Barbara’s RV Retirement Adventure Part 2

We’re back with another update from Barbara’s RV retirement adventure! And boy, has it proven to be adventurous! Barbara is going to tell us about the ups and downs of their most recent travels. From watching sunsets on the beach to sweating through heavy traffic in their big rig, she and her husband already have quite a bit of experience under their belts.

Barbara teaches us why traveling in and owning an RV is a lot like retirement – until you’re in the thick of it, you don’t really know what it’s going to be like. You may have to make some changes and try some new things, but in the end, it’s bound to work out.

For those of you thinking about trying out the RV life, Barbara has some beginner tips and tricks.Retirement Lifestyle in an RV

  • Really understand the differences in RVs and know what you’re paying for in a more or less expensive rig.
  • Everyone on board should know how to handle the working parts – water and electric hookups included.
  • On your first few trips, keep a list of things you need (or don’t need) for the next trip.
  • If you see someone setting up camp for the first time, don’t try to help unless they ask – it’s an unwritten RV rule.

And lastly…

  • When you’re on the move, make sure everything is bolted down!

Even with all the lessons along the way, Barbara and her husband have already experienced so many memorable moments with their family and friends – moments that without an RV, she would never have had.

In Kathe’s world, things are BUSY! She is right in the middle of the craziest time of year for Medicare – the Annual Election Period. That means that for now, she’s living vicariously through Barbara – as a lot of us probably are!

We hope you enjoy the latest episode of Rock Your Retirement!

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The RV

In this episode, we’re giving you an update on the exciting things that are happening in Barbara’s life. She has had a busy month and she’s about to embark on a journey that I think many of you will be interested in following – life in an RV!

We’ll dig into the work she and her husband have been doing to prepare for this new adventure and also give you a little insider knowledge about a well-kept secret – the Jeep wave.

During this exciting time of life, Barbara also had some tough things happen. She lost a young family member unexpectedly – a mother whose kids are now left to face life without their mom. In addition to that, her niece, who has been adamantly anti-vax, came down with a terrifying case of COVID pneumonia. She nearly lost her life but is now on the road to recovery. The silver lining is that all of her anti-vax friends witnessed the toll COVID takes on people, and they are now getting vaccinated. It was an unfortunate situation, but we’ve got to keep looking for the silver lining.

Both of these incidents led Barbara and her husband to do some serious thinking about life and how they want to spend the time they’ve got left. After much discussion, they are now the proud owners of a motorhome!

Barbara found out quickly that buying a motorhome wasn’t easy, nor was finding somewhere to park it! With everything so backed up from the pandemic, they had a hard time finding an RV to purchase. After tons of research and some test drives, they finally found the one.

Next, it was time to plan their travels. With winter quickly approaching, there are a lot of people heading south. Barbara found that many of the places they wanted to book were taken, so they won’t be able to head about until December 27th. Still, she’s got lots to do before then. Right now, she’s busy setting up their new “home” with all the furnishings. As it turns out, purchasing the RV is just the beginning of the expenses!

We end our episode with a trip Barbara recently took to Target. She met an employee there who reinforced what Barbara already knows – that she (and I) are both very lucky to be living the life we’re living.

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Finding our Purpose in Life- Episode 252

Finding Purpose in RetirementFinding our Purpose in Life

For this episode, I will give you an update on my retirement quest, we have a health segment on Pickleball, and Barbara will give an update on how her actual retirement is going.

Six Pillars of Retirement Lifestyle

Since the last episode, I’ve been working on my own six pillars of retirement lifestyle.

Significant Other– Les and I took an impromptu day trip the other day. We’re trying to avoid just staying at home and watching TV. Our relationship is strong. But we’re both struggling right now with our lack of social activities.

Friendship-Over the last month, I’ve been making an effort to solidify some of the relationships that I formed over the last few years since I’ve moved here. In a fifty-five-plus community with a lot of clubs, it’s easy to make a lot of acquaintances. But there’s a difference between being friendly with someone and actually being friends with someone.

