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honda03842 07-24-2013 07:33 AM

Thoughts on Retirement
I was formerly the CEO of a technical startup with over 100 employees. It was a daily challenge with new 'stimulations' every day. I gave this up to purchase our first RV and travel North America for the last 13 years.

No one who knew me expected that I would last more than a few months on the road, that I would miss the stimulation of work. I have not missed work.

Until my sister-in-law retired this month I have not thought too much about why the road has felt so good. What I have come to recognize is that our life on the road is stimulating. Our travel has opened a new series of stimulations, a chance to broaden ourselves through our travels and its resulting 'life of discovery'.

We meet people who miss their past, family, pets, hobbys, that can not travel with out those connections to 'what was', they're more comfortable in the known. I understand the comfort in the known, it can definitely be safe and warm.

For us the unknown is exciting, providing a regular series of stimulations, an increasing knowledge of our world. The reality is that life is short and our life expansion into an RV has provided new opportunity on many levels.

Safe Travels.

Thomas G. 07-24-2013 10:33 AM

I can connect. I've been retired for 6+ years and I've never missed work for a minute. There is way too much to do and learn to depend on work to structure your day and entertain you.

But that said, I recognize that everyone is different and the important thing is that you are happy doing what you are doing.

Gilda 07-24-2013 10:36 AM

Hurrah for retirement! Well I much prefer to call it "renewal". Leaving traditional jobs behind allows for a life full of new and expanding choices! My husband "renewed" ten years before I did even though he is only 4 years older than me. Part of our agreement was that I would continue to work for 10 years because I loved my career. Toward the end of those 10 years I found myself very ready for a big change.

It had surprised me that my husband "never looked back" on a successful career as a scientist. He quickly adapted to a life of gardening, hiking, tennis, bike-riding, skiing and summers traveling together (I worked in a school, we did not have a trailer yet). Oh, did I mention that he became my private gourmet chef? Since then he has successfully had both hips replaced, given up "high risk" physical activities and yet continues to find ways to adapt to his new life with me (and our 13' Scamp) joining him in renewal in 2011. We enjoy each others company and love to hike every day whether at home or away. While we don't expect to full-time we do enjoy the ability to "go on a whim" should we choose to do so.

I always say to others..."Do not fear the unknown of renewal but embrace this third stage of life". (BTW there are four stages of life.)

honda03842 07-24-2013 11:10 AM

And the stages of life are?

papa-t 07-24-2013 01:18 PM

Well I guess the count down for me has somewhat began. Met with the State retirement last week and December 2014 will be my retirement month with 30 years in Law Enforcement and I will be 49. Where has it gone? What will I do? My wife is a nurse that still works. Guess I will start the official count down this December.

honda03842 07-24-2013 01:58 PM

Gilda, It sounds like you guys have made a successful transition. It's not so easy for most people I know. Congratulations.

Ted, Interestingly, the couple that founded Escapees were young at the time. The wife was also a nurse and he was an electrician. Those are both occupuations that can usually find work.

They continued to work on the road. They would head off in their Rv and spend enough time here or there to be able to work for awhile before moving on.

gmw photos 07-24-2013 02:00 PM

Yes norm, I can relate. I retired three and a half years ago from a job as a tool and diemaker, and the final years as a manager/trainer there. I went from dealing in the latest hi-tech CNC machine tools, and dealing with very precise well engineered equipment to spending much of my time time with some of the lowest tech critters ever: horses ! And a camper that lacks precision to the point that I sometimes think they used nothing more accurate than a yardstick and a piece of string to build. But I totally love it all !

Gilda, I love your definition: renewal describes it well. It truly is like starting a whole new adventure.

Congrats to those who have been able to retire. And to those of you still gainfully employed, work hard, save well, your day will come sooner than you realize.

See you all on the road.


Glenn Baglo 07-24-2013 02:16 PM

The big advantage in retirement is that you can put things off. I've been waxing the trailer for four days so far. I have one side and the roof left to do, so I'm keeping an eye on the sun, waiting the trailer to be in shade.

David Tilston 07-24-2013 02:35 PM

The job I do, can be done anywhere there is a phone, and a connection to the internet. I don't expect to "retire" ever. I do plan to eventually do what I do from a trailer, outside the last wifi equipped restaurant that I have made a purchase at. Or, I might just have to get a wireless hot spot.

honda03842 07-24-2013 02:36 PM

Glenn, I agree that the To do List can be done in a more leisurely fashion. The only deadline is really departure day. I will every trip results in a To Do List, of small things one can do to make future trips better. Right now the departure date deadline is measured in months.

I intend to re-Redmax our trailer before we leave, though it still shines. I'm waiting until the Sun gets a little lower and the temps drop.

Jon Vermilye 07-24-2013 02:40 PM

I've been retired for 10 1/2 years from teaching technical theatre at a public college that is part of the SUNY system.

