An article at Bankrate.com, “Self-actualization in Retirement,” got me thinking. The article was about the author’s reaction to Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond, by Mark S. Walton. Walton, who had been in business executive development, changed his mind about working in retirement over the course of writing the book. Walton is quoted as saying, “After five years of research on men and women who not only reinvented their work, but are profiting -- financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually -- from this work, well into their 70s, 80s, even 90s, I've reached the conclusion that the very concept of retirement is a dinosaur, an idea whose time has come and gone.”
Walton isn’t talking about meaningless work or even stopgap work like being a greeter at Walmart. It’s spending your retirement following your calling.
How does this mesh with RV retirement? Most Workamping jobs, the seasonal jobs you find as you travel, are usually low-level jobs, earning your RV site and maybe minimum wage. Can you find meaningful work or activity on the road?
I believe the answer is yes, and what it is will lie in what you find meaningful and also the income you need to achieve. Here are some possibilities:
- Volunteering: national parks, other state and federal agencies, humanitarian groups are just a few where your involvement can make a big difference. You can get a number of ideas in this section of RVLifestyleExperts.com.
- Helping a business succeed: It may not be your business, but helping guests enjoy their stay and making it a good experience is very satisfying. You can pick your situation so you only work as much as you want and in the location you'd like to be in while not having the headaches of ownership.
- Taking time for a avocation: Activities like biking, hiking, geocaching, fishing along your RV travels have many benefits like getting you outdoors, exercise and giving you a sense of accomplishment. Better health can also result.
- Get creative: Learn or develop your talents and skills in beading, painting, writing or other creative pursuit.
- Start your own business: It can be very satisfying to run your own company - even if it is a company of one! Setting your own schedule is a big benefit, creating or giving back another.
Get involved as an RV mentor: In RVers: How Do They Live Like That? authors Farrow and Stoetzer found that people who stay on the road get involved in the lifestyle in some way. One way is to mentor other RVers, through online forums, at RV events, RV parks and organizations. Encouraging and guiding other folks in this lifestyle is very rewarding indeed.
Becoming an RVer in retirement opens up different possibilities for a meaningful life than staying in a stix 'n birx lifestyle- including the opportunity to see new places. Not only that, living the RV lifestyle keeps you young! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak