Monday, January 17, 2011


I have had a great "lazy long weekend" doing nothing but surfing the computer. I have also been doing a lot of thinking about upcoming decisions concerning my retirement or resignation (decision 1),  buying a fifth wheel or motorhome (decision 2) and keeping the house or not (decision 3).  I have always thought those would be easy decisions to make when the time came, however the time is here and I now know otherwise!

Decision 1, retire or resign. Why is this a decision, well  if I retire it means I wait until March of 2015 to finally be free to travel when we want and not based on our work schedule. It also means the difference of collecting some additional pension money or not. The pension money would be about $350. a month, since I only would only have 10 years in that pension plan.  If I did wait on that pension money, with rising fuel prices, it may equate to a tank of fuel for the rig! However is it worth working another 4 years to get it? I don't think my laziness is a factor in this decision; I have literally had a job since I was 15 years old (if you count the working in cotton fields, make that 12 years old!)

Decision 2, fifth wheel or motorhome?  I know it is a personal preference thing. Cheryl and I both love the Mobile Suites fifth wheel and the Fleetwood Voyage motorhome. If we go with the fiver, we are also looking at a truck, cost could be as high as $130k. If we go motorhome, cost could be as high as $220k (we would cap it at that).  Another consideration other than cost is health. I have a couple of health problems, will they effect my ability to setup a fiver? I am scheduled to have rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder in a couple of weeks (fairly routine). I am not the macho male I used to be!

Decision 3, sell the house or not. I believe fear is a factor in this decision. Our house is relatively small, 1450 square feet. We bought it in 1997 and have some equity built (depending on the market). However we still have some mortgage left also! Emotionally (a term not used a lot by us macho males), selling it would be like cutting ties with our past life. We do want to get out there and travel, see America; we do not want to cut ties with our past life. Our family is important to us and at times it seems they are really dependent on us. Maybe we should just keep the house and use it as a home base?

I know that these decisions may not seem like a big deal, however they have been wieghing heavy on my mind lately. It helps to write about them and I am sure it would help to hear opinions and advice.

Until next time... God bless us all...............


smdrm said...

I understand your dilemma on all 3 points. We are already retired. However if we make the decision to full-time, we, too will be faced with the decision of keeping a house as well. Your thought processes as you work through these scenerios may be important to your readers who are also facing these important decisions. They are definitely not insignificant and I appreciate you for sharing your struggles.

Selene, NC

squawmama said...

They are a BIG deal and ones that only you can decide on. We retired early, sold our house to our daughter and went full time in a motorhome... When we are done with fulltiming we'll buy another small house. Great decisions for us! You need to be happy #1 (you) with your choices. I know it's hard! It will all come to you...
Have fun

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

We retired early, and moved our house closer to the Grandkids. We purchased a trailer, only to find it didn't do daily travel very well. Pack it all up and move in the morning and then set it all back up for the night.
The trailer does do sitting in one place for months on end much better, as it has the nicer living room away from the kitchen area.
We bought a front engine motorhome, for under $150. It does day travel much better, but we seem to use it in the winter for long periods of time. Go figure! Front engine motorhomes do not have air suspension, and ride way more bouncy which is a drawback for traveling. But ours is a diesel and gets better mileage than the pusher models.

Now at age 63, suddenly my health is compromised, and I am really glad that I retired at 58, and kept the house. Will be much easier to sell the coach now if it comes to that!

These decisions are never easy but waiting around to do the right thing is much worse than doing the wrong thing and learning about life as you see it.


John and Ellen said...

Another excellent post Don. We have been following your decision making process with great interest.


RV Vagabonds said...

I've listed some pros and cons of motorhomes vs. fifth wheels on my website You might find it helpful.

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

We are going to be *young* retirees too, at 55 and 53. Our intent of selling the house is threefold-- 1. the expense of heating, insuring and taxes. 2. It's not a good house for when we are *old* because there are too many steps and levels. 3. When we are ready to get off the road, our exit plan is to get a much smaller house or a condo.

We know we wanna fulltime, because now as we travel in our motorhome, we HATE coming home again. And we try to escape and go out every weekend too.

We pulled 2 travel trailers and owned 3 different motorhomes. We know we are *motorhome type* folks, not only for the comfort during travel, but the ease of setup and teardown.

But to each their own for whatever reasons... just sharing ours.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul and Mary said...

You are wrestling with the right questions! And, they are your questions to wrestle with for the answers that are right for you. When you come to the right answer for you, you'll know!

Since you asked for opinions and insights, we'll share a few.

Decision 1 - The most common regret we've heard fulltimers share is that they didn't start earlier. And, we've heard that a lot! We hit the road at 51 with no regrets.

Decision 2 - RV Vagabonds has a mighty nice comparison list. We went the MH route and love it. The MH takes us from destination to destination in comfort and style, and the Jeep takes us everywhere the MH can't. It's a great combo. Suggestion: Rent a Class A for a short trip. Try it. You might like it.

Decision 3 - We had no roots or emotional attachment to our house. We were eager to sell it and move. So, the decision was easy for us. But, we certainly understand that's not the case for many. Perhaps you can rent it out for awhile and see how that works for you?

Hope that helps. But, as others have said, you're the folks who need to be happy with your decisions.

Happy wrestling!

Speedy said...

Don Don't wait too long. Life is short and the older you get the less likely you will be able to travel in a trailer or MH. When the time comes for you to lay down for the last sure you can smile and say I did it all...

Somewhere in Time