As my countdown to retirement draws closer, a few endings become apparent. The biggest ending for me is career. But there are other things that will be ending as well.
One of my bucket list items is to never be cold again in retirement. We intend to spend our winters in our coach traveling the southern U.S.
And that means one of my favourite concerts, Celebrate Christmas, will also retire when I do after a lengthy run in Kingston.
This is an event that I have produced since 2008. I also play. You might make me out as the guitar player out front, house right, in the photos above.
Most of my family helps out. My oldest son has served on bass since we started this event. My youngest son is part of the lighting crew. And Lorraine does all of the heavy lifting related to logistics. We coordinate a team of about 40 people for the show.
We have been fortunate to sell out the show every year. This being the final year, we elected to run for two nights, Thursday December 14 and Friday December 15 at the beautiful Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
Friday night’s performance will be tough. I’ll probably keep it together for most of the evening but I suspect the last song will be bittersweet for sure.
I’ve put so much work into this program over the years and I will be sad to see it go. But, for everything we do in life, there is a time to grow and a time to let go.
I do plan to keep playing in retirement and focusing more on my jazz guitar. Not sure that I will still be playing large performance halls in retirement though. Maybe on a sidewalk somewhere 😉
Here is one of the songs from last year’s event. I get to have a bit of fun towards the end.
Not in Canada. A wonderful country but no tax deductions for owners of RVs.
It looks as though the laws might be changing in the United States causing a bit of a stir for RV dealers and customers alike.
This came in my Reuters feed:
Recreational vehicle retailers from across the country were sipping morning coffee at a convention in Las Vegas earlier this month when word whipped through the hotel’s “dealers’ lounge” that the U.S. Congress was considering tax law changes threatening their businesses.
Republicans in the House of Representatives wanted to jettison a part of the tax code that lets dealers of RVs, cars, boats, even farm and construction machinery, write off all the interest expense of keeping inventories of vehicles on their sales lots.
The RV dealers jumped on the phones to their representatives in Washington, adding to a wave of calls made by members of the powerful National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) as well as lobbyists for boat dealers and farm machinery dealers.
And then I came across this news item on CNBC:
If a provision in the House-passed tax bill makes it into the final legislation, owners of boats and recreational vehicles who write off the interest on their loans would lose that deduction.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by the House last week eliminates the deductibility of mortgage interest on second homes. For RVs and boats that qualify as such — those with a kitchen, bathroom and at least one bunk — owners currently can deduct the interest they pay on financing those assets.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me that my neighbours to the south can write off the interest on their RV loans. At least for now.
Sales in the RV industry are white hot so I’m not sure how much of a dampening effect this might have on the industry. From the RV Industry Association:
The recreation vehicle (RV) industry’s shipments will reach 472,200 units in 2017, the highest annual total since the data has been collected, and a 9.6% increase from the number shipped last calendar year, announced Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
According to a new forecast presented today by Hugelmeyer at RVIA’s Committee Week luncheon, RV shipments are expected to reach even greater heights in 2018, with wholesale production projected at 487,200 units.
Let’s hope that there will still be some sites available when all of these RVs go looking for a place to camp.
Tanja and Mark decided to retire early. Much, much earlier than me. They decided to retire in their late 30s, early 40s.
Their website, Our Next Life, outlines how they approached their goal. And it looks like they have been successful.
They posted a great article on 10 critical questions to answer before you make the leap to early retirement.
I think most of these questions are relevant regardless of whether you are retiring at age 40 or, in my case, age 61.
I took a bit of a stab at answering the questions. Some I will have to spend a bit more time thinking about before I retire in the next few months.
Q1. How will you support yourself without a job?
In our case, we are well prepared. I have defined benefit pensions, investment accounts and government pensions that should allow us to live very well in our retirement years.
Q2. What is your backup plan for dealing with financial emergencies or hardship?
In our financial plan I have a cash buffer to cover one year of expenses. We have two topped up TFSA accounts which we can use in a pinch. There is enough in there to last us several years. We have a contingency of about 40 percent of our annual retirement income in uncommitted spend in our retirement budget. So no real worries here.
Q3. How will you get health care?
As Canadians, we do have a pretty good health care system. I also have good retirement benefits program from my employer and we will have additional travel insurance for when we head south for the winters.
Q4. How will you keep your body and mind healthy?
I’ll keep riding. Cycling does a lot to keep a body healthy. And I will do more strength and flexibility work in retirement. Lorraine and I plan to be active in terms of walking, hiking and touring. For as long as we can.
Q5. What are you retiring to?
This is the one area where we will have to make sure we put enough structure into our lives. Yes, we will be doing a lot of travel in our coach. But it is important to revisit goals and to make sure that we are keeping very engaged in life.
Q6. What will your living situation be?
