There’s a worrying social trend in the US that is going largely unnoticed:

Nearly half of middle-class workers may be forced to live on a food budget of as little as five dollars a day when they retire.

The article linked below profiles a generation of senior citizens who are spending their twilight years traveling around the country, living out of a vehicle, chasing seasonal work, and barely subsisting on laborious jobs paying near minimum wage. Some claim to choose this life for freedom and adventure, but the emotional and physical scars are hard to conceal.

Starting with the younger baby boomers, each successive generation is now doing worse than previous generations in terms of their ability to retire without seeing a drop in living standards.

This movement is reminscent of the great westward migration of the 1930s, triggered by the Great Depression and beautifully recorded in Steinbeck’s epic The Grapes of Wrath. That economic crisis triggered the creation of the US Social Security system, which ensured a dignified retirement for generations of Americans. It’s clear that system is no longer sufficient.

When you can’t afford to stop working