A friend was recently talking to a university professor who studies sub cultures within a culture. When this professor started to look at the lifestyle we live he came to the realization that there is a complete sub culture of people who live Full Time in RV’s and Boats. On the spot he came up with a designation for these people as the “Affluent Homeless”.
The people in this lifestyle are the ones that have not bought into the American and Canadian Dream of the two car garage, 2.4 children, and debt to the eyeballs.
Boeing and McConnell Douglas in the U.S. commissioned a study a number of years ago that showed that the average number of pension checks that people who retire at 65
collect is 18. In other words the average life expectancy for a 65 year old retiree is 1 1/2 years or 18 months. So what happened to the American dream. You work to 65 and then you die at 66 1/2. This just does not sound like a dream to me. In doing the research for my book, this number of 18 months was confirmed by the Canada Pension Plan, and the Pension plan office of the large company in Canada where I used to work. To see one of the study results Click Here. There are many others out there.
Now the interesting part of this study also showed that people who retired at 55 lived an average 18 years or till they were 73 years old. People that retired at 45 lived to an average age of 82.
So why are they living much longer. My research showed that these younger retirees go out and do things whereas people who retire at 65 tend to become sedentary. Once you get in the habit of doing something, chances are you will keep doing it.
One of the great things to do is to become a Full Time RV’er. Full Time RV’ers on the whole really are the “Affluent Homeless”. Since they usually do not have the huge upkeep costs of homes, mortgages, two cars, property taxes, power bills, water and sewer bills, they quickly find themselves in a much better position financially.
People who would normally not see themselves retiring till 65 suddenly see a way where they can retire early and really enjoy the American dream for a greater number of years.
But to really benefit you do have to retire early. Part of the research I did showed that people who did want to retire at 65 and do something like Full Time RV did actually buy the RV, but then since they were so accustomed to a certain routine, they ended up using it for 3 or 4 weeks and then parked it for the rest of the year. Their habitual way of living told them that a vacation was 3 or 4 weeks long and that was it. If you really do want to form a new habit for your retirement years you do have to start younger. It is for the above reason that you can find so many good deals on very low mileage RV’s only a few years old. The people had the dream but their conditioning and age stopped them from doing it.
The interesting part is that people who start RV’ing earlier will continue driving and enjoying the lifestyle many years after they turn 65. The key is starting early.
Many people would say “But I cannot Afford to retire early”. My question is can you afford not to. If you really take a close look at what you are actually living on after you pay all your bills, taxes, mortgage, car payments, and everything else, and I mean really study it, you will probably find out you live on a few hundred dollars a month. Now if you can sell your home, one of your cars, and just about everything else and then buy a good used RV for 50 or 60 thousand, 100 thousand for a really nice used RV. What would you have left
to live on then. We purchased our 36 foot A class RV for $30,000 and lived in it comfortably for 11 years. That works out to less than $3000 per year. RV parks when we actually used them were about $500 a month. But there are many that are much more reasonable especially well away from major
cities. I have a friend in Canada who pays over $5000 a year just in property taxes on his couple of acres of property.
Knowing the numbers I retired from my job at 55. I was able to take a reduced pension that still allows me to live comfortably in a Full Time Lifestyle. My wife and I also have a business set up on the internet and I sell my “Full Time in an RV” Book. This extra money is just icing on the cake. In some of my previous posts you will see information on how you too could make money on the road.
Just because all your neighbors and friends are trapped in their vision of the American dream, does not mean you have to be. People will try and dissuade you from doing something like Full Time RV’ing. But let them do it their way and die at 66 1/2 while you go on really enjoying your life for many years. Always remember that the main reason that someone will try and dissuade you from doing something like Full Time RV is the fact that they are afraid to change their lifestyle and do not want to look bad since you are not afraid to change yours.
Don’t just take my word for it. There are many websites, and blogs about this lifestyle that give you a lot of information about how nice it really is as well as ideas of how they were able to afford to do it if they did not have a house to sell or a pension to support them. There is also a lot of information in my book “Full Time in an RV” on how to accomplish this lifestyle and how to calculate the costs.
As you may know from earlier blog posts our current RV is a Sailboat. Once the mobile lifestyle catches hold of you, you will find that you will never want to go back and you will try different versions of it also. It may be difficult to convince someone to give up the American Lifestyle and try something like Full Time RV Living, but believe me it is almost impossible to convince them to go back to the Brick and Mortar lifestyle once they embrace the Full Time Mobile lifestyle.
See you on the Road.