Entertainment / Finance

Retirement On The Road

By Jane Kenny – 

Many Americans who want to travel the country when they retire have decided to do it in an RV because it’s fun and affordable. And, the retirees who are full-time RVers (with no stationary home) are actually adding to their already-established nest egg retirement savings while they’re out there having fun.

Every individual retirement financial situation is unique, based on estimated fixed income and the value of the nest egg. Planning is the key, so work the numbers! Monthly expenses for full-time RVing can fall well below the average retiree’s fixed income, without having to draw on the nest egg. When this is the case, full-time RVing can be comfortably affordable.

How is it done? Transition plans vary, but the goal is to: First, sell the house and all the replaceable “stuff” in it and put most of the proceeds into the nest egg. Then, buy a home on wheels and set out to see the country on the “vacation of a lifetime.”

Here are some basic facts to consider:

  1. The home: Expenses to own & operate a” house on wheels” are a lot less than the cost of real estate taxes, maintenance and utilities on a fixed residence.
  2. On the road: Combined expenses of camping fees and fuel are still less than the cost of hotels plus fuel for a car. Overall it’s a more affordable mode of travel than trains, planes, taxis, hotels and constant restaurant meals.
  3. Comfort: Wherever you go, you’re home…sleep in your own bed, enjoy home-cooked meals from your own kitchen and you’re sure the bathroom is clean. As a bonus, is dog is with you all the time.
  4. Frugal lifestyle: Living within a fixed income budget is easy and healthy in an RV, where you get to spend more time in the great outdoors and discover that the best things in life are free.
  5. Convenience:Full-time RV traveling is a vacation without the hassle of schlepping suitcases, airport screenings & delays, rental cars and, oops I forgot my toothbrush.
  6. Ultimate Freedom: Set your own itinerary, go when & where you want and stay as long as you want. Adventurous travelers gain an incredible sense of freedom from being in the driver’s seat, literally and figuratively.
  7. Stay put for a while: Rent a site at a snow bird RV park in the Sun Belt for the six-month winter season. Kick back and relax by the pool, play some golf or tennis and enjoy the all-inclusive activities with your fellow retirees. It’s the most cost-effective way to winter in the South.
  8. Jobs on the road: Retirees who are still working at home, thanks to computer technology, can set up a home office in the RV. Others can find temporary employment to meet their skill set even while moving around the country.
  9. Best years of your life: Traveling in an RV is slow and relaxing. It’s good for older Americans…after all, we’re retired and we’re not in any hurry.
  10. Tired of being a vagabond? If that happens, start shopping for where you want to live when you hang up the keys. Thanks to the portion of the nest egg you funded when you sold your last house, the next house is in the bank.

Jane Kenny is the author of RV Retirement in the 21st Century, a “how-to” book for using an RV to enhance your retirement. 

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Tony Dent
2 years ago

Does AMAC offer discounts for RV Parks?

8 years ago

I would like some advice on how to/where to shop for an RV?

8 years ago

I am seriously considering this lifestyle in my not-too-distant retirement. I share the question on voting. Having a password-secured ‘air card’ solves the issue of paying bills online from a bank account. I’ll look into joining Thousand Trails. I’d like to eventually retire to a small year-round house on a small, pretty lake – anyone know of such a place? RV’ing would be a good way to find where I want to live. Thanks to all the comments on here…very helpful.

8 years ago

I am widowed and alone, 71, healthy and had planned on RVing. But now with the cops acting more like gangsters than police, there are so many decent women being sexually molested, beaten, shot, having their pets shot, having their money and sometimes their vehicle stolen that I am afraid to go. I canceled trips to Texas twice, just afraid to take the chance of becoming a “police officer’s” victim. Is any state safe to travel for a single older woman?

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Leibe

Texas, once considered a Law and Order state is not as safe for the aged as it used to be. An earlier comment by a Texas lady spoke of a warning left on her windshield from some foreigner. My 73 year old wife still goes shopping alone in our small town of about 5,000, but does not take longer trips alone anymore. We are only about 3 to 4 miles from town, and that’s far enough as to risk, even living as we do across the road from our County Sheriff. And she goes armed with her own personal gun. Try that across country at your own risk, even from some law enforcement.
Even though Texas’ crime is down, the nature of the crimes have changed somewhat. We no longer leave our doors unlocked, and when returning home, being elderly we double check while armed, that no one that does not belong is on the premises. Better safe than sorry.

