Downsizing To An RV
10% of Recreational Vehicles (RV) drivers are seniors over 55, making it a popular choice for your life post-retirement. Moving out of your home and living full time in a van has plenty of benefits for your financial and mental health, but it can be hard to strip back and live the minimalist life required. As long as you can still drive, moving into an RV could mean a life of continued adventure as you age. Rather than being cut off from the community, with your brain health deteriorating, you can stay active, alert and, most importantly, happy with you the way you spend your golden years.
It may seem that new experiences are for the young, but there is no better time to try new things than in retirement. Use the extra free time you have to follow your passions and live the best life possible. An RV can be a safe, comfortable, affordable, yet adventurous way to live your life. It may require you to reduce your possessions more than you ever have before, but this can bring additional mental health benefits.
The Benefits Of An RV For Seniors
Life in an RV can be one of limited stress. With less physical space and items to worry about, you will feel the benefits of decreased anxiety. Not to mention the financial benefits of no longer having a mortgage. Many retirees end up with more free time and wish to use this time to travel.
However, you may think you are too old for the fast pace of backpacking through hostels. Owning an RV full time allows you to move as quickly or slowly as you feel comfortable with and prevents the need to run around after public transport. It also allows you a completely private space. 88% of travel happens by car, truck or RV, in part because this reduces the stress of having to catch a plane, bus or train.
The Benefits Of Minimal And Frugal Living
The brain is always trying to process information. The more things it has to compute, the harder it has to work, which makes it feel tired and stressed, which can speed up the aging process. To avoid age-related conditions from developing, consider adopting a simpler existence. You should still maintain an active brain, but use it for the delightful aspects of your life, such as reading, writing and socializing. To do this, you need to stop wasting energy on chores.
The more material items you have, the more you have to clean, wash, organize and fix. You will be more likely to lose things and devote more mental energy to finding them. If you only have a few outfits to choose from in the morning, you won’t exert mental energy deciding what to wear. This is known as ‘decision fatigue,’ and it can leave you too tired to spend mental energy on the things necessary to you.
As you become older and wiser, you’ll realize that experiencing the present moment is more important for your mental health. Owning unnecessary items will only get in the way of enjoying experiences. An RV will force you to downsize to build a life of skills rather than objects. As you decrease your number of possessions, you will start to need less stuff, which will mean you don’t need to shop as much, so you’ll have more money and less finance-related stress and anxiety.
Minimizing Your Possessions
So how do you go about downsizing so that you can fit your whole life into an RV? Packing light is essential for fuel efficiency, but it can also improve your mental wellbeing so try and only take the essentials. While some people like to go through their entire house getting rid of stuff, this isn’t always the most effective method.
Start with the empty RV and only fill it with the things you need. An excellent way to tell what you require is to pack everything away. For two weeks, just unpack an item as and when you need it. If you haven’t used something after two weeks, the chances are you don’t need it. The things you unpack can then be packed into the RV and everything else sold, donated or thrown away.
Taking Advantage Of Storage
Okay, so maybe the above scenario is slightly idealistic. It can be a useful method, but what about those things that you hardly ever use, but don’t want to throw away? These are usually sentimental items. Seniors tend to collect items over the years, keeping old school journals and boxes of photos of their ever-growing family. These are things worth keeping but maybe aren’t necessary for your downsized lifestyle.
However, you don’t have to pack them into your RV. Sentimental and rarely used items can always be left with a family member or put into storage. Renting a small storage unit will allow you to keep the clutter out of your RV, without having to abandon them altogether. For just a small fee, you can become a minimalist risk-free. If you still haven’t touched these items after a year, then you can revisit them and cut them down some more.
This will allow you to move the remainder to a smaller storage facility. Aim to pack the non-essentials that you aren’t bringing on your road trip into a couple of suitcases, which can be easily stored at the house of a friend or family member. These items will then be out of sight and out of mind so that you can become more focused and present while you travel.
RVs are a great way for seniors to experience new adventures. They can help create a simplified and more peaceful lifestyle while being cost-effective. Retirement is the perfect time to begin this new adventure while retaining a safe and comfortable lifestyle. Start to get rid of unnecessary possessions, putting sentimental items into storage, and start a life of freedom on the open road.
Upside of Downsizing helps 50 plus-year-olds gain freedom by downsizing, which leads to a happy and healthy life balance. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Sally Phillips is a professional freelance writer with many years experience in many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.
Mary Spann is the founder and president of Upside of Downsizing®. In addition to her 26 years in construction, interior design, and home staging, Mary also holds college degrees in Social Work and Psychology, making her uniquely qualified to assist with the downsizing process, and helping 50 plus-year-olds achieve a happy and healthy life balance. Mary learned the key components of construction and interior design at an early age. Her father was a prominent custom home builder in Minnesota and Texas, and her mother was a successful interior designer and a principal broker.