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Old 07-11-2014, 02:06 PM   #1
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I Need Your Advice and Input

While sitting around the fire last night my wife asked me a question that I don't have the answer to and I hope some of you, who have the experience of full timing can help with.

To start with......my wife and I are best friends, business partners and lovers. We've been married for over 36 years and for the last 16 years we've been together almost all the time (unless I had to travel on short over the night trips). We each bring something different to our marriage and business so we make a great team. And we have 3 great adult sons to show for it as well as a successful business that we started in the corner of a bedroom.

Ginny's question......"what are we going to do when we go full time to occupy our minds?" Our business has eaten most of our days for so long that when the time comes to walk away, what are our days going to be like?

I've been an amateur photographer for years and Ginny likes reading. Of course I like helping people so I've considered being part of the emergency response folks helping after disasters but this really isn't Ginny's cup of tea. So I'm asking all of you, who have have already experiences this change in life, what should we expect and what do we have to look forward to? What hobbies do you have and find rewarding? Since I drove big trucks for 20 years, I enjoy driving but this would wear on Ginny and sooner or later I'd run out of fuel.

Thanks in advance for your help

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
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GREAT question - subscribing !!!

Not a full timer, so take my thoughts as a plan only !

First off.... congrats on being best friends, etc...
THAT alone puts you WAY ahead of the game and
THAT will be the key to the success of your next AD-venture.

It took me two tries, but I'm fortunate to be there too and we both know the REAL needs and wants of the other... including laughing at ourselves for the simplest things !

But you are smart to discuss it...
Downsizing a great deal to full-time will offer 'opportunities' for those that aren't together all the time like we are and haven't lived it yet.

but, my question is, do we really NEED to downsize, who says we have to stop 'working' - we can still be productive, but at our own pace !

In fact, the rv tech owner that came to look at our rw the other day said he had retired twice already and just does the rv thing at his leisure...

My guess is that we will still 'do things' just different ones maybe (or in my case, I like what I do so I may stay at it, just when I want)

Interested in the real full-timers ideas even though everyone of us has different needs
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:59 PM   #3
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Wow, we're really getting deep this morning!!!

Dave, I'll give you a few thoughts/comments to start things off...

The best part, you and Ginny are friends and are already living together fulltime, that will be a huge advantage for you. Ruth and I were also together full time, for about a year, before going fulltime, and we like you are best friends, I adore her and love being with her!!!
Having said that, everyone needs time alone, or with others who enjoy like things, be it sports, hobbies, work...whatever... you will need to find time to explore your interests. This takes understanding from your mate, they have to give you the room to explore your own interests. Ruth and I have an understanding with each other that there are things I like to do, things she likes to do and we give each other the time and space to do them. That is huge!!!!!!

We also have MANY common interests and love doing them together, hiking, cycling, paddling, walking. So we plan activities we both enjoy, she is much more of a planner for activities than I so I love what she plans!!

We workcamp, not because we need the cash [though getting free rent is nice], but because we like to stay busy. We limit our work to 2-3 days per week, no full-time [done that, no more] and we limit the work to activities we enjoy. We meet amazing people, both workcampers and campers and have established some great friendships through our workcamping.

We also volunteer with a RV Christian ministry, these projects typically are 3 weeks, working with other Christians who share a desire to give back, again we have met some remarkable people, both volunteers and hosts from the organizations we work for. We also are Blessed with our faith and we enjoy going to church. This is of course challenging when on the move, to find churches we enjoy can sometimes be problematic but we seem to find ones we like, especially when we are in places for extended periods.

We winter in Florida, close to family and friends. We keep very busy with shared interests and get involved with the community.

The bottom line...you and Ginny are already way ahead of the game...you are friends!! That may sound odd but it is amazing how many couples hardly know each other and spend no time together and have no common interests, the fact that you like each other is HUGE!!!

Will it be perfect...probably not, there will be times when you miss your work, your friends back home, your children [this is a big one] but the great news is you're mobile, you can go visit them, plan time together.

Ruth and I have no regrets and we love our new life. From the little I know you I sense you too will fit right into this lifestyle and thrive on it!!!

