Saturday, December 2, 2023


What if one RVing spouse retires but the other keeps stalling?


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
I was laid off from my auto parts manufacturing job a few years ago and decided to take an early retirement. My husband was still working but we figured we would both retire soon and try the RV lifestyle. He keeps dragging his feet. I should have gotten another job but the industry is still pretty slow. How do other people handle this situation? One retires and the other can’t seem to make the move. We have already bought a fifth-wheel that we use on weekends and holidays. He loves it, but is so used to working it scares him to think of giving it up. —Lady in waiting in Waterton

Dear Lady:
That is a dilemma. Instead of getting another job, you could get another husband. Just kidding. Most people have one foot out the door long before they can retire, while others find it very hard to pull the trigger. You didn’t mention your ages. Maybe you are not close to the average retirement age and your husband is worried about your financial future.

Some people do make the move prematurely, without enough planning, and regret it later. I think it is a very personal choice that each couple has to make between themselves. You should sit down and discuss your future and come to some understanding. Find out what it will take to motivate your husband to retire. If it looks like it might be a couple more years, you might then be able to be at ease with it, find another job, or at least be able to plan your course until he is ready. 

I feel for you in the job market. I grew up in Pontiac, Michigan, and know a lot of people that lost good jobs during the Great Recession, and those jobs never came back. I wrote a song about it. I have linked it here.  UAW RAG—Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.




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Grandmotherbear (@guest_4604)
6 years ago

I had to retire earlier than planned on because of chronic pain. I had been extremely active in the outdoors until the pain started getting bad about 6 years before I retired. I’m a life member of The Florida Trail Association and was active in Boy Scouting for 17 years. My husband decided to not participate in our camping/outdoors life early on in our marriage. I always extended him invitations of course, and I made the big 3 city related vacations he wanted to take happen.

When I talked him into touring the Parkliner and Lilsnoozy factories with me, I asked him his impressions and he said that “SOME DAY” it might be nice to buy one and start camping in it since we both hurt too much to sleep on the ground any more. “SOME DAY” had always been his response when I asked him to go on trips with me… I’m a Hospice nurse and I know very well that SOME DAY never comes. So when I was looking at some different camping trips I might take and he brought out that “SOME DAY” response I asked him to stop lying to me. I told him that I knew better than to expect him to ever accompany me -if he had seriously meant for us to share these kinds of experiences he would have gone with me at least a couple times in the past, and I had every intention of searching for a camping buddy to go along with me. It really brought him up with a jerk. He did start trying to insist that he would go with me, and even asked for some input on the Snoozy options, which I did grant to him.
I thought we might need to enter this idea of travelling to have fun very slowly. I took him up to the IcheetuckneeSprings State Park for a day of tubing, staying at a motel nearby. He confided to me that he was having severe anxiety over “wasting” time, even though he had no scheduled work for these few days. It was very hard for him to relax.
We have camped out in the Snoozy 8 days since we picked it up. One trip was to spend 5 days with one child and family over Xmas and then go to the other child for 4-5 more days. We actually only had one day with the second child, he got too anxious and had to return home right away.
I planned on touring several provinces in Canada this summer. DH did say he would go with me. It’s very frustrating trying to plan it out enough to satisfy his {bleeped}-retentive outlook. I know there is a good chance I’ll be flying him back halfway thru the vacation. I really have next to no hope left he’ll accompany me, it’s not as if it’s been a bad marriage, so I won’t be trading him in on a husband who would LIKE to camping with me, I just really, really, wish I could reminisce with someone about the great places I have been to over the years.

Lou (@guest_4315)
6 years ago

My friend leaves her husband, the guy said we’ll travel after you retire and now decided he doesn’t want to, at home. She hooks up the 5th wheel and goes without him. She can drive and park that as well as anyone. Doesn’t take muscle to hookup/drive/park a camper..

Judy Steverson (@guest_4274)
6 years ago

There are various workamping positions available all over the country. While these positions do not include salaries, most do include a site and full hook ups in exchange for services.

Ron Cook (@guest_4273)
6 years ago

Often people, esp males, are afraid of not having anything to do. You can only look at the cactus outside your door at Quartzite for so many days ?
Potential retirees may find Habitat for Humanity a good option which gives flexibility in terms of places, costs, and timing. It may also teach some new skills to non-builders (as it did me).
I found Habitat and Nomads eg. Through the Escapees website.

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