It’s a dream of many people counting down the weeks, months or years till retirement: taking to the roads in an RV and to explore North America. Here are some great reasons to start your retirement years with an extended RV trip, as well as some cautionary points.
Pro: Cut Some Expenses
Moving into a smaller living space is sure to cut costs just because you have less room to fill. Many who have retired to a motor home say that they actually spend less on food, just because their fridge in the RV is smaller than what they were used to in their traditional homes. There’s also less money spent on yard work and other house upkeep chores. Utility bills are proportionately smaller in your smaller home, as well.
Con: Incur New Expenses
Sure, you’ll have a few less bills at the end of the month, but you will also have some new ones to contend with. You’ll likely want to add on new insurance, for one thing, to make sure that you’re fully covered against eventualities on the road. Restaurants often seem more attractive than cooking for yourself after a long day of driving, and so you may splurge more often than you used to on eating out. You may find that you sometimes choose to take car rentals over driving your RV when your itinerary calls for some short-distance driving. If you visit your grandkids, for example, it might be best to rent an SUV so that you have adequate space for child seats when you take them around. Or, you might decide that a night or two in a hotel makes for a nice break from your travelling abode, even if you truly love your RV. Many travelling retirees report more money spent on greens fees and other hobby-related activities, too, so make an all-inclusive budget before you start out. And, of course, there’s gas and the fees for the many places you’ll have to pay to park the RV.
Pro: Embrace Your Dreams
For many, moving into an RV and choosing to go south in the winter and north in the summer — or not — is the fruition of a long-held dream for more independence. Jobs, homes, children and a vast array of other responsibilities keep us tethered to one place for a long time, so retiring to a motor home may be one way to finally put physical distance between ourselves and the trappings of our working lifestyles. Motor homes can go virtually everywhere in North America, and so can suit a variety of expectations — from people who want to sit by the beach all day, every day, to those who think it would be a great plan to visit every museum in Canada.
Con: It Can Be Lonely
While you will be experiencing a host of new things and (potentially) meeting new people, you’ll also be doing it without the support network you’ve relied on for years. When things go wrong, or you simply have a bad day on the road, you may not have the benefit of looking up a friend or relative to help you out. Telephones and Internet connections help, of course, but the day-to-day reality of the road can be a lonely experience, especially for single travellers.
Pro: It Can Bring You Closer to Your Partner
If you are travelling as part of a duo, even if your partner is a close friend or a relative other than your spouse, your new lifestyle will definitely bring you into a stronger relationship with that person. You’ll learn how to rely on each other, how to communicate better, and how to function as part of an adventurous team.
Only you can decide if retirement in a motor home is right for you; for millions of North Americans, it’s the best choice since starting to save for retirement.
About the Author: Carla Braithwaite is a retired fitness instructor who took her golden years on the road several years ago with her husband and two black labs. She has traversed the continent several times and is looking forward to the next several.