Love life my friend, together with the love of your life, your best friend. It's as good as it gets!!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
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Been retired/fulltiming for 6 years now with my best friend of 41 years & now wonder when we had time to work, seems we are always going or doing something. I have taken contract jobs off & on & have considered work kamping just haven't yet. I think You & your best friend will find enough to keep the mind & spirit sharp, just go for it!! Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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Hey Dave, you have given me great ideas so far on my unit and your question in return is real deep. My wife and I are probably one of the youngest who owns a redwood, in fact every thing we have done we have been the youngest at accomplishing it. My parents are retired but think its silly driving around with a trailer tied behind them and prefer to stay put on there ranch enjoying oil wells popping up on there property. I have always been the one to travel all over the world for Cisco networks and Microsoft. But eventually I had to stop because my life partner is the one who completes me and not seeing her for several months at a time was tearing us apart. I quit everything and got on board at a place 2 miles from home. Making all the money in the world is not worth anything if you cant go home and hug the one who always loved you the most. As for advice I can give...when that day comes to quit all of it and go fulltime traveler I would just say you have a life partner there who will always agree with any little stupid thing you want to do and vice versa. I think photography is awesome as I as well do it to and yes my wife is a huge reader as well and I cant understand why I would let my time be wasting behind a book when you have everything outside to explore and not in a book. there are so many things out there that are free to explore so money cant be the issue but money will take you there...I believe the worst thing you can do is dwell on it as I see that in my parents sometimes. photos are awesome and I have made some great money from them to afford a lot of our trips.
Remember to always agree to everything or you might miss out on something you wish you would of done earlier in your life. I always believe your bucket list shouldn't always be yours alone but your life partner has one to and both of you should accomplish that together while you can....no regrets but just keep your mind on that and to always make your wife smile no matter what.

As for us I'm 125% polish and my other is 90% german and a whole lot of other things but germans and pollacks never agree on anything but when its all settled out and you or the other gives in you always end up smiling and laughing over it later. for us we are stronger bonded when we work together and trust me it is very hard to do...especially trying to get this stupid trailer fixed so we can actually spend one night in it to see our fruits of labor pay off finally. what's hard for us to understand is we came from a carriage 5er and never had one issue not even small but a couple of blowouts on tires but no biggie but we have this trailer and over two months now we haven't been able to stay in it one night yet. but with the hard headed wife and my self this has been the biggest fight we dealt with so far but we have done it together and a ton of sleepless nights but we have done it together as you should do as well with Ginny retired or not. doing that alone is a fulltime job and will always keep you busy in your day to day endeavors.

Good luck and we wish you happy travels!!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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Keeping busy and stimulated was a concern prior to my retirement. I continued to work beyond the financial necessity to keep busy. I travelled in my job 3-4 nights a week for 25 years so my DW and I had developed somewhat separate priorities that worked well when apart but, the prospect of living in 400 sq. ft. 24/365 was uncertain. My wife grew up in a travelling family and desperately wanted to full time but through the years I resisted so when in Mid 2013 I announced my retirement and we decided we would try the full time lifestyle my wife was thrilled. I can truly say that our relationship has never been better. When we made the decision to full time there was no plan to do anything other than travel and see the country. I worked in the tire industry all my life, the last 16 years with Titan Tire, a large Ag, Construction and Off Road Tire mfg. that has a small division that makes Hydraulic Brake Systems for trailers. When Titan learned my intention was to full time RV, they made me an offer to represent them at RV Show and Rallies around the country. Currently I am committed to 5 major shows a year, Quartzsite, Pomona, The Rally, The Escapade and Airstream, I fill in from there. It looks like I will do 12-15 shows/rallies a year. Titan pays me to do these. I have met many vendors who do the same shows but rely on show income to cover expenses. Not a life for me!
Not bored, having a ball.
My first show was Quartzsite in January and since have put 10,000 miles on the trailer. Last show was The International Airstream Rally in Gillette when my brake seminar turned into a tire seminar when the group realized by background.

As a business owner, I am sure you will spot opportunities as you go. After all that’s your background, capitalizing on opportunities.

Good Luck, Go For It!
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:27 PM   #7
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Dave & Ginny,
There are many things out there to do. What you do is up to you. Some of it may be trial and error. We have been full time for over 12 years. When we started we spent most of the summer in SD, since that is where our one daughter and family lived. We headed west when it started to get cold. Our other daughter and family lived in Ca., and we would hit that area during the winter. We would visit other areas along the way. National parks in Utah, etc. Historic areas in northern Az. Quartzite, Yellowstone, Williams Az. etc. You can go where you want and do what you want. One year we went to Ca. by way of N.C., just because that is what we wanted to do. Many full timers work camp. There are many opportunities for that. Some in parks, (private & public), others work for businesses. There are people that work for restaurants or businesses in one area during the winter months and another area during the summer. There are church groups that travel around doing repair and building projects. I can't think of anything that a person couldn't do as full timers. You just have to decide what it is, and put in the effort to do it. Before we bought the RW, I asked the wife how long she wanted to keep this lifestyle. Her reply was as long as we can, So it is working out for us.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:53 PM   #8
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Any work camps in texas. I'm new to that one
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #9
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Most of the parks in Texas use work campers during the Winter. Usually they put in so many hrs., which pays for the spot and electricity. There are many variables. Also there is a work campers newsletter that comes out you can probably find on line.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLRAKOWITZ View Post
Any work camps in texas. I'm new to that one
There are workcampers EVERYWHERE!!! Many private parks use them, many require full time commitments [site plus small paycheck] and virtually all state and federal campgrounds use them as volunteers [part time [20-30 hours] combined per week].

