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Old 04-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
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Traveling RVers

We're presently in a campground (an Escapee park) of people whove mostly RVed for decades, by RVing I mean many if not most of them have traveled full time for most of their retired lives, and some before retirement.

We've decided to settle here amongst like souls when we no longer feel we can travel. Yesterday in the pool (heated to 84F) an 'older' timer came in and told us to get on the road, travel as much as you can because it will be all too soon before you will not be able to travel. You young ones (we're 67) think you'll be able to travel for ever.

The message was keep moving while you can. We know this to be true. What has amazed us after 9 years of 7 month a year travels, is all the things we've missed.

One of the benefits of sitting amongst the 'older' timers is they tip you off to all you've missed, restoking the desire to hit the road.

My only regret is that I did not cast off my traditional life sooner - good reason to admire Pat and Cindy, examples of what is possible.

I know there are some who stay home because of grand children, parents or even jobs. One thing I know about our children is that they are happy we're traveling, enjoy our joy, see how much better we feel, and actually both of our sons are looking forward to not waiting as long as we did.

I hope they're now waiting to collect an inheritance because I intend to spend it on fueling 'road miles'.

I wish you all long term, safe travels,
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #2
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Hi Norm
I found it very interesting and informative reading your post. We were planning a trip to Henderson Beach State Park at the end of April. From Windsor ON taking 4 days so no long runs. Be there two weeks and then 4 days home. Back to work driving long haul truck 4 nights a week.

Then last Sat about 2 pm I fell while working on the TT roof and broke my left heel bone. Off the foot for at least 3 months and no work for at least 6 months. This evening my DW and I were discussing full timing and do we sell the large home we have or not. I am 64 and will retire for sure Jan 21 2011. I have a web site listed below and on there is a lot of information about who we are and what we care for. We, feel so strongly connected to our two daughters and grandchildren. They love to come and visit. Our oldest granddaughter Zoe, who is 8 now, has at times said to Judy I wish I came out of your tummy. There is our home where we have learned so much about each other and our faith. I know we would miss some of it for sure.

There is a place for full timing and I see it when we visit my older brother who lives in Florida and is a US Citizen. The last two years we went there we stayed on the site next to his as the snowbirds next door had flown back home. We count each day as special when we travel. We try to make each moment count. To take time to share with those we meet along the way. The world is truly a wonderful interesting place. there are ,places I know I do not care to go that would be unsafe or dangerous. But I believe we have to make everyday count in some way weather here or on the road.

I wish you many safe and wonderful miles. I hope every day is fullof all you wish for.

Ted
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:57 AM   #3
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Ted,

We have made many friends from Ontario and visited your wonderful province a number of times. If we leave early enough to go west, we go via Ontario to avoid the congestion of Ohio and enjoy the beauty of Ontario.

First, I did not see the web site connection you mentioned.

Second, we're not full timers because I'd have to get a divorice to sell our house. When our kids grew up we sold our 'big house' and moved into our summer cottage. It's still expensive to support a rarely used home that we sometimes only 'visit ' two months of the year. I think it provides my wife with some mental security and that's fair enough.

As you suggest traveling in an RV does have a number of benefits. One of our son's lives in Seattle; because of our new life style we have had the opportunity to spend time, lot of time in his driveway or near him that most people never get to do, ditto with my brother and many far rangeing friends. On top of that on our trip to Alaska we had the grand kids fly in for a three week tour of Alaska, memorable moments for all. In our case we've got to see enumerable soccer and basketball games while camped in Seattle and now that they're off to college we can just appear in their college towns and spend the week seeing how they've developed into interesting adults.

Sorry to read about your heel. Hope it heals well and quickly.

Henderson Beach is a marvelous place, we've been there a number of times and plan to go their next year because our nephew is in naval pilot training for a couple of years in nearby Pensecola. Definitely Henderson Beach has magic sand a deserted beach and marvelous camp sites plus another opportunity to see family we might miss without an RV.

After 'getting the word' in the pool from a fellow traveler about hitting the road before it's too late, we both hustled back to the camper ready to discuss next year's trip. It's simply not the travels but the time together alone, without the pressures of traditional family gatherings, sharing life just the two of us. Sometimes our life reminds me of the focused time of our teen dating, when nothing was more important than our consideration of each other, truly a magic time for all young couples.

We are fortunate being retired and being able to laze our way to our destinations, the first time on the road we were headed to Florida; it took us 18 weeks to get there. There is so much to see between home and anywhere. Part of it is escaping the vacation mode and getting into the living on the road mode.

I do know it's difficult for many people to leave behind or to escape the life style they've had for decades. The old life style can be very comfortable, even safe; however life is short, and as we age getting shorter. Taking up a totally different way of living is an extension of life, where each morning can be sparked by the new, new faces and new places.

My dad died very young. In a sense I was lucky (as well not so lucky because he was a great guy) because I found out quickly that life was short. I worked to cram things into my life expecting a short life for myself (probably hastening my death).

Now RVing, my life is so relaxed, my health greatly improved. My doctor is happy. He now has a solution to other's ills. He tells them to buy an RV and get on the road.

In our prior life we were very active people, involved, in retrospect, in too much. Yet in our new lifestyle, now amounting to 10 years, I'd say that we've met at least as many people and in mostly less pretentious situations.

I do love RVing. It's not simply RVing that we so love, it's not our little rig that we also love, or even our own love for eachother, somehow I think there's a youthful freedom in our everyday.

