Fulltime RVing – Plan ahead for “hanging up the keys”

14

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Fulltime RVing is great, with so many places to explore, people to meet, things to learn. Sadly, the clock continues to run during the adventure, and eventually you may need to “hang up the fulltime keys.” So how do you leave the fulltime lifestyle and return to a non-nomadic life? You might think this information doesn’t apply to you, but beware! It’s never too early to think about it – “retiring” from the lifestyle could require some advance planning.

Many RVers find the process of going off the road easiest on the heartstrings by handling it in a “staged” manner. No jumping direct from the RV to a fixed place – rather, they find a suitable place to call their new home then “drop in” for occasional stopovers, spending a little time in the “new place,” then going back out on the road. Some become snowbirds again, chasing the sun south in the wintertime then heading back north to a fixed base thereafter.

Many fulltimers never really stop the RV lifestyle – they continue to own and use an RV. Granted, their time on the road might not even be equivalent to that of a snowbird, but “keeping their hand in” makes the change more tolerable.

But where will you call the fixed place “home”? Some have gone back to their roots, hanging up the keys at the spot where they first began fulltime RVing. Others who, after seeing many regions of the country, have found one of those places they traveled in to be more appealing. Health concerns may have a big share in this: What kind of weather will your body tolerate, and where can you find suitable medical care?

If you’ve hung onto your old “sticks and bricks” home, don’t think you necessarily have to return to it. Some have found it best to “go home” and put the place up for sale, then move to where life is best suited. If you already sold your home, if you’ve parked the money in the bank or in some kind of investment, then you’ll have the resources to buy a new homestead.

Still others, like members of the fulltime RV club Escapees, have found buying into a club-related co-op just the ticket. Friends of ours spent many years on the road and knew they’d eventually have to “light somewhere.” So they got on the waiting list for an Escapee’s co-op near Yuma. They called the co-op home, but spent the summers as camphosts in northern California. Then they reached the point where that was too much. They sold their big Class A and retired. We couldn’t believe it! Well, sure enough, a few months later they picked up a much smaller motorhome, and now spend their spare time happily touring wherever they wish.

What about family? Some figure one of the best things they could do would be to settle near their offspring. That might not be a bad idea, but bear in mind, things can change. Where Junior or Princess are settled today with solid-seeming jobs can change in a hurry. Job transfers or downsizing layoffs can change things for family members. Might not be a bad idea to visit the kids and have a family conference to a have a real heart-to-heart about your future. Nah, the kids don’t want to imagine the folks getting old, but hey, it does happen.

And speaking of heart-to-hearts, like funeral planning, for fulltimers, talking about going off the road is not the most favorite topic. But unfortunately, right now – like death and taxes – these are the kind of subjects that really need to be talked about and planned for. The future just has a way of catching up with us – no matter how “young” we think we are.

##RVT839

14
Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Loneoutdoorsman

Time to hang up the keys? There is another option. Ey dumped the house and 78 years of stuff four years ago and hit the road in my Ford F-350 Diesel with a Fox on top. Having an incredibly great adventure in my new life on the road meeting some truly nice people. Like almost every human being in the world, Ey am addicted to fossil fuel. Ey feed my addiction with 40 gallons of diesel (No B-20, thank you). Ey thought to slow down a little after a few years, but have not. My goal is to enjoy this great country xxxxx. (bleeped)
Have made the decision not to wither and die in an “old age facility “ by some disease in a puddle of my own mess like several of my friends. Have purchased a cremation contract for any place and any reason. Ey don’t subscribe to any spirits, imaginary deities, or goblins, religions, nor any existence beyond this one. So, when it’s time to hang up the keys, hopefully quite a few years from now, my plan is to take one last hike with my Colt 45 and die of lead poisoning.
Til then, burn diesel and use paper plates. The one with the biggest carbon footprint wins.
Ey don’t make big plans on where my travels take me. Ey will have reached my destination when my foot hits the accelerator. Just head out and enjoy the road.
The Loneoutdoorsman

Elizabeth L.

My hubby and I did put money away for retirement and also get good social security income. We currently work-camp as we are both healthy and can’t imagine sitting around with nothing to do. We winter in Texas and are now family at that park. We summer up on the Hood Canal in Washington and are family there too. We cook at home and watch what we spend. We realize we are lucky … we have met and talked to many people who live in an RV and just make ends meet. While I may not be as strident as Mr. Bender, he makes valid points about how this country has changed from ‘good for most’ to ‘excellent for only a few’. All you have to do is drive through some small rural towns to realize that many Americans live in poverty. Politicians will never help you, they’re only in it for themselves and their ego; Democrat or Republican. Truly, things need to change.

booneyrat

I suggest a company like MASA for full timers.MASA is an organization that takes care of you,and your spouse,if you are far from where you call home base and something happens where you cant make it on your own.They will return you,if need be, and your belongings,including your RV,to a place designated by you no questions asked. We haven’t had to use them yet,but we are locked and loaded if and when the time comes.

Bill T.

Thanks everyone and especially LEE W, for the comprehensive information.

Darrel

Sell the house to fulltime
Monthly Bill’s are no higher than living in a house in my experience
And our eventual landing pad is a Escapees co-op until assisted living becomes essential

Dr4Film ----- Richard

Put away as much as you can afford into a tax deferred or ROTH IRA when you start your first job, hopefully in your early 20’s. Increase it every year and by the time you are ready to retire trust me you will be able to afford the RV Full-Time lifestyle plus have a good backup plan for when “that” time comes. Those people who don’t save for their retirements until it’s too late will never be able to afford the lifestyle on social security. In fact SS doesn’t even come close to covering the basic needs.

Barbara Brooker

Our expenses are nearly the same and often less in RV living. We full-timed for 10 years. Now we half-time. We are midwesterners and I will admit we could not survive on east coast or west coast costs of living. Then or now. The middle of the country is still very economical.

Bill T

Interesting article. I have a couple of questions. Do you have any advise or information for Canadian RVer’s who can’t spend more than 180 day in the US a year? and I guess my biggest question is, without diving into anything personal, how do people afford it? I see many articles from lots of RV folks who are having a great time with this lifestyle, but no on can seem to share how they financially plan for RV’ing. It seems like people have thousands of dollars to spare as well as own their homes. Again I don’t want to dive into anyone personal situations but I would like to know “How do you pay for it all?” Thanks.