Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ms. Heyduke’s Retirement Revelation…

Southern Pines and about 011Editors Note: Sharon penned today’s blog…

Southern Pines and about 002In all our travels the past two years we have had on our to-do list finding the ideal retirement place once we tire of our RV lifestyle. I felt as though I would really miss having a community and a routine so I try to keep a watchful eye wherever we go to see how my peers live everywhere we go. It has been really eye opening observing how our peers choose to live out their “golden years”. Our first experiences in this observation process came in Florida when we happened to book stays at communities that had a mixture of permanent residents in manufactured homes and designated spaces for RV’ers like us. We learned that in many of these places the permanent residents were former RV’ers who chose to live in these locations either year-round or seasonally. These park models often come with Southern Pines NC 007beautiful lanais and excellent floor plans. Many Floridian seniors buy them and don’t even bother to insure them because they say if a hurricane takes it, one can easily buy another. In one such community we saw park models advertised as “free”. This, we learned is because there is a Homeowners Association Fee within these communities and those wanting to sell often are happy just to get out from under the yearly contracted HOA fee. These communities intrigued me because I loved the community feeling I received visiting their clubhouses and participating in the community activities. Often there are fantastic amenities such Southern Pines NC 041as state of the art gym facilities as well as beautifully maintained tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, horse shoe pits, etc. I could begin to envision myself barely using our car as I could spend my days tooling around in my adult tricycle with the drink holder on the handlebars comingling with other residents. However like John after a month-long stay I would find myself becoming a little bored with the routine and ready for adventure on down the road.

Southern Pines NC 008Another retirement experience we observed was in hearing how some of our friends live at a working ranch in Kerrville Texas. This retirement community is built around a working ranch. Cowboy Ranch-hands work the cattle and horses receiving their salary from the resident home owner association fees. These residents enjoy the ranch life and tell us they love seeing the cattle and horses from the windows of their home. It is a gated community and also has a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, etc. but the most attractive part to these people is the ranch experience. Communities we found in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas were more centered around golf and line dancing activities. In both settings the residents were delighted to partake in these activities everyday and although I found it very interesting, I could not see myself in either setting.

Next I tried to envision living in places where we really had a lot of fun such as Key West Florida, Portland Oregon, Camden Maine, Cape Cod, and Abbeville Louisiana. Each of these locations are beautiful and fun but weather can be a big limitation at certain times of the year. Add the fact that generally after a month Southern Pines and about 030and falling into a routine I find myself actually wanting a new adventure. Therein came the revelation. I already have what I have been searching for… that sense of community and routine is in this RV lifestyle I am living. I have a community of friends old and new that interact with me daily either on Facebook or on the blog. We often visit family or friends along the way and have had the pleasure of crossing paths with new RV friends sometimes more than once. No longer am I in any hurry to settle down somewhere. I love the comfort of my home on wheels and the time to experience new places with my best friend and spouse. Since retirement I have rediscovered how interesting and fun John is. At the end of the day it is such fun to relax and reminisce about our day or to eagerly discuss what’s ahead. I find I am truly blessed in that I am right where I want to be!

21 comments:

  1. Interesting.... and I think you're on to something. We live in a wonderful retirement community with 100's of thing to do. Problem is we get bored and long for the next adventure and what's over the next hill. We start our rv adventure in June...

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  2. I, too, imagine living in the various places I have stayed. So far, none of them have compared to the sense of community I have when I volunteer at our nation's wildlife refuges. You can't beat the natural surroundings, and each one has its unforgettable experiences for me.

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  3. I love the tag, pondering. I have that one too, although I forget to use it sometimes. Good thoughts. You are definitely not ready to stop yet, but after a decade or so, you will probably have some good ideas and perhaps be ready? And yes, volunteering at the refuges or the lighthouses would be my choice if I were to be a full-timer

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  4. It is funny how much better we get to know ourselves when get out of the working world. I missed a "nest" and community much more than I thought I would.

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  5. Great post! I feel the same way. There are many that say the time will come, but I hope it takes it's time!

