Regrets? I’ve Had A Few

13 Reasons You’ll Regret an RV in Retirement. Someone passed this over to me. And I clicked on the link. Perhaps you did as well.

Let me save you some time. Here are the 13 reasons.

  1. They are expensive
  2. They require upgrades
  3. They depreciate
  4. They are costly to fuel
  5. They have to be insured
  6. They require you to have extra health insurance
  7. They require you to manage your sewage waste
  8. They offer tight living quarters
  9. They are not easy to drive
  10. They are not easy to park
  11. They are expensive to repair
  12. They don’t have a lot of storage space
  13. They can make you isolated from people

Quite the list and certainly people should think carefully about the implications of embracing any type of major change in their retirement years.

Some retirees long to travel the world in a sailboat. I suspect the same 13 regrets would apply.

Some retirees long to relocate to a new country. At least a few of those 13 regrets would apply.

Some retirees stay planted in their hut. And a few of those 13 regrets would apply.

Regret is a negative emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sorrow at what might have been or wishing we could undo a previous choice that we made.

In other words, regret is a state of mind.

A colleague of mine had retired and passed away only a few months later after coming down with pancreatic cancer. He prepared his own memorial service before his death and he used a familiar song to make a point:

I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way.

Embrace your dream, whatever that might be and make it your own.

No regrets. Especially in retirement. The clock is ticking. Death is not that far away now.

It could be an RV, a sailboat, or a log cabin in the wilderness. Whatever it is, no regrets.

And, if you do have regrets, make a change before the clock winds down.

It is up to you.

No Hut

Two years without a hut. We still get puzzled looks from some people when we let them know that we are currently home free. Home ownership is so deeply embedded in the Canadian culture that it almost goes without saying that, in Canada, a house is a wonderful investment. We always looked at housing as a place to live. Whenever I took the time to include all of the costs associated with owning a house, we never experienced a compelling return. Our houses did appreciate but overall there wasn’t much of a profit to be had when selling. Especially when moving on to the next house.

As we debated our plans for retirement, we knew that owning a house in the country was not what we wanted. What we did know is that we wanted to be south during the harsh Canadian winters. We did not want to own two houses, one in Canada and one in the southern United States. We wanted the freedom to move around.

That was part of our reason to buy a coach. We could have a wonderful condo on wheels for our travels stateside and downsize into a smaller property somewhere in Canada.

But then we asked ourselves why would we buy a house in Canada in our early retirement years if we were only going to live in it for, at best, 2 or 3 months of the year? Could we live out of our coach year round?

The short answer is yes, we can and yes, we did.

We do not miss owning a house. We currently rent an apartment. Our youngest son lives in it. And, after whatever period of time, when we decide to come off the road, we will find someplace nice for the latter part of our retirement.

We do not know what that looks like just yet. We will tackle that transition whenever it comes along.

Two years and I haven’t thought much about the house we sold. A distant memory from a different time.

I did take a look back on some of our photos of the house when I was prepping this post.

It was a nice place. We used it for a period of time and then the house went on to someone else. Eventually every house, like the many other things that we buy in life, will go to someone else.

Except my guitar collection.

Those guitars I will take with me when I leave for heaven.

One Year Ago

One year ago. My last day in the office. My last day in the corporate world. I had spent the past ten years of my career as a Chief Information Officer in the financial services industry. The role was challenging and often quite stressful. Deciding to retire was not easy. Aside from the financial considerations — have we saved enough? will we have enough? — there was also a sense of fear and apprehension. What will happen next? Will we be okay?

One year ago we took the last walk to the office.

A photographer captured that moment as we were approaching the main entrance for the corporate retirement celebration. It all felt a bit unreal. After all, I had been working for most of my adult life and now we had arrived at this point: the end of work.

Lorraine and I have been married just over 40 years now.

The years pass but we have travelled through life together. Always together.

We really had no idea what our future would look like back then.

At the time I wanted to be a musician. Still playing after all these years.

And now, one year into retirement, what does the future look like?

We are living a nomadic lifestyle in our coach. And we are loving it. We are in a new community in Canada. And we are loving it. We will be returning to Florida in a few months. And we love being there.

One year into retirement and we are doing just fine.

I can hardly remember the years spent working. I gave it my best shot and we have finished the stage of life known as work. We finished that stage well.

We are now at the start of the stage of life known as retirement.

Yes, mortality does make itself known at this stage of life. But the gift of time has allowed me to become far more active in my volunteer work in the areas that I am most passionate: music and audio.

