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Do we Have a Safety Net–What About When we get too Old for the Road, Or Get Sick

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A question I get often through the years is “What will nomads do when they get too old to live in a van? or RV“, and “What will you do if you suffer an accident or a major illness while you are still young?”  I see these as the same question of basically, “Do Nomads have a safety net?”
I’m going to give you my answer on the topic, but first I want to quote my friend Al’s thoughts on the topic that I agree with 100%, he said it so well, I can’t improve on it:

For me it came down to the choice of living a life I wasn’t enjoying—but with a certain amount of safety—or living a life I love without a safety net. I chose the latter, because even if something bad or even life-ending happened, I would have had that time living the way I wanted. What’s the point of  prolonging a life I’m not enjoying?

Besides, I think safety is mostly an illusion. Sh@t happens to building dwellers. They get sick, they go broke, they get swindled, their homes break down or burn up or get destroyed in natural disasters… But they feel safe because it’s the way most people live. They’re doing the normal thing, the familiar thing, so it must be the best choice, the safe choice. 

I think danger is also mostly an illusion. We convince ourselves all sorts of things might happen to us, but they never do—not because of our vigilance, but because they were never going to happen anyway. Since the mobile life is unfamiliar, we can convince ourselves there are even more dangers out there waiting to get us. There aren’t more dangers, just different ones.

That’s brilliant stuff! (read more from Al here:
Like Al, I don’t really think there is that much of a difference for a house dweller and a vehicle dweller. Each one has some advantages and disadvantages in a medical emergency, but in my mind being a nomad has more advantages. But first, let’s define the issues, I think there are really two different issues here:
1) Money to meet your emergency or permanent medical  needs.
2) People to help you through the worst of it.
MONEY ISSUES: With the money issue, I think you’re better off in a van or RV than a house for these reasons:

  • You can live so much cheaper. If there is a medical emergency you can put the RV in an RV Park and live as cheaply as possible. I have a friend with an RV in a RV Resort in Brenda, AZ. it costs him $178  MONTH if he stays year-around–so he pays for the whole year even though he travels part of the year. It truly is a resort, it has a pool, the sites are 50 feet wide, and every one of them has a palm tree in it. Not a bad life! How much better is that than Section 8 Housing in a city?
  • Most of us are very low income so we will qualify for more assistance than most middle class home dwellers. Many times people in the middle get screwed–they make too much to qualify for help, but too little to pay for it themselves. You’re probably better off being a poor Nomad than a middle class house-dweller
  • A big advantage a nomad has is we can choose the state with the best safety net as our state of residence. A prime example of that for young people is Expanded Medicaid. By choosing a state that offers it, you get better health insurance than those house dwellers who live in a state that does not offer it. By the way, that’s not SD FL or TX, none of them offer expanded medicaid. Nevada is one of the few with zero income tax that does offer it.
  • If you are forced off the road, being a nomad will make your house-bound life much better. For example, if you are an Arizona resident, all you have to do is sign up for Expanded Medicaid and buy a cheap used trailer and put it in an RV Park in the desert; you can almost certainly find one for $200 a month or less.

If you follow my standard advice to have $4000 in an emergency fund, you already have a plan B. Lets take an example of a sudden medical emergency or injury, what will you do once you are released from the hospital, but can’t take care of yourself? With $4000 you could rent a motel room for a few weeks while you find a $2000 used travel trailer and got it into an RV Park. That’s still going to be very cheap living, probably less than you would be paying in a house. There are LOTS of really cheap RV parks in Arizona, you want to get one the closest to a major city.
$200 will buy you a portable air conditioner you roll around and the trailer stays home while you drive the van, you have all hook-ups in the park. Once the crisis is over, you can sell the travel trailer for close to what you paid for it and be on your way. What if it’s going to be a permanent change in your life? You stay in the RV Park and adapt to your new reality.
Being stuck in the desert year-around would not be good. But I’m almost certain if you looked around in the Park, or ran an ad on Craigslist you could find someone to tow it to flagstaff or Show Low and pay them $200 and pay for their fuel and lunch.  Doing that twice a year should be in most peoples budget, it averages out to less than $40 a month to save for it.  How much better is it to move to a different location twice a year and get the much better weather and new scenery. For me, that’s much better than being stuck in one place for the rest of my life!

