Retirement Where ?


I will be retireing in eleven months, and will have a modest means to live on but not a lot of extra.

Have lived in Oregon all my life, and the wife and I have been suba divers for 42 years, I have commercial fished up to 1,000 miles off of the west coat Canada to Mexico for twenty five years chasing albacore tuna, and done heavy construction work from November untill April. Have sold the boat so no longer commercial fish, gave up scuba diving on the doctors recomendation, because of some heart and other chest surgerys. The doctors say paddliny is fine and an exxcellent work out.

The wife and I have resently taken up kayaking and truely love it.

We would like to paddle on a daily basses or close to it to keep connected to the water ( both marine and fresh water envirement) and as a means of exercize.

It is not with in our means or we would simply have a house some where in the caribbean for winters and stay in Oreogn for the summers.

I really wouldn’t mind being some where in a warmer climate. How ever can stay in Oregon and just deal with the cold.

I would be very relectant to move out of the USA.

Maybe the best option would be to stay in Oregon and purchase a smaller motor home to go some where warmer for the winters.

What would you do ?

sorry so long

This is going to be a major decision.

And any and all sugjestions will be helpful.

Thank you


coastal carolina
i live 60 miles from the coast, in the NE corner of N. Carolina. between the ocean, Pamlico sound, the Albemarle sound and the rivers and lakes leading into the ocean, there’s more water here than you can paddle in the rest of your life. winter here is about 40° … and best of all, you can paddle with me everyday. :wink:


The Punta Banda peninsula, just south of Ensenada is a pretty nice place. Lots of retired Americans and only 90 minutes to San Diego. Actually, San Diego is very affordable if you live in a motorhome. A couple of really nice parks there.

I Vote For The Motor Home

– Last Updated: Feb-02-07 8:35 PM EST –

Believe me, I have been giving this some thought. From Oregon you could be in the Mojave/Southwest/Baja in a couple days. Maybe hook up with a regular spot for the winter in Baja

One challenge is getting kayaks on a motor home, but you could think about folders, or inflatables. They are also light

I lived in tropical climates. After living out west, you would get weary of it soon. No mountains, and it gets hot and HUMID in the summer.

I have been looking at the Mercede/Dodge/Frieghtliner Sprinter van based class B

Northern central florida is
about perfect. Lots of spring fed rivers, only 45 minutes from either coast, and only 3-4 freezing nights a year. Property taxes and insurance are still lower there compared to the rest of Fla, as are the land and housing prices. Also, no state income tax (so far). And the Fla. Keys are only hours away.


I grew up in Oregon and unfortunately do not live there any longer - being held hostage in the northeast by my wife’s family. (another story)

However, when my Powerball ticket wins (and it will) then I will buy a chunk of land either on the Oregon Coast or northern CA and enjoy the best paddling around.

In the winters though, you will find me down south in San Diego - as I have lived there too and love the paddling there as well. On a limited budget though Oregon might be the best all around answer if you want great paddling and money savings.

Just my $0.02 worth…


Can’t believe nobody mentioned
southern Illinois!

If you want to stay in the west, you could check out Arizona in the winter and Oregon in the summer. Not as far as Florida. We retired in Lake Havasu City and we paddle all winter. We get a lot of snowbirds here. We usually leave in the summer and head north. Sunbirds. Monthly RV park rates are not too bad. We are 150 miles from Las Vegas. There are other accesses to Lake Mead like Temple Bar in AZ. Somewhat remote but there is a full hookup trailer park there as well as a federal park.

If you dont have one, get a Golden Age Passport. One time fee of $10 and you get free entry to federal facilities and half price camping. We use it a lot. You have to be 62 to get one.

We move around a lot during the summer. We have not found a place we would like to spend the whole summer. We were up in Oregon 3 years ago and hit several National Parks last year in addition to family time in CA.

Most places in CA are expensive. Especially on the coast. Lake Tahoe is huge and places to stay are limited if on a budget. Stampede Reservoir near Truckee has a federal campground and is reasonable. No hookups in most of the fed parks unless you stay at a concessionaire and they charge a lot with no discounts. Email me if you need more info.

I would ask Midwesterners
what it really means to be cold, then I would get a drysuit and paddle year-round in Oregon

South Texas coast
Is very affordable.

Thanks for the answers so far.

If it is going to be a motor home it would be a smaller one because of cost, and probably tow a car with the kayaks on top. Two tempest 165.

And yes a dry suit is a top prioirity for our area and Puget Sound and Canada. We Are probably going to have our home in Oregon because of family. But would like to seek a few months of the year in a warmer climate. Do have a lot of friends that do the Arizona thing but they are not kayakers.

There could also be the possibility of a small cabin or small vacation home some where rather than the cost of a motor home. I am still nervoius about some thing out of the USA. Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico ?