Family– On the family side I’ve had a disappointment. My estranged brother recently informed us that he won’t be attending my father’s memorial service that he helped plan last year. I’m really disappointed that my brother’s not coming, although honestly, I kind of knew he wouldn’t. You know, all of us have family disappointments, and mine is no different.

On a positive note, I’m trying to build my relationships with other family members. I usually don’t send my siblings gifts for their birthday. But this year, to help strengthen our relationships, I sent my two sisters a gift for their birthday. I know it’s a small thing, but it’s what I did to help with those relationships.

Spiritual– My spiritual pillar is also indeed lacking. Part of it is because I’m really not ready to attend church again. We are currently in an uptick of COVID cases where I live. And not only that, but I know at least three people who have died. They were all fully vaccinated, and one was healthy and in her late 40s. So yeah, I’m scared. And yeah, I’m not as social as I once was because of that. But I’ve been working on this. And I’m trying to give thanks for what I have. I’ve also been meditating and praying, and I’ve been reading my former pastor’s daily emails.

Health-On the health side, I’ve been doing very well. If you’re a regular listener, then you already know that I lost 20 pounds during COVID. I know, totally opposite of what most people did. It’s been a struggle, but worth it. Because I’m lighter now, I can do more. I’m swimming once a week, I’m doing water aerobics five days a week, and synchronized swimming twice a week. I know, you think I’m probably going to turn into a fish, at least Les thinks that. In addition to all the water activities that I’m doing, I watch what I eat. However, I’m disappointed that my cholesterol is still high.

Purpose– I struggle with this and it is one of the reasons I’m still working. If I’m not working, then what is my purpose in life going to be? Is it this show? Is it doing fun things? I mean, doing fun things isn’t really a purpose, is it? I don’t have grandkids, so they can’t be my purpose. So, until I figure it out, I’ll still work because I really do enjoy helping people.

So, tell me, help me out. What’s your purpose in life? Have you figured that out yet? Send me an email, at [email protected] and tell me what you’re doing? What is your purpose in life?

Health Segment

For this week’s Rock Your Retirement Health Segment, I have Lynn Cherry with me. She is the host of a podcast called Pickleball Fire. As you can imagine, she talks about pickleball. Lynn moved from North Texas to Connecticut and needed to find an indoor activity to do during the winter. She went to her local gym to check out what pickleball was about. She ended up playing that day and immediately loved it!Finding Purpose in Life

It’s a game very popular with people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80’s

Lynn enjoyed the sport so much she ended up starting a website to grow and promote the sport. During the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, she actually started her podcast.

Among other things, Lynn talks about what pickleball is, why a lot of older people really love the sport, and how it’s played.

I asked Lynn to tell me if there was one thing that you want our listeners to learn about pickleball what would it be? She said in terms of the game if you need something to do and to get up off the couch to try pickleball. She said that it isn’t like going to the gym. It is fun, easy and she has even interviewed someone on her Podcast who lost 100 pounds by playing pickleball! So, it is definitely great exercise

If you don’t like going to the gym, or don’t have a membership to one, and would like to find a pickleball court near you, Lynn has you covered.

If you go to https://pickleballfire.com/courts you can find various places to play. And within that search feature, you can also find instructors. She said it isn’t necessary to get an instructor but if that is something you would be interested in that is another option.

Pickleball is becoming so popular that there are even restaurants that are putting in pickleball courts! You can visit https://chickennpickle.com/ to check it out

What’s is going on in Barbara’s Life?

Finding Purpose in Life We talk about Barbara’s recent trip to Mexico with her friend. There was actually a hurricane coming during her trip but thankfully, they did not get a direct hit where they were staying. Then, a few days following that, there was a devastating hurricane in Louisiana.

There was one day during her trip where she was walking by herself and just kind of asking God what’s going to happen now with fall approaching. With everything shutting down, she was coming to the conclusion that she needed to cancel all of her trips and just stop planning because it’s just so unpredictable.

Not having plans is difficult for Barbara. Learning to live through a pandemic is not easy and like all of us, Barbara is trying to figure out how to navigate her “new normal”

We talked about Barbara trying to find her purpose. She decided she needs to just accept and lean into this fall, that it’s not going to be what she planned. But she needs to be okay with it.

