Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Do you remember receiving that first invitation to AARP in your 50's. If you are not there yet, just you wait. It was certainly my first wake-up call to the fact that a new season of life, my "Senior" season, was rapidly approaching. My 60's were calling and retirement was on the road ahead.
It was also around this time in my life when the whole empty-nester syndrome hit my husband, Bob, and I. One way to handle it was to downsize from our three-story 4200 sq. ft home, to a one-level 1200 sq. ft condo. Frankly, I wasn't sure I could do it. I appreciate and need space around me, and I was afraid I would feel claustrophobic in a smaller home. Several surprises came out of our move and changed the course of life during our 60's. My first surprise, I love living with less "stuff"!
My second surprise, after 25+ years of working for others, I became an entrepreneur running my own business, and so did Bob. Rather than retiring, we now had two start-up businesses. What were we thinking? While not easy by any means, we are both blessed to have successful businesses and a nice sustainable income. Bob is a Colorado fishing guide in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, and it's his business that now has us asking, where do we go from here? Do we stay in town in the condo or move closer to his fishing source to save him hours of drive time?
The upkeep on a traditional home is not something Bob wanted to be responsible for at this point in his life. If we were to move, I didn't want want to be in an apartment or condo with someone living above us; and neither one of us wanted to be climbing stairs! Since we are not ready to move into a "Senior Living" situation, we were perplexed regarding any other options open to us. In thinking through how we really wanted to live during this season of life, we recognized that we are looking to live more simply, and briefly explored the idea of a "Tiny Home". (Notice the word briefly...they are just a bit too small for me!) When the idea of living in a travel trailer full-time arose, a comment was made to us indicating there was a stigma on this lifestyle choice in which only people who couldn't afford anything else lived in an RV and especially in a trailer park.
Well it seems times are a changing. Somewhere between 750,000 to one million retirees have taken up living full-time in an RV* and their motivation varies. For some, they wish to travel and see as much of this great country as they can while still healthy enough to do so. For others, it is an economical solution after losing their life savings in the 2008 recession or a lack of sufficient retirement savings. And for others, like us, it's the desire to live a more simple, tiny, and minimalistic life style. We have found the answer to where we go from here as well as a new challenge; to change the stigma associated with retirees living in RV's full-time and embrace the choice as an alternative life style in the season of our 60's!
Thus begins our journey begins!
Your Next Season . . . 5 Thoughts and Questions
Whether or not you are headed into your 60's, you may be thinking about living full-time in an RV. Here are a few thoughts and questions we asked of ourselves, and each other, that might help you decide if this is the right life style for you and your family.
1. Are you and all involved ready to make a huge and drastic life change?
2. Who will be impacted by your decision? (Spouse, partner, children, parents, pets, other?)
Are they in favor of the change?
Is it physically and mentally possible for them to do so?
3. Do you want to travel or plant yourself?
Is everyone in agreement?
What changes will have to be considered if you move around? (i.e., schooling, jobs, planning, finances, etc.)
4. What will each individual and the collective group have to give up in order for it to work? (i.e., "stuff", furniture, extra clothes, toys (even big boy toys), meeting with friends, etc.).
5. How will you finance this life style change?
Do you have sufficient income and savings?
Will you continue working?
If you have answered YES to these questions, then it just might be time to begin planning for your Next Season.
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