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Old 04-01-2007, 09:32 AM   #1
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2002 34' Classic
Windsor , Ontario
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Retirement disaster...

Group :

We are Paul & Mary, from Windsor Ontario....I'm 50yrs (Mary's is secret) & we're well established in our jobs & on our way to financial security in our retirement years...something we're looking very forward to.

We (make that, I) talk alot about our pending retirement, as we own a nice sailboat that we intend on taking south to the Keys & Bahamas in a few years...(fun, fun, fun !!!)

After a few years, when sailing south along the east coast for the winters gets stale, we plan to just sail the boat here in the Great Lakes & take the Airstream south during winters...I REALLY HATE THE COLD.

The reason I'm posting all this is because we have an Aunt & Uncle who are now just hitting 65yrs....& they did not talk enough about their retirement together.

Oh the $$$$ were just fine, but they did not talk enough about what they "expected" for their lives after working was done in the years to follow.

When they retired...

He wanted to stay semi-busy since he's from a big family (3 of his brothers are business owners) & assisting them just seemed natural to him. He owned his own business for many years & since the family assisted him, he wanted to return the courtesy now that he had the time & being busy was pretty much a way of life for him.

She wanted (& expected him) to just hang around the house all the time, puttering with household chores, watching the soaps with her, gardening, etc to fill up the days...ending each day with dinner & watching more TV.

Of course, when it appeared that this was not working for him, he suggested..."hey, we're retired & we have $$$ let's travel"...but she refused because they had 2 cats at home (yes, it's true) & she would not leave them.

This receipe for disaster went on for about 5yrs until they finally ended up divorcing after 38yrs of being married.

The real reason that I'm sharing all this with the community is to just say how lucky Mary & I feel we have become, by being aware that our Airstream is far more than just a trailer...matrimonially speaking !!!

IF...our Aunt & Uncle would have just had the same determination to presue "the options" for their own retirement, I doubt they would have decided to pull their lives apart after so many years together.

It makes me wonder how many more couples (& not necessarily older people) could avoid becoming statistics if they would only learn how get properly hitched.


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Old 04-01-2007, 09:57 AM   #2
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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Very Interesting:

In a former life I instructed new hires in ways to avoid just such a disaster. I always told them that "your job is not your life". You need to have a life of your own! Too many people retire and have no interests to keep them busy. They think that something will just come along. They seldom do of course.

I am retired and enjoying it very much. I have several former work mates however, who have gone back to some form of employment simply because they had no life without their jobs. They were their jobs. They had lost their Identity.

My wife had retired and since has started working again. Not because she was bored, but because she wanted to help people and she is doing just that. Now, here is the balancing act.

The Airstream is a useful tool for both of us. I like to work on it and modernize it. That keeps me busy along with a lot of other projects that I have. She likes to travel in it. She has a folding computer station in the riders seat and she takes her laptop and while we're on the road she works. That way she manages to stay busy while I'm driving, and when we arrive at our destination, she takes over and does all the cooking and such. Works well for us. It's also the only way I have of getting her to not work so hard and to have some fun along the way.

The point is that everyone needs to have their own identity. How do you describe yourself without it? Do you say, "Oh, I'm nobody," or do you say I'm somebody with a background and an active life. "We're Airstreamers", and we're so much more.

Perhaps I'm rattling on and not making much sense. Let me sum it all up with something my Father used to say about people.

"Yep, they arrived a day late, a dollar short, and with nothing to do when they got there."

There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"


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Old 04-01-2007, 10:31 AM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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How tragic!
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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I remember going to a retirement party for a gentleman I'd worked with and he presented a significant surprise to his wife on their retirement - the keys to a brand new Motorhome that was driven onto the driveway while they watched. He then spoke about how they could now hit the road and tour the America's for most of the year. This was a major disaster and the wife broke into tears and went into the washroom very distressed.

It had never been discussed, never had she thought of spending her retirement touring - she wanted to spend the time with her friends having coffee and tea visits, playing bridge, and more importantly watching her grandchildren grow up.

Things were awkward for several months and then he headed off on a solo tour for several weeks, then they were several months, and then it became a permanent thing with him finally coming back to town and staying at the local campground with his lady travelling companion.

Yes, discussing how couples are going to spend their retirement is a necessary thing to do and I suspect most people do so, but still, it needs to be at some point a pretty pointed discussion so there's no misunderstandings.

I know what my wife wants out of retirement and it fits nicely with my expectations, but that's because we've talked about it for twenty years.

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Old 04-01-2007, 11:17 AM   #5
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2006 25' Safari SS SE
Northern , Virginia
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Sorry to hear stories like that. Here is our ‘so-far, so-good’ story:
Our Airstream trailer is only one part of our retirement life interest and activities. We use it for the seasonal weekend rallies and at least one longer trip per year. In addition we also try to include one new and different non-Airstream travel adventure with our traveling club. But then we always traveled and ‘explored’ the country or tent-camped as a family. The transition to a travel trailer in retirement was a smooth and almost natural upgrade.
In addition, we have meet many very interesting fellow Airstreamers in the two WBCCI units we joined. Most have similar hobbies and interests that enhanced or expand on those things we already enjoy doing.
So I guess we’re lucky. We always talked openly about our individual plans, things to do and places to go. No surprises- -half the fun is thinking and planning our future together.
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:22 PM   #6
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Christmas Valley , Oregon
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Age with Grace!