Final thoughts from Barbara on Finding Purpose

It’s realizing that having a plan is one thing but being able to adapt that plan to the conditions that there are at the time, not getting too attached to one specific vision. Because then you can miss the butterflies. You can miss out on what’s right in front of you. Something as simple as taking a dog for a walk or taking a child for a walk. There are so many things that we tie up with entertainment. Going to a place like Disneyland or going on a cruise or going to Mexico, when really right around us there is life being lived.

There are wonderful people and there are stories to be heard. And in our zeal to program our lives to book a trip, how many times are we missing out on things that are right around us? Because we’re just not looking for it? Because we’re so focused on this future thing. So for me, I have no regrets about retiring. I have felt so enriched this summer, I’m so grateful. It’s kind of like get over yourself. So what if you don’t get all your plan. Find something else to pivot on. Take a class, learn to paint, call a friend. It’s just kind of like, say yes to life, and quit worrying about the things you don’t have is the lesson I’ve been learning this summer.


To get a copy of The Baby Boomer’s 30-Day Journal go to: www.RockYourRetirement.com/Journal

To join our Newsletter visit RockYourRetirement.com/Newsletter

If you want to check out Lynn’s website or podcast on pickleball you can visit https://pickleballfire.com/

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Pre-Retirement and Post-Retirement

You’re now listening at another pivotal time, where we’re slightly changing the format. From March 2016 to August 2020. This was an interview-style show where I interviewed people who could help you rock your retirement. But not financially. Those were what I call the encyclopedia years of the show. If you were interested in a particular topic, such as finding Mom a retirement home, dealing with grief, or even how sex changes after retirement, you can probably find your topic in our back catalog.

Then, in August of 2020, we started following the life of a pre-retiree, Barbara Mock. She is retired now, and we are planning on giving you updates on her life and what’s she’s going through as long as she’ll let us.

Sor for now, we are giving you updates on my life and how I’m dealing with continuing to work and getting ready for retirement.

We will do this until I find another pre-retiree who’s willing to make that 1-year commitment to let us live vicariously through their eyes. I’m looking for someone who’s different from Barbara. Perhaps an unmarried person? Or maybe someone who is going to retire but maybe isn’t quite so financially prepared. Maybe someone without a pension. So, if you know someone who is getting ready to retire, within the next 6 months or so, please send that person my way. They can email us at [email protected]

Update on Kathe’s Life

You may or may not know that I started the show because I have been struggling with my own thoughts about retirement. Les and I are financially independent. So I don’t actually have to work. But I continue to work. I’m sure that this is true for a lot of my listeners.

Below are some updates on my life that I discuss in the show

Our move to the 55 plus community

You might know that Les and I purchased a home in a 55 and older community in October of 2018, and moved there shortly after. Prior to moving, we did a huge search of communities. We even created a spreadsheet with a little bit of help from a friend to help us with the search. Here is a copy if you’d like to see what factors we considered. https://www.rockyourretirement.com/55Plus  And I’d love it if you’d help me update the spreadsheet for others. So if you have other items that should be included, please let me know. I also talk about the adjustment to the new culture, food, and even changes to my Medicare Business due to the move. 

My weight loss and health

In January of 2019, I decided it was time for me to lose the 20 pounds I gained over the years. I talk about how I lost the weight, and what I do to keep it off and stay active in my life now.


We have had to cancel a lot of travel plans lately due to COVID and health issues Les has had. I did still take a two-week “staycation” and decided to spend some time making new friends and fostering current friendships. 

Making time for what is most important

Even though I am still working, I am making time for things in my life that are important. My health, my relationship, friendships, and activities.

What is Barbara up to?

She spent the first week of July getting ready to help with Vacation Bible School which was very rewarding. There were 438 kids in all.

There were about 120 volunteers, and about 90 of them were high school and junior high students.

Barbara got in a tug of war and was in some of the games. Needless to say, it was very exhausting for her!

There were about 120 volunteers, and about 90 of them were high school and junior high students.

Barbara got in a tug of war and was in some of the games. Needless to say, it was very exhausting for her!

“The little kids just give you hope for the future. They were just amazing.”

