Gary and Jagger
I’ve been enjoying the single life for over 30 years now. I have the privilege of being the father of four grown children and grandfather of six grandchildren. I was born, raised, and lived in Southern California until I retired in 2013. I went to Downey High School, loved the beach, and spent many days on the sandy beaches of California during my early years.
I retired from the Information Technologies field a few years ago after much consideration of what my retirement life would look like.
I was employed most recently at The Orange County Register. A major newspaper in Southern California where I grew in the company working in different departments for twenty-six years. The day I retired, I reluctantly said goodbye to many friends and tucked away some great memories. You could describe me during periods of my working career as a workaholic. Although the ones closest to me would question it only being “periods of my career”. I enjoyed my career, going to work each day for most of my life was actually fun and something I looked forward to.
The Longer Version
My decision to retire was a difficult one. I started my working career at my family’s restaurant at thirteen years old. I continued working in the Restaurant business until I was thirty-two, and married with four children.
There were several careers after that with the last as stated above, at the Orange County Register. In all, I worked fifty-three years, with only being “unemployed” for a brief four-month period in 1987.
My original plan was to retire early, but I had several “false” starts. One was just before the market went to pot in 2007-08. Since it was a major hit to my nest egg, I postponed a few more years. I was pretty determined to retire in March of 2013, but yet again postponed until October 1, 2013. This time I finally made the plunge.
During the last year or more before retiring, I spent many focused hours wondering what I would do during my retirement. Work? I mean, that’s all I have ever done.. work and raise my kids. But now my kids are grown, starting their own families, and I won’t have my addiction of work to look forward to every day. What am I going to do with myself?!
Retiring to New Life in Sticks and Bricks?
The Desert Life?
My first consideration over the last few years of my career was to move from Orange County, CA to Arizona, buying a home near family. Even though I lived my entire life in California, I knew with my modest retirement, I couldn’t afford to continue to reside there. Our state had morphed into something I don’t recognize anymore. I was ready for a fresh start, a lifestyle “reboot”.
Changing the Course
After much consideration, knowing my nest egg wouldn’t allow me to travel as much as I wanted to, a friend mentioned traveling full time in an RV.
What a great idea! I love the outdoors, camping, photography and there are so many things I want to see all over our country. It also allowed me to have extended visits in areas where my family lives; Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. With this in mind, my dream changed radically. I started following a few Full Time RVing blogs, then more. My addiction quickly shifted to the idea
The “Coach and Workhorse” at my home base
As a result of my research and decision, I set up Montana as my “domicile” of record in December of 2013 and it became my home base. My Brother in Law and Sister had moved there in early 2004, leaving the California lifestyle, rising taxes, and regulations.
One of my sons extended his expertise in “bargaining” with dealerships to find a great deal on a new Ram 2500 4×4 with a Cummings Diesel engine, which I took delivery of in Oregon on January 31, 2014 and promptly named “The Workhorse” for obvious reasons.
I also purchased a 2014 Reflection 32′ Grand Design fifth wheel. I took delivery of it on February 10, 2014, in Arizona. That same day after spending months downsizing all of my belongings, I moved from my last home of ten years into the Reflection which I later named “The Coach” as in westerns ;).
By downsizing I mean I contacted all of my kids and told them to come to pick up all of their keepsakes and whoever got there first would have the first pick of anything they wanted. I should’ve done this more often! I was surprised with many visits of smiling faces. My kids and their friends know that I valued my belongings and took care of everything so they looked forward to some “new” necessities.
Jagger and I enjoy your company by way of our blog as we adventure around our beautiful country. Not only is this my new addiction, but it is one of my favorite ways to connect with people. I’ve met many new friends along the way and look forward to meeting up with in future escapades.
So please feel free to comment on our posts, we look forward to hearing from you!
Safe Travels… Gary