Archive for February 18th, 2023

It’s not always bad news…

Just a reminder that this was published a few years ago, long before a severe storm stranded us in Texas and Nadyne succumbed to cancer… I’ll be hitting the road again this summer. FYI- The couple in the photo isn’t us.

Reason #13- Enjoying Retirement

For most, retirement is a phase of life, a chapter near the end of the book, a distinct change in lifestyle.  Social Security age requirements may influence the target (retire at 62, wait until full benefits kick in or decide on something in between), or perhaps the status of one’s 401K or retirement savings plan, or more importantly, one’s health condition.  Any way you get there, hopefully you can enjoy it. 

My father passed away from a stroke at age 55, and he had huge retirement plans that he never had a chance to fulfill.  My wife’s mother became ill just about when her father retired, and he put aside their retirement travel plans.  When he tragically passed away before her, she was still too weak to travel.  That inspired both of us to retire and hit the road running as soon as possible.  I did postpone my exit as a manager a few months until I could help train my replacement, but was still 62 and Nadyne 63 when we pulled the trigger, selling our house and moving into our fifth wheel.

We had planned our escape for five years and could hardly believe when it finally arrived.  Downsizing was far more difficult than we expected, and leaving friends behind was equally disheartening. 

Social Security only pays so much and we have resisted using savings, so Nadyne is still working about 40 hours per month and I am writing books and articles so that we can be more comfortable in our travel.

Since retiring and moving to the highways and byways of America, we have had good times and bad, the latter mostly having to do with our RV repairs, losing Lucy, our beloved dog of 12 years, and COVID restrictions.  However, the sights we’ve seen, the experiences we’ve shared, the awe of nature, the splendor of the night sky, and the interesting differences in landscape and community among the different sections of the country — all of these have made our lifestyle much more than satisfying.  As an added bonus, we’ve been able to visit, in person, our six kids, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and 10 siblings and their families, scattered across the country.  This would not have been possible if we weren’t able to retire and travel freely like we do.

I did not experience a culture shock when I stopped getting up at 4:45 a.m. on weekdays.  Instead, I began to “sleep in” until 7 a.m. and stay up as long as I like.  Sometimes I even stay in bed until 8:30!  Before the pandemic, we were able to experience the local night life and regional restaurant favorites wherever we happened to be and I have now sung karaoke in about 20 states.  I now have photo galleries posted from 35 states and our two cruises (Alaska and the Caribbean), much of which has been taken since we hit the road.  We return to Colorado every summer to catch up with friends and do the doctor and dentist routines, as well as touring one of our favorite states. 

And then there are the myriad of friendships we’ve made, some due to our membership and activities in RVillage (now approaching 400,000 RV members), and some are people we meet along our journeys.  The RV community is an unusual bunch in that members have much more in common than not.  Almost everyone has stories about a black tank experience or a particularly bizarre campground, and they can’t wait to share experiences with people who haven’t heard them yet and want to share their own stories.  We see a few of our RV friends in multiple locations, which is always fun.  One couple has crossed our path in Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Ohio, and another in California, Florida and Oregon.

None of this would have been possible without our retiring while we still had our health.  Sadly, like both of our fathers, some never get the chance.  I highly recommend it!


Most quotes I find about retirement are either political or financial in nature.  However, British actor Richard C. Armitage had this to say: “My instruction to my parents is that I would rather they enjoy their retirement than leave me anything when they go. I am much happier watching them enjoying life.”  Mr. Armitage, I salute you.

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