Skip to comments.Rambling Retirees Trade Home for Boats, RVs, Sofas
Posted on 10/14/2012 2:40:00 AM PDT by floridavoter2
At 68, Barbara Miller Elegbede is living proof that flower children need not grow up.
A self-described hippie, she attended a San Francisco college at psychedelia's height and remembers friends constantly crashing on the couch of her apartment, just a block away from Janis Joplin's pad in the hip Castro neighborhood.
Now retired from teaching and secretarial work, Elegbede, 68, has become a full-time "couchsurfer" herself, living in other people's guest quarters all over the world. (She has a temporary apartment in Tempe, Arizona.)
"I've lived in Africa. I know how to take a bath from a bucket ... I've lived in caves in Greece and hitchhiked all over the world. Next year, I'm off to India for two or three months."
Call Elegbede one of the "rambling retirees": folks who give up the senior community or a comfy house for a life of constant travel. And they're not all hippies.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Dude, man, woah, that’s like so deep and really sticks it to that man, conformity sucks.
Dude, man, woah, that’s like so deep and really sticks it to the man, conformity sucks.
why am i forced to pay for her pension?
didn’t she get paid along the way?
oh yea... up to two times the avg salary in the area. awesome
so... exceedingly stable job... top pay... and lifetime pension.
pardon me, i have to get back to picking cotton for the plantation
I think that’s actually kind of cool. Hitchhiking around the world sounds like a lot more fun to me than eating retirement home food and taking part in activities someone else has planned for me.
I’m pretty low maintenance, though. As long as I have beer in the fridge and a futon to crash on, I’m pretty happy most days. :-)
Count me in too ! Although I think Alex has a pretty good gig....
Actually, retiring on a houseboat or an RV sounds nice to me.
And if somebody wishes to begrudge me my military retirement, well, go for it.
As long as she is healthy that’s fine.
She should enjoy life in her own way as long as she pays her own way and is not parasitic on others.
Unfortunately this hippy will one day find her health failing, and she will be looking for a place to roost.
As will all of us, the Lord tarrying.
And whether a person lives retirement on the road, in their house, or in an "active adult" community, that time will come.
For a while we seriously considered retiring on cruise ships. We’ve met people who do that and it’s a pretty easy, interesting way to spend retirement. Some lines cater to these people.
I’ve met a number of good folks (RV snowbirds) who have retired and travel around the US.
Houseboat - maybe. RV - no. Often the only place to park it is in RV camps where you're 5 feet from four other campers and three of them have noisy smoky campfires all night.
As for your military retirement * Thanks for your service. You deserve it, and then some.
“For a while we seriously considered retiring on cruise ships”
We talk about that every now and then. Why did you decide against it?
The other day I was talking to an employee at a large RV consignment lot in Houston about their business. He said that many of the people buying RVs today were people who had lost their homes or sold at a loss and the RV was the only way to avoid being homeless. Pretty sad state of affairs.
“Why did you decide against it?”
For one thing, we have pets and that obligation could go on for as long as 15+ years.
For another, it’s the issue of space. There are two of us in 5,000 sq. ft. now and that works for us. He has books and bikes and a workshop. I have quilting/sewing paraphernalia and a grand piano. We’d have to discard those interests, and we’d be on top of each other in a small stateroom.
Still... it’s a great way to retire if you can make it work. Those we’ve met when cruising who do that absolutely love it. In some ways, it’s cheaper than a retirement village considering the deals that are out there.
-——As long as she is healthy thats fine.-——
Healthy is to a certain extent a function of age. We camped at a Corps of Engineers Campground in Illinois last year and the host was never around. They lived in their 35 ‘ RV rent free as campground hosts. When hubbie became grvely ill, it required wifey to make 40 mile round trips between her job as campground host and the hospital in a strange town.
Campground host becomes a job and offers opportunity for free rent in return for fairly minimal work including bath room cleaning. If retired however it is a pretty good deal and allows in depth absorption of the new country or park.
We spend around two months a year on the road and interact with those who have chosen this life. For many the RV becomes a sort of prison. The wife stays on board and seldom leaves except maybe to walk the dog. Life in a commercial RV park is pretty boring.
There are RV communities in Florida, especially south Florida and South Texas that are actual communities and life is better, more interaction and people develop ways to interact. I have a college friend that has ben on the road for 11 years. Their home of record is a Texas town that is set up to do the job. They get drivers license, voting, mail forwarding and other services. All money transactions and financial accounts are handled on line. They have a sattelite internet service and get along well. They have been everywhere, two or three times.