If you already live and travel in an RV, getting too old to travel or having a major accident or medical emergency is no more difficult than renting a space in an RV Park. Other than being cheaper it’s not really any different than living in a house. As long as you have 4-walls  and an address, the chances are good there will be home-health care available to come to your RV and take care of you, just exactly like in a house.

HELP FROM PEOPLE: About people to take care of you: of course the best solution is family, and that has nothing to do with living in a house or a van. They either take you in or they don’t. In fact, it would be much easier many times if you can come and park in the driveway and be close but not too close. You run an extension cord, and they learn how to dump your porta potti. You both get privacy and you get care with the least sacrifice for them.
But what about friends to help? I am 1000 times better off as a nomad to have friends who would take care of me than when I lived in a house!!!! We have a connection that is rare to house-dwellers!! Plus, they live on wheels. In an emergency, most of us have friends that would drive to us and help us through it.

Another Vandweller Needs Help

Oddly, this is an issue I am dealing with right now in a big way because I have two friends who are facing both problems. A very good friend of mine broke his shoulder and blew the engine in his van in less than a week. His vandweller friends have surrounded him with support and he has lacked for nothing. He ran a gofundme campaign and it raised enough for a new motor in one day. I told you all about that in a post last week.
Since then I’ve been contacted by another long-time vandweller friend. I first met Ed two years ago and we’ve camped many times together since then. He showed me the cargo trailer he had converted and it suddenly dawned on me that it looked very familiar, he had patterned it exactly like mine so I felt right at home! He’s a good guy who has worked hard all his life and through no fault of his own, circumstances have caught up to him to kick him in the teeth. He just needs a little help from his friends. I did a blog post on his trailer here:
His arthritis has gotten so bad he can no longer live in his van, he has to settle down. He’s going to move into an RV Park near his elderly father but they won’t take the cargo trailer, it has to be self-contained. He found an RV to buy but doesn’t have enough money. Even after he sells his cargo trailer, he still needs help to buy it.
I gave him a little money but he needs more. Can any of you out there help a fellow Nomad? If many of us go to his page at and give just a little, then the problem can be solved without sacrifice on anybodies part!

Remember this:

There, but for the Grace of God, Go I

Find his Gofundme page here:
Thank you all in Advance!

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  1. Calvin R (still in Ohio)

    Thanks for the link to Ed’s page. I got there in time to help out a little this time.
    I find myself in the unusual position of having nothing to add on the topic beyond what Al said. Oh, one detail. The solutions you mention are not all the ways a situation could work for the best. Karma pays us back nicely if we treat others the same way.

    • Calvin Rittenhouse

      Let’s just forget this set of comments.

    • Bob

      Thanks Calvin!

  2. Calvin Rittenhouse

    Oops, “awaiting moderation.” I suppose I didn’t satisfy some IT character’s security fears.

    • Bob

      Calvin, I literally get thousands of spams a day, so I have software that automatically weeds it out. It does a great job, but every so often it hiccups and messes up. I can’t imagine why but it set your post aside for moderation–who knows why, But as always, you are approved!

      • Mara

        Hi Bob,
        It’s Mara, testing the commenting from a mobile. If you’re seeing this, then the commenting is working fine. 🙂

  3. bullfrog

    Thanks Bob, feels good to help someone who needs it and the cargo trailer post of Ed’s gave me lots of good info.

    • Bob

      Thanks bullfrog, yes, helping others is one of the main ways to find happiness for yourelf.

  4. Karen

    Once again, a post from you just when I needed it. Fear and anxiety can be paralyzing for me. Putting it aside takes effort that seems difficult in the best moments and impossible in others. But yet I hold on to the dream. It is more than a dream it is the only reality that is within reach. Thanks again for saying the words that have for me not yet formed.

    • Bob

      Karen, I love to hear my work is helpful to people, thank you!

  5. John Bruce

    I did the go fund me for Ed, I’ll probably never meet the man but I do hope he settles in and does well in that area.

  6. BizCrate

    As I clicked through to Ed’s go fund me, it occurred to me that I will be missing out on something important. I’ve never met Ed and, as John Bruce acknowledges, I probably never will either. He is coming off the road just as I am on the cusp of entering in to it. But Ed is a vagabond who’s 3 years of experience will go with him that the rest of us will no longer benefit from. That’s a big loss.
    The more I read blogs like this one and others, the more I understand how Bob’s description of tribe and community applies to nomads.
    What holds a loosely related bunch of people together? Why are you all a tribe? Why should I throw $$ in a go fund me?
    Because these people have already given to me. They’ve shared their experiences. They’ve helped another nomad out by sharing water, food, fuel or simple directions to a good camp down the road. Am I paying back or paying forward? I don’t know. I do know, once I’m one the road in a few weeks, that I’ll owe plenty of folks as I move from noob to nomad. If this is a way to says thanks to all of them, then so be it.
    Thanks, Bob, for pointing out Ed’s page.

