Jan 172009

As much as we love the fulltime RV lifestyle, we know that there will come a day, hopefully many years down the road, when we have to hang up the keys. It happens to all of us.

We have met some fulltimers who knew going into the lifestyle that it was only a temporary thing – they were searching for a place to retire, or fulfilling long awaited dreams of traveling before they moved on to another stage in their lives.

For some, this day comes when illness or failing eyesight forces the issue. For others, family issues cause them to settle down near their children or aging parents. And some people just get tired of living in a house on wheels and want a patch of grass to mow and call their very own.

No matter when or why you decide to hang up the keys, having an exit plan is important. What do you plan to do when you come off the road, and where do you plan to do it?

Maybe you want to settle down on a lot in one of the Escapees RV Club co-op parks, or into a park model in one of the senior-oriented RV communities in the Sunbelt. Or maybe you don’t want the hassles of upkeep, and will opt for a condo or apartment where all you have to do is pick up the telephone and call Maintenance if a faucet starts to drip.

On the other hand, we know RVers who just don’t need many people around them and are never happier than when they are boondocking far away from the nearest neighbor. Some of them we have talked to are looking for that perfect 10, 20, or 30 acres out in the middle of nowhere where they can enjoy plenty of peace and quiet.

Some RVers are perfectly content to just watch the grass grow and listen to the birds sing. Others want to be more active and need something to be involved in. That can help shape their plans for the day when they come off the road.

I have always said that my exit plan is to burn my last drop of diesel, bounce my last check, and have a fatal heart attack, all on the same afternoon. We really don’t have an exit plan at this point, though we have some ideas of what we would like for when that day comes.

Terry and I both love the water, and we love small town life. Kayaking, fishing, and just walking along a beach are things we very much enjoy. If we had to choose a place to settle down today, it would probably be somewhere on the Texas Coastal Bend, probably around the Rockport/Fulton and Aransas Pass area where we recently spent several weeks.

In fact, we have even considered buying a lot there to park our RV when we visit the area, and to have a place to retire to someday. But we’re not sure that we want to do that just yet. If we had a lot, we’d almost feel obligated to go there every year to get a return on our investment. It’s a string, and strings can tie you down all too soon if you’re not careful. We love our freedom too much to let that happen.

My daughter and Terry’s parents and sisters all live in Arizona, and as much as we love being with them, we really don’t see ourselves ever calling Arizona home again. I keep telling my daughter that if she and her husband would just uproot their lives and move to the Texas Gulf coast it would really make our decisions about our future easier. But you know how spoiled and selfish young people can be these days. They think it’s all about them, even though I keep telling them that it’s really all about me!

Wherever we settle down (and I hope that will be many, many years from now), we don’t want the responsibilities of a house. We’d be perfectly happy in our bus or maybe a park model. And we don’t want the structure that many of the formal retiree parks we’ve seen have, so I can’t see us in one of those situations.

But no matter where or when we do hang up the keys, as long as I’m with my best friend and we have all of our memories to share, we’ll be home.

Thought For The Day – Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Hanging Up the Keys”

  1. Friends will come and Friends will go but relatives are with us forever. We may pick a final locaition, but when our health becomes a drag, or the health of a loved ones becomes a drag, we return to our roots, where we have numerous relatives.

    Live life to the fullest, but realize that eventually, it is “back home” to be amongest family and old friends in our final days. Just try to locate that place where there are good Air connections so that the younger generation can easily get there. Ideally, near an air terminal that has single hop connections to a major terminal and the house/apt/senior center is only an hour or two rental car drive from the airport. Gene (still looking)

  2. Nick and Miss Terry, like you we hope it’s a long time off. But we do already have our “string” — a lot at the Escapees Co-op in Benson, Arizona. Fortunately, our string has a lot of stretch so can travel when and how far we like, and always find our way back.

  3. I didn’t get to pick my family if I had i think i would have done better. Family is an anchor to the gypsy life style and not one we let hold us back.

    You are right when you wrote”But no matter where or when we do hang up the keys, as long as I’m with my best friend and we have all of our memories to share, we’ll be home.

    Where you hang the keys is a matter of personal choice. Ours is The wonderful weather( low for the week has been 56) of Orange county ,Ca

    A belated happy anniversary to you and Miss Terry from The Jeanie & Rojo

  4. Congratulations on your anniversary. I’m happy for both of you – and you have my wishes for a long and happy marriage. My husband and I have a few more years ( ?? maybe) before I join him in retirement and have been reading many blogs faithfully, including yours, and are finding this nomadic lifestyle definitely leaves us genuinely interested. We live in a sticks and brick with way too much stuff, but we’re slowly weeding through and tossing much of what I didn’t think a year ago I could ever part with. Much more to go though, but it’s a process and we’re working faithfully on paring our belongings. I’ve often wondered about the end of the travel years but no blogger has written anything to answer my questions. Your entry was excellent and now gives me hope that we can control our final years with your suggestions. I wish the economy, market, and our country’s future was brighter but we’ll try to make the best of what God grants us. Again, many thanks for your daily interesting and informative blogs. Wentzi

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