Both retirement and becoming an RVer are big steps in our lives that can come with a lot of uncertainty and even guilt. So here are ways to embrace being a senior RVer…
- 1 Both retirement and becoming an RVer are big steps in our lives that can come with a lot of uncertainty and even guilt. So here are ways to embrace being a senior RVer…
- 2 How to Embrace Being a Senior RVer
- 3 Mike and Jennifer’s Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure
- 4 What I’m Thankful For…
- 5 Looking for exciting RV trip ideas and travel suggestions?
Life is nothing but a series of adjustments and recalibrations. Whenever I think about it, I think of the artificial GPS voice saying, “Recalculating!”
We recalculate when we start our jobs, our marriages, our families. And then we need to recalculate when we retire and everything that comes along with it.
For Jennifer and me, recalculating for retirement also meant recalculating for the RV lifestyle. We had spent years dreaming of it and finally started living it in 2012.
What’s funny, though, is the years we spent dreaming of it and then living it are years we kept getting older. Who knew?
So, we’ve had to learn how to embrace being a senior RVer. Here’s how we do it…
How to Embrace Being a Senior RVer
Much of the following advice we’ve learned from others, including from members of our RV Lifestyle Facebook group and readers like you. All of it applies to being a senior, in general, but we’ve found it particularly helpful for life on the road.
Reap the Rewards
You have been sowing seeds for decades. It’s time to reap the rewards.
Enjoy the money you’ve saved and the plans you’ve made for years. You can’t take money to the grave so you should make the most of it while you still can.
Create a budget so you can maximize the value of your savings and income. Be sure to include a “guilt-free” budget item to spend on whatever you’d like without second thought.
Let Go of Responsibility
One day, your kids and grandkids will have to survive without you. There’s no point in making that day the day you leave this earth.
Pass on the responsibility of caring for your kids and grandkids to your kids and grandkids. It’s better that they learn how to take care of themselves while you are still around to give advice.
It will be hard at first, but remember, they’d have to do it someday anyway.
Live a Balanced Lifestyle
Remember that retirement and the RV lifestyle are not a permanent vacation. Don’t fall into the trap of eating, drinking, and sitting too much.
Sure, enjoy life’s pleasures but be aware of the real danger of RVing becoming too much of a vacation.
Maintain balance by purposefully planning healthy meals and daily exercise along with your treats and relaxation.
Take Pride in Your Appearance
When aging starts to take its toll on our appearance, too many of us seniors start to view it as a losing battle not worth fighting.
But there is beauty in age. Find that beauty and embrace it.
No matter your weight, dress for where you are now. Don’t put off shopping until you “get back to” a certain weight. Wear what makes you feel good, not what hides you.
No matter your wrinkles, smile through them because they are the most beautiful of battle scars from surviving life.
Mike and Jennifer’s Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure
Don’t wait for your kids and grandkids to come to you. You remember what it’s like being a young parent or busy at work, and how easy it is to get pulled away from people that matter.
Remember they’re trying to figure out how to balance all the responsibilities that come with their stage in life. They do love you and care about you, but the days slip away and the phone calls get put off.
So, don’t wait for them to come to you. Call them. Visit them. They’ll make room in their day, and be glad for it!
Give Advice, Not Criticism
With age comes wisdom… and often criticism.
Yes, you have a lifetime of lessons and experiences that give you more insight than most younger than you. Offer your wisdom as advice, not criticism. Think of it this way…
If someone needs a hammer, show them how to use it, don’t hit them with it!
Never Say “In My Time”
Your time is now. Yes, you’re older, but you’re still you. This is still your life.
Treasure the highlights of your life, but don’t think for one moment that those are all in the past. Keep living your life and enjoying your time on this earth every day.
Make New Friends
At our age, we understand that friendships come and go and some are lost forever.
This only becomes truer as we grow older and friends leave this world before us. But it should never come down to the last friend standing.
Always be open to new friendships and even seek them out. There are others just like you who need to fill those gaps in their hearts or could simply use a friendly smile.
Whether you make a new friend for a week on a camping trip or for a few minutes at lunch, a friendly smile and conversation can make all the difference.
With a lifetime of stories, you should certainly share them! But never forget to listen, too.
Try to exchange stories, rather than share them. Tell yours, and then ask for one in return.
There’s no better way to connect to others! You’ll get a glimpse of others’ lives that may have been similar or completely different than yours. Either way, it’ll be an interesting conversation.
Don’t Focus on Discomforts
Getting old hurts. There are aches and pains that you never expected and just can’t make go away. It’s time to accept them.
Instead of focusing on your discomforts, treat them as best as you can and then keep moving forward.
We’ve done this our whole lives in one way or another. Whether you worked through the discomfort of laboring for a paycheck or the discomfort of caring for a child in the middle of the night. You pushed through it.
So, push through it now.
Don’t Be Grumpy, Be Happy
Age is not an excuse to become grumpy. Yes, you have aches and pains. Yes, people can be dumb. Yes, politics are frustrating. But no, none of those are worth dwelling on.
All of those things are going to continue whether or not you’re grumpy or happy. So, choose happy.
And the surest way to find happiness is to practice gratitude. When you find yourself being grumpy, find the silver lining instead. Look for the good (it’s always there).
Wake every morning with an “I’m thankful for…”
What I’m Thankful For…
I am incredibly thankful for Jennifer and we’re both very thankful for our RV lifestyle. No matter the gas prices or bumps in the road, we get to see things and meet people that most others don’t. I hope we never take that for granted.
Please share what you’re thankful for in the comments below. Let us know if you have any other words of wisdom on how to embrace being a senior RVer.