Deisel Phil and I used to "chase" helicopters for a living. We took the 3 daughters with us. When they started school, we bought some dirt and I became a full time music teacher. Our retirement came upon us suddenly due to a little medical problem....heart attack, and spending more time together was no longer a dream, but was thrust upon us. Happily, no serious problems came from the H. A. and the kids are grown, so what to do? He had been on a 2 0n/ 2 0ff schedule for all those years, and we had spoken of day when... and here it was! We sold the dirt and moved into our Airstream Classic Motorhome, with our two dogs, and never looked back! Our kids are always glad to see us and insist we check in when we're on a trip. We still chase helicopters, but only during fire-season, and for the Forest Service, so we get to go places we would not normally have thought of. We are like a couple of teen agers, and I see envy sometimes in peoples' faces. It CAN be done. We're living proof!
Communication is the key. Shut the door and you're out in the cold.
Hope to see you out on the road. We'll be easy to recognize; we'll be the ones in the Classic Diesel -Pusher Motorhome, towing the Jeep......silver, of course! Have FUN! Sandra K. and Diesel Phil
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:50 PM   #7
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Sauquoit , New York
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Enjoyed the stories. Both my husband and I are working. We plan to start with short rallies and perhaps a one week vacation in our Airstream.

Following our trips and how much we enjoy;we will make a decision together.

We have a Summer Cottage on a Lake we have enjoyed for years. Airstream will give us additional adverntures to explore. New people to meet. We are enjoying our plan at the moment and will plan more to come.
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:52 PM   #8
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Placerville , California
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Lynn and I bought our Tradewind a year ago. I was using a walker and wheelchair while recovering from 2 recent hip relacements and a cervical laminectomy. Lynn suffered a stroke just weeks before. But we still had our dream to travel with an Airstream. The Tradewind was in another state and when a good friend heard of our impulsive purchase he drove 800 miles, picked us up (neither Lynn and I were able to drive yet) and drove us another 800 miles to fetch the Tradewind. The TW was in decent shape but needed some work which was perfect as we had a doable 'project' during our recoveries. We were physically able to take a couple of short trips last fall and are now looking forward to our first Airstream Rally later this month. We talked all our 38 years of what we wanted to do after the nest was empty so this 'impulse' was a no-brainer. As I now put the finishing (never finish) touches on the maintenance projects Lynn is busy putting the personal touches to the inside. I love her....Lynn, not the Airstream. Oh, I hope the TW didn't 'hear that.

Neil and Lynn.
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
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1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:24 AM   #9
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Sherfield English , Hampshire
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Hi Folks,
this story puts me in mind of my father! On a dreary day in 1978 he sat on the edge of the bed with a tight chest as my brother and I watched over him and worried what my Mother would do without him - such a strong and a good man! I had seen before what happens to retired miners - they barely lasted 5 years after retirement and my father hadn't got that far!
He wanted the energy to carry on doing things after retirement, to stay strong and active, but it seemed he might even be denied that! With the help of a good heart consultant he survived, thrived, stayed active and he's spent the last 29 years emptying the Coal Miner's Pension Fund which is so rich at one time it owned the infamous Watergate Hotel! I can hardly think back nearly 30 years without a lump in my throat! This week he's mounting his next great challenge - mastering the internet - at 86! Stay active, stay focused and do as much as life will allow you! I have no plans to retire. I have found a business which I can conduct wherever I am in my Airstream and I will leave this chair to do it!
Hampshire, UK
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:58 AM   #10
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It is very sad when a couple goes their separate ways because of their very different concepts of retirement. We have been retired for five and seven years respectively, and are having the times of our lives. We spent over 100 nights in our Airstream in the last year, and hope to do even more over the next year.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:40 AM   #11
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1983 31' Airstream310
Iowa City , Iowa
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Our story...

On vacation last summer, as retirement loomed on the horizon, my huband confessed he had always wanted a classic motorhome. I made it my mission to find one for him. This forum made such a daunting task possible! I learned so many things to look for and look out for. We found our Ernestine in very good shape and are putting the touches on to make her the star she once was. He is like a little kid with a coveted toy. I have already planned 5 trips this year. I is our cottage on the the the shore (and sometimes the driveway.) What a valuable piece of property! We are having a grand time, but we have always been dear friends, and I think that keeps the conflicts to a minimum!
Airstream OCD...there is no cure!
1983 Classic 310 Motorhome.
AIR 15765

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Old 04-02-2007, 08:04 AM   #12
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1976 Argosy 24
Tempe , Arizona
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not the $$$

speaking of a former life... psychology is one of mine.

Not intending to play down the importance of financial planning - it is important, there is a trend to letting folks believe that if they plan financially - everything will be okay. In fact, the connection between working hard in a job and ultimate financial security in retirement reinforces the single minded practices where people have financial security without a life. If there was one piece of advice that I would offer is to have a life of hobbies and fulfilling distractions that good financial planning can support in retirement. In my view, financial security should be approached as a vehicle to supporting your pleasures in retirement.

one man's method
Donna & Mike
Cowboy up! or go sit in the truck

Charter Member Four Corners Unit

WBCCI #2417
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:07 AM   #13
The Hawk's Lair
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by flitzwhopper
If there was one piece of advice that I would offer is to have a life of hobbies and fulfilling distractions that good financial planning can support in retirement. In my view, financial security should be approached as a vehicle to supporting your pleasures in retirement. one man's method
I heartily agree with this statement.
There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"


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Old 04-02-2007, 08:48 AM   #14
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Interesting reading.

The stories of trouble are disheartening, but can be a wake-up call and a vehicle for positive change. Thanks for sharing them.

Thanks also to those who shared stories of success. They point the way to the possibilities. No relationship is without it's struggles and bumps in the road, even if they are relatively minor. But there are plenty of examples of folks working though the issues, and not just discarding the relationship over a disagreement.

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