I better stop wandering. I close with wishing you well, safe travels certainly and all the blessings life as to offer.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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Hello to the 4 of you,
Ted - once you meet Norm & Ginny, you will agree how special they are (but he is a lot taller than he looks in photos, lol!).

Ted, we 'retired' in 2000 because we were just plain tired of working (we live in Moncton) and all the ratrace that goes with it. We sold everything off, and bought a boat - then took 11 months to get it down to the Fl Keys. It was a great trip!

We have just recently sold the boat, and bought ourselves our little tt. We have no house, just our travelling home - and so far love it! We are 62 and 61, and in good health. We travel for about 6 months of the year, and the other 6 months, we return to NB to see our kids and grandkids, and protect our Medicare of course. Once you cut the ties and take off, you will be amazed at how your life will change - for the good! You will make many new friends, have lots less stress, and probably put on a few pounds with all the good eating...

I cannot even suggest to you what you should do. I know that I miss our grandkids terribly, and sometimes I wonder if we should just stay home, so as not to miss anything. I go back and forth in my mind, but I figure we have the best of both worlds right now. As to needing/wanting a place to return to...I am like Ginny, I think I need a place for my "stuff", some place to retire to once we get old.

But however you do it...JUST DO IT!
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:11 PM   #5
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Hi Awesome Alice and Ron,

One interesting aspect of RVing to us has been the opportunity to spend more time with our grandchildren. Two of them live on the west coast and we have spent many months with them over our 9 years of RVing, more than we might if they lived in the next town. Now they are in college we have gone to their college towns and spent time with them there as well. When younger we took them along with us to Alaska.

Over the last nine years I think we've spent more time with our Seattle son than our Maine son. We're a treat to him, when we're there an everyday treat, knowing we'll be gone for months.

As to the end part of living we're hoping to settle into the Escapee park when we can no longer teravel, happy among RVers, sort of like a continuous meet and greet.

From the TALL One, Safe travel home and enjoy Myrtle
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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Add affordable health insurance to the list of reasons some people aren't fulltiming yet. I sure wish someone could solve that mystery for us.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:23 AM   #7
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Tweety,

It's amazing how I've put health insurance out of mind. I admit it was a big cost.

For the first 18 months we paid Cobra. It was expensive but covered us well. When we started we only expected to be doing it for 3 years so it wasn't too shocking.

After that we ended up purchasing a catastrophy policy that had a very high deductible, with us paying most normal expenses out of pocket. In our early years we paid $500-700 a month for that policy. This represented about a 1/5 th to 6th of all monthly expenses.

One alternative is to work for a while and get Cobra, again not cheap but available. I also believe that Escapees have access to Texas Blue Cross though we were not Escapees when we started and have not investigated it.

I have recently learned that Canadians, whether of retirement age or not, purchase supplemental insurance when out of Canada, this begins costing about $2000 per person for 6 months. By the time they are 85 it exceeds $7000 a person even though they are retired. (Now this information has come to me from Canadians we have met; the insurance is not required but a choice.) As well they must return to Canada every six months to maintain the coverage.

As to our coverage when we are in Canada, the supplemental Medicare Insurance Plan, our Medicare rider is type J, covers us for two months out of the country for emergency services.

One aspect of RVing that has been great for us, is that we have be come well, physically better by a wide margin. My doctor now tells people who come in not feeling well "Buy an RV and hit the road". I admit we've worked at it but over 9 years I've lost 60-70 pounds, maybe the reason Alice thinks I look tall, reduced my medication, and dropped my blood pressure, both numbers, by 40 points. RVing and retirement has been priceless for me.

Over the first 5 years of our adventure we spent a lot on medical insurance. If I had been single I'm sure I would not have bought it and just rolled the dice. My wife is an insurance person and there was no choice for me.

The other side of the coin is that RV living is inexpensive, at least for us, compared to our previous life style. In some sense to do what we did, one needs to change how you live. For some this means selling your home and putting some of the reserve to paying for insurance.

I notice that many that RVers expect their lives to be the same, wanting washers and dryers in their rig, the other day we saw a rig with central vacuum. As they say life is a series of choices, and we have made a very good one. Of course we are thankful every day for our choice, admitting that we had no idea how great our new life would become.

In closing at Escapees.com there is a good forum and I'm sure a section on Health Care. There you can read what others have done for health care.

Tweety, thanks for reminding me of reality.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:34 AM   #8
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One more little thought.

Sometimes we wait until we feel we can do something only to find out we've waited too long and can't do it. Remember the lady in the pool who told us to get back on the road, it'll be soon enough that you won't be able to be on the road.

Preparation is important of course, but choice is also important because once you choose you can seek soultion.

I admit to blindly leaping into this life style, feeling we'd only be at it for 3 years, feeling we could survive 3 years of medical payments, not knowing RVing was going to be forever. Like many things in life you can survive many additional burdens, fortunately burdens often come with rewards.

It's worked out for us and we hope it can work out for others. However we know not everyone is like us or wants to be like us.

We wish everyone good lives of their choice.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:42 AM   #9
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Thanks for the information Norm. Your posts are always of interest to us, and provided our reading over morning coffee this morning On December 8, 2012 (not that we've been researching ) Steve will have worked for his current company long enough that we can stay on their group health insurance policy during retirement. We'd be paying 100% of the premium ourselves, but it is great insurance, and we wouldn't have to worry about being rejected for a health problem.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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We definitely hope you never need that insurance and have many years of RVing adventure. Heaven know there's more out there than you can ever do and see.

2012 will be here before you know it.
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