Don't you think that's a bit harsh, James? Probably puts me in the same category then. As with millions, I have probably, almost always lived paycheck to paycheck. When I had horses, it was my decision and I worked always two jobs and for quite a while, three jobs to keep them. When I could no longer afford a horse, I had to sell the best horse I had ever known. I shall never really get over losing him.
I very seldom have bought anything new. For the almost 50 years I have lived in the US, I have purchased almost everything I needed, from thrift shops, garage sales or flea markets. I still do, although these days don't find I need anything. I have never had enough money to invest. I've never taken out a mortgage to buy some luxury. I have so far, never owned a new car. In my 70s now, I doubt I ever will. I have only taken one holiday in my life, when I went home to England with my daughter. Certainly when I was young and still in England, I had more to spend than I do now. Even then though, I was thrifty. Growing up during the war, I learned about having no luxuries. When very young, I got an orange (if I was lucky) and nuts in my stocking at Christmas. Sometimes a new toothbrush or comb. I do remember getting two great Christmas gifts, when I was very little. One was a doll and another time, an old teddy bear which my mother had re-covered in my grandmother's old fur coat. In those days, we didn't get much and didn't expect anything.
Living on SS now, is no picnic. I am actually thankful, that I do have a roof over my head. So many don't. And I don't think we can judge anyone fairly, who has not.