This is Cindy and Clint Bentley’s third season as Workampers. It isn’t quite what they thought retirement would look like.  They live within their 240-square-foot RV for five or six months out of the year at a campground outside of Flagstaff,  Ariz., Al Jazeera America reported They manage two camp sites – the work involves greeting campers, cleaning the grounds and bathrooms – and for Clint, hauling water to camp sites and pumping waste from the bathrooms.  “That’s not the fun part of the job,” said Cindy.

Clint is 67, Cindy is 53. Both said this isn’t what they thought retirement would look like. “This is not anything that we obviously planned for — we just had never even thought about it,” said Clint Bentley.  “We thought the business was going to keep going and didn’t think we were going to be retired at this stage,” said Cindy Bentley.

The Bentleys had a construction business in Las Vegas. After the crash in 2008, business dried up. They held on for another three years, which they say in retrospect, was a mistake. “In doing so, we consumed the money we had set aside for retirement and finally, there was no more left,” said Clint. Now they survive on social security and the money they make as Workampers.

They are part of a national circuit of Workampers that extends coast to coast and up through Canada. It’s a unique labor market: retirees answer ads that hundreds of employers post on websites like Workamper News and Workers on Wheels. Traveling by RV, they do a range of work: Picking raspberries, selling Christmas trees, working at Amazon and UPS during the holiday rush, and welcoming tourists at attractions like Dollywood.  For Workampers like Cindy and Clint, the pay isn’t much, but there are perks.

“You get minimum wage plus … you get electricity, you get water, you get utilities,” said Warren Meyer, president of Recreation Resource Management. He manages 110 campsites in parks across the country and employs more than 300 Workampers.

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