Thursday, August 5, 2010

Not the Status Quo

The reactions you get when telling people you are considering doing something outside the norm are interesting. This lifestyle change we are working towards includes both early retirement and fulltime RVing…two things that just don’t make sense to many people.

Early retirement entails taking a leap of faith. Faith that you have saved enough money to get you through the rest of your life…quite possibly another 40 or more years. Faith that you will get beyond the butterflies in your stomach and go for it…knowing that the freedom that lies ahead is exactly what your soul craves.

When you go to work every day and find yourself all tensed up, frustrated and stressed out fulfilling someone else’s needs you begin to wonder, what’s the point? If I can afford to remove the greatest source of stress from my life, what’s stopping me? I know that life will always have stressors, some quite challenging, but I’d prefer they relate directly to my life, instead of in support of some anonymous company. Selfish? Perhaps. But like I said before, if I can afford to change my circumstances, why the heck not?!?! Hans’ view may be a bit different than mine, but it is similar.

Hans and I have scrutinized our financial situation to death. Hans is eligible for a pension at age 55 that we could live on, simply, for the rest of our lives. Our house is paid off and is worth a nice bundle and we don’t want to be landlords. So we sell the house…big influx of cash right there…and gain the catalyst for this next phase of our lives. We’ve worked hard to save a sizeable amount of cash, plus we have several 401k-type plans, and eventually, Social Security.

Ultimately, good financial habits and being lucky in San Diego real estate will allow us to make this leap of faith into early retirement.

As for fulltime RVing, you’d have to have a bit of wanderlust in you to understand that desire. Many people we’ve talked to think we’re crazy to give up a nice house in a great neighborhood in San Diego. San Diego is, after all, known to have possibly the best climate in the US. But when you’ve got a bit of wanderlust in your blood and you feel like you’ve explored every corner within a hundred miles of this city, you begin to wonder what the heck you’re going to do with your time when you’ve retired.

Then you realize that this house is not a house you want to grow old in. And that you really are more comfortable in cooler climates. But most of all you think of all the places you want to explore in depth…the green, wet rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula, the surreal landscapes of Utah, the North West coast, the wide open spaces and gorgeous mountains of Montana and Wyoming, the regional food experiences…the list goes on and on and you know there are places you haven’t even thought of left to discover.

But who wants to explore these places from nondescript hotel rooms, paying for meals out all the time, with your kitty shacking up with your friends? Not us! As fulltime RVers, we’ll have our home with us everywhere we go, our beloved cat right by our side. I’ll still be able to cook, something that’s important to me, and that will save us a lot of money and be a lot healthier. We’ll be able to change our location on a whim, following our little wanderlust-filled heart’s desire.

I am sure life on the road won’t be without its challenges. But what in life is not?

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