She also just finished up Nana Camp with her 3 grandchildren and it was everything Barbara had hoped for. The precious time with her grandkids was amazing. They just left a few days ago and she is still recovering with the laundry, the house, and just her energy levels, but super rewarding.

No Schedule and Uncomfortable

So now Barbara is in a new month, and everything is blank. There is nothing on her calendar.  She literally went from going 100 miles an hour to just stopping. Life is just unstructured with no schedule, and that’s an uncomfortable place for Barbara to be.

Barbara is a planner and with nothing in her schedule right now I asked her how she is managing.

“I’m driving my husband crazy. I keep putting out possibilities for things they can do.  And while they’re not big decisions, as a retiree, you want to make good decisions, you want to use your time wisely. You want to use your money wisely. you today to look ahead, figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there and how you’re going to pay for it.”

Focusing and Meditation

I asked Barbara if she has ever thought about mediation. And like many of us, she struggles to just sit quietly with ourselves and not have our minds wander. I use an app called brain.fm to help me meditate. I feel like giving your brain a rest, even for a few minutes a day is good for your brain and it is a good way to help prevent getting dementia

Club Med

I talked about a recent vacation Les and I took to ClubMed in Florida. This is an all-inclusive resort so the food, drinks and many activities are included. The food is absolutely amazing, some of the best I’ve ever had. There were some pros and cons to our trip and we did end up leaving two days early, but overall we had a really nice time.

What’s Next?

Barbara enjoys connecting with people, so she plans on cultivating some new friendships and gathering with current friends.

There is also a bit of uneasiness for Barbara on what’s next for the fall and winter. Predictions show a very wet fall and winter where Barbara lives and she doesn’t want to be there the whole time. So she is feeling a bit anxious that she hasn’t filled that space with anything yet. We talked about the idea of putting ideas of places to go during the winter months as sort of a retirement idea jar

She is planning on slowing down just a bit since things have been so busy for her. So, her focus right now will be relaxing, reading, walking/hiking, getting exercise, and of course her ladies golf two days a week.

Barbara is hoping that she can keep a good balance. She feels like she needs things to stimulate her intellectually and emotionally.

“I think our brains are better when we’re interacting with other people or other cultures or going to different places. I think for seniors anyway, it’s good to not just sit at home and watch TV, it’s good to get out. And even if it’s in your neighborhood, experience other places, and other things so that you can actually have a memory triggered, so that you can use your brain that way.”

Health Segment

For our health segment, we have Jon Pearlman, co-founder of Mission Lean the leading fitness app for anti-aging. Today John and I talked about stretching.

It is important, for older adults, especially sticking to a consistent flexibility routine is a must. A lot of injuries that an older person might suffer from having to do with a lack of flexibility and a lack of range of motion. This can be avoided if somebody just commits to a consistent routine of flexibility and stretches.

John recommends 3-5 times a week of 10 minutes a day stretching

Also, your stretching routine should be done after your workout when your body is warm, and all the muscles are warm.

Can you stretch when your muscles are cold?

According to John, the answer is yes. It’s not ideal because when you’re warmed up, not only are your muscles activated and warm and ready to absorb those stretches to the fullest.

Don’t forget to download the mission lean app to get more fitness routines and tips. To learn more, download the Mission Lean app on your cell phone or you can visit https://missionlean.com

Do you have any questions? You can email your questions to [email protected] and we will try to answer them on the show.

To get a copy of The Baby Boomer’s 30-Day Journal go to: www.RockYourRetirement.com/Journal

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Nana Camp – Part 1

One of the reasons I retired was to spend more time with my grandkids, while they were still young.  In the early months of the pandemic, during the spring of 2020 when many of us started working from home and our kids transitioned to online learning for safety reasons, we just didn’t see each other.  By the time schools let out in June of 2020, I was placed on a one-week unpaid, unplanned furlough due to concerns about the county budget. What do you do when you have time off, nowhere to go and everything is locked down?