We downsized our house but did not buy another property. At least not yet. Our plan is to travel in our coach for the winter and rent during the summer months in Canada. If we get to that point where we want a permanent spot in Canada, we will have lots of time and sufficient financial resources to do so.
Q7. What do you want a day in retirement to look like?
Not sure. I’ll have to give that some more thought.
Q8. What will your social circles and interactions be like?
When traveling in our motorcoach, I have absolutely no worries. We have made so many friends in our travels to date. Our time in Canada may be a bit more of a challenge depending on where we land. Generally though, our involvement in church life provides a lot of social interactions.
Q9. How will you and your partner stay one the same page about money and goals?
We talk about this part of our life constantly. We are ready and anxious to get started. I suppose the real question is what happens after the retirement date has been reached which leads to the final question.
Q10. How will you define yourself and derive self worth post-career?
I see this question a lot and I guess I’m just not that worried about it. I have always had so many interests outside of work that I suspect I may fall into the trap of becoming too busy with too many interests. We’ll see. Lorraine has always had a better perspective on what is important about life. She has not been in the career track and she has never defined herself by a job.
All in all, a good set of questions and certainly relevant to our stage of life.
Not sure that I would have been ready to retire in my early 40s like Tanja and Mark.
I know that I am ready to retire now.
This is another couple that I follow on YouTube, the Tillman’s. They have a channel called This Little Adventure.
They are a family of four living out of a renovated 1999 Damon Intruder. Toni and Karlton run a photography business out of their coach — their website is here — and they clearly have a great eye for design.
The interior of this 18-year old coach looks amazing!
They cut a promo video of their coach which you can see here:
And, if you want an extended tour of their coach with Toni and Karlton as your hosts, you can watch it here:
I admire them. I’m not sure how they live full-time in a coach with five kids and still maintain their sanity.
They travel in a 22-year old Foretravel.
New, these coaches sell for about $1.4 million USD. Give or take a few dollars.
Trent recently posted a video about their coach basically asking how well a 22-year luxury coach holds up. An interesting take on how their family lives full-time in an old coach.
They seem like a very nice couple, the kind of folks I would love to meet on the road.
On their about page, they make the following statement:
We’re here to dispel a big myth. There’s a myth that the RV life is only for retired folks, but that’s simply not true. Not anymore. These days, RVing is for couples, singles and families. RVing is for anyone who has ever dreamed about seeing the country (or world) up close, from one end to the other, one mile at a time.
Which led them, after a few years, to create the RV Success School.
I understand their situation. They love the RV lifestyle and they are not retired. Although it is possible to work remotely while traveling, I’m sure it comes with its own set of challenges. And certainly, it led Marc to finally quit his job after a few years of working while on the road.
There are many people attempting to monetize their websites and their YouTube channels. In a way, it is a spin on the book business: create good content, bring in a pool of followers and then try and sell a smaller number of followers on a subset of content.
It can’t be easy to sell an online education program with so much free content on the web. I wish them well.
For most of us, we have a season of life where we spend our days providing for our families and setting some money aside for the future. A time arrives where it is obvious that there may be other dreams to follow. Retirement is usually when dreams like traveling full-time in an RV can be realized.
Some chase their dreams early.
But it is never free.
He did a segment on why someone should consider a used Prevost over a new Class A. Some interesting observations on the differences in engineering philosophy.
Of course, highlighting the 2 million mile design specification of a Prevost bus is a testament to the lifespan of the brand. Although I do see many older Class A motorhomes still on the road even after 15 or 20 years.
But I have not come across any specifics comparing the lifespan of a Prevost vs a quality Class A coach. Nor have I come across any specifics on the total cost of ownership over the long-term, say 20 years of ownership.
My suspicion is that the Class A coaches would not hold up as well in terms of depreciation over time. Whether the cost of operating the coach including depreciation equals out over time between the two is really a guess.
Interesting discussion though. We have given some thought as to whether we will continue in a Class A coach or trade for a used Prevost sometime in the future.
Rock Safaris. They take care of getting you there.
If you are a musician and your label is not quite ready to provide you with your own bus, well, you can rent a 9-12 bunk Prevost Entertainer Coach from Rock Safaris.
A Prevost Entertainer Coach?
The Prevost X3-45 VIP Entertainer is designed to suit the demanding and rigorous needs of traveling entertainers and their crews. The unmatched Prevost ride comfort is the pinnacle attribute, providing headliner acts with unparalleled stability for sound sleep and serene lounging while on the move.
Rates are between $375 and $1,110 USD per day. Driver rates are around $250 per day. Add in fuel, 13 cents per mile surcharge and you have maybe $10,000 – 15,000 per week to run a band in a sleeper coach.
What got me here?
This fellow’s YouTube video on what life is like on the road as a touring musician (and yes, he does travel in an Entertainer Coach).