I spend much of my planning time getting things in order for Plan A. That is planning to retire and going fulltime in an RV. I have also been keeping notes on a blog page when I learn how others eventually implemented their strategy, for those that had one, to come off the road. Here is a link to my page on exit strategies if you’re interested.
I’ve had conversations with people describing how their time in an RV turned out to be the dream life they thought it would be. I’ve also appreciated other’s views on the events that went wrong, and in a couple cases, did not work out much at all. Perhaps any big change in life, regardless if it’s related to retirement, a trip around the country in an RV or starting a new line of work, have similar risks involved. For me, those risks have always been minimized by planning. Frankly, I don’t regret a single big change I’ve made in life and for the most part they worked out. And a few of those big changes were made after less planning than I’ve been doing as related to an RV lifestyle. The whole retirement thing comes in time regardless. It’s just something a person needs to start thinking about very early during a career despite what you eventually plan to do in your retirement years.
If Plan A is to retire to the RV lifestyle, then perhaps Plan B is simply what to do when you come off the road. OR – is there a need to think about a third option which consists of what to do if the RV dream is not what we thought it would be only a few months into it. I’ve mentioned before we never planned to retire in our current home for various reasons. I even have a house plan stashed away which I had considered years ago as a retirement home. So, for us, I’m thinking it’s no big deal to sell the house and attempt a life in an RV traveling around this country. Karen has already made it clear she does not want to live in a trailer unless we are traveling. I respect her wishes and am glad she tells me what she thinks.
After much research it has become apparent to me that others had a plan in case the RV dream did not work out. That’s why they might have rented out their homes rather than selling, decided to keep a large storage locker or spent less on their rig and kept more in the bank for the future. Especially in old age when it’s hard to replace a lifetime of accumulated wealth. We all know an RV is a rapidly depreciating piece of property. Spending a retirement nest-egg on an RV might not be a wise thing to do. Going back to my research I’ve made note that experienced travelers suggest it takes a year to work into the lifestyle which is another consideration.
So enters Plan C or whatever one wants to call it. I’ll call it insurance in case the RV dream does not work out. For me, I’ll still be young enough to re-enter the workforce. My skill sets are easily transferable to a new job. We don’t plan to go all-in financially with our truck and fifth wheel. And I believe we have both moved past thinking our current house is the end-all of homes. Some of the smaller decisions, such as do we take out “insurance” in the way of a storage unit, have yet to be made.
Thinking through these possibilities is influencing some of my research. Such as do we go with an expensive rig or not. I’ve been paying attention to blogs where folks are pulling around a four season rig that did not cost them an arm and a leg to purchase. They seem to be having a great time! Besides, even those expensive, would-be top of the line rigs are often nightmares. Having owned a 30 foot travel trailer and rented a 25 foot class C in the past, we have a better understanding of what our minimum standards are. I’d not want to sabotage our chance of success in an RV by settling on a unit that is below those standards of comfort.
In our staff dining area at work one of the cooks posts several daily bits of information on the wall. Recently one poster stated a leading cause of depression was over-thinking. Hmm, I had to stop and think about that one…..
Part of my plan is to keep getting better at going with the flow and make use of problem solving skills rather than getting frustrated. I’ve got a good friend that’s a master at it. Perhaps I should pay attention more often. Perhaps running into small problems are just an opportunity to practice being easy going? Or by definition to be able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
I read an America Indian story once. It went something like this. A large storm came to their camp. A man’s wife was taken up into a tornado funnel. For months he followed the tornado over the vast plains while overcoming great personal suffering. In the end the tornado ran out of energy and released his wife thereby rewarding the man for his efforts. The man learned to be patient. Or course, by embellishing the story the man was able to keep his children’s attention while teaching them the lesson.
Maybe that man should have planned ahead and built a storm shelter! Now I’m overthinking the story and it’s depressing me.
P.S. Here is a timely article and video by Technomadia titled The Sucky Sides of RVing. Here is another timely post by Camper Chronicles. I’ve been following a few from the class of 2014 to see what they are learning and what happens.
Be safe in your travels and at home.