Milestone – retired for 1 year and on the road for 11 months!

We had so many fears about retiring and leaving wonderful careers early at ages 55 and 54.  Not just the financial fear — which was more intense for me more than Glenn.  To help me handle some of my concerns, we spent hours with financial advisors, making spreadsheets, and using online tools  to make sure we had saved “enough” since we don’t have pensions or inheritances.

Another area of concern was after 30+ years of being responsible for the well-being of staff members, the financial success of a department or product, and always striving to always make the operation better; we wondered how we would cope without being “that person”.

Even though our friends know us as an extremely close couple – always choosing to spend time together in shared activities – we wondered if we could be together 24/7 in a VERY small space.  We knew that time with our kids would be different too – no more ‘home for the holidays’ and we would see them less often.

Well after a year of retirement and being on the road full time in our truck camper, here is our recap:

–We’ve spent a little less than we budgeted.  For three years before we decided we could retire, we logged EVERY cent to see where we spent and projected how it would be different once we were traveling full time.  Our average expenses per month now are about $3,400 (I’ll post a spreadsheet soon showing all the expense categories logged in Mint.com).  We do boon dock quite a bit to save on camping costs.  We have stayed in family and friends driveways  and camp hosted for 90 days so in total out of 351 nights on the road, 300 were free.  Financially we are at the same savings level as when we retired due to continued market appreciation in our 401K’s.

–We’ve logged about 18,500 miles which is just a little over what we originally planned.  We don’t ‘burn up the road’ to sight-see when we get to a destination.  We are content to see that area and then move onto another area.  Especially me – I’ve learned to choose one or two things that I REALLY want to see/do instead of too many to fit in and making us feel like we are missing out on something.

–We’ve made the adjustment of being together easily.  We spend most of our time outdoors walking, biking, hiking or fishing so it is easy being active together.  Even the rainy days where we are inside our “back of the truck space”, we read or play cards to pass the time.

–We have limited internet connection and don’t watch TV so the downside is that we have missed some important news, however other people  are happy to share local and national news.  The upside is we have been able to read more books and have more conversations with people from all over the world.

–We didn’t know how connected we would want to be to our previous jobs and turns out we maintain very few ties with our previous work lives.  Glenn a little more since he has helped out with the transition.  It is not that we don’t care about the places we retired from – it is that there are now other people in charge of what we used to be in charge of and we need to let them run things their way.

–We still love our truck camper!  We have everything we need (I’ll do some posts in the future about what and how we carry) with us.  In fact, next month we will look at everything that we have in the camper and get rid of some items that we did not use in the past year.  Neither of us are feeling claustrophobic yet and feel like we have at least another year in us for this type of travel before we evaluate.

All-in-all we are glad we made the decision to retire early, enjoy each other, and live a slower paced life.  We have been able to spend more time with family and friends which has been a complete joy.  I now understand now why people ‘take a sabbatical’ from work.  Even if we had to go back to work now, I would not feel disappointed at all.  This has been a wonderful year.

 

 

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9 Responses to Milestone – retired for 1 year and on the road for 11 months!

  1. Jolyn Deruen says:

    It was so great to see you both on your way through Louisiana, I enjoy reading about your adventures and am so glad that it has been as wonderful as you both thought it would. Here’s to another great year and hope to see you again on a pass through.

    • gconthemove says:

      We have been trying to make our retirement as wonderful as yours! Is Craig doing any more ‘gigs’? We’ll see you probably in January as we head to Alabama.

  2. Love this post! Isn’t it great when a plan comes together? One thing that really surprises me about my own retirement in 2013 was how much I miss working, but how little contact I’ve had with the folks that were such a big part of my life for so many years. We love rolling around in our little camper, but I’m not ready to give up a house and yard (yet). So happy to hear that you love your vagabond life. Hope we meet you on the road again somewhere.

    • gconthemove says:

      It is great to hear about each person’s different journey to get to the retirement goal and then how they make the transition. One of the things I do miss about work (besides the people) is thinking in more complex ways. I don’t want my mind to turn to mush:)

  3. Congratulations on your retirement milestone. I’ll have to look into Mint.com also.

    I appreciated knowing what it costs to live fulltime in an RV. The only concern I have now is the cost of healthcare. Although Karen will qualify for Medicare a year after we are on the road, I’ve got to provide my own. Our budget requires us to earn about $500 a month or volunteer for a spot.

    I’ve enjoyed following your journey. Be safe.

  4. Doris & Jeff Maddox says:

    It’s hard to believe it’s been a year! We are so very glad you two are enjoying the “Good Life”. 🙂
    Look forward to a good long visit when you pass through here.

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