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Old 08-04-2008, 01:33 PM   #41
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Ha, I'm sure he'll be completely "behind" that idea.
and if what he claims is true and that my nagging is in fact shortening his lifespan, then I'll aim to be one of those widows...
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:58 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Audrey, how do you think the RV lifestyle fits in to this? I can see where the zillions of planning details surrounding itineraries, choice of campgrounds, maintaining the rig and meeting new people all the time might provide a built-in structure to stave off stagnation.

But then again, the difficulty of getting really plugged in to a community (as in setting down roots) when you are full-timing might be unsettling to the newer retiree.

Any observations?
We were already retired for almost 6 years before we went full time RVing, and retired 4.5 years before we even started RVing.

We did several kinds of travel those first few years. On our own, with groups, photography, birdwatching, nature exploration, by land, by boat, by plane. Our lives swapped between bursts of travel and bursts of stay-at-home and do stuff. Although I took full advantage of the benefits of a fixed abode (took local classes, enjoyed a personal trainer for 2.5 years), ultimately the wandering lifestyle won out as the "ideal" for us. But it really took us almost 5 years retired to discover (and refine) what this "ideal" lifestyle was for us.

The fulltime RV lifestyle is actually much less structured than the live-in-a-house and go-on-planned-trips lifestyle. At least the way we do it which is pretty much a continual winging it scenario. It's August, and we're STILL in Oregon - we didn't expect that!

I remember having to do much more research and planning when we were going on the traveling bursts mode - plane tickets, hotels, rental cars, etc. With the RV we tend to just figure out what to do 1 day in advance - or same day even! We make very few advanced reservations. It's very open-ended lifestyle, and we just LOVE the flexibility and serendipity of living this way. But fulltime RVing is definitely a more complex lifestyle than having a fixed abode even though it definitely makes the traveling easier - every time you go grocery shopping it's a new store!, you gotta get your mail to catch up with you now and then, ordering stuff is a challenge (you gotta be somewhere long enough), you gotta swap stuff in and out of storage occasionally, there is always something to deal with on the motorhome.

I think when you retire you kind of have to re-plug-in to a community anyway, so I don't know if it matters that much whether it's a mobile community or not (although you really should gain some RV experience before jumping in with both feet). We've made plenty of friends who like to do the same stuff we did (that's how we meet them!) and as we travel, we have these friends all over the country anyway. Our friends didn't really change when we went fulltime. But we also still keep in touch with friends from 10, 20 years ago, some of whom have moved, and when we pass through their area we reconnect. With email and phones it's so easy to keep in touch no matter where you are.

just some thoughts....

Audrey
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:32 PM   #43
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You should write a book, Audrey. Your insights into RVing always amaze me. Most of what I read (web or printed) deals with fuel, mechanics, or whether to pack a gun aboard . I find your descriptions both realistic and encouraging.
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:57 PM   #44
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Thanks. Glad you find them inspiring. We took a very conscious, aware approach to how we wanted to live. I wrote more on Chinaco's "Things to keep you active" thread.

Don't have time to write a book though! I've got other important projects that are being neglected because we keep ending up in such interesting places and ya gotta seize the moment!