    • Bob

      I think the key to all of this is to stop thinking in terms of “I” and to start thinking in terms of “WE”. If each if us makes all our decisions based on “what’s in it for me”, then we are headed for a very unpleasant life in the long run and a very unpleasant society.

  7. Sameer

    I think this is a good subject. I am so involved in the daily business of ‘living’, I hadn’t thought about this. I guess my emergency fund could be my ‘umbrella’ even if the money belongs to the Van. I live in the moment and really cannot imagine not living the way I have been living the last four years. Everything works out in the end. You have some good alternatives for when the old bones get too old….

    • Bob

      Sameer, like everything in life there is always a need for balance. While it’s crucial we learn to live in the moment, and spend most of our time there, we equally must learn for the past and be aware of the future.

  8. Nicole

    ” A prime example of that for young people is Expanded Medicaid. By choosing a state that offers it, you get better health insurance than those house dwellers who live in a state that does not offer it. By the way, that’s not SD FL or TX, none of them offer expanded medicaid. Nevada is one of the few with zero income tax that does offer it.”
    Bravo, nothing like helping people milking the system. Good bye

    • Marshall

      How is it milking the system when it’s something you are legally entitled to use?
      If you ask me it’s just a smart move to be medically covered in any event.
      Thanks Bob!

      • Bob

        I totally agree Marshall.

    • Rob

      Milking the system?
      Ya, it’s a lot better to die because you can’t afford the medical industries product than take advantage of the system put there for you.
      Best of luck Nicole!

    • Bob

      If the government requires you to do something and penalizes you if you don’t, how can doing what they demand you to do be considered evil? Especially when I have been paying into Social Security and Medicare taxes all my life. How is taking back what I already paid for make me a bad person?
      How is it my fault if a state refuses to pay me what they owe me so I go to one who is honorable? I paid my taxes for a safety net for 40 years!!! And now you tell me I am a monster to want to get it back!?
      We think very differently.


    I went to make a donation but the system indicates there is a problem? Was unable but still want to help if there is a way?


      We got a little reminder from GFM that our transaction wasn’t finished — was able to go in and finish it. To Bob, if Ed gets close on this (and I think he will) please give us an update. Some of us can give again to help meet the goal as needed. Thanks BE to you for helping a friend in need. I’m guessing you likely have more ‘pull’ and influence in this community than you may realize . . . all good to be sure . . . we’re all better off when we’re ALL better off!

    • Bob

      I’m sorry Jim, but I know little about gofundme.

  10. Steve

    I don’t understand how you would be milking the system by signing up for Medicaid in a state you live in if you really need it. Unless, you don’t really live there and falsify information on your address, job, etc to get the Medicaid and just come back to that state when you need medical care. In my opinion that would be dishonest and probably against the law which could land you in jail. I guess. I am not too up on these thing.

    • Bob

      Steve, the money for Expanded Medicaid comes from the Federal government so it really isn’t an issue of where you live that decides if you deserve it. It’s a question if you paid into the system, wherever you did it at. For 40 years I paid Federal taxes in Alaska, now I’m going to collect in Nevada and spend most of my time in Arizona, but the money comes from the Federal government.

  11. Andrea Bass

    I believe every person and animal should have free medical if they need.We should take care of our friends when they need us, as they would for us.That’s love in action, I’m all for it.

    • Bob

      Andrea, I certainly agree with the helping our friends part!

  12. Linda Sand

    Community is important. One of my other groups has an annual get together. One of our singles got very sick. One couple took her to the hospital. One guy took in her dog while she was gone. I picked her up from the hospital and took her to Walmart to get her prescriptions filled. Another couple did her laundry. One woman came and sat in her living room while she took a shower so she wouldn’t be alone if her strength gave out. Several people brought food. One couple reloaded her Harley when our time there was up. In the RVing and van dwelling communities, help is there if you need it. Never be afraid to ask for it.

    • Bob

      Linda, you are exactly right, we are a very tight-knit group!

