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We’re Not Sure Who Discovered Water

But we’re certain it wasn’t a fish.

The End of Retirement

The End of Retirement

With that I recommend reading The End of Retirement by Jessica Bruder in the August 2014 Harper’s magazine. If you don’t have a subscription to Harper’s, you can listen to an interview with the author about this article on National Public Radio.

The End of Retirement is a slice of RV life — the darker side of RV life. It’s about those older RVers who have retired, but must still work for a living in order to get by.

Bruder tells her story through the stories of several RVers who, though not destitute, have fallen on hard times and must continue to work in their golden years. Some of the jobs these seniors take would be hard enough for someone much younger.

I thought Bruder’s portrayals were empathetic, not patronizing, but it looks like others in the RV full timing community don’t share my view.

. . . the article, written by a so-called “subculture journalist” is a twisted exploit on a small minority of work campers who are down on their luck and does nothing but portray full-time RVers as sad, broke and destitute people who have no choice but to live on the road.

I thought this was a bit harsh and visited the web site of the couple who had posted this review. Turns out their ad-laden web site is in the business of selling full-time RVers How-To-Make-Money products and services.

My take away is that they wanted to dis the article because it could interfere with their business plan.

On the other hand, there seem to be a number for RVers who don’t like the article for one reason or another. But I think some of their resentment is the fact that Bruder is a journalist and not a full-time RVer.

To me, this is just another case of where the fish won’t be the one discovering the water.



Walter, maybe it was my time in Korea during the 70s when I was in the army or the Arizona sun, but I’ve become a K-POP fan — the girl groups that is.

Well, maybe the real reason for the interest is the svelte Asian 20-somethings, eh?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wally #

    Tom, I still applaud expanding one’s horizons. So many our age only listen to their 50’s on 5. What can a little gangnam style hurt? btw, you ever read Scott Burns (old, smart, pragmatic financial guy known for his “couch potato” portfolios)? Long ago, he promoted owning park models as a sensible retirement plan for boomers whose retirement accounts may have been something less than flush. Best, Wally

    August 3, 2014
    • I looked up Charlie’s 2004 park model article (

      Times and things have changed.

      We bought our park model for $60K and still consider it a deal. However, most of the park models around us were purchased by Californians in the housing boom heydays. Several folks paid over $200K for their park models. Ours originally sold for $125K in 2004. Ouch!

      While we stand a good chance of at least getting what we paid, these other folks are screwed. Jan and I think the park model prices will go up, but not to the housing boom levels.

      August 3, 2014
      • Wally #

        I read the Harper’s article yesterday – chilling. There but for the grace of God…

        August 6, 2014
  2. #

    I will check out that article in Harper’s magazine. And I do recognize the challenge in retirement and keeping your head above water. I retired at age 68, and would have kept on working except that I was offered a nice retirement package. Lately I have seen my money stretched to the limit by an increase in just about everything. But, of course, my income stays the same all year. No cost of living raise, no any other kind of raise. Everyday shopping becomes a challenge. It’s just a fact of life. Sure wish I could get paid for not working…………like Congress. Thanks for the info on the “golden years.” Kath

    August 3, 2014

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