The things I like? Having the time to take 4-5 month trips around the US & Canada. Being able to say no (although I'm not very good at that). No more department politics. Staying up all night reading a good book that I can't put down & not having to go to work at 8:30AM. In fact, having no schedule is probably the best part of being retired.

The things I don't like - I miss teaching. I do volunteer to teach computer & photography classes at our local library, but the excitement of working with young adults discovering and learning a career that they love is something hard to give up. I also loved the challenges theatre production provided. It is amazing the problems authors, directors & designers can present when mounting a production. A couple of my favorites included a sign that had to pour wine into an actor's glass from 10' away, tossing a hat out a window that had to land on a telephone pole 15' away, building a "flying carpet" to whisk an actor off stage. There were also all kinds of electronic problems that required inventing solutions to solve. I even miss troubleshooting, although I still get to do a bit of that with the trailer!

All in all, I recommend retirement to all, and as soon as possible. As others have said, it is a new adventure that you have far more control of than most employment.

Gilda 07-24-2013 02:52 PM

Norm and Ginny,
Well, here's an explanation of the "third stage". I imagine you can guess what the first, second and fourth stages are.
The Stages of Life | Wisdomcorps

cpaharley2008 07-24-2013 03:04 PM

According to some actuary friends of mine, every year of work past age 55, shortens your life by more than a year, according to them!!

honda03842 07-24-2013 03:05 PM

We have a good friend, a retired English teacher and an Rver, who fills her teacher hunger by leading two book reading groups in our RV park. When ever we can we attend both book groups because she's good, no great. As well she teaches short courses to other teacher during her summer break from Rving.

We love her book leadership, taking us to new places. Each group only meets once a month, after everyone has read the book. She sees so much it drives me to be a more thorough reader. Interestingly she gives us each a reading list for our summers, selections that might interest us.

Another joy of our RV life.

honda03842 07-24-2013 03:31 PM


Thanks for the third stage. I know many RVers that fit that profile, giving back, using their skills for others and ....

I thought I was going to die before 45, my Dad died at that age. As a result I did many of those things before I retired, founded a soup kitchen, served as small town mayor, ... simply just over crammed my life.

Now I seek none of that and focus on sharing the remaining years with Ginny. I think my stage two was over wrought with doing and joining, though exciting, it was probably unfair to the family.

I expect your actuary friends are right. The last 10 years of my career sometimes had wrenching pressure. I'm sure stopping work has extended my life. I'm definitely healthier than I was 13 years ago, pre-RV.

Glenn Baglo 07-24-2013 03:35 PM

I donno.

My doctor, during an examination, asked if I was under stress at work.
I replied, I'm not stressed; I cause stress.

gmw photos 07-24-2013 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 405411)
I donno.

My doctor, during an examination, asked if I was under stress at work.
I replied, I'm not stressed; I cause stress.

Hey Glenn, I used to work for you apparently !!!! :D :eek:

carlkeigley 07-24-2013 05:50 PM

I never gave retirement that much of a thought.
I've been out of work for two or three years.
So I guess health has put me into retirement?

I don't work near as much as I did, but still do more than I like.
Grass isn't near a procrastinator as I am now. It grows whether I mow it or not.
But I do keep a lid on it. Cancer slows a person down, but getting
strength back little by little. I can still work some kids more than
they like, but it's a work ethic. Not a physical thing.

I take care of 3 places: Mine, Mother-in-laws, and the church.

I used to say I went to work to rest. But now I work in between rest times.

I would like to try half-timing if not full-timing..............

At any rate, I'm enjoying my un-retirement so far.

steve dunham 07-24-2013 06:43 PM

Run the numbers

Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (Post 405402)
According to some actuary friends of mine, every year of work past age 55, shortens your life by more than a year, according to them!!

The actuaries for our local union's pension and medical fund ran the numbers on retiring at 60 versus 65 The person who retires at 60 receives a smaller monthly pension but receives more pension money over his retirement years than someone working to 65 even with their higher monthly pension benefit
The real difference shows up in the medical costs , individuals who work to 65 have double the medical costs over their retirement years versus individuals who retire at 60 ( Hip & knee replacements as an example) The local union medical fund is self insured so if the costs go down our benefits go up and the opposite if cost rise. Early retirement in our case often benefits the individual physically , mentally and financially.

Gilda 07-24-2013 08:41 PM

One of my favorite books that I read many years ago and re-read periodically is "The Joy of Not Working" by Ernie J. Zelinski. In chapter 4, titled "Working Less, Just for the Health of It" he has a paragraph titled, "Why you Should be a Connoisseur of Leisure". Retiring doesn't mean you stop living. It's all in how you think about the term and what your "Third Chapter" means for you. When I "renewed" I couldn't print my new "business cards" fast enough. The letters "C.O.L." appear after my name and my occupation reads "Connoisseur of Life".

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