The Finance Blogger


Living in an RV and Travelling

You might wonder what does living in an RV and traveling have to do with finance and financial issues for seniors? Well as it turns out lots. I met a buddy the other night who stays in touch with a couple who are in their 60’s that we both know from years ago who have taken a really different approach to how they want to enjoy their retirement.

They sold their home and purchased a small RV, one that is relatively easy on fuel and an RV that his wife can drive. They put all of their things in storage and have all of their mail going to a friend’s place and off they go following the warm weather and the things they want to see from a site seeing perspective. They have been traveling around North America for the past couple of years thoroughly enjoying life. Talk about a life style change and a dramatic shift from home ownership which generally appreciates to living in small quarters in a vehicle that is depreciating! They are taking some risk, but enjoying their life and that is generally what it is all about once we retire.

Life Style Issues

There are lots of financial aspects to this plan and approach and there are also a number of lifestyle issues as well that many people might not be able to deal with. For example, although this couple is very close and they have no kids, were do you go when you are having a disagreement and just need some space. There is no other room in the RV. This is it, you can go to the other end, but you cannot lock the door and get away from your significant other! We all need our space from time to time no matter how much we love each other.

There is also the need to have flowers and pots, to decorate to have stuff you can call your own. Some call it the nesting syndrome. In an RV there is not a lot of room for this sort of thing. Having the flexibility to move around at will and always have a place to live, cook your meals and sleep has a lot of advantages.

Financial Issues of Living in an RV and Traveling

Selling your home and buying an RV has many financial impacts. The proceeds from your home can be invested, generating a nice income that can be re-invested or used to live on. The important thing here is to not touch the principal so that if you decide to repurchase a home, you still have some funds to do this.

The down side of selling your home and getting out of the real estate market is that if homes appreciate, you will be quickly priced out of the market and may not be able to buy back into the housing market. Instead you will have to rent which is fine with many people, however this is something to be aware of.

An RV will depreciate over time as it ages. At some point you will need repairs as well and it becomes a cost area that may be too much to deal with. A house needs maintenance as well, however it continues to appreciate in most cases.

While you no longer need to pay for utilities, taxes and home maintenance, which can be a large expense, you still need to pay for RV camping fees and park fees. Rent in some states in provinces and states can also be expensive as well. If you are planning to do this sort of thing it is important to develop a small spreadsheet and compare all of the costs and savings to help you with your financial part of the decision.

The Practical Side of Living in an RV and Traveling

Unless you have tried living in an RV even on vacation, you may not want to just make this leap in direction that dramatically changes your lifestyle. We suggest renting an RV for at least a month to try it out first. This is a good test to see if you and your significant other can handle the trials of living in an RV. One friend of ours rented out his house for 4 months and moved into his RV and headed south. After 2 months, they decided that they needed to rent a house. The RV was just too small for them! It is not for everyone.

If you have tried this approach, we would really like to hear your comments, the good and the bad.

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One Response to “Living in an RV and Travelling”

  1. Great post about rv’s, I was going to buy one and this post has givens lots to think about

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