Well, I guess it is important to keep making goals, even into retirement. And I have a few.
The most important goal? Create the future us. As my retirement date quickly approaches, Lorraine and I will be pursuing a new chapter of life, the best time of our lives. We have a chance to follow passions and dreams different from the time we have spent during career and raising family. As I have been reminded time and again, we need to retire to something and not from something.
Lorraine and I have talked about many things related to retirement. More often than not, it has been focused on the financial side. Are we ready? Do we have enough money set aside?
Now that the date has been declared and the time is quickly approaching, we are spending more time talking about the what and the why. Our goals and our key motivations for the next few years.
I have some personal goals — I always have been a bit of a driven person — and I will have a lot more time coming my way to act on them. I have no doubt that I can keep myself busy however it is important to me that Lorraine and I go through this stage of life as we have through our 38 years of marriage: together, continuing to grow and continuing to contribute as a couple. Which means not just me and my goals.
We are obviously looking forward to our travels. Lots of adventures will be coming our way.
Lorraine has already started the new year with a big goal: getting us ready to explore North America in our coach. We have mapped out most of what we want to do in the United States as Canadian snowbirds during our first winter as retirees. We will need to map out the first 12 – 18 months with a bit of structure and yet leave room for spontaneity.
According to my countdown app, I have 6 months, 1 week and 3 days to go before I have a major change in how I have been living life.
A bit scared.
But still excited.
We bought a 2018 Lincoln MKX Reserve as our toad for our coach. Cash deal on the coldest evening of this brutally cold winter. A bit easier to negotiate a good deal on a vehicle at this time of year. Very few people out car shopping immediately after Christmas. And, since most Canadians are locked into their igloos right now, afraid to venture outdoors for fear of immediate frostbite in minus 30 Celsius wind chills, our dealer was more than anxious to close the deal at a fair price.
Why the Lincoln MKX over the Jeep Grand Cherokee?
Styling, features and feel. Ultimately a preference as both vehicles would have worked as a toad for our coach.
First time back to a North American car in several decades for me. This vehicle came out of the Oakville plant here in Canada.
I hope the team at Lincoln built a good car. I guess we will find out.
Getting closer to that time where we need to get our toad. Although many cars can be towed behind a coach with four wheels down, there are a limited number of vehicles where the manufacturer approves flat towing. There are guides published each year by the FMCA and Motorhome Magazine.
We have decided to tow four wheels down as opposed to a dolly or trailer. And that reduces our choice of vehicles.
Both vehicles come with generally favourable reviews. For the Lincoln MKX, they made substantial improvements in recent model years making it a competitive offering in the luxury midsize crossover market. The Jeep Grand Cherokee seems to be a standard toad vehicle for many. We see them all the time behind Class A motorhomes.
I am leaning towards the Lincoln although I will have to make sure that Lorraine is onside.
As the dealers are frozen in arctic temperatures with our current ice age weather, now might be a good time to chip away at the 2017s and make a great deal.
Just in case some of my friends in the United States have never seen a Canadian hundred-dollar note. Canadians generally do not carry large bills. The hundred-dollar note is the highest-valued and least-circulated note in Canada.
Perhaps a Feedspot with the title “Top 100 RV Blogs Every RV or Motorhome Travel Enthusiast Must Follow” is a bit like the Canadian hundred-dollar note. It takes the highest-valued websites using metrics like Facebook fans, Twitter followers and Alexa Rank and evaluates sites to score the top 100 RV blogs. And, perhaps like the Canadian hundred-dollar note, few people make use of this particular Feedspot.
I spend a lot of time following the RV community on the web and I haven’t visited most of the top 100 blogs on this particular list.
The number 1 RV blog according to Feedspot?
You can take a look through the complete list here. There were a few familiar ones for me like RV Daily Report, Technomedia, Wheelingit, RV Love but most were not. I checked out a few of them. Some Canadians were on the list like the Bayfield Bunch and Full Time Canada. A large number of the sites on the list were nothing more than storefronts for RV dealers.
And no, our blog was not in the top 100.
Another glorious Canadian winter. And, as I write this post, in our hometown, we are colder than the North Pole.
The brutal cold is a big reason why so many Canadians go south in the winter in their retirement years. I am hoping that U.S. lawmakers will pass H.R. 3513, the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act. The legislation, proposed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla), would extend the time Canadian citizens, aged 50 or older, may stay in the United States from 6 months to 8 months.
And that would suit us just fine.
Canada is a beautiful country and in certain regions, between May and October, the weather patterns are quite pleasant. But whenever winter hits hard, it can get cold.
Really, really cold.
On my bucket list for retirement is never to be cold again.
RV Business recently named the RV of the Year. And the winner?
The Winnebago Horizon is a Class A diesel and it seems to be comparable in price and features to coaches like the Newmar Ventana although there are no tags available in the 40-foot model of the Winnebago.
My concern would be the quality of this product. When I read David’s experience with his Winnebago, I thought to myself, life is too short for dealing with way too many build issues. And, my goodness, what an experience he had with his new build. Eventually the sale did not go through. His story, unfortunately is not unique. You can download this couple’s pdf and get a sense for the anger and frustration caused by the lack of quality control.
Quality was one of the reasons why the Winnebago product never made its way to our short list.
The RV industry is certainly under pressure to deliver. Record demand puts a lot more strain on the manufacturers. Hopefully this Horizon is a better built coach. It is one thing to get an award from an industry publication. It is another to build a solid reputation with customers.
Not quite what I expected.
Looks like the Entegra web team haven’t spent much time on building up a slick marketing presentation for the new product. No dedicated page for the Qwest as yet. Even the QWest brochure looks a bit, well, anemic. You can download the pdf here.
The brochure contains no photo gallery of the exterior or interior. A couple of small thumbnails and a couple of floorplans. And a fact sheet. At least with their coach brochure, you get a sense of excitement about owning their product.
Doesn’t come across to me that they are all that enthused about their new class C lineup.
Maybe someone forced them to do it against their will? The Qwest looks very close to the Jayco class C.
I guess I was expecting better. Looks more like a nameplate change to an existing platform with some minor refinements.
This was Marathon’s first 2018 coach built on the Prevost X3-45 chassis. A very classic look.
We have been looking at a 2007 coach built on the XL II chassis. Not seriously mind you. But looking at one just the same. Hard to tell that the coaches are a decade apart. Some minor differences on the front and rear caps and around the tag but otherwise remarkably similar.
The Marathon #1261 features the following floorplan:
Here is the video tour of the Marathon #1261:
The 2007 built on the XL II chassis? Well, somewhere around the $500k USD range.
These coaches are engineered for a long service duty. Not sure that it is much of a compromise to buy a used one. Even if it is ten or eleven years old.