We are minimalists. Our Sprinter van is RV lite. It allows us to travel fairly cheaply. Unlike virtually all of the RV’s, it gets very good mileage. We actually camp. That is we use the van as sleeping and traveling place but spend time in camp outside. We prefer to stay in state parks. Most states have made efforts to cater to the hoard of seniors on the road. Parks are nice. Some even have wireless internet.
In the year ending October 5, we have traveled through 24 states. Last fall we traveled the Great River Road from Lake Itaska Minnesota to Venice Louisiana. The marked road follows the Mississippi River through the very heart of America. In May, we picked up the Butterfield Trail in Memphis and followed it across Arkansas. Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexoco, Arizona and up the length of California to the end at the Wells Fargo office in San Francisco.
The route is under study for inclusion in the National Historic Trails System. It is the route of the Overland Mail, the first US Mail contract to provide congressionally mandated mail service between the east and west coasts. We have the strong urge to travel in depth, to see and absorb as much of America as we ca. We do not however feel the need to cut the cord and leave home permanently.
In the near future as more and more of the boomer generation hit the road, accommodations are going to be at a premium. There simply aren’t enough places to pull up for the week or month or night. Simply finding a place to stay is going to be a hassle unless existing facilities are dramatically increased. States are making an effort to accommodate the money bringing influx but I fear the need is going to increase faster than the states can raise the money to respond.
My other observation is that it is a way to keep the family together while traveling to work between locations and sites. And a cheap, instant place to put up a relative who no longer has a place to live.
You may want to have a talk with the SecDef and JCS, I have read a couple comments in the past year or so where they have been moaning about how much of the budget is wasted on Retirees.
As a 22 yr vet, I fully expect I will lose my pension long before a Teacher, or Union worker does. The military has always been used to test bed social experiments. So when the well runs dry we will be told we must prove our patriotism once again by foregoing our pensions.
Different strokes for different folks.
My wife doesn’t like camping.
When we travel we stay in motels. For the cost of an RV,the gas, and the insurance and maintenance we can stay in a pretty good one,and eat in restaurants. My wife doesn’t have to make beds and I don’t have to dump the septic holding tank.
Like I say different strokes for different folks.
As long as they are not mooching off the government, I see no problem.
I believe people should have free movement, and go wherever they want to go...as long as it does not burden everyone else.
Though “couch surfing” would not be my thing. “Airport Camping” is better if you do not have $$$ for a hotel, and the airport is not TSA-Fascist. I did “Airport Camping” in Oslo Airport one night to save money (Oslo is super expensive).
That, in a nutshell, captures everything that is wrong with the liberal side of the Baby Boomers. A group of petulant children who never grew up -- whether it was sex or parental responsibiity or paying as they went and being responsible for themselves. The country is worse off today than it was in the early 60s, and its because the "flower children" never felt the need to grow up.
These flower children are so behind the times. I learned how to take a bath from a bucket in Viet Nam 1968. Glad to see your making progress dirt bag.
Houseboat - maybe. RV - no. Often the only place to park it is in RV camps where you’re 5 feet from four other campers and three of them have noisy smoky campfires all night.
We take quite a few trips with our camping — heading out today, AAMOF. We stay in state parks whenever possible because, unlike privately owned parks, they provide you with larger campsites. The scene you describe usually applies to private parks.
camping = camper
True, but most are full during the best camping times. This means that you have to make reservations, sometimes a year in advance. This makes for great camping, but hardly foot-loose and fancy free trips.
I remember doing that too.Mammasan would walk by
and no big deal.The first time it shocked the heck
outta me.Those girls got to be beautiful by the time
I left that dam place
Had an uncle that sold his farm in Iowa when he retired
and they bought a new one ton and travel trailer,went
to Florida in the winter,got part time jobs.Summer
came they headed for northern Michigan,kept it up till
the time we will all face one day
Well, Blowhard, you have the same opinion as I!
***”I’ve lived in Africa. I know how to take a bath from a bucket***
That is easy to do! I have a book printed in the 1880s that tells how to take a bath using only one quart of water.
Isn’t that what people a hobo?.
If there’s a big bunch of hippies trying to hit the road in RVs, I haven’t seen it. We sold my Dad’s 32 foot motor home this year to a couple who were in their 30s. Granny Bucket Bath is an anomaly. I’ll bet you ten bucks she’s going to try to pet a lion. She’ll become part of the circle of life.
I like my home better - I couldn’t sleep in a strange country on some filthy strange couch. I have no desire to “see the world”. I’ve owned and lived on boats already, nice for a while but a drag in the rain and snow when coming back from the grocery store with supplies. Also okay when you are younger and the ramps reach towards the sky at low tide. We’ve done the RV thing, okay for a while too but there is no place like home : )