Read how R & R (Ray & Ruby) created a sustainable retirement plan after realizing that their pensions & savings were not going to be enough to live their retirement dream life. They demonstrate that you are never to old to learn new skills.
Ruby and I met in 1989 and have much history together including good days and bad. 30 plus years of working together and building a life together has created great joy and some days great challenges Age wise, there is 10 years between us and I stopped working full-time in 2011 but Ruby continued to work full-time. We soon realized that if we were going to spend quality time together, we soon needed to both be retired.
Over the years we have done many things, mostly self-employed and the opportunities to contribute significantly to a retirement fund were few as there always seemed to be another “expense” or “crisis in the making” with a small bricks and mortar businesses.
Balancing the “wanting” to be retired together and the reality of our long-range finances we soon realized there wasn't going to be much money for us to enjoy the things we wanted to do. That realization created a new challenge for us to work on.
Since we have always been good at creating income in our past businesses, we decided that we had to have an occupation that we could do together during our retirement.
Despite the fact that Ruby was working full time in a government job, we had been growing her stained-glass hobby into an in-home studio in our basement for several years. Without meaning to the studio picked up a steady clientele for both retail sales and classes Ruby found she liked to teach and it kept the studio busy evenings and Saturdays. With talk of Ruby retiring at some point in the near future, we were gearing up to make the studio our retirement project that would supplement our financial needs.
We love to travel, and part of our retirement dream was to travel in the winter but with finances being tight and with the busiest season for the stained-glass studio being winter it would make realizing that dream difficult. As soon as we left the studio there would be no additional income from the stained-glass niche that we had developed over the years. We had a following of people wanting to buy things and wanting to learn things and if we decided to travel in the winter, business in the studio would be severely compromised. As much fun as the stained-glass business turned out to be for us, the studio turned out not to be the best retirement project as it locked us to a schedule and to another bricks and mortar business that needed our personal attention to thrive.
Over the years we looked at the Internet and we were intrigued with having a business that could generate money from anywhere. In 2007 we jumped in with both feet and developed an advertising platform that was totally web-based and automated. Unfortunately, we learned that there was a lot to learn when you're doing business online and because we had not taken the time to learn new skills, the business did not grow and we had to accept the financial loss of the project.
Despite having that significant setback in our business history, in 2017 we realized that e-commerce was still our best option for a stable financial retirement that we could grow and have the retirement life that we were looking for. The big question was how to acquire the skills we would need to develop a sustainable online business that would provide a lifestyle income.
Then the universe provided a set of circumstances that would put us on the right path. In February of 2017 Ruby took a trip with her sister and left me home alone for 10 days. Both good and bad as it gave Ruby time with her sister (they live in different parts of the country and do not see each other often) but left me home alone with too much time on my hands to think and play on the internet. The big light bulb moment for me was that while Ruby was away I learned that I did not want to spend my time alone without her and I was tired of dropping her off at work every morning.
I started researching options on the internet and came across a company that provided Mentorship and learning opportunities to develop skills in order to grow an online business. When Ruby got home, we signed up to see what we could learn.
We quickly learned that there are several types of business models that could produce income, so many in fact that it became confusing and overwhelming. It also became difficult to decide on where to focus our efforts. But after listening to a massive number of videos and participating in many webinars, we finally found an online business model that matched both our personality and business experience. New skills would need to be learned but suddenly it did not seem so overwhelming or confusing.
We are great Amazon shoppers but did not fully realize that not all products are sold by Amazon when you are purchasing items on that platform. We now understood that third partly sellers could ship their inventory to an Amazon warehouse and participate in the Amazon FBA program.
This golden nugget proved to be what we were looking for and FBA with Amazon has proved to be very successful for us at our age. We are not looking to become millionaires but we are looking to have a lifestyle business that is scalable and that will provide a comfortable retirement.
Having found the financial path that we were looking for we now needed to find on online identity to help promote and diversify the business, hence the name R&R Digital Lifestyle. This basically stands for Ray and Ruby producing money online from our laptop. 2017 showed a small amount of online income, enough for us to know that we could make this work if Ruby retired.
Just a little over a year after the search began and the learning started, in March 2018 we decided we were going for it and Ruby gave her notice to retire at the end of 2018, with unused vacation and accumulated leave that meant that in October 2018 Ruby would be home full-time.
Now the big conversations started. What did we truly want from retirement, what would the days look like, where would we be spending those days. The one constant in all the conversations was that we loved to travel and had so many places we wanted to see and visit. We crystallized that we wanted a life that did not tie us to a specific place nor tie us to an external schedule that would hinder us. We also decided that we were both done with cold snowy winters and wanted as much sun and palm trees as we could find and afford. A twenty minute conversation and the wheels were set in motion. We would sell everything we own; glass studio, vehicles, house, furniture and anything that could not fit in a Class A Motorhome and we would live the next years full time traveling North America while growing our online income. By the time Ruby retired on October 26th, 2018 all the ducks were in a row. On October 27th we left our hometown for our first full winter “down south”. The rest as they say is history and we are now living “A Simpler Life”
We are thoroughly enjoying this new journey. Being together (our number 1 priority) and traveling in the Motorhome is the best because we get to see and feel different places but really we are always home. No packing and unpacking, no rushing. We always get to sleep in our own bed and we have our car with us to explore. Best of all we do it on our schedule with lots of time to enjoy ourselves.
We have set aside a space in our “home” for our office and after learning how this Digital lifestyle works (work in progress) we are getting better at making a living doing something we thoroughly enjoy while we travel.
We have been in business all our adult lives and to suddenly stop because we retired would not be good for our minds or our health. We are great project people and therefore find new and interesting things to try. We are firm believers that you have to wake up everyday with a purpose.
Welcome to our journey living “A Simpler Life”
Come join us on this journey either with our Facebook page or our You Tube Channel. Subscribe and ring the bell to be notified when we post videos.
We promise to keep you entertained and hopefully to bring value with a unique perspective of working and traveling full-time.
Thanks - Ray & Ruby (R & R Digital Lifestyle)