  13. Cae

    Milking it like a five handed dairy farmer. Ha
    After 30 years of being milked…

  14. Sandy Wetzel

    Helped Ed as a thankyou to you for your blog.

    • Bob

      Sandy, I very much appreciate it!

  15. Roxy

    Comment removed by request of author.

    • JL

      Well said, Roxy. Some people would rather spout empty soundbites, than look below the surface of issues to see the human suffering below. Hopefully, your story has opened some eyes and hearts.

      • Roxy

        Thank you…I felt bad putting that on Bob’s page, perhaps just a little too heavy. I’ll do a post on my own blog one day so I can take the backlash personally. Truly, some people haven’t suffered enough to have compassion in their hearts, or think things through properly.

        • Bob

          Roxy, you don’t need to apologize at all, I deleted your comment because you asked me too, but I loved it!
          Most people on the conservative or religious right firmly believe that you have to prove you deserve help before they will give you any at all. If you don’t deserve it in their minds, they will attack you. It goes back to the Puritan work ethic. Somehow they just can’t see beyond that to face the facts that jesus and every other world religious leader told them to do 100% the opposite, to give to anyone in need simply out of a heart of love and compassion.
          That’s just not good enough for them, they are convnced they are called to be judge and jury.

  16. Roxy

    Ho Hum…had my say, and now I want to remove my comment, but there is no way to delete or edit it…sorry for the rant folks.

  17. GreenTiger

    “There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up”
    ― Bernard Meltzer
    The campaign is very close to the requested total.
    And my heart got a little exercise today — thanks!

    • Bob

      Excersising your heart is always a good thing.

  18. Bethers

    Nicole, another way to think about Medicaid is that its a benefit which you and everyone else has paid for through your tax dollars.

    • Bob

      Totally right Bethers!

  19. Nicole

    I am not oppose to medicaid. It is needed and the people needing it do not milk the system one bit. I’m sorry my comment was not clear. What I’m oppose to is…here is a system that is mainly paid by the middle people, the ones mentioned in the following quote
    “Many times people in the middle get screwed–they make too much to qualify for help, but too little to pay for it themselves. You’re probably better off being a poor Nomad than a middle class house-dweller”
    So here are these middle people paying for the system even if they will never benefit from it and on top of that the advice given is to register into a state where you won’t give back a bit by avoiding to pay personal taxes. That’s the part that goes a bit too far for my taste.
    It’s like telling someone how to continually avoid bringing a dish to potlucks and “get away with it”
    No doubt that programs like Medicaid are needed. It’s no different than helping a wonderful person like Ed. We should all help even if it’s a small amount, so please don’t encourage people to avoid paying personal taxes.

    • Calvin Rittenhouse

      Living in Nevada, Florida, etc., does not allow a person to avoid the Federal taxes that pay for Medicaid, SSI, etc. Beyond that, they still pay sales tax, fuel taxes, vehicle and license fees, and many others. The only thing one avoids is state income tax, and that’s a small part of the tax burden.

    • Bob

      Nicole, you really must see that Expanded Medicaid is a federal program administered by the states. Your taxes to the IRS cover it, and not any of your state income tax. I’m self-employed, and every year I pay 15% “self-employment” tax. Every penny of that goes into social security and Medicaid. I’ve been paying it from wages (only 7.5% from my check, 7.5% from the employer) for 40 years, there is no way you can make me feel bad about collecting it no matter what state I am in. I lived in Alaska and there is no income tax there, but I still paid it to the IRS and the feds.
      It doesn’t cost the state anything. It’s my understanding even the cost of the state program comes from the Feds.

      • Nicole

        I get that, of course. What I don’t get is the entitlement mentality.

