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
September 23, 2016 — By Betty Fitterman
Note: This is Part 2 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.
As we approached retirement, we realized that the failing economy had done a real job on both our savings and our businesses. Up until now, money had not been (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 26th, 2016
September 23, 2016 — By Betty Fitterman
Note: This is a 6 part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. To see the other 5 parts see the links at the bottom of this article.
While millions of baby boomers are starting to check out active adult communities, college towns, and cities as their retirement destination, a sub-set of young-at-heart retirees has a much more adventurous approach. These folks have adopted a mobile lifestyle, and for them, the entire continent is their community.
We’re talking about the permanent and semi-permanent RVers, many of whom have sold everything – homes, condos, cars, furniture and all – to live as turtles, as one friend described it, carrying their homes on their backs for as long as they enjoy it.
It’s not an easy decision, especially when it comes to (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 22nd, 2016
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Lao Tzu, philosopher.
By Peter and Sally
Our friends Peter and Sally have a zest for life that is evidenced in the choices they have made over their adult life and into retirement. They also seem to move a lot. We appreciate that they were kind enough to share that history with Topretirements. They have ended up (so far!) in a very cool, extremely tiny incorporated city below Palm Beach. Our hope is that you will find their saga interesting as well as instructive.
May 15, 2016 — We have many friends who have spent their entire married life in one home. It didn’t turn out that way for us. It’s not like we planned it or anything, it was just that the grass always looked greener somewhere up or down or across the road. Circumstances also change. Here is our tale of where we lived from newly married to several iterations of retirement.
1978, Hartford Connecticut – A cool condo! One of the first in the city. Historic rehab, 3 levels, exposed brick. Walk to work with all the other hip, young professionals. Perfect.
But … shlepping groceries (more…)
Posted by Admin on May 14th, 2016
Editor’s Note: This announcement of her 7th Key West food critic mystery is from Lucy Burdette, aka Mrs. Topretirements.com
April 5, 2016 — Killer Takeout by Lucy Burdette takes place during Fantasy Fest, a zany ten-day festival beginning with the unofficial zombie bike ride, and ending with an enormous, creative parade winding from the Truman waterfront across the length of Duval Street.
The research necessary to write this book was arduous, as always. For his part Mr. Top Retirements was a super good sport, as we got our faces painted like zombies for the bike ride, trotted around town in tutus (no body paint costumes for us though), and served as Fantasy Fest parade ambassadors. We also ate every kind of takeout we could get our hands on–because what seasoned food critic tries to elbow her way into a restaurant with 90,000 visitors crammed onto the island? The only research we avoided was experiencing a hurricane, which to me would be much more scary than zombies or people wearing body paint only.
You can buy the book in your favorite local bookstore or from Amazon.
Posted by Admin on April 5th, 2016