April 27, 2021 — Nomadland scored a hat trick at the the 2021 academy awards. It won Best Picture. Chloe zhao won for Best Director. And Frances McDormand won for Best Actress. The film is one of the best portrayals of one niche of retirement life we have seen (see reviews of other retirement films at end). It is based on the book of the same name by Jessica Bruder, a journalist who traveled all over the country to document the van-life experience.
Fern, played by McDormand, is a van-dwelling woman who leaves her hometown after her husband dies and the sole industry closes down. Houseless, she travels around the United States, living in her old van that she has lovingly customized. Lonely and depressed, she finds temporary work at a giant Amazon fulfillment center. There she makes friends and ends up getting talked into visiting Quartzite, a convention for those living the RV and van lifestyle. There she meets Bob Wells, the organizer of Quartzite. Wells, vanlife guru and creator of cheaprvliving.com plays a fictionalized version of himself. He has a YouTube channel that is extremely successful.
Posted by Admin on April 26th, 2021
(Note: this is the first of a 2 part series on Costa Rica. Part 2 focuses on expat retirement in the country. )
January 13, 2019 — Does your retirement include a bucket list trip to Costa Rica, one of the world’s greatest ecotourism destinations? This Central American country, situated north of Panama and south of Nicaragua, has an incredible array of attractions that bring in tourists from all over the world. But unlike more traditional vacation spots where the places to visit are fairly obvious (think Paris or Normandy in France) Costa Rican tourism is complex. The choices of where to visit can be difficult to figure out. This article will tell you what to expect if you go, what your options are, and how to plan and book your trip.
Costa Rica snapshot
Costa Rica (CR) has long coastlines on two sides – the Pacific on the west and the Caribbean to the east. The country has a very stable democratic government and a prosperous economy based mainly on tourism, technology, and agriculture. It has no army; that was abolished in 1948. The climate is tropical with a rainy season from mid-September through December. The terrain is quite mountainous with peaks over 10,000′; it can get quite cool in those areas. The terrain goes from very dry areas on the west coast to cloud and rain forests further east.
Posted by Admin on January 12th, 2019
This article is courtesy of a recent interview with Nomadic Pilot, a long time Member at Topretirements. His retirement story is pretty interesting, we hope you enjoy it.
November 11, 2018 –
TopRetirements: We understand you are a pilot. Could you tell us a little bit about your flying life?
Nomadic Pilot: I’ve been a ‘recreational’ pilot since 1983. We use the airplane for weekend fun or family trips. My current plane is my third – a Cessna Turbo 210, preceded by a Piper Arrow II and a Cessna 172. I hold private single-engine-land (SEL) and single engine-sea (SES) certificates along with an instrument rating. The 210 is a fabulous cross country airplane. I purchased it in 1998 when we were living in southern CA. While there we used it for trips to Palm Springs, Sedona, Eureka, Napa, Seattle, Spokane and Fort Collins to name a few. We used the plane quite a bit to fly to college towns in the west when our son was evaluating colleges. We’ve also used it to fly to the annual (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 10th, 2018
July 27, 2018 — There are some folks who decide the best place to retire is — everywhere! That’s right, there are people how so love adventure and travel that they sell everything and go on the road. Some do it for a few years, while others hope to do it as long as they can. While not for everyone, it is guaranteed to be an interesting strategy.
After we saw a recent NY Times article about a couple who have retired to become modern day nomads, we knew we had to share their story. But as we got into it we realized that there are many different ways to retire on the road. You can live on a cruise ship, buy a boat, travel about in a RV or van, or work as a floating (more…)
Posted by Admin on July 26th, 2018
June 3, 2018 — A lot of Americans, including retired baby boomers, are thinking… small. As one example, our last visit to the barbershop was spent listening to the young guy in the next chair talk about the tiny home he is building. Everyone in the shop was fascinated with the unique touches and hi-tech stuff he was putting into it. In mid-May we reported on the boat that John is building for his retirement home, Next Chapter…Afloat. Yet another aspect of the think small movement, and the topic of this article, is the notion of discarding the notion of the RV, and replacing it with a customized luxury van – Vanlife, or Vanliving!
If the mobile lifestyle appeals to you, your thinking up to this point was probably limited to RVs (see our “Living the Mobile Lifestyle” series by Betty Fitterman). Now, enter the customized van, another option with many (more…)
Posted by Admin on June 2nd, 2018
By John Andola
May 15, 2018 — Just days from my 80th birthday, I am engaging in a major life style change. One that brings both serious stress for the present and potential promise for the future. Leaving our rental house of seven years and ridding our lives of tangible connections with past life, George and I are embarking on an adventure that will literally bring us to the next chapter in our lives. Literally, because we have commissioned the building of a new boat which we will live aboard full time, and that we have named Next Chapter.
At 35 feet, Next Chapter is ten feet longer than our treasured Grumpy Old Men, which we hope to sell within the next couple of months. But more about the new boat at a later posting. Here the focus is on the physical and mental transition through (more…)
Posted by Admin on May 14th, 2018
September 13, 2017– The Galápagos Islands are at the top of many people’s bucket list destinations. This article will give you a taste of what that experience is like, based on your Editor’s recent trip, plus some tips and advice if you decide to go.
Where and what
The Galápagos are a volcanic archipelago of small islands in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles west of Ecuador, which is near the top of south South America. They are most famous because of the role they played in Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution explained in his groundbreaking “Origin of the Species“. He visited the Islands in the early 1800’s, at a time when its only (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 12th, 2017
By Betty Fitterman
November 26, 2016 — Note: This is Part 5 of a 6 Part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. Here is a link to Part 1, See bottom of this article for links to the rest.
The difference between my husband and me is that while I am impulsive and curious and not at all worried about getting lost, he is a strategist and a planner and the kind of person who reads the manual before assembly. And he hates getting lost. So he does all the work of mapping out our routes, getting the RV attended to, and other chores I find boring or distasteful. Which, happily, allows me to be a happy-go-lucky, go-along companion who rarely objects to his plans, except for the ones that include rushing through an adventure in order to get (more…)
Posted by Admin on November 25th, 2016
By Betty Fitterman
October 23, 2016 — Note: This is Part 4 of a 6 Part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. Here is a link to Part 1, See bottom of this article for links to the rest.
There are two important subjects to consider when you take off in a mobile home and they both have to do with baggage.
The first is relatively easy: what to pack. Generally speaking, the answer is, nothing breakable. I was determined that we would live a civilized life, so I packed real china, real glasses and good silverware. What didn’t fall out of the closet when we hit our first big bump is now packed in towels and stored away. I did save three wine glasses, and find that those plastic sock dividers are perfect for keeping them safe while traveling.
Also stored away are the my dresses and pretty shoes, winter coat and good (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 23rd, 2016
By Betty Fitterman
Note: This is Part 3 of a 6 Part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. Here is a link to Part 1, Parts 4-6 are at Tips & Picks Section/Adventurous Retirements (we will eventually move all of them into the Blog so people can Comment on them).
If the idea of mobile living, with its cost savings and opportunities for travel, appeals to you, my advice is take it easy. Try before you buy. Don’t rush headlong into a major investment before you sample the lifestyle. Remember that like any vehicle, an RV will lose significant value once you drive it off the lot.
Fourteen years ago, we took a vacation in a rental RV. You can rent RVs (more…)
Posted by Admin on October 14th, 2016