etc. Also you can take advantage of the free or cheap senior activities, meals, events, etc. RV' can not hold the heat in the cold weather either. AARP also places low income seniors in p.t. jobs if they want them and pays 10/hour. When I worked for the state we would have seniors from that program working for us and doing office work. RV parks also have rules. Spaces are so close together that you might as well be in an apartment. The average SS check is between 900-1000 so these people did not work much if they only get 500/month or worked under the table, etc. When they all come to NV I should go hold a seminar for them.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Cypress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Terry, I second this. My older retired sibling has a govt-subsidized 1 bedroom apt in a senior complex that he rents for $450/month. Rent is scaled to your monthly income, although I don't know what the exact proportion is. His only income is social security.
    The complex is secure with a buzzer system main door, and has free parking in a locked lot, plus a pool. There's a manager or assistant at the front desk during daytime hours. The complex is in a great part of town, with easy access to buses and light rail.
    Why any senior would bother with the stress of maintaining a large vehicle and traveling across country for $10/hour jobs just doesn't make sense.
    Hi Lainey, where is this place! This is exactly what I have in mind. I've got 10 more working years to go and intend to apply for senior housing in my town at age 62. I am quite comfortable moving in to an apartment that takes a % of monthly income. I will be able to walk to the town beach, but we don't have public transportation.

    A lot of these folks have only SS as an income stream each month and need to subsidize with work. The author leaves out a balance of hearing from their families, or the employers, or people on the outside observing their challenges and choices of life style. You get one side. The author lived this lifestyle for two years to understand her subject matter. I call it immersion journalism. I heard a discussion with the author on Rick Steeves Radio Hour on my local NPR station. I was stunned to understand this is a way people live.
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  5. #15
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    This senior complex is downtown Phoenix.
    I'm surprised more cities and towns around the country don't have something as nice. It's not extravagant, but it is well maintained, probably akin to most mid-range apartment complexes here.

    I've heard before that politicians and communities actually prefer to build senior housing. It seems like when there's talk of helping the homeless with subsidized housing, there's an immediate NIMBY reaction. But if you say that it will be limited to seniors age 55+, then the neighbors are fine with it. So in many places the senior citizens have an easier time getting housing than families or non-senior adults.

  6. #16
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    I have the book on order.

    I believe that as people age, each person tends to become more of an individual. It may be perplexing that some folks opt for the nomadic RV workamping life, when they "coulda" maybe moved into Section 8 housing. Camaraderie? Live-free-or-die? I am looking forward to reading about these folk, and understanding them a bit.

  7. #17
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    I have the book on order.

    I believe that as people age, each person tends to become more of an individual. It may be perplexing that some folks opt for the nomadic RV workamping life, when they "coulda" maybe moved into Section 8 housing. Camaraderie? Live-free-or-die? I am looking forward to reading about these folk, and understanding them a bit.
    i have met a lot of these nomads in our three summers traveling around the country.
    Some people don’t want government assistance at all. Some like the freedom of being able to move at the end of a contract. There are many people out there who lost good paying jobs in the auto or manufacturing industries and when the factories closed down they had to sell houses at a discount. Some work in national and state parks, some are in private parks and work in nearby towns. Even some are in county parks. Some camp on BLM land and come to clean out their tanks, do laundry etc. every so often. In this population there are a lot of single women and men who love their freedom that they could not have in an apartment. Some spend six months up north and six months down south.

    there are are all kinds of mail forwarding services and if you get residency in certain states taxes are the most advantageous. If you like to bike and hike, sit outside and read, swim, walk and so on, it can be an idyllic life. Much less rushed than most of us. Most state and national parks have time limits if you don’t work there, but there are tons of camping options out there. RV insurance is much lower than house insurance, and cable bills, lawn mowing etc are not an issue.

  8. #18
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    I would have liked Loose Chickens' take on this, but I see she has not posted anything since 2012.

  9. #19
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    I finally finished the entire book. Also read the article in Harpers. I liked these 2 paragraphs from the author:

    "During my stops in Nevada and Kansas, along with three weeks tenting on federal land south of Quartzsite, a pattern emerged. Unprompted, many workampers told me how happy they were. How free. What an adventure it was. That everything happened for a reason.

    I nodded along. I liked these people, so I wanted to believe. Still, I grew increasingly worried about them: under the carefree veneer, it was hard not to read something darker. I began wondering: What happens to all these people when they're too old to scrub campsite toilets or walk ten hours a day in an Amazon warehouse or lift thirty-pound sacks of sugar beets in the cold? When they can't see well enough to drive cumbersome rigs on the highway? Some geriatric migrants I met already seemed one injury or broken axle away from true homelessness. Vans and trailers don't last forever. Neither do bodies.


    Just really makes me wonder why we can't do better in this country by people like this.

  10. #20
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    We can and do. They are choosing not to apply for everything that they are entitled to as I mentioned up thread.

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