Full-time RVing before retirement used to be unheard of. But not anymore. The full-timers demographic is changing and now many modern nomads like myself are working through the critical years that are supposed to fund our retirement days. We all earn money on the road in different ways, but can these nomadic jobs actually fund our golden years? The answer is: maybe.
First, The Bad News About Full-time RVing Before Retirement
If you’re thinking of permanent travel during your working years, you might want to consider how full-time RVing before retirement can impact life after 65. First let’s start with the bad news.
Your RV Home Is A Depreciating Asset
American society wants us to be home owners. If your name is on a piece of real estate, you get all sorts of perks including tax credits and easy access to loans. But if you’re a full-time RVer who doesn’t want your name on a property title, you’ll miss out on this conventional wealth-building tool. RVs just don’t appreciate in value the way real estate does. Your RV won’t build equity and you’ll have one less tool to boost your retirement savings if you don’t own any real estate. The question to ask is: how will you make up for this deficiency in your retirement fund portfolio?
You’re Probably Making Less Money Than Your Peers
If you’re younger and full-timing, you already cherish “experiences” over material possessions. I know I do! We understand one of life’s biggest keys to personal happiness, and although I’m the first to admit that there’s a lot of cred in the old saying “Do what you love and the money will follow”, I’ve discovered there are a few money challenges of younger full-timers. For instance, I’ve noticed that my sticks-and-bricks peers who put their nose to the 9-to-5 grindstone have risen in their ranks and racked up incomes that outpaced my own ability to earn money as a nomad. I’m OK with it though, since I’m having more fun than they are. But the next question to ask is: if you continue full-time RVing before retirement, are you comfortable making less money as a nomad?
The Bright Side: You Can Save More Money
Being a working-age full-time RVer isn’t all gloom and doom when it comes to preparing for our golden years. Overcoming the two aforementioned hurdles isn’t too difficult because full-time RVing actually enables us to save more than our peers. That’s because when we live on the road, we just don’t have many of the expenses incurred by people living a traditional lifestyle. Home maintenance bills are usually cheaper when you live in a RV. Also, if the cost-of-living goes up in one area we can move to another more affordable one. Our lifestyle provides extra opportunities to squirrel away cash and build our retirement fund. The key thing to consider is: are you disciplined enough to do it?
Never let anyone tell you that being a nomad is a bad idea. Having a good life before and after retirement is totally do-able as long as you are smart enough to overcome the few disadvantages of full-time RVing before retirement.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.