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:59 PM   #45
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I am not yet retired---but I do think about the possibility of boredom that lack of structure can bring on. That is a big part of my motivation for reading this forum. I think the financial aspects of retirement are the easiest to figure out. Finances reallly work out to a fairly simple match problem (expenses x 25 for example). Now I am not saying that accumulating the assets to allow for retirement is easy, but I do believe that is easy to determine with a fair degree of certainty if you have "enough" Planning for how to structure a life is a much more interesting question. That is a challenge that I am looking forward to meeting.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:15 PM   #46
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apparently, with a lake and a speedboat you wouldn't have to check, but just make your own surforecast. check it out...
briansears11 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hey, Lazy, I missed this the first time through. It certainly solves the paddling problem-- thanks!
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:17 AM   #47
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I am not yet retired---but I do think about the possibility of boredom that lack of structure can bring on. That is a big part of my motivation for reading this forum. I think the financial aspects of retirement are the easiest to figure out. Finances reallly work out to a fairly simple match problem (expenses x 25 for example). Now I am not saying that accumulating the assets to allow for retirement is easy, but I do believe that is easy to determine with a fair degree of certainty if you have "enough" Planning for how to structure a life is a much more interesting question. That is a challenge that I am looking forward to meeting.
I agree. For most of the last 30 years all I thought about was the $ aspect. Now that I've reached FI, I've finally realized there's a lot more to it. Reading Work Less, Live More (Clyatt) and How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free (Zelinski) opened my eyes. So I am spending my last 2 years working focused on the aspects other than $. Will be fun/interesting. And I agree there have been lots of worthwhile POV's here to add to the process...
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:18 PM   #48
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I am not yet retired---but I do think about the possibility of boredom that lack of structure can bring on. ... Planning for how to structure a life is a much more interesting question. That is a challenge that I am looking forward to meeting.
I honestly don't believe that lack of structure causes boredom. We become "trained" to live a very structured life in the modern world - first with schooling, and then work/career, and as a consequence less structure might feel a little funny at first, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. And I think it is possible to have a very structured life and be bored out of your mind.

I commend you for thinking consciously about how you want to live your retired life, and that you look forward to this challenge. That is a terrific attitude and I think it means you'll be pretty happy in retirement.

After I retired, I gave myself plenty of time to decompress and kept things simple for a while (at the same time doing a bunch of stuff that we really couldn't while working). Then, after say a year, I began to more actively experiment with different things to see what really clicked. Finally, after a couple of years or so, I went through a very conscious "streamlining process", where we really stepped back and decided that A, B, and C were the top priorities in our lives, and figured out how to optimize our lifestyle to emphasize those and remove many of the day-to-day hassles. This led us to our current lifestyle. Making the grand transition took another year or so. So overall, it took us a few years to get there, but I'm not sure I could have either figured it out before I retired or done it that quickly.

But you're on the right track in realizing that "designing your new life" is the key to look forward to, and it is much more rich and complex than the financial aspects, and requires that you truly "know thyself" or invest in the discovery.

Audrey
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:20 AM   #49
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I honestly don't believe that lack of structure causes boredom. We become "trained" to live a very structured life in the modern world - first with schooling, and then work/career, and as a consequence less structure might feel a little funny at first, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. And I think it is possible to have a very structured life and be bored out of your mind.
Some people just don't want to (or can't) be responsible for their own entertainment...
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:20 PM   #50
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Some people just don't want to (or can't) be responsible for their own entertainment...
You got that right! Thankfully I'm not in that number!!! I can easily keep myself entertained.....and it's not difficult at all!!! Even if it's just sitting on the patio doing absolutely nothing, I'm entertained! I've been ER'd for 16 months (as of tomorrow), and I haven't even come close to being bored......I haven't had time to be bored. The other day I sat under the shade tree in my Adirondack chair, and watched the birds and bugs play, and enjoyed an occasional cloud passing over......for 5 solid hours! Only took enough time out to make a sandwich and grab a handful of chips....then picked up where I left off doing nothing. Man, what a great time I had that day!

I've occasionally pondered trying to find time to do some volunteering, but everywhere around here wants you commit to a certain day (or days) every week, and the same hours all the time.......flexibility isn't an option with them. My desire and ability to live within "structure" has diminished to very near the point of nonexistence. If I could do it on varying days and at varying hours, I'd go for it in a heart-beat......heck I could easily commit to that, and could even schedule specific days and hours for 1-2 months at a time....but they're rigid and structured in their rules, and I'm anything but!

I lost my ability to deal with 'structure' on the same day I lost my 'work ethic'.......16 months ago tomorrow!
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