The Waterfall

waterfall

I am an optimistic chap, and you should be, too. Much the best approach to life. But let us have another candid moment. Turning sixty can be awful damn bad if you don’t watch out. And even if you do. Think about it. Some people actually die in their sixties. Not hit by cars or fallen off their bikes. Just die, of semi-natural causes. Like heart failure and cancer-of-the-this-and-that. It is highly unlikely that you will die, of course; I understand that… But death is out there somewhere, and it can make you moody. You keep hearing the waterfall in the distance, and you wonder all the time, What’s that noise? As if you didn’t know. Scary. Very, very scary.

Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge.

As I think about our 30 goals for retirement, the sound of the waterfall keeps getting a bit louder.

Turning sixty can be bad. A friend that should be enjoying life in his sixties is now enduring the final stages of terminal cancer. He is only a few years older than me.

There is a fear. Not so much of death itself, although I hope that it won’t be a long, painful, drawn out affair. The fear? Time.

Not enough time to achieve the goals that we will set for ourselves during our retirement years.

One of the most important goals for me will be focused on physical fitness, and not the generic “I will be a healthy person” type of goal.

I love cycling and my hope is to ride as much as I can during most of my retirement years. I started into my winter training program a few weeks ago, spinning about 7 – 10 hours a week. Intense spinning. Hard, painful workouts.

But the goal is not to complete the winter training program. The goal is to prepare for specific rides and events.

In retirement, one of my goals will be to participate in no less than one Gran Fondo a month for the first year.

I will use this calendar to plan for the Gran Fondo nearest wherever Lorraine and I happen to be.

And, whenever I find myself thinking too much about the sound of the waterfall, I will think about why I need to keep pushing myself on a bike.

Riding gives me life and it keeps me living well.

Goal one down.

29 more to go.

Performance

Here is another somewhat unique motorcoach. Interesting use of the basement, wouldn’t you say?

From Volkner Mobil.

performance1

performance2

performance3

Battery Maintenance

Power

Power.

It kept going through my mind. Did we check everything related to power when we put the coach into storage for the winter?

And, specifically, did I check the house batteries for water level?

We went out to the storage facility and had an opportunity to look at all of the house batteries. the levels looked okay but I think I will need to go back and make sure that I add distilled water up to the level of the protrusion of the valve well. There is water covering the plates of the batteries themselves so they should be okay for another few weeks.

Trojan has a good video that provided me with a lot of information about deep cycle batteries. Looking back, I think I should have ordered AGM batteries for the coach. They do not require any maintenance.

The World’s Most Expensive RV

palazzo

Not one of my photos. This one comes from Marchi Mobile. They build the world’s most expensive motorcoach. Somewhere around $3 million USD. From their website:

The eleMMent palazzo Superior is our top-of-the-line model that has been recognized in over 190 countries as the most luxurious and, without doubt, the most outstanding motorhome to-date. Its design speaks for itself, combining design features from the worlds of motor-sports, aviation and yachting to create a singular masterpiece.

And, just in case you think I am the only one who cares about the world’s most expensive motorcoach, this youtube video has had over 14 million views.

A Vision For What Happens Next

vision

When we made the move to our current home, our plan, as vague as it was almost a decade ago, was to make this our retirement home.

We really weren’t thinking much about retirement back then. It seemed far enough away that we didn’t give it that much thought. Sure, I had financial plans and a notional idea as to when we might make the decision to retire but life continued without much focus on retirement. Until a few years ago. I had turned 57 and that was when I had originally thought I would be retired. I wasn’t quite ready then but I knew I wanted to transition away from a corporate career to retirement once I entered my 60s. More specifically, I did not want to work past 60 or 61.

It was around the time that I turned 58 that Lorraine and I spoke a bit more about our plans for retirement. And when I say plans, I mean just what were we going to do during that part of our lives? Lorraine was pretty blunt. She told me that I would go stir crazy if I just sat around the house all day. And I agreed with her. The idea of getting old hanging around the house did not seem very appealing.

The idea of traveling quickly came to mind. And, resurrecting a dream that we had many years ago of traveling around in a motorcoach, we decided that this would become a key part of our early retirement years, either full-time or extended-time, traveling in our coach for as long as we remained healthy.

Canada does not offer the same level of support for big rigs like our motorcoach and, as a consequence, it is more challenging to find the types of places where we would like to stay longer term when we are in Canada. So, we have decided that we will build a small house on a lot that can also accommodate our coach. We will become snowbirds with our coach during the winter months. We will do some travelling from our home base while we are in Canada.

These are all broad strokes mind you.

We have our house up for sale as we know that we need to downsize in retirement. Our house is simply way too large for the two of us. We have started to do some decluttering and simplification. We have a lot more to do on that front. And we ordered our coach last year and we started using it this summer. We love it and we can’t wait to get out and spend a lot more time exploring North America with it.

Retirement now seems like a very exciting place to be. It’s just not quite real for me yet.

We need something more specific in our plans for retirement. We need to answer a few basic questions like where will we set our home base while we are in Canada? What goals would we like to achieve during our retirement years, or at least in the first few years of retirement? How will we spend our days? What will we do to keep us healthy and engaged with life?

It is against this backdrop that we are currently thinking about our 30 goals for retirement.

I have some principles in mind. In no particular order:

  • Keep healthy, emotionally and physically
  • Be smart with our money — invest well and spend wisely
  • Stay connected with our family
  • Serve others well
  • Keep growing mentally and spiritually
  • Have fun
  • Be adventurous

I have some work to do to get at those 30 goals.