Retirement...and Thinking

We were given an assignment here at work to in-corporate different types of thinking and to tell of an experience we’ve had either here in the office or personally.

After much thought I would have to tell of a personal experience that is currently in process. 

My upcoming retirement!  

First, Big Picture thinking, What is it that we want to do.  After much thought and careful consideration Dave and I have decided to sell our home and hit the open road in a truck and a 5th wheel trailer. Matter of fact we have a buyer for the house when we are ready to go.  What would we do? Where would we go? How would we fund it? We would see Dave’s family in Canada, some of my family on the east coast that I have not seen in over 55 years. We plan to see as many historical sites as possible. In order to have a good view of the big picture I have been doing 3 years of intense research. Searching RV forms, talking to other RVers, asking questions, getting answers, more questions, more answers.  But the Big Picture is intact. The fun part has been breaking it out in to small pieces.

With focused thinking I have had to clear away all the clutter and set goals.  Some of these goals have been met some have not. But I keep chipping away at them.  How to clear out 40+ years of memories, who to give some of it to, what to throw away, what to give away, what to sell.  What to put in storage, if I even want to do that.  Set a timeline to purchase our rig and truck. Which of these comes first? What kind of truck do we need, what type of rig are we wanting.  Over the last three years I have looked at hundreds of rigs and Class A motorhomes.  Do we want new or used. When we come off the road where will we land and why?  All of these questions have to be thought out down to the last detail. It’s all been decided. I also have goal posters all over the house.

Now comes creative thinking   What do we do If we need to work out on the road?  Lots!  We have an opportunity to work in the National Forrest up in Colorado during the summers, down in South Texas in the oil patch in the winters.  I have my Mary Kay business; I’m also a painter and can paint and sell at local craft fairs.  Or work on my photography and sell it.  I also enjoy blogging and may write a book, maybe we will produce an RV cooking show and put it on YouTube, I might invent something for the RV industry. I may even sing for my supper. who knows the sky is the limit. As you all know I am a person of many talents.  We also plan to volunteer our time in a CARE unit down in Texas to build credit for when we have to stay in the CARE unit.  Where will we stay while traveling? Boon docking of course! We plan to be self-sustaining.  Solar will supply most of our power along with a generator. 

We have had to think realistically as well. Can we afford to do this? With all the other thinking that I have been doing I would have to say yes.  It’s taken a lot of number crunching and planning but yes, we can do it, if we buy a used truck and trailer to start out with and stick to the plan of work which will pay off our bills, then yes it will work.  We have had to think realistically about our health.  With David having had a heart attack 6 years ago and turning 70 this year, can he do this?  Yes, no reason not to.  Less stress on him, he won’t have to mow any grass or pull weeds and the work we will do is not demanding.  We have been very fortunate to have a lot of resources at our fingertips.  It’s amazing how much information is out there on the internet.

Oh the Possibilities will take you far.  That kind of thinking will get you a long ways down the road.  Lots of days I arrive at home tired from my work here, but when I think of the Possibilities of retirement and think about getting to spend wonderful one on one time with my grandchildren I am energized! I have always been told to Dream Big, with Possibility thinking I can do that.

During this process of the Big Picture I have had to do a lot of reflective thinking.  Several times during this exercise I have had to move back my timeline but each time looking at problems in a new light and with determination.

There are lots of people we’ve not told what we’re going to do, but who will go with popular thinking. “ Oh that’s not what you should do when you retire, why do you want to do that?”  Why not?  We don’t want to go with the “Status Quo’’, there is too much to do in life to be tied to one spot.  The other night we stepped out our front door to go to the office supply store and immediately heard a great horned owl hooting.  Looking up we saw that he was in our big dead tree in the front yard looking at an eerie full moon and letting us know what he thought about it.  Popular thinking tells us we should take the tree down as it’s ugly and very dead, but had we taken the tree down we would not have gotten to experience the owl hooting at a full moon. What a beautiful sight and sound.  Sometimes its uncomfortable thinking differently but if there is beauty in that, then I am ok with it.

Shared thinking has been a must between my husband and me.  I can dream all I want but if he’s not on board with the plan then what’s the point of all my thinking, planning and scheming.  My most loved moment came about 7 months after I posed the possibility of this plan of retirement back in 2009 after reading “Retire to an RV” and talking to new found friends.  I had been working up all the angles, crunching numbers, presenting everything to him, we talked to our kids about it, had their approval, matter of fact they felt that this would be wonderful for us and encouraged us to continue with our plans. Dave, still was not quite sure about all of it, one evening while listening to me explain the plans to some friends of ours, he saw the light so to speak.  About a week later we were talking to some other friends of ours and out of the clear blue he told them what our plans were and how he thought it was going to be great and he has not stopped telling everyone since.  Needless to say I was flabbergasted that he mentioned it before I did.  My heart exploded with joy as he was finally on board and the shared thinking process started. I will throw an idea out and he will take up the idea and run with it and then we get together and will hash it out bouncing ideas off of each other. It’s a Lovely, lovely process.

Unselfish thinking how did we want to tackle that one?  We looked into several service projects. One evening while watching Extreme Home Makeover it came to us, it would give us no greater honor than to help build a home for one of our wounded warriors.  Another activity is to volunteer with the USO.  My dad talked about all the wonderful things the USO did for him while he was in the Navy during WWII.  I would like to return that favor in his honor.  Another activity is helping with a CARE unit in Texas, which stands for “Continued Assistance for Retired Escapees”.  An Escapee is a person that has been a full time RVer and has had to “Hang up the Keys” so to speak, due to age or health reasons, It allows a person to continue to live in their RV, receive 3 meals a day 7 days a week, have planned activities, have their laundry done, RV cleaned, be taken to the Dr. or shopping.  Basically its goal is to delay or eliminate the need for a nursing home for a very low fee.  It’s the only unit of its kind in the United States. Its run by a full time staff with a lot of help from volunteers who give a month of their time to help others and the perks are many, one day in the far future we too will be residents.

In the meantime we’re ready to start our new journey, one step at a time.

Happy trails…


  1. Great post. I read it several times. I have only one thing to add. Right now you both are so busy, what with work and all, but when you retire and hit the road you will be hit head on with days when there is not much to do. You will have to learn to deal with doing nothing. It is not as easy as it sounds. Some folks can never deal with it. I want you to think about that before you get hit with it head on. :-)

  2. In addition to my previous comment, you need to consider what you or your hubby will do if something happens that takes the other out of the picture. I had to deal with that and it is not easy. You need to have what I call a "back out," plan. How to get out of full timing if it becomes necessary.

    Just trying to be helpful, even though some of these thoughts are not too pleasant.

  3. What a great blog post you wrote! I enjoyed it very much. Lots of planning and thinking through things for sure. But, Sweetie Pie, it is all worth it. We are so happy being fulltime RVers and cherish this lifestyle. Can't wait to see you "on the road". Hurry, hurry!!!

  4. Great post, Susie ! AS Bobbie said, it's an amazing life that us nomads live and we absolutely love it (we'll love it even more when we don't have to work any more). We'll see you guys in April when we come to Oklahoma....looking forward to seeing you both again.

  5. We have thought about what to do when there is nothing to do. As I stated earlier in the post, I am a painter and photographer. I can always find something to shoot or paint.

    As for the other, I more than likely would downsize the rig to a class C rig and continue full-timing. I want to explore as much as possible. We have thought about these scenarios and what we would do. No stone has been left unturned.


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