8 years ago
Reply to  Leibe

Why would anyone unlock their doors to anyone, including police?

james tryon
8 years ago

How do you deal with mail, voting, drivers license. You must have a permanent stationary address to get a license and all of the other issues. Any contract you enter into also requires a home address. Your mail can only be forwarded for a specific period of time. Sounds great but appears impossible to do this full time.

8 years ago
Reply to  james tryon

My friend has done this for 2 years. His mail is sent to a clearing house in Texas and they mail to him in bulk at his request. For important mail it can be opened and faxed or set e mail or first class to a local post office. He bought the RV new at a great price in a state without sales tax. He has a house in a state that has very low RV taxes and so his tax statement is sent there. (he is renting the house) He has satalite TV which he can have turned off if he is going out in the wilderness or staying at an RV park that has free satalite. He pays his bill via the internet. When caught on the road overnight he stays at a Wal mart which welcome RVers. He loves this life and plans to do it 8 more years then sell the RV.

David Fosgett
8 years ago
Reply to  james tryon

MAIL: Using a mail forwarding service does NOT limit the time you can forward mail. The US Postal service limits forwarding but not if you establish a mail forwarding account address. You do not forward to the mailing service, you change your address and your new address IS the mail clearing house. There are several of them. Google “mail forwarding for RV’ers.”

ADDRESS: You can use your children, siblings or other family addresses for a drivers license or contracts. However, I don’t want no steenking contracts in retirement! Voting is done by absentee ballot and you use the mail forwarding house address or the family address. You end up voting in that respective state but, what difference does that make. You probably won’t be there often or long so national elections are the most relevant to you anyway.

This is NOT impossible and a great life style. There are literally thousands of people doing this currently.
If you really want to save your nest egg, volunteer at state campgrounds for a month or two and camping and utilities are paid in exchange for your volunteer duties a few hours per day. You get to meet fellow full timers to learn tips and it is fun working in a state campground. Hint: Oregon campgrounds are really great!

Thanks to AMAC for being a conservative voice for seniors!

8 years ago

Plus…if you have problem with your neighbors…just drive away!

8 years ago

When RVing, what is the best way to handle bill-paying when on the road? Auto bill pay using a checking account, or put everything on a credit card? What’s best?

Lynn M
8 years ago
Reply to  Chris

I consider myself one of ‘life’s lucky ones’. After years of owning businesses, working 24/7, my healthy marathon runner husband died suddenly of the dreaded glio blastoma. I remarried 6 years later. That husband and I each had learned some of ‘life is fragile & temporary lessons – and, with that awareness, we sold everything, purchased a 40’ Motor Coach, towed a Jeep and spent 11 years loving life on the open road. We went everywhere!!!

1) We joined Thousand Trails, purchased editions of Trailer Life and all publications supporting that lifestyle.
2) Set-up a mail forwarding address, thru Thousand Trails. And received our weekly Priority package of mail faithfully every Monday – wherever we were. All I had to do was notify the mail forwarding service of our location in advance – which involved a simple telephone call.
3) Had all bills bank drafted – which I still do today. ‘Never late’ is my motto.
4) We arranged our travel to be with family over holidays. The luxury of the simple lifestyle is amazing!
5) My husband became ill 5 years into our 11 years ‘on the road’ – a decision had to be made and ours was to continue travel knowing he could go to ER anywhere.
6) 5 years into the travel, my husband had surgery that required a JPEG feeding tube – he never ate food again – we set-up delivery of his monthly liquid diet provisions to arrive on-time and wherever we were. Any State and from Canada to Mexico. I write this to assure you that any situation, any problem can be handled with comfort & ease.

What have I forgotten? There’s an enormous industry set-up to support RV travelers and their lifestyle.
All it takes is a little research, reading everything that’s out there and, then, making the decision to ‘not just hang out in one’s home town doing the same thing every day, every week, every month.

You’ll meet the most fun and incredible people along the way.

Caron L Maxey
8 years ago

Please tell me why our amac cards do not give me discounts at Regals showhouse at the food bar. My daughter used her Aarp card at the refreshment bar and received a large discount.

I just thought I would mention this situation to you.


David F
8 years ago
Reply to  Caron L Maxey

It is for the same reason the AMAC card provides a discount at some places that the AARP card does not. In your case, AMAC has not established a discount arrangement at Regal’s Showhouse and they may never do so. Maybe, bringing this to their attention in the form of a written request will bring about the discount you seek. Good Luck! Personally, I never want to support AARP again so I don’t mind missing a few discounts, but given the growth of AMAC I am seeing more and more discount opportunities.

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