TOO POOR TO RETIRE, TOO YOUNG TO DIE
0) __________ the wise age of 79, Dolores Westfall knows food shopping on an empty stomach is ridiculous. On her way to the grocery store last May, she pulled into the Town & Country Family Restaurant 1) __________ that she could relieve her hunger.
After much consideration, she ordered the prime rib special and an iced tea — expensive at $21.36; however, the leftovers, wrapped carefully to go, would provide for 2) __________ two lunches.
Only after she had got out of the restaurant, 3) __________ she remember that a big insurance bill was coming due. How was she going to pay it? Was she going to get insolvent because of a plate of ribs?
Westfall is as stubborn 4) __________ she is high-spirited. But she finds herself these days in a precarious place: Her savings long gone, and having never done much long-5) __________ financial planning, Westfall left her home in California to live in an aging RV she calls Big Foot, driving from one temporary job to the next.
“I want to live life as much as I can. Before I don’t have any.”
She endures 6) __________ is for many aging Americans an unforgiving economy. Nearly one-third of U.S. heads of households aged 55 and older have no pension or retirement savings and a below-average annual income.
A growing proportion of the nation’s elderly are 7) __________ Westfall: not 8) __________ are they too poor to retire, they are also too young to die.
Many rely on Social Security and minimal pensions, in part because half of all workers have no employer-backed retirement plans. Eight 9) __________ 10 Americans say they will work well into their 60s or skip retirement entirely.
Westfall hadn’t planned to keep working. But in 2008, as the U.S. economy spasmed, she lost her home and tumbled out of the middle class.
Today, Westfall is one of America’s graying nomads. Although many middle-class retirees travel the interstates in motor homes as a lifestyle choice, for Westfall and many 10) __________, life on the move is not as much a choice as a necessity.
Adapted from © John M. Glionna, LA Times
 RV: A recreational vehicle (RV) is, in North America, the usual term for a motor vehicle or trailer equipped with living space and amenities found in a home.