Saturday, December 10, 2022


Budget woes: How can we afford to follow our RV dream?

Dear RV Shrink: 
rvshrinkWe have been planning our retirement and mostly full-time RV travel for several years. Everything was on schedule until the bubble burst and the economy tanked. We still want to retire but we lost half our investment savings in the crash. We fired our investment advisor and put what was left in bonds, but our travel budget and dreams are shrinking. We read articles about people working on the road, hosting campgrounds and using various strategies to live the dream. I have a fear of not being able to survive financially on the road. Can you help me overcome this hang-up. —Panic in Pottstown

Dear Panic:
There are a million ways to retire and another million ways to travel and live full-time in an RV. I kept telling my wife I wanted to retire and she would always say, “You have to have a JOB first!” What a killjoy. I would tell her about an article I read that said, “You only need two things to retire successfully, a spouse and a TV, and they both have to be working.”

I am no financial advisor and do not know your personal situation. I can say that when you retire, how well you live at home or on the road depends on your lifestyle. To some people, “roughing it” is bad room service. Some people travel ten thousand+ miles per year and others have a few favorite places they drop anchor for months at a time. My wife and I traveled for seven years working three months on, three months off. We always found interesting work, lived on one paycheck and saved the other.  After three months we would National Park hop for three more. Made money and many lifetime friends around the country working our various jobs. My point is, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

I would advise you to be careful taking any of the various volunteer positions available to RVers, if you are having a regular financial shortfall. Besides free camping, these jobs make no cents.

Adjust course with your shrinking budget and full steam ahead. The economy is continuing to recover. If you keep thinking you’re shrinking with those low interest bonds, I can still treat you — maybe I can help you be a little patient. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink

The RV Shrink is not really a psychologist (or professional RV technician). But he does know a lot.


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