        • Bob

          Nicole, two things: 1) I am so glad you stayed, I deeply admire you and value as a member of the community 2) I know how radical and hard-headed I am—that’s not easy to put up with. Thank you for staying!!!
          You said it yourself, you can’t even practically comprehend the other way of thinking about these issues, and that is very normal, there is a reason for that, let me explain. (This is going to be long so it will be a blog post soon).
          It comes down to an “I” versus “WE” mindset, paradigm or world view. It is two very different ways of thinking. I’m convinced people are born with a dominate view of one or the other, sometimes its extreme. Another extremely simplistic way of looking it is as
          • I – We
          • Paternal —Maternal
          • West — East
          • Conservative — Liberal
          • Male – Female
          • Right Brain – Left Brain
          In the USA we have carried the “I” dominance to an extreme, probably based on the Puritan Work Ethic of “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” To the “I” mind, that is totally logical, but to the “WE” mind, it is abhorrent. You are probably a person who is by birth and by training an “I” dominate person, so the “WE” thinking that says, “WE should meet people’s needs even if they haven’t earned it.” Just doesn’t make sense.
          I’m a huge believer in the Taoist concept of Yin Yang. They see the world as composed of opposites that at first glance appear to be opposed and even mortal enemies locked in a battle to the death. They don’t see it that way at all. They see them as opposites that are lovers who are locked in dance step that is constantly co-creating the world we see around us. They flow into and out of each other like night and day, winter-summer, high and low tide. In their meeting and joining is the greatest beauty and the most immense love.
          The reason I’m working toward a return to tribal hunter gathering way of life is they are the perfect blend of I –WE. Every member of the tribe knows he will die alone from the tribe, therefore the TRIBE is everything! And yet every member is equally valued, no member of the tribe can tell any other member what to do. The individual is at least as important as the group. Every person must earn the right to be heard by self-sacrifice and wisdom.
          Capitalism, socialism and communism are all doomed to failure because they have not learned the dance of opposites, I’m working against all of them.

        • Nicole

          Bob, I was out of line with the above. I apologize could you do me a favor and remove it please.

    • Bob

      You’re first point has a great deal of validity to it. I do in fact encourage people to drop out of the system while they are young. They will have to work and make money and pay taxes to the IRS so they will be building up a Social Security retirement.
      However, you could easily argue that they won’t make enough to live on in their old age, or to cover their fair share of Medicare or cover a medical emergency while they are young. I think you are probably right. You could then argue that they are sponging off the system and the good, hard-earning middle-class will end up taking care of them. Again, you are probably right and making a fair and accurate point.
      See how much we can agree on!!! Now, let me really make you very angry! I believe the system is so vile and broken, it needs to be torn down and rebuilt totally new. It’s our moral duty to drop out of it and at minimum not contribute to it, and to in fact work against it. That’s what I’m doing. How can I justify saying such a strong statement? For two reasons:
      The American dream of a 2500 sq foot house, a large TV in every room, and two cars in every garage is one of the greatest evils ever perpetrated on humanity or the planet. For two reasons:
      1) It depends on cheap, slave and child labor for it’s citizens to live so well for so little money and doing so little work. It always has, it always will. We used to bring slaves from Africa, civilized men actually found some humanity and stopped doing that, so instead we ship the slave labor oversee so we don’t have to see it. Slave and child labor is still making our opulent lives possible.
      2) It’s unbelievable destructive to the bio-sphere. Simply put, we MUST change our lives before it’s too late–and it’s probably already too late.In the 70s none of us could deny any longer what a cancer we are on the planet. We could see with our own eyes massive destruction to our environment. So we shipped the manufacturing and it’s destruction overseas and now China and India gets to see the massive destruction so we don’t have to. Aren’t we very special! And that argument is nothing compared to Climate Change, but there is too much denial on it to argue it. The denial becomes more futile every day! Very soon, no one will be able to deny it.
      No!! It’s every American’s moral duty to drop out of society and contribute as little as they can to it. Taking more out than you put in, is a highly moral act. The “American Way of Life” has to be stopped.

      • Nicole

        (sigh) I give up.

        • Bob

          Nicole, I have radical views and I know they are hard for most people to swallow. For the most part, I keep them to myself.
          If you begin with the belief that industrial society is attempting to murder the earth and its inhabitants, then my conclusions start to make sense. I’m sure you don’t agree with that (although the science is very conclusive that it’s true) but at least I hope you can see some logic in my actions.
          If you see someone about to murder another person (and I consider the earth and it’s biosphere to be a sentient, living organism) you have a moral obligation to take action. Calling people out of a vile society is my action.

  20. Nicole

    To put it an other way. If we look at the original nomad from a long, long time ago, do you think that a member refusing to do chores and doing his/her part for the well being of every one would have been welcome at the dinner table?

    • Bob

      Nicole, probably not, but it didn’t happen because they had a viable system that didn’t crush the human spirit and make them machines. M goal is to get back to that far superior way of life as much as possible.

  21. Jeff Johnston

    I often give to panhandlers in my travels. I ask them to please use the money in a positive manner and not on drugs alcohol or cigarettes. I feel good giving money; hopefully they will feel shame if they use it on vice.

