EVENT SUMMARY: | BOOK CLUB I
The following article summarizes the original event which is listed below the summary.

Book Notes | 'Nomadland'

February 17, 2023, at 2pm
 

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies reported in a study released in May 2020 that only 40 percent of baby boomers had $250,000 or more saved for retirement. A staggering 19 percent of baby boomers in this study had less than $25,000. Due to recent declines in the stock market, this situation has most likely worsened. What does the life of some of the poorest retirees look like? 

Jessica Bruder, in her book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, chronicles the lives of some of these retirees. For several years, she followed a group of retirees who lived in their vehicles, everything from small cars to worn out RVs, as they tried to piece together a subsistence lifestyle. They worked as camp hosts for the National Park Service, labored at the American Crystal Sugar's beet harvest in Minnesota, and took jobs during the busy season at Amazon warehouses, called fulfillment centers.

These organizations and others take full advantage of this demographic for their work ethic and ability to pass a drug test. The book chronicles the challenges, the hardships, and the community these modern nomads create for themselves.

Houseless, not homeless

Overall, UMRA Book Club I members thought the book was important and they appreciated reading it. Several members commented on the fact that the people in the book saw themselves not as homeless but “houseless,” and created a caring community of people who willingly shared their knowledge and skills. 

Book Club members expressed concern about how, as a society, we can allow people to work full-time while not earning a living wage. Also, how workers are responsible for saving for their own retirement years without being given the most basic skills to understand how to save. Many of us wondered what happens when these people get too old or disabled to work at physically demanding jobs.

A couple members drew parallels between this book and the 2001 book Nickeled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. The situation has not changed. Furthermore, many of the people living like this are hiding in plain sight. We just don't see them, even though they may be camped in a secluded parking lot nearby and/or working as the clerk checking us out at our local Target.

The book was adapted into the 2020 film of the same name, which was awarded the Academy Award for Best Picture.

—Laura Ericksen, UMRA Book Club I member

 


 


BOOK CLUB I

Book Club I to meet February 17

Fri, Feb 17 2023, 2pm

Location
Event to be held via Zoom.
 

Laura Ericksen will lead the discussion of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder when the UMRA Book Club meets via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 17.

Email Pat Tollefson for more information, including suggestions for starting a new book club.



Upcoming Events

Event Date: July 26, 2024, at 2pm

Erik Larson’s non-fiction narrative recounts the struggles of middle-class University of Chicago, Professor William Dodd, was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich. Dodd not only had to deal with the threats to democracy, but his thriftiness was criticized by State Department officials who mainly came from wealthy elite families. In addition, Dodd’s daughter began dating Nazi officials.


Event Date: August 5, 2024, at 9:30am

Our August 5 hike will be a reprise of our hike last summer at William O'Brien State Park.  This is a beautiful park with a winding trail and a great view of the countryside.  The hike is about 5.5 to 6 miles and we'll go at a moderate pace with frequent water breaks.  After the hike, we will eat lunch at Rustic Roots Winery, a half mile north of the park. 


Event Date: August 16, 2024, at 2pm

Kathy Cramer will lead the discussion of The Bookbinder by Pip Williams, a book set in 1914 Oxford chronicling the life of Peggy who works in the University bindery, but craves a life beyond binding books but to being a scholar herself.


Event Date: August 28, 2024, at 5:30pm

Enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Jonathan Padelford, leaving from the Harriet Island dock in St. Paul, boarding time at 5:30 p.m. We will have a brief program on board by Patrick Nunnally from the River Life Program of the Institute on the Environment.


Event Date: August 31, 2024, at 11:59pm

August 31 is the due date for annual reports and updates.  Annual Reports, Toolkits, web page updates, operating document updates and archives collections are all due each year on this date.


Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 10:30am

Autumn is a wonderful season in Minnesota so plan to join UMRA at the Andersen Horticultural Library at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Kristen Mastel, head librarian and curator, will reveal its treasure trove of publications and artifacts relating to plant history, horticulture, and natural history. After the tour, those who are interested may stay to eat lunch together, sitting outside if the weather is nice. Later, you are invited to a one-hour tram tour of the entire Arboretum that includes natural areas of flowering shrubs, bogs, and forests, family garden and landscaping showpieces, and the red barn farm


Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 12:30pm

After a summer break the UMRA Photo Club will next meet September 10, 2024 in the meeting room of the Hennepin County St. Anthony Branch Library. For those interested in lunch, meet at the Great Dragon at 11:30 am. For September the THEME will be Curves


Event Date: September 16, 2024, at 10am

We will continue to discuss the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage.  You will also hear about notable non-health plan and non-broker resources.


Event Date: September 30, 2024, at 10am

Topics relevant to managing investments in retirement.  By David Foster, CFP©, CRPC©, CRPS©


Event Date: October 13, 2024, at 9am

This trip begins in Madrid and ends in Barcelona with stops 3 cities in between. International round trip airfare from NYC is included in the quoted price. See the attached a copy of the e-brochure with highlights and complete itinerary.  Register by May 1.