My mother raised five children alone on manual low paying jobs during her working years. Therefore, Social Security was her only retirement income. She was not able to save any money while working. Her Social Security income was very low; she lived from check to check in New York City in a public housing apartment and did not have to pay for utilities.
Things were going okay until her kidney disease forced her to start dialysis. After about five years on dialysis, her health began to fade and she could no longer live alone. She could not afford to pay for a place that she wanted to live in, which would have kept her close to her family and friends in New York.
Therefore, she relocated from NYC to Maine to live with my husband and I. Also, we had to take her to and from dialysis three days a week until she was able to get regional transportation service via her Social Security income. However, if she had earned fair wages during her working years she would have been able to save money and her Social Security income would have been larger. Therefore, she would have been able to stay in NYC, where she lived for about 59 years, to spend her last years surrounded by her family and friends.