Everglades Isle Motorcoach Resort

Booking out past January 2019 is proving to be a bit challenging. For our final month in Florida, we are still deciding between three motorcoach resorts: Pelican Lake Motorcoach Resort, MotorCoach Resort St. Lucie West and Everglades Isle Motorcoach Resort.

We are waitlisted at Pelican Lake and MotorCoach Resort St. Lucie West. Not because they are sold out this early. It is because they are not ready to accept any new bookings. We’ve been told that there won’t be any issues booking us into these resorts however we wanted to make sure that we had our first few months in Florida confirmed.

Everglades Isle was able to take a booking and we reserved a site with them from January 5, 2019 to February 1, 2019. A waterfront site, site number 15. We might change our mind however we do like the resort and its location.

Everglades is a Class A restricted resort where coaches need to be ten years or younger and in excellent condition although I suspect that they would allow older coaches provided they are in excellent condition.

Large pads topped with brick pavers. Even the roads in the park are topped with brick pavers. Free cable at site, free WiFi at site, full hookups with 100 amp service. And some nice amenities at the clubhouse.

Andy, the Gadget Guru, did up a full review at his website which you can find here.

This is his short video on a tour of the park:

We now have our first three months planned out although we are still debating the drive down to Florida from Canada. We are intending to take 5 days for the drive down. One approach is to take two long days and hang out at the Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort November 2, 3 and 4th and then leave early on the 5th to arrive at Myakka River Motorcoach Resort. Another approach would be to take a far more leisurely drive and not spend more than 5 hours a day on the road and try our chances at whatever RV park might be handy in that range.

Hilton Head looks nice though.

More to come on the plans for the journey out from Florida over to California.

All this planning does take my mind off the bitter cold temperatures we are still experiencing here in Canada.

Goals for 2018

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.

Fantasy RV Tours

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It continues to be our mission to guide RVers to new places, reveal authentic cultures and offer a value unlike any other travel company. We understand the importance of cherished memories and bonding relationships, and we have included that spark of passion as an ingredient in all that we do.

It’s my sincere hope that the destinations featured on here impassion you to join us. You will see and enjoy more than you ever imagined – sharing an experience and a journey with friends you have yet to meet.

I still remember the time we spent with Chris, one of the Travel Ambassadors for the company. I posted about our time together here. It was our second visit to the RV show in Hershey, Pennsylvania and it was our first year with our new coach. We had taken delivery of our coach in June of 2016. Our trip out to Pennsylvania  in September of 2016 was one of several road trips that we took with our coach that year.

It seems so long ago now.

Chris was very passionate about the RV lifestyle and very passionate about Fantasy RV Tours.

She had such clarity about life, about living in the moment and about pursuing your dreams. She told me to get out there before it gets too late.

And here I am.

Still working.

Coach in storage.


I have about 7 months left before career ends and retirement begins. Work has not really changed in any meaningful way for me. It is still very much a high demand, high stress role and I suspect it will remain that way until I finish up late July.

Rather than being frustrated with working another 7 months or so because, believe me, I would much rather be out there right now. Especially as the cold weather descends.

No, I am choosing gratitude. To be thankful for my lovely wife and my wonderful family. To be thankful for the company that I work for as the company has allowed me to provide well for my family and the company has helped me achieve financial independence. To be thankful for the moment. Healthy. Engaged in life. Living in a wonderful country. With great friends.

For many of my American friends, they have been celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. Although the dates differ between Canada and the U.S. — Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in early October — staying focused on gratitude keeps the challenges of life in perspective.

We will be out there soon, Chris.


10 Qs

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.

The Retirement Puzzle: Will We Be Healthy?

I had a few lingering questions after I made the decision to retire in July of 2018. I posted about whether we will have enough money in retirement here and whether we will be happy in retirement here.

The last lingering question is whether we will be healthy in retirement.

And healthy must include the following factors: physical, emotional and spiritual.

What you see pictured above is a Wahoo Kickr Snap. I use it in my pain cave which I describe in this video:

A pain cave is where a person goes to suffer. On a bike. Using online training apps from places like the Sufferfest and Zwift.

This is how I choose to maintain my physical fitness. And it really does not matter what form of physical activity. Being healthy, particularly as we age, is all about movement. Keep moving. Walking. Running. Cycling. Skating. Whatever inspires you to keep moving.

Although not as convenient in a motorhome, I will be setting up a similar pain cave for my regular workouts. Hopefully, we will be in good weather most of the time and I will be able to ride outside.

To be healthy from a physical perspective means regular exercise and good nutrition. Both are completely under our control. The onset of a critical illness is often outside our control.

My life expectancy is 81 years. And, if I make it past age 65, I have better than 50% chance of making it to 80.

The best strategy is to keep as active as possible right up until the very end. And retirement provides all sorts of opportunities to keep active.

The emotional side is my development opportunity. Ensuring that I have a purpose and mission in my retirement years will be a critical component to emotional health. As will social interactions and relationships. I am not as concerned about the latter as we have met so many wonderful people in our travels with our motorcoach.

Lorraine and I enjoy a strong faith and we will continue to develop ourselves in our retirement years.

What I am learning for this part of retirement?

  • Keep physically and mentally active
  • Stay connected with family, friends and community
  • Keep eating a healthy diet
  • Volunteer to help maintain health and social contacts
  • Set new goals and maintain a sense of purpose
  • Plan for the weeks and months ahead to give yourself targets and things to look forward to