Posted by at 12:35 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 032015

I got an e-mail yesterday that brought a tear to my eye, though it’s a story we have heard over and over. The woman who wrote it said that she and her husband planned to start fulltiming three years ago when they both turned 62, but somebody convinced them that they really needed to continue working until they hit 65 because the difference in their Social Security would be $100 a month.

She said that after a lot of discussion they both reluctantly made the decision to do that, figuring that extra $1,200 a year would be nice to have. It would pay for a few little extras as they traveled. She said they finally retired in May of this year and pulled out of their driveway for the last time on July 5th. A few days after Thanksgiving her husband began complaining of stomach pains that grew worse over the next two weeks, and in mid-December he was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer. The prognosis is three months at best.

Her words to me were, “Nick for years we read your words over and over ‘Do it now, don’t wait.’ But we were both in very good health and thought we had plenty of time. I know logically that this could have happened to us at anytime but emotionally I keep thinking that for $3,600 we sold three years of living the dream we had waited for so long to have. I’d give you that money for just one more month.”

I’m going to say it one more time (well, actually I’ll probably say it a hundred more times at least). Folks, don’t wait too long to live your dream, whether it’s fulltime RVing, sailing around the world, hiking the Appalachian Trail or just sitting in an open meadow watching the daylight fade away and a million stars coming out overhead. Nobody on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had worked more overtime,” and hearses don’t have luggage racks.

Terry needed some special premium natural yarn for a couple of weaving projects she’s been planning and the place she ordered it from online dropped the ball, first placing it on backorder and then sending the wrong stuff when it finally did arrive. So yesterday we drove about 30 miles north to a shop in Ocala, hoping they would have what she needed. No such luck, so I checked on Google and found a place on the north side of Gainesville that looked promising. We called, and after the woman told Terry some of the items they stock, we decided to go check it out. What the heck? It was only another 36 miles.

The shop is called Yarnworks and as soon as we stepped in the door Terry got a big smile on her face and said, “This feels good.” They had a small but excellent selection of natural fibers and a huge selection of silk, wool, Merino and alpaca blended yarns, along with more regular items like Pima Cotton and even some acrylic yarns. Not to mention supplies for knitting, crocheting, needle felting; you name it and they had it. I told Terry to stock up because they had a lot of yarns she likes to work with that are not always easy to find on the road.

Who says you have to go to Arizona for great sunsets? I took this one from I-75 a few miles south of Ocala on our way home. Nice!

Sunset small 

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel, the first book in my friend Suzie O’Connell’s excellent Northstar Angels romance series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Mountain Angel

To live a happy life, I really believe that you have to be able to laugh at yourself. If you agree, I think you’ll enjoy a book I’m currently reading called Midlife Cabernet: Life, Love & Laughter after Fifty. I knew author Elaine Ambrose was my kind of people when she said her bra size is 42 long. Trust me, you should get this book. You will LOVE it!

And if you like science fiction, my friend Stephen Arseneault’s OMEGA Exile is now free. It’s the first book in his excellent Omega series, which has earned Stephen a legion of loyal fans.

Thought For The Day – I used to be a people person, but people ruined that for me.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  11 Responses to “$3,600”

  1. Amen to this!
    My dad worked 46 yrs for the railroad. Raised us and did right by us. 3 months after he retired he had a debilitating stroke which left him paralyzed and aphasia for 17 more years.
    Do it now! We bough our RV 3 years before full retirement and spent every moment we could traveling. We went full time 6 months before retirement day, seeking our home and haven’t looked back. We have our health and, with care, the means to do this. It is well worth it. Don’t be an armchair RVer unless your armchair is in or outside your RV and parked where you really want to be!

    PS. Thanks for the tip on DISH. We switched and it is nice to have the HD for a reasonable price.

  2. My career allowed me to retire at 55 years old. My new husband was already retired so we sold both of our homes and started traveling after attending Life on Wheels. After 5 wonderful years, I survived a stroke but we can no longer travel full-time.
    I so agree with the woman who wrote you.

  3. Nick, your post reaffirms the decision that Dick and I made to begin full-time RVING in 6/2011. Even though we are both in fairly good health at almost 68 and 69 and have had some challenges and unexpected expenses along the way, who knows what might have happened if we were still working a real job. We would not trade this lifestyle or the friends we have made along the way! As a cousin of mine says, it would be worse with a S&B home. Thank you for your post, and happy new year to you and Terry!

  4. Nick, you’re so right. We’re English and both retired early so we could live our dream of travelling and exploring the USA for 6 months each year. At the time we wondered if we were making the right decision. Since then we’ve visited so many beautiful places, seen more spectacular sunsets than we ever thought existed and met some lovely people along the way. There is still a lot to see and we may never see it all, but we’re so glad were doing it now.

  5. Hello Nick.
    This is well put. I have endlessly attempt to seed that very thought into everyone that has expressed a desire to live the Dream, no matter what particular Dream holds them.

    Would you mind if I were to repost your words, giving proper credit.

    We can bank our memories. Plan for the future. We can but live each and every moment as it happens.

    Some day we are bound to run into each other. Have missed by miles or a day or two in the last year. Was roaming around out west this summer, tagging many places either just before or after you traveled thru. At St. George Island currently with the next stop being Payne’s Prairie SP on the 6th, Ocala area.

    Safe travels to you both.
    Jim and Sheryl Byrnes

  6. What a tragedy. One of my colleagues is 77 years old & still working at our very stressful job in a community mental health clinic. The plan is for medical staff to begin using electronic records in March. No extra time will be given for the inevitable learning curve & if an individual chooses not to chart during the visit, charting is on their own time. I’m not at all sure why my friend is still working–this change is going to be very difficult for her. I retired December 31st & consider myself very fortunate to have all that stress behind me. I’m so thankful Jim encouraged me to retire. Best decision ever. I sure wish my colleague would retire.

  7. Well said Nick, thanks for sharing! Time waits for no one…

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this story.
    I came from a family that waited to long-and never retired.
    At age 57 I bought my class A, paid cash for it. At age 61 and 8 months retired, and on April 1st I started full timing.
    That was 5 years ago this April 1st.
    Freedom of the road, and meeting new people every move I make, is my paycheck .
    Thanks for your Blog….CU on the road my friend…..

  9. So very very true.

  10. Tom whitaker

  11. Jim and I have told countless people that they need to go ahead and do it if they plan to full time “someday”. I was 48 and he was 51 when we sold the house, bought our Travel Trailer, and hit the road. We had 13 great years of travel before I got sick in May of 2012. I still miss the travel, and may get to again someday, but if we had waited until I was 62 to go, we wouldn’t have made it. So very thankful for being strong enough, and adventurous enough to do what we felt was right.

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