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Money & Policy

She Lost Everything, So She Moved Into an Old RV

The video tells her story: "Too old to retire and too young to die"


Dolores Westfall, 79, recently profiled in The Los Angeles Times, unfortunately, is like too many older Americans these days.

In 2008, during the Great Recession, Westfall lost her home and her footing in the American middle class. (“Studies show that older single women are the most financially vulnerable,” The Los Angeles Times reports. “They make less than male workers, and those that take time off to have children often miss chances for seniority and pay raises.”)

With just $1,200 monthly income from Social Security and $190 a month from a pension, Westfall ended up selling her possessions and hitting the open road in an aging RV, less by choice and more by necessity. She takes odd jobs from state to state, barely getting by.

“Nearing 80, she suffers daily aches and pains — leg cramps and arthritis and weakness from low blood sugar,” the LA Times writes.

“I want to live life as much as I can,” Westfall says. “Before I don’t have any.”

Her story:

By Josh Walker
Josh Walker is the social media manager at Next Avenue. A longtime social media expert, he's also a former assistant managing editor at Parents magazine, and a former special projects editor at MORE magazine.
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