Pop up camper
I’ve seen some really nice pop ups that are easy to tow and some even modifiy them with nice boat racks on top. You could tow it with a minivan or a small truck with a camper top.

Then you could stay home when you wanted and go anywhere else if the weather was bad. You could check out Mexico, North Carolina and Florida while your health is good. And you could decide to move to any of those places after you’ve visited them.

Many National parks will let you stay for less if you are over 65 they have discounts. A pop up is easy to tow easy to rig and economical. This leaves more money for gas and travel costs. Buy spending less on a pop up, you’ll have money left for an occasional stay in a nice hotel an other travel luxuries.

Either way I want to congratulate you on being able to retire while healthy and encourage you to get out there and enjoy life while you can.

Go cheap. Go now. Buy better gear as your current gear breaks or becomes obvious that it is not suited for your usage.

Rv life
If you decide to go with an rv of some sort either full or part time, this might be a good resource for you:

Fla is no good!

was minus 20 degrees F this morning at my house (outside, not inside) :slight_smile:

not a good day to paddle…

Best Wishes


I’ve been retired for over ten years.
I retired in the Grants Pass area moving from the Washington DC area. I don’t think Oregon is a bad place to retire because of the availiable recreation and its relative low cost of living. I heat the house with a wood stove and my utility bill is less than $50 a month, no sales tax, low property taxes and a low income tax. I can drive to fabulous recreation areas on a tank of gas which is something to consider with the high oil prices.

When you think of mild winters you must also think of hot summers. I lived in Florida and you don’t see many people out in the streets during the summer. You won’t survive a summer without the AC blasting ($$$$). Also, how about the outrageous insurance rates in the state.

Check out the AC bills for the Southwest before you decide move down there. However, you can move to a higher elevation in the region to avoid the brutal summer heat.

The Southeast can get very hot and humid. I don’t like it there but perhaps you would.

I’m from Chicago originally so know the weather in the midwest. Cold winters and hot and humid summers with violent weather.

I home base out of my house and usually am on the road six months a year. I just returned from a visit to my daughters in Texas and Colorado. Last year I paddled the Green river in Utah and the Bowron up in BC. This year I intend to paddle the Green again and do a flyin up in Saskatchewan. I’ve driven from Florida to Alaska many times since my retirement. However, it’s nice to have a house to come back to since a motorhome/trailer can get old after a few months. I wouldn’t want to get out of the housing market and go full time since I doubt that I could afford to get back in if I got tired of motorhome living or got too infirm to continue a life on the road.

I would worry about the availabilty of
fresh water in the future – in the South West. If global warming predections come true. this winter in California we haven’t had the rain and snow pack we need. Wetter climes (Oregon) may fair better.

IT is begigning to sound like the best thing might just be to stay here in Oregon and live out of a motor home for a few months out of the year, travelling. Or even the possibility of some form of time share condo instead of the motor home purchase.

I would certainly agree we would have to have a home bass and not entirelly live out of a motor home year round that wouldn’t even be in the realm of things…


RV’s are expensive, too
I had just the same situation you have, and decided that rv’ing would be the way to go. So I bought a 3/4 ton truck and a 30’ travel trailer for total $60,000. All told it cost me about $200 per night to stay in a campground. Yep, add up the cost of equipment payments, gas, maintenance, campground fees, and all the doodads you need for rv camping and it ain’t cheap. It is horrendously expensive when you factor in the depreciation on the truck and travel trailer. Then I sold all that and bought a 20’ camper van for $40,000 and carried the canoes on top. Still cost me $200 per night to stay in a campground. So, I sold that and bought a really good big tent and a nice mid-size pickup truck with a camper cap for $23,000. The tent has an opening in the back wall so I can back my truck under it and have room to walk around and stay put for a week or so at a time. Go to and search truck tent.

Now I have low maintenance, low payments and low gas costs. I needed transportation anyway, so I don’t allocate all the costs of pickup truck ownership to just camping. If I don’t want to tent camp then I find low cost cabins to rent in state forests where I want to travel, and it winds up costing me about $50 per night to spend a week anywhere in the country my itchy feet take me. I recently had a million dollar site on a 12,000 acre lake for $25 per night. Tied my two canoes to trees at the waters edge, fired up the grill, popped a cold one, and drank a toast to finally discovering low cost traveling.

BTW, Oregon has more wild and scenic rivers than any other state in the Union. thirty three I think. Congratulations! I want to go there and canoe all of them!

Keep house & rent winter cottage elsewhe
If you drive a regular car or truck, the gas will cost less than driving an RV, plus you have more room by renting a cabin/cottage.

Even better, you’re not stuck with some depreciating thing that has to be stored out of sight when you’re home. You get to try DIFFERENT places each winter if you want to.

The RV makes more sense only if you want to travel by road/move around a lot for most of the year instead of just going someplace warm for the winter.