A couple of great resource resources...
Workamper News
volunteer.gov
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:36 PM   #11
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Dave & Ginny,

Wow, great subject. Judi and I have been married for 34 yrs and other than when I was away at sea we haven't been apart, except for work. I worked in the marine industry and also was involved in numerous volunteer associations - professional association, soccer club, etc, usually always in a senior capacity, if not the President. Therefore, your classic workaholic with no time for hobbies. Judi was an RN and worked long hours and looked after the house, kids, pets, etc, so also not much time for hobbies, etc.

I retired at 55 and could have gone for another 4 yrs to max out the pension, but I just knew the time was right. The commute was getting to me and work was getting in the way of other things I wanted to do. But, with no hobbies I was not a good candidate to retire early. Started up a marine consulting company, as while still working I figured I could easily spend 2 to 3 days a week working to my schedule.

Well I have now been retired for 18 months and the company hasn't made a penny, and I have turned down a 5 yr project management opportunity and a couple of smaller projects. Basically don't have the time to work.

Since retirement we have travelled extensively, with the Redwood, cruising and also our 5 - 6 weeks a year in our timeshare. For hobbies I enjoy planning upcoming holidays and have current plans through the Fall of 2016. In addition, I enjoy learning new things, having recently researched and taught myself how to start and maintain a travel blog. I am also getting back into photography and want to learn more about photo editing. Am currently researching Adobe Lightroom and if I decide to purchase it I'll spend a few weeks learning the features. I have also taken up reading books on the Kindle. Judi is getting into various crafts and is talking about scrapbooking. She is also starting to make baby clothes, as our daughter is expecting our first grandchild.

In addition we are starting a weight loss and fitness program with lots of dog walking, swimming any cycling.

Retirement really is the good life.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:02 AM   #12
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Dave and Ginny - my wife and I have been full-time for about 18 months. I was a workaholic as well in the high tech industry. I retired out at 56 because I wanted to go out on the top and I felt I was slowly wearing down in a very high pressure career. Like you, my wife and I are best friends and we do a lot of things together such has hiking, biking, sight seeing.

We decided from the beginning that we were going to participate in some form of volunteer service for a few years. Our preferences has been to volunteer and National Wildlife Refuges. For example this past winter my wife held a volunteer position (24hrs/week) working in the Santa Ana NWR visitor center and I worked in the maintenance department. My role turned out to be very rewarding as I and 3 others built a 120 ft boardwalk with a 30x30 observation deck and sun shade on the refuge for 4 months. We now have volunteer requests doing in from all over the US National Wildlife Refuges. The point is that there are many rewarding opportunities out there.

"Traveling Anderson" turned us onto the disaster relief option as well with the birds of feather program. We have not pursued it yet, but it is on our radar for the future. We also decided as a couple we would become knowledgable b
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:07 AM   #13
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sorry - hit the wrong button. Continuation. We decided to become birders as that is a good asset when volunteering with the NWR. You can go to volunteer.gov or workamper.com to view volunteer opportunities. BTW photography is a very big plus when volunteering at NWR. For us full timing is all about giving back whether it be helping the family or community or our National Park system. It gives us purpose as we both have useful skills.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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Wow...what great information from everyone. I really appreciate all the advice and kind words. I'm sure we'll get everything figured out.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:46 AM   #15
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It's 10:30 and we're getting ready to settle down for the night. Our vacation is over and we've just came in from our last camp fire. Tomorrow we reluctantly start our trek home. The total journey will be 1350 miles which we'll do in 2 days unless the weather doesn't cooperate.

This trip has been very eye opening for us as a couple. Again thank you for all the advice and encouragement toward retirement. We also camped next to a couple with a Montana and I believe they will be looking a little harder at the Redwoods in the future. They also turned us onto the caravan tours that they participate in. Ginny is now a happy, yet apprehensive future retiree.

With the idea of someday having to transport my parents to their Southern home as well as the possibility of taking her parents to distant relatives, we are questioning if a diesel pusher might fit the comfort level that we might need. Time will tell but for now as long as I have a 5th wheel I'll stick to my Redwood.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:13 AM   #16
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I have lived with a Great women since 4/1969. Got cancer, over that. I have had a great time since getting the medical disability ruling in April. Spending time getting to KNOW MY DW Again. I wish I could say more, but just seeing her every day. I am learning what my wife thinks, what her beliefs are. We spent 2 weeks in Garner state Park. You have a CHALLENGE to build a NEW RELATIONSHIP with the women You married .
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:40 AM   #17
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I ramble, chemo!
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