    • Bob

      Jeff, that is very wise and good-hearted of you, a very balanced approach.

  22. margo

    anyone who has doubts about this “giving” program needs to go to bobs last post. he is the one deciding if a need for help is valid. i trust him to use his brain in the matter! as for the middle class, i’ve been there, done that and for the life of me i can’t understand why paying more taxes is so bad,it simply means that you are making more money and are lucky to be able to do so.
    as for the retirement idea bob, i’m doing pretty much what you suggested, but boy do i love seeing it in print! thanks

    • Bob

      Margo, thanks so much for your kind comment. Very well thought out.

  23. Diane Ely

    Bob: On the subject of getting too old for the road: In that Harper’s Magazine article a couple of years ago, you mentioned something about buying an old school bus and sinking it in the ground partially, to live in when you could no longer drive. It sounded like you were just joking with the interviewer – or were you?

    • Bob

      Diane, no, not all. That would be the very fastest and cheapest way to get a retirement home that was cheap to heat and cool. I still think it’s my first choice, you just have to be where there are no zoning laws.

      • Bob

        Thanks Mitchell.

  24. Jeff Johnston

    The American way of life as you put it is why there is so much hatred towards us resulting in terrorism and the likes. People should wake up to this fact. The U.S. does alot of dirty deeds throughout the world. Granted, its a great place to live in but keep in mind all the bad things the U.S. does. We are not squeaky clean. Just my opinion.

    • Bob

      Jeff, I totally agree.

    • Lucy

      Jeff, is my humble opinion, terrorists’ hatred is targeted to US, but Germany, Spain, England etc have also been victims of terrorists attacks, thus is not hard to figure out they not only hate us, but hate anybody that doesn’t agree with their recalcitrant & dysfunctional believes & practices. Yes, our government isn’t squeaky clean, but what country government can claim transparency ?? Look what’s going -right now – in Brazil, the president was impeached yesterday. Take a look what happened to kris kirscHner , argentinian ex-president, check the news of the horrendous mess Maduro has created in Venezuela, in 1015 the inflation rate was 180 %, those who complain about it wind up with their butts in prison. Look a Cuba, Fidel amazed a fortune of 800 million dollars doing shit, doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, never in his life the Ass-h… worked, yet his a millionaire !! I could keep going on & on. So please, do not single our country out as been NOT squeaky clean, most countries are not !!

      • Calvin Rittenhouse

        Maybe those people in the Middle East just don’t like us dropping bombs and drones on them.

        • Lucy

          I agree with you… they don’t like us & isn’t hard to understand why, however, they don’t like each other either, for thousands of years they have had tribal disputes thus killing each other merciless; we need to consider this phenomenon as well.
          I would bet my sweet too-too that if YOU & I have the chance to re-incarnate & come back to earth 2000 years FROM NOW these amigos will still be beheading each other just like they do it today !!
          My regards, Lucy.

          • jeff johnston

            Lucy, I agree with you also and I am not saying our country is the only one at fault. I love the USA and its probably one of the greatest countries in the world in terms of quality of life.I am just saying perhaps the Moslem world hates us for certain atrocities we have created and this is a way for them to somewhat get even with us and our alegiant NATO countries… Just a thought.

  25. Steve

    If everyone decided to drop out of the system and start milking it, there would soon be no system to milk. I hope that everyone stays in the system and keeps paying their fair share of taxes.
    The benefits that I and everyone else receives is paid for by the folks today that work to buy those big tvs, houses, and other toys that they love so much. And they pay taxes and money into the Social Security funds that get distributed to the people receiving, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Etc. The money that I paid while I worked in the American system has been spent Loooong ago. It was being used by the people during that same time.
    It is my opinion that if everyone drops out of the system and starts milking it, I will no longer get the money that is due me from all the years I worked. Then I won’t have any money to even put milk in my refrigerator!!!!!
    I think instead of trashing the American system and and stopping it, we should try to improve it and try to make it fair for everyone as much as possible. I love the USA.

    • Calvin Rittenhouse

      Steve, I hope that you can let go of some of your fears soon and find some comfort in life. If this bothers you so much, why are you here?

      • Jack Flint

        What an unkind thing to say. I think Steve makes valid points and has as much right to voice them as you do. You might want to check yourself.

        • Bob

          Jack, you raise a valid point. Kindness is always required. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, sternness often finds its way in. I’m afraid I’ve been guilt more than I want to admit.

