AMAC: Many seniors who can’t afford to retire are joining America’s ‘nomadic workforce’
WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 16 – A big part of the American Dream is the promise of an easier lifestyle in retirement, but “too many older Americans are living a vagabond existence in a retirement nightmare,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Weber says that many would-be retirees dream of a life on the open road. “They fantasize about finally purchasing that RV they’ve always wanted and the prospect of driving off on cross country road trips. And, yes, there are those who manage to save enough for retirement and are well able to afford their fantasy. And then there are those who travel across America’s highways and byways in used campers—not for enjoyment, but to survive. There are tens of thousands of them, all part of what has come to be known as America’s nomadic workforce.”
The Great Recession that began in 2008 set the stage for this new lifestyle, according to Weber. “There are numerous rags-to-riches-to-rags stories of people who labored long and hard only to lose their savings in the recession and its aftermath. Now they are on the road in search of seasonal jobs as a means to make ends meet.”
The ‘nomadic workforce’ has grown so large that new online and offline recruitment services have been established to offer far-flung opportunities for mobile seniors to earn a living. CoolWorks.com, for example, lists seasonal “careers” in locations throughout the U.S. Snagajob.com is another service founded in the 21st Century to serve the needs of the nomadic workforce as is Backdoorjobs.com.
And, perhaps more to the point, mega-retailer, Amazon created a division called CamperForce some ten years ago. “It’s what you might call a full-service seasonal employment agency offering ‘opportunities’ for RV’ers throughout the U.S., particularly during Amazon’s busiest time of the year, the months prior to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays,” says Weber. And, he adds, “it is important to note that CamperForce was established with senior citizens in mind, people in their 60s and 70s. In fact, CamperForce recruiter Kelly Calmes boasts “we’ve had folks in their eighties who do a phenomenal job for us.