“You get to fall asleep with the rocking of the waves and the wind, and with the Internet, you can home-office from just about anywhere,” says Ian Morton, an American semi-retiree who spends half the year on a houseboat outside Montreal. Morton, 51, is one of several “rambling retirees” profiled by Reuters in a piece on boomers who are bucking the aging-in-place trend. Though exact stats are hard to come by, evidence points to a growing number of grown-ups trading houses and retirement communities for houseboats, RVs and strangers’ sofas.
Sixty-eight-year-old Barbara Miller Elegbede is one such full-time “couchsurfer.” After retiring from teaching and secretarial work, Elegbede began traveling the world, interspersing stays in hostels and hotels with free sojourns in strangers’ guest quarters. She finds the latter on couchsurfing.org, a web community with at least 160,000 members over 50. Notes Reuters:
Accommodations can range from a weathered futon in someone’s living room to a yacht bunk or a Maui tree house. Typical stays last two to three days but can also last several months. While you can reciprocate and offer your own couch when your host travels, there’s no requirement that you do so.
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Compared to that mode of travel, crossing the country in a mobile home seems downright quaint, doesn’t it? RV living has been a popular retirement pursuit for decades, of course, but industry insiders say it shows no signs of slowing down — despite rising gas prices. Data from the Escapees RV Club and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association indicate that about 25,000 U.S. retirees live in RVs year-round, according to Reuters.
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak, co-author of Retire to an RV: The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement, told Reuters that RV costs can vary widely. Depending on style and amenities, an RV may cost as little as $5,000 used or upwards of $150,000. Other expenses include campsite fees, insurance and fuel.
Fran Reisner, 52, paid $92,000 for a 35-ft. Winnebago Adventurer. Her rolling home, which logged 18,000 miles across 27 states last year, has a king-size bed, a double-wide fridge and a washer-dryer.
Monday Quick Hits:
• Kenny Rogers connects the dots. In a new memoir, Luck or Something Like It, the entertainer traces his path from public housing in Texas to international solo star.
• The big 10. No, not that big 10 — we’re talking the 10 states where public pension fights are fiercest. According to the Associated Press, 10 states are attempting to address unfunded pension liabilities by reducing retiree benefits.
Photo: Christinne Muschi/Reuters