        • Steve

          Thanks Jack.

      • Bob

        Thanks Calvin.

      • Steve

        Calvin I hope that I never lose those fears. I look at fears as my inner wisdom asking me questions and giving me warnings.
        Questions such as this blog post asks. What if?? What if I get too old to travel, do I have a safety net, what if my vehicle brakes down?
        My fears have kept me from making stupid mistakes in the past when I listened to them and regrets about things I did when I overlooked them.
        I try to always listen to my fears. They are my inner self trying to protect me from doing something that could cause me hardships, or doing something stupid.
        But….thanks for your concern.

    • Bob

      Steve, I agree that the USA is the high point of civilization, the greatest country that ever has been or will be. The WW II generation has rightfully been called the greatest generation.
      The generation that is alive now will be called the WORST EVER generation. In WW II we stopped a holocaust at great price. Today, we are causing a holocaust against the earth and its biosphere. There is a huge amount of scientific evidence proving that beyond all doubt, but we will not give up our lives of luxury or make a single sacrifice to change anything.
      I’m doing the only thing I know to do, calling people out so they won’t be guilty. Of course they will also have their best possible lives so I don’t mention the guilt part.
      This country NEEDS to fail, and when it does it will pull down the other industrial countries with it. The earth will rejoice and sing a new song. Ans so will those who remain.

    • Ladee

      I turned 62 last year and began accepting my SSI. Frankly, I was stunned there was anything on which to draw a check. As a young adult, I was convinced that all my contributions to the SS funding would never reach my pockets, but took some comfort that my portion would be paid out to my parents. I wasn’t far off the mark. The current SS system is due for bankruptcy in anywhere from 2 weeks to 20 years, depending on what source you read. The only way we’ll get out of this hole is to wipe out the national debt. Good luck on that. My conspiracy theory self says that China (or whomever is holding the paper) will foreclose long before that.
      Meanwhile, I think that paying it forward and kindness and charity are our best friends. The connections we make today will be our lifeline tomorrow. We are OWED nothing. Everything we get is a gift. And the best way to assure some chance of being on the receiving end, is to give.

      • Bob

        Ladee, I have to agree with you, especially your last paragraph–that’s the key!

  26. Tom banks

    Right on bob! Right on roxy! I agree wholeheartedly with your world view bob. And appreciate the heartfelt sharing of your story roxy

    • Bob

      Thanks Tom!

  27. Steve

    Calvin, I have no fears, but was merely pointing out that you can’t have a system of entitlements, benefits, or what ever you want to call them without other people contributing to the distribution pot. And I was bringing to light that if you do start having a system where the contributing folks start dropping out of the system in herd sort of way, and start or continue milking… has been said here…….then their will no longer be anything left to take.
    Of course I am NOT afraid of that ever happening. There are way too many people that want all their toys and benefits and entitlements to give it all up. And, in my opinion, is a good thing. We need them, just like they will need the next generation to do the same for them, and so on, and on.
    Why am I here? I use this site as well as many others to gather information on efficient ways to sometimes travel around this great and beautiful country (The USA) we have here. And too, also learn how to be self sufficient just in case of that time when I would have to be out on the road……shall we say……in a more permanent basis for one reason or another.
    This is one of the better sites to gather a very diverse and informative type of information of many subjects. I’m glad it is here.

    • Bob

      I’m glad you are here Steve. Few people are as radical as I am and that isn’t attractive anyway. I’m using honey to call people out from the system.
      You can have all the honey you want!!

  28. Steve

    Yes, Bob you are a bit radical at times but I guess you have the thought that desperate times call for those radical measures. Which can be true for some things.
    But, I will say that you as well as others on this site, do also provide very good and sound advise for making the nomad life doable and easier. It’s not “come on just do it”. The things you bring up and suggest such as in this post about how to pay for a whole year instead of monthly to get a cheaper rate even though you only use the site part time are very valuable. And I really wasn’t too aware of the roll around AC units you mentioned. I would guess these things could be used in just about any situation, van, cargo trailer, maybe even a tent or suv.
    So, i guess it could be said that, you not only try to draw them out with the honey, you provide the utensils to eat it with.

    • Bob

      Steve, fear and guilt are very poor motivators, much better to tell people they can have a better life even as they are doing the planet and it’s inhabitants good–but just as a side-benefit, not the main reason.
      Everyone is looking for a better life and some people are deseperate for change, they are my primary audience. A life of sacrifice and misery won’t appeal to them, so I must offer them the best possible life so they will grab it and also offer solutions to the many problems with being a nomad.
      So far it seems to be working for a few people!