Lorraine and I have far more time to build relationships and we have made so many new friends since the start of our retirement.

Retirement one year later has been awesome.

The Homestead

Settling in. The jacks are down and we will stay planted in Ontario for the six months that we are in Canada. We’ll still do a bit of travelling while we are in the province. Ontario is, after all, a pretty big place. How big, you ask? Well, you have come to the right website for the answer to that question.

For my American friends, Ontario is about the same size as Texas and Montana, combined.

Ontario is larger than France and Spain, combined. Ontario is 3 times the size of Germany, 4 times the size of the United Kingdom (more than 8 times the size of England) and over 15 times the size of Ireland.

Most of the 13.5 million people in Ontario live within 100 miles or so of the U.S. border. There are vast expanses of Ontario that constitute a wilderness devoid of any human life.

Yes, Ontario is a big place to hang out for six months.

We had a few concerns coming back to Canada in our coach.

The first concern was finding a nice spot to park the coach. We originally planned to store the coach and rent a nice condo near the water somewhere. But it is very challenging to find a nice furnished condo for only six months. There are some really nice options if we were willing to rent for a year. Nothing really for snowbirds.

We could buy something I suppose. We just do not want to be tied down to a house right now.

Nice spots for coaches in Canada? Let’s just say that things are a bit rustic here in the Great White North compared to the United States.

We have found a pretty nice spot just north of Toronto and we think it will work out just fine for the six months that we are here.

The second concern, which might sound a bit trivial, was Internet access.

We are both quite active on the Internet and having a reliable, high-speed connection is important. Although not really high-speed, I have been able to jury-rig a setup where we get a consistent 5 Mbps service for our devices in the coach. Although I would prefer a higher download speed, say 10 Mbps or more, we can make do. I have been able to make it work fine under load when the park is at full capacity due, in part, to me using the 5G band and some VPN bonding when required.

The third concern was tranquility.

We are older and we are not partiers. I’m generally to sleep by 10pm. We prefer a calm environment. In Canada, most parks are family parks. And I have no issue with family parks. I just prefer to be in a calmer location. Where we are is limited to two adults only per site. This offers us a spot that is really quite nice and peaceful. We just came out of a busy long week-end and we really did not notice it in this area of the park.

Once the weather improves, I will take a few shots and a video of our location. We have a nice spot, far nicer than we expected. We are very happy to be here and, of course, very happy to reconnect with our family and friends after our time away down south.

Making Money On The Road

We are retired. And financially independent. We are currently full-timing in our retirement years. We hope to do so for many years to come. But things might change. A serious illness or an untimely death. A desire to pursue a new dream or adventure. Life is too short not to follow your dreams in retirement.

I have noticed a trend though. And the trend looks like this. Younger couples, sometimes with a family, sometimes without, decide to drop out of the workforce and go travelling full-time in an RV.

They quickly find that the money to sustain the lifestyle has to come from somewhere and, still being younger, the investment assets are often insufficient. In other words, they find that they still need a job.

And so they go out seeking different ways to make money on the road. Some run businesses from their RVs. Some find a job and simply substitute a trailer for a house and commute to work.

And, increasingly, some go online and attempt to make money with a YouTube channel.

I came across this video from the RV Odd Couple. They seem like very nice people. They have faith. They are trying to make their way in life full-timing in an RV with a young child.

I was curious as to what they had learned in the first six months of full-time RV living and what had annoyed them so much. A tiny bit of strong language here and there.

At around 8 minutes and 50 seconds in, they tell us that they were annoyed that other high-profile RV YouTubers were not responding to their emails and not embracing an opportunity to connect with them.

Personally, I do not connect YouTubing with the RV lifestyle. The vast majority of people that I have met in the RV community do not run websites or YouTube channels. Of the few that do have an online presence, most are doing so as a way to stay connected with friends and family and as a hobby.

There are a few that try to monetize their online platform. And of that few, there are a small number that can make a decent living selling content. I follow many of them. They are not living the RV lifestyle as we do. They are working full-time jobs producing content for the RV community while living out of an RV. And some of them eventually leave the RV lifestyle and try something else.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with monetizing a YouTube channel. It is a business model and, if there is demand and a willingness to pay for content, then you get a financial reward.

For $200, you could take this course and likely learn most of what you might need to learn to build and make money from a YouTube channel. From another family living full-time out of an RV. Fair exchange. Money for information.

There was no YouTube back when I was starting out. Perhaps I might have bailed from the workforce sooner and started my own YouTube channel: Cruising’ with the Cleavers. Hmmm, maybe I should send Marc an email…