There’s No Retirement When You Can’t Afford to Stop Working

A growing number of older middle-class Americans who can’t afford to retire are migrating across the country in RVs, taking one temporary job after another to make ends meet.

Journalist Jessica Bruder discusses the growing number of older middle-class Americans who can’t afford to retire and have been crossing the country in RVs. Instead of vacationing, they’ve become migrant workers, taking temporary jobs doing things like picking blueberries in Kentucky, selling roadside Christmas trees, giving tours at Dollywood, taking tickets at NASCAR events, and maintaining campgrounds in National Parks. For her cover story for Harper's, “The End of Retirement,” Bruder travels the country, profiling people who must keep working well past retirement age just to make ends meet.