      • Lucy

        Bob, if my health were half way decent I’ll be parked- right now – where ever you are !!
        My regards, Lucy.

        • Bob

          Lucy, when the time comes, you are always welcome!

  29. Steve

    Bob, I think we may be talking about slightly different kinds of fear. The type of fear I was talking about was like some of the kinds I had when I took my road trip a couple months ago from here in Florida out West to California. For example there were times on the road that I considered staying overnight in my vehicle at a particular place and after looking around had a sort of fear well up in me that made me question the safety of the area. Then after addressing that fear and rationalizing the reality of it decided to move on to somewhere else. Then again there were some fears that were unfounded and I continued with my plan.
    Even when I stopped by your camping area there in the desert around Ehrenberg, there was a time that a fear would raise it’s ugly head and start badgering me. Like the one morning when I headed out on my own across the desert to try to get to that mountain range that seemed just a mile or two away. But then after about an hour or so in the hot sun and with half my water gone, the fear of getting too far out and running out of water and having a hard time making it back, made me turn around and return to camp.
    There were other similar type of fears I had occasionally during the trip that kept me on my toes and I think safe as well. But I had a good time and enjoyed myself, while accomplishing something I had been wanting to do.
    With all that said, I did have a few fears and anxieties before the trip as to how the 6,000 mile journey would turn out. But I didn’t let them stop me.
    And I am getting kinda itchy for another trip.

    • Bob

      Steve, I think we agree totally, there is a healthy and an unhealthy fear. The fear that come from deep within is a nature instinct honed over millions of years of evolution–it must be heeded and encouraged.
      But there are also fears that have been trained and planted into us by our society as a means to control us. Those, we must make every effort to weed out.

  30. Jewellann

    In the late 1960s I became a young wife. In the early 1970s over a 30 day period I became a new mother and homeowner. My husband began working when he was 17. At 11 I was babysitting in the neighborhood, at 14 styling wigs after school, at sixteen working in cafes and honky tonks. Both of us worked from very young ages We had a semi-amicable divorce in 1979. The last time we spoke was valentines day 1993. He did’t look well, as a matter of fact he was grey. During our talk he said something that I will never forget, ” You know if I could do it all over again I’d have a huge shop and a little house” He said this while sitting in the gun room of his 2 story, 5 bedroom, 3 bath home that he purchased right after marrying his second wife who promptly filled it with as many relatives she could find. He was a talented person who could build motorcycles from the ground up ditto muscle cars. custom sporting rifles,& we fished in tournaments with the rods he made. Like I said I was speaking to him in his home on Feb.14 and after work on May 9 he went home took a shower and died of a massive brain aneurysm. He was 48 years old.
    We both worked and “paid our dues” while living someones vision of “the American dream” & it was ours at that time.
    I on the other hand worked {twice I held 3 jobs at the same time because I needed to} until I awoke on August 19, 2000 after working in a fast food joint from 10pm to 6am the night before, with both arms numb from the shoulders down.
    So he worked all his adult life paying taxes & Social Security and died at 48, I did the same until I was 48 and became unable to work. In my world I think I would be very stupid to not utilize every skill I have to make sure I have the best medical care I can find also adequate housing and food on the table….not just because I worked all those years…because I believe just about everyone needs these things and some need help more than others to get them.
    While I am pretty banged up most of my mind still functions [most of the time] so I use the knowledge I’ve learned to help others gain access to what they need, some people do without adequate medical attention, food or housing just because they do not know that it’s available to them.
    I found the remark “milking the system” in poor taste and very offensive. In our society neighbors use to help neighbors, now it seems many of us live a life “insulated” from those others around us. How can we give or receive help if the need remains hidden or unknown?
    AS I’ve said before, I AM SO GRATEFUL that I found this CRVL site. I feel that no matter if we are wannabees’ or living on wheels or struggling to reach that goal that we are a community or neighborhood, even if we are scattered around the world. We all have value and something to offer one another. I see that in the posts here.
    I thank each and every one of you for the support & info. I’ve gained here.

    • Bob

      Jewellan, thank you so much for your very thoughtful comment. Your story is heartbreaking but it is so important that people are reminded to live for today, tomorrow is a gift, never a promise.
      Thank you!

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