Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Saturday, November 13, 2010

At Home and Counting the Days

I’ve read numerous blog posts about the experiences of folks during their last year before retirement as they prepared for full- or part-time RV living.  Most appear to make the transition in a fairly well-ordered way, having decided on their goal and exhibiting little indecision as they moved forward.

I don’t think I like those people.

Yes, I’m jealous.  Jealous, because I’m not doing this as gracefully as they did.  I am, at the same time, excited and apprehensive, euphoric and depressed, focused and distracted, self-confident and paranoid.  Having had a long career requiring good judgment, focus, logic and responsibility—even for the very lives of other people—I am not comfortable in this state of being.   

The notion of not working at a job, as I have done for, let’s see, 43 years, seems strangely incomprehensible.  I’ve been trying to imagine what it will be like to start out on an RV trip without any consideration given to the need to race back home and go to work.  That’s got to be a little like Heaven.

The hardest part has been deciding what retirement would look like—full timing or part timing.  This is probably the principal source of the uncertainty that has been hanging around.  The fulltime lifestyle is incredibly attractive, as the bondage of owning and maintaining a stick and brick house evaporates, allowing the freedom to roam from place to place, staying as long as desired and doing whatever we want.

On the other hand, we have some pretty deep roots here with our church, family and friends, not to mention the house we built specifically to accommodate an RV. 

Then there’s the financial thing.  Are we sufficiently prepared to live on something less than a rather substantial salary?  I think so, but are my calculations too optimistic?  Does the economic climate today place our investments in jeopardy?

See what I mean?  My prognostications have all the reliability of a blind fortune teller, but things seem to be pointing to part-timing until clarity returns.

There’s also Homer; it’s been a good rig, but it is hardly up to snuff for fulltime or even part-time use.  Besides, we think we want a higher-end fiver that will include all the bells and whistles we have grown to covet.  We’ve been looking at Mobile Suites and Carriage products and like them both, except the closest Mobile Suites dealer is in Granbury, some 50 miles away; that pretty well nixes it as a contender.

So, a little sympathy would be in order from those of you who have entered and exited this tunnel with your dignity and reputation intact.  As for me, you may just find me in the same condition as Yossarian in Catch-22—sitting naked in a tree.  


  1. Good post. All of your points are thought provoking and I think most of us wrestle with many of the same.

    Regarding the financial climate, I totally understand. That said, would it really matter if you stopped working and stayed at home or hit the road in an RV? When you think about it, the fear is essentially the same.

    I think the larger question is this; can you or any of us leave our comfort zone behind us and move into a less familiar world?

    Again, very good post!

  2. One of the hardest things I have ever done, was to sell my home and everything I owned. Once I did that it was all down hill. We have been living in our motor home for over 4 years now. Good luck

  3. I think everyone does this a little differently. They figure out what works for them and adjust accordingly. You, too, will figure out what will work for you.

    When we bought our sticks and bricks, I thought we'd live in it forever. It was our dream home. We were happy and comfortable there for many years. The decision to sell it vs. going part-time came gradually. We eventually realized that we did not want to be tied to that house; that it would feel restricting to us rather than our dream. Dreams change :)
    Your roots to your church, family and friends will not disappear regardless of your decision. You'll make it work...whichever you decide to do.

  4. hey there..we are friends with Gord and Juanita!!..small world..and yes I can relate to your post beyond belief..I hate them all!..not really but you know what we mean..the green eyed monster rears its ugly head some days....we have 40 months and 16 days..way too much time still..hang in there! will happen and be here before you know it!


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