October 20, 2022 — Our retired friend EZ loves a great train trip, and hates everything about flying. He resents getting to the airport hours early, parking in a remote lot, shuffling through security lines, worrying that some delay will make him miss your flight – all to have the airline delay or cancel it anyway. So when he visits his grandchildren in Colorado, he takes the EZ way. He took the Shoreline Express to New Haven, where he switched to the Acela to Washington. From there it was the Capitol Limited (with roomette) to Chicago. There he picked up the California Zephyr. He enjoyed everything about that train trip too – resting in his roomette, eating in the dining car, chatting up interesting passengers, and enjoying the view from the observation cars. It takes a little longer, but is so much more pleasurable. BTW, his wife flies out to Colorado!
Many people in retirement are looking for an adventure, and a train ride makes for an exciting one. From around the world, here are 10 of the best train rides you might want to try in retirement. Some are fairly short and not that expensive, while others can go for days and can be quite costly. One advantage that most train rides offer is that you can get off and spend a day or more at as many stops as you would like.
September 21, 2022 — Swept up in the desire to stay healthy and armed with plenty of time in retirement, millions of baby boomers are enjoying hiking as a fun pastime. Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong. According to hikersdaily.com, almost 5,000 hikers are injured every year, with most of those coming from slips and falls, with the ankle most often affected. There are an estimated 15,000 rescue operations in an average year on public lands. The most tricky of those are helicopter rescues, which typically cost around $12,000.
We would like to make sure one of these mishaps doesn’t happen to you. And to make your hike more fun, we are including some great tips from our friend Tom Cretella, one of the most experienced hikers we know. These are his tips.
Top 10 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make Hiking
Not enough water. Running out of water is never a pleasant experience. I always carry at least 2 liters of water for a day hike. Hint, Don’t wait till you are thirty to drink; then it’s too late to fight off dehydration. Try to drink often during the hike. Good hydration keeps your muscles from cramping and your reflexes sharp. Tip: Water is heavy so I carry an extra liter of Water and stash it about 1/2 way to my destination, and retrieve on the way back. It can be a life saver.
May 26, 2022 — Sooner or later the “what are you going to do” question comes up in conversations about retirement. For a whole lot of people their answer is: “Maybe we’ll take a river cruise”. Then the big question is where? There are so many great possibilities. For sake of conversation, here are 10 of the best ideas for river cruises, and we would love to hear Member suggestions as well. We will publish another article on other types of cruises in the future.
What kind of river trip?
For the purposes of this article we are breaking these cruises into 4 categories: American, European, International, and Adventure. In addition to where you take your river trip, you also need to decide what company will take you down that river, and in what kind of style. There are a number of companies that offer river cruises for a host of different budgets and tastes, so you don’t have to stick with the brand names you might have heard about. Talking with friends and your travel agent is a good way to find the one best suited to your needs and budget. We will list some of those operators under each category, but if you search the Internet you will be pleased with how many options there are.
April 13, 2022 — People often say that the most memorable things in our lives are our experiences, and we believe that is really true. You have worked hard to earn your retirement, so why make it really special with some once in a lifetime experiences. Here are 10 fantastic ideas for adventurous things to do in retirement – and we bet you could come up with even more.
10 once in a lifetime adventures:
Hike on the Camino de Santiago or some other famous trail. One of the best is the Camino de Santiago in Spain and France. You hike along a path that pilgrims of St. James have been taking for centuries and stay in inns along the way. You can hike one of its many routes or just a part of one. Or, hike a section of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, or another famous trail in England or Ireland.
February 8, 2022 – If you ask Kevin Hubbard what he does to stay active, grab a railing, you are about to get dizzy. A collector’s collector, the retired executive of a Fortune 500 manufacturer of industrial products has some of the most fascinating retirement interests of anyone we have ever met. Those include visiting presidential history sites, major league baseball stadiums, and his latest – U.S. National Parks. In a recent conversation Kevin was kind enough to share some of his interests. (Don’t miss the companion piece to this, his wife Susan’s hilarious account of his recent retirement).
It all started with a fascination with presidential history that began in the first grade. That love of everything having to do with U.S. presidents continues to this day. It includes the homes where they were born (museums, or sometimes just a sign on the road), gravesites, and the homes where they lived. His passion also includes presidential museums. The modern era for those started with President Hoover, but before that there were more informal ones – sometimes only a room in a library. He has visited all of the key sites for presidents from Washington to Reagan, and has read biographies for all of them. To keep track of all of this collecting Kevin keeps detailed spreadsheets. We asked him about his favorites, and he suggested Hyde Park, New York. There in one place you can visit FDR’s home, the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historical Site at ValKill Cottage, plus stop in at the Culinary Institute of America.
January 19, 2022 — Bob Wells’ story seems like the perfect companion piece to our recent article on non-career jobs filling the vacuum for people in their early 60s. This baby boomer used to work at a Safeway, then fell on hard times. Living in his van, he discovered that he loved the nomad life – its freedom and simplicity appealed to him. So then he started a blog and website to write about his lifestyle. While satisfying, it was not renumerative. That’s when he decided to switch to videos, starting the CheapRVliving channel on YouTube, where he promotes the “nomadic tribalism” way of life.
April 27, 2021 — Nomadlandscored 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.
(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.
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…)
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…)