My answer was to invite my grandkids up for a few days and we called it Nana Camp. We simply played, laughed, had a sleepover and it was fun and exhausting all at the same time.  As I was seeing the world through the perspective of elementary school-age kids, I came away with the idea that I’m missing out. This solidified my decision to choose to retire early to spend more time with them.

It has been a crazy year since that major decision was made, so I chose the last week of July for Nana Camp 2021. I have absolutely no regrets about retiring!  For this camp, I was able to put my project management skills to work. With all that we missed out on last year, I think I went into “planner overdrive” and was striving to create an unforgettable camp experience for my grandkids with the bonus of giving their hard-working parents a break.

My daughter and her husband took the opportunity to enjoy an entire week away to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary in Mexico.  My son and his wife traveled with a huge group of friends to beautiful Lake Chelan and joined in celebrating one of the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary.

I spent months planning, ordering things online, and creating lists and lists of activities.  Then I began organizing and programming each day of activities.  More than once my husband said, “You just need to stop!”  The weekends, like two bookends, were left open to play with cousins, soak in the hot tub, watch Disney movies, and just chill.  But starting on Monday, I had five full days planned for Nana Camp week.

My goal was to:

Share what we believe: “We Love God” and “We Love Each Other.” 

Teach them about our family heritage and genealogy. 

Experience lessons on geography and history.

Learn how to do something new.

Be challenged to develop problem-solving skills.

Work together as teams.

The theme to tie all of this together was The Amazing Race.  The kids love watching the show with their parents and understood the rules of the game.  I was able to purchase the bright yellow envelopes and a template to make the clues on Etsy.  Challenges included finding the Route Info, Road Blocks, Speed Bumps, Detours, and every day just like on the show there was a Pit Stop (a mandatory rest break from racing).

Starting with each team of two, they had to put up tents with minimal assistance.  They could ask Papa questions but it was fun to see them struggle and work through figuring it out.  These became our home base and their “Reading Dens” for discussions and looking at books.

We are of Norwegian descent so for most of the first two days we spent learning about the Vikings.  The clues directed them to put together a map, hear some family stories, read some books, and then they watched several child-appropriate Viking videos on YouTube.  They learned about their Norwegian ancestors and started making a family tree on index cards for each branch of the family.  

My creative and patient husband spent hours creating some replica Viking Shield bases from plywood and then we purchased the remaining parts to make a functioning shield.  Each morning they received clues that took them deep into the “Viking Forest” (the woods behind our neighbor’s house) searching for parts of a Viking costume. They traveled to the Rock Fairy Garden, the Valley of the Green Frogs, the Viking Village, and the Secret Viking Tree Fort looking for yellow clue boxes and their next clue.

After they found their wooden shields they came running back and were given replica templates they could use as design inspiration for Viking colors. They did an amazing job making decisions and painting their shields.  Then they went to Papa’s workshop to put them together.  

I haven’t sewn in 25 years but for Nana Camp, I braved the fabric store, watched some more videos borrowed a sewing machine, and created Viking capes, complete with faux leather and fur and chains.  Then I purchased some wooden swords and plastic Viking helmets.  My husband said, “This is a really bad idea to give 5, 8, and 9-year-old kids weapons.”  But my daughter and daughter-in-law both gave their full approval thinking it would be fun and maybe take care of future Halloween costumes.

Included in those first days we highlighted our Russian heritage, my great grandmother was born in Odessa Russia, and was a pioneer at the turn of the century, by traveling to a Russian bakery.  The Amazing Race clue cards included their own money to spend on a treat and a Pirosky for their lunch. When learning about the Romans and Italy I ordered pizza and served some Italian cookies for dessert.

After their swords and shields were completed the next day the race had them back in the forest.  They learned some more about our family tree, checked the maps, and heard about even more history.  Then they had to search for the rest of their costumes hanging in the trees. The final clue for that day was to come back to the reading den screaming their best Viking battle cry in their full regalia.

As my husband and I watched them running up the hill out of the forest he was laughing. I, however, had tears in my eyes.  Working together we had created an “eternal moment” neither of us will ever forget.  I hope in the future my four grandkids won’t forget either!  Days 1 and 2 are complete.  Time to get ready for Day 3 – Cousins Day!  I need some sleep.

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