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October 23, 2022at10:01 am, Jan Kanemoto said:
Mike and Jen we have been followingyou since nearly at the beginning! Got our Renegade Sprinter Villagio in 2014 and have been taking several adventures a year. Met you at a rally in Phoenix a few years back! Follow the 3:30 rule religiously. Also try to add exercise daily—-3:30 rule makes this possible. We also try to make new friends along the way——and we truly NEVER thought we would live this life style and LOVE it! Thanks for all you do for our R V community.
October 24, 2022at10:08 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thank you so much for this encouraging note! Happy Trails, Jan! Team RV Lifestyle
September 16, 2022at9:36 am, Dale Figgins said:
Most of the things that you spoke of apply to people getting older no matter where or how they live. If you do not RV, then things would be added like find a hobby, find a group of friends to do things with, find a place to serve others like church or community, etc. There can be similar things for those that are using their RV frequently. However, trip planning, loading and unloading the RV, driving, setting up camp and tearing it back down are things that RVers must do. How can these things be made easier once the body gets older? What type things might be more interesting for seniors than young people?
September 16, 2022at10:03 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
HI Dale – We really appreciate your thoughts on this and your question about setting up and tearing down as the body gets older is a good one. Have you asked it on our Facebook group? (will include here a link in case it helps). We bet some folks there would have some excellent suggestions of what they do that could help. Happy Trails! Team RV Lifestyle https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking
March 25, 2022at10:28 am, randy hedden said:
morning Jennifer and mike i have followed your post and blog for several years now . Learning new tips all the while. started with a sprinter diesel and travel trailer . I followed Bob Wells and volunteered 2 years at the rtr event . I took the plunge and Bought a brand new 2021 coachman Beyond from our friends at Sunshine state RV Retired and am enjoying traveling and adventures PS Jenifer is right find out what makes the rattle!!! Happy trails and thank you both for all you do Randy Hedden Macgyver
March 25, 2022at3:25 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thank you so much for the kind note, Randy! Happy Trails to you, too – Team RV Lifestyle
March 23, 2022at1:42 pm, Doria Donnelly said:
I really enjoyed this article! My husband and I love traveling in our travel trailer. We are both 70 and retired, but our trips have been short. In reading your advice, I realize that you are right – kids and grandkids need to learn to take care of themselves. I will try to practice what you preached!
March 23, 2022at11:03 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thanks, Doria! Team RV Lifestyle
March 22, 2022at10:35 am, John Parsons said:
This was a great article, not only for RVers, but for any senior (I turn 66 this year, my child bride is only 56). I would like to print this and hang it on the fridge to reread as needed.
March 22, 2022at2:50 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thanks John! Team RV Lifestyle
March 20, 2022at4:38 pm, Lynda Phillips said:
I am just thankful that I still get up in the morning and do what I enjoy. Be it hiking, biking, kayaking or just reading a book. It’s all the fun, healthy things I can do at age 72. My spouse and I are both reasonably healthy and happy. What more could we ask for?
March 22, 2022at10:25 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Absolutely! Being thankful and doing what you enjoy is no small thing. Thanks, Lynda! Team RV Lifestyle
March 20, 2022at4:33 pm, Ann Baker said:
We started camping about six years ago, at 68 (hubby) and 66. We also started river cruising at about the same time ( not simultaneously, of course). Last fall, on a river cruise, our concierge re-defined the term “ski-ing” for us -Spending Kids’ Inheritance. So, after 23 years living in Colorado saying we don’t ski, now we know that we do. We include adult kids and grandkids when they want, but usually it’s just us and a dog or two.
March 22, 2022at10:24 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thanks for sharing, Ann! Team RV Lifestyle
March 20, 2022at10:46 am, Patti Wysocki said:
I am thankful for each day that brings new adventures and people. Hopeful for the good that lies ahead. It is so much fun to have new adventures and meet the beauty of our country and the people who love it.
March 22, 2022at10:22 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Being thankful for each new day is a great way to live. thank you, Patti! Team RV Lifestyle
March 20, 2022at10:18 am, Roger Bohnke said:
Great advice. We try to focus on this as well. Even with the runup in inflation, we realize we’re not getting any younger and the time is now to enjoy what we’ve worked so hard for. The grandkids keep pulling us back home, but we’re always planning our next adventure too!
March 22, 2022at10:22 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thanks, Roger! It is true – none of us are getting younger! Thank you for this note – Team RV Lifestyle
March 20, 2022at9:53 am, Ronald Sellers said:
i enjoyed this article. very well written and true. do the best you can as you age and keep going. Modern technology makes it easy to quickly communicate with children and grandchildren. I agree to let them live their life, not an extension of yours. I read most of your articles and enjoy. while we dont us our Winnebago ERA near as much as you two, we enjoy it. i wish i was faster at doing the upkeep that it takes. seems like i am always reading the manual to remember how to do something. ron
March 22, 2022at10:21 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thank you so much, Ron, for this kind note. It is true upkeep often takes longer than planned! We really appreciate you taking the time to write this – it is incredibly encouraging. Team RV Lifestyle
March 20, 2022at9:09 am, Danny and Lori Windsor said:
That was one of the best articles I have ever read. So practical and so true! At ages 63 and 66 my husband and I are approaching retirement from work in 2 years and planning on having a home and also a van conversion to travel in. This article answered questions and affirmed our feelings on the topics discussed. We have many of your travel guides already and plan to put them to good use! Thank you for all you do. You both are a blessing from the Lord to us.
March 22, 2022at10:18 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thank you so much, Danny and Lori, for such kind and encouraging words! You have no idea how much comments like yours encourage and uplift. Thanking for taking the time to leave this note – Team RV Lifestyle