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  6. When we started fulling timing over six years ago, one of our objectives was to find the perfect place to live in our "golden" years. Last year, we decided to leave the full timing life and settle near one of our children. The tug of grandchildren won out over other lifestyle considerations. Go figure:))

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  7. Yes, my husband and I have the on going discussion of where to live when we're too rickety to continue to RV. So far we've ruled out anything east of Santa Fe, places where it rains all the time and places where it snows. So far we haven't found the perfect year round residence.

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  8. Great post Sharon. We weren't sure we would want to stay on the road more than a year or two so we didn't sell the farm. Then with David's illness we aren't sure what may happen but neither of us is ready to leave the road now and I may never be. I love what we're doing, it makes me feel like my young self when I lived in 6 places in 12 years. Then I wanted roots and got em'. But now I love the nomad life. Hope we run into you at some point on the road.

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    1. I hope our paths do cross at some point down the road!

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  9. Sharon, maybe a few years of traveling as you have been then some years of longer-term stays with maybe some workkamping thrown in?

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  10. Great post sharing your mental journey regarding what the future may hold. I found myself identifying with so much of what you said, as well as feeling relieved when you shared your revelation. Choosing everything in your life exactly as it is seems perfect and inspiring.

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  11. I love the realization:

    I already have what I have been searching for… that sense of community and routine is in this RV lifestyle I am living

    Truly there is no correct way to RV, or to retire. Rv'ing and retirement are for each of us what we make them. But it's so easy to observe the happiness of others and believe that what they have is what we want -- only to go off in search of something that really isn't greener on the other side of the fence.

    Some of us are, simply put, restless. I am a walker. There's a line from an old poem that I learned from my wife: "to walk is the way of a pilgrim" and all my post marriage adult life I have told people that I am a pilgrim. I get restless. So does Peggy my wife. The wheels need to turn from time to time. It doesn't always matter where they take us -- but movement is important. We can be in the moment wherever we are -- but we daren't spend too long in any one place. That's not the life for many -- but it suits us. And it sounds like you have realized it suits you too.

    Kudos. Self-knowledge isn't all that common in this world moved by advertising. Good for you.

    Cheers,
    Peter
    A retired photographer looks at life
    Peter Pazucha dot Com
    Life Unscripted on Wordpress

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  12. Great post and an interesting read. I often wonder what it would be like to be a fulltime RVer and to have to look ahead to some day getting off the road and finding a homebase.

    Luckily, we already have a home in a perfect place for us so we're pretty content to just carry on being 'anytime RVers'.

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  13. Excellent post. I think the grass seems greener on both sides of the fence sometimes. I can't imagine ever 'settling down' somewhere, when there is so much in this RV life to see and do. Just sitting in one place..for as long or as short as you want to is the best part of this nomad life!

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  14. Great post Sharon, and something for all of us to think about. Our travels are limited right now because of my Mom's health, so we really haven't explored as much as we would like. We're like you though, thinking of a permanent place some time in the future. Maybe the ideal thing would be to have two places to live. One for the summer and one for the winter.

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  15. Great post. We have been fulltiming for 7 years now and don't have any plans to "settle" down. Before retirement we lived in Africa & Costa Rica for 10 years and would have stayed out longer except for family obligations.

    We talk about where we want to settle down, but can't find a place that meets our wants. Maybe some day, but for now we enjoy having wheels on our home and seeing all the great places in this beautiful country

    Have fun.

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  16. Great post. I often wonder how we'll evolve as we journey thru this new life style

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  17. Excellent post. We planned to FT 1-2 yrs. We are starting our 2nd year with no end in site. Haven't found any place that feels more like home than our travels.

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  18. Wow! You seem to have a great time for your retirement. It's very nice. I wish I could enjoy such fun activities before turning 55 and getting into a long island retirement community. Best wishes for your travels! We're happy to see your trips. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. I agree with your thoughts here, In my mind we need to think our retirement in the future so that when that day come all we have to do is to travel and enjoy our being seniors. retirement home community is also important dont forget that.

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