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Old 10-04-2016, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,695,295 times
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My boss once told me don't retire from a longtime job to do another one that pays less and is harder than the one you left.

Example: Leaving an office job with a good salary to stand on your feet all day and work in a book store.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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If you buy a campground in retirement, you are no longer retired.

You've just bought yourself a crappy job.

Why would you do that?
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:16 PM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
If you buy a campground in retirement, you are no longer retired.

You've just bought yourself a crappy job.

Why would you do that?
And a lot of financial risk. And a lot of hard, physical work. And loss of sleep at night. And being tied down 7 days a week with no vacations, no days off, no travel, no visits to relatives. Fat chance if you think you will find a responsible person to do all the hard work and manage the place around the clock.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,592 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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please don't squash the aspirations of others. We all have a few things to learn (at least most of us do...)

The OP has come back with some counterpoints and is thinking this through. Thank goodness they came back to comment and are THINKING / making accommodation for points exposed. That is fine. "retirement" takes lots of forms, not all of us have a pension and HC, so we might need to add some working assets / businesses to provide adequate cash flows. THIS RETIREMENT forum is a good spot to discuss, as owning a business in retirement may have different objectives than growing / running a business in your 30's - 50's.

OP mentions including extended family. Yes, that can equal risk and disappointment, and it can also represent excellent succession planning opportunities and reduction of workload.

Have patience, hear it out, contribute as possible, but realize we don't all fit into YOUR mold of retirement. (thank goodness), I know plenty of 'security focused' retirees who I do not envy one bit. Are they ready for their own catastrophe? hope so
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:33 PM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
please don't squash the aspirations of others. We all have a few things to learn (at least most of us do...)
.......
Being retired might not make it easy to recover from a serious financial mistake.


Does the OP understand how difficult it is likely to be to run a campground business? Most small businesses fail. If you are planning to buy an established, profitable business expect to pay some serious money. That still does not mean it will continue to be successful. That is going to require an ongoing commitment and work. You need to continue to market the business. You need to manage the business on a daily basis. That means physical work in maintaining the facilities, repairs, upgrades, signage, etc. You can expect to be bothered day and night with problems or just late arrivals. You will find some people who camp are not the typically happy family with a couple of kids. They might even have a barking dog. They might be alcohol or drug abusers or worse. You will need to mediate disputes and you will hear every sad story known to man.


You will need to make all of your income from a business that is seasonal. You will have plenty of expenses that go year around: taxes, mortgage, business licenses and fees, utilities.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,018 posts, read 1,420,987 times
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It's being kind to point out the realities of what they are asking rather than not. Retirement is not the time to gamble with your life savings or sanity. It's easy to say that sounds fun, but they should go in eyes wide open.
I was friendly with the owners kids of a big campground in my teen years, They hated it except for the fact that they had new girlfriends every week. I got to know the parents fairly well and they always seemed stressed. You're managing a small city of vacationers. Dealing with drunks was common, constant complaints, always fixing things , it never ends. I helped out on trash detail and it was an all day affair just for that. Bored teens find plenty to keep YOU occupied.
Most campgrounds have deals for seasonals who want to help manage or work. You'd get to see the reality without risk and decide for yourself. Hell, you may thrive on chaos.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,415 posts, read 5,136,795 times
Reputation: 7231
Many years ago I did several camping trips to Death Valley and met a number of seniors who worked for the Park Service (or the company that had the service contract). They lived in their own RV's in a separate section of the park and worked in the hotel, motel, restaurants, etc. They would do summer in DV and then winter at the Grand Canyon. It's too long ago for me to remember many details but I don't think the work was full time and when they wanted to take a season off and go exploring the country they could.

I do recall thinking that it sounded kinda cool and that I would consider it when I got old enough to retire but by the time I retired I had other plans in mind.

Maybe something like that would be worth looking in to.

ps: I had wanted to create a very small specialized campground up in the Mariposa, CA area. It would have been exclusively for people with dogs who loved to camp, no RV hook ups at all and not year round either. I spent some time doing market research at the many dog parks in the Bay Area and found that there were plenty of interested people. I knew I'd have a good pension and that would provide my incomeso the place would have to support itself but not me. Sadly Mariposa county made it virtually impossible to meet all of the strict, crazy requirements they would have imposed. Oh well, I wound up in rural VA instead and I'm pretty happy with this life.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:16 AM
 
3,945 posts, read 3,263,788 times
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I have a friend who managed a local campground RV park in Wa state. After several visits I determined that he had some misgivings about the low life element that tends to do long stays and cause problems. In the summer the camp was a family place but the low life types were always around and he worried about the risks they represented to children not to mention himself when he had to deal with them.

On the other hand, I could see that he did like the winter serenity of living in a quiet and quite beautiful place. An extended family could possibly run a RV park with enough time off for all, but the problems associated with all that Stealth rabbit spoke of, septic, water, power, would now be the stuff of everyday concern I'd be more focused on buying a park and downsize it to a manageable level up front and then scaling up as I gained confidence. There are ways to keep out the riffraff but that higher price structure can also become a deterrent to family campers.

Retirement can be lived in segments of money making endeavors offset by some relaxing times, the trick is in not getting into anything that may get sticky to the point that one can't get out from under it. I'd take the advice of first managing, then look at ownership--or not.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:17 AM
 
Location: San Diego
35,199 posts, read 32,168,385 times
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No thanks. Unless you can get someone to work the night shift for you. The drunks, the entitled, the urban trash that think graffiti is art, vandals. PASS!
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:30 AM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,702,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kgryfon View Post
Does anyone have any experience with buying/running a campground once you retire?
My cousin owned a campground on Turkey Creek some years ago.

While there may be quite a few retirees with RVs, the majority of folks going to campgrounds are families with small kids, with a lot of vagabonds sprinkled in.

You'll spend a majority of your time cleaning up after them, including picking up nasty diapers, beer cans, Solo cups; calling the law on the drunks when they get out of hand; policing the area so the "decent" families don't get robbed by the misfits that can't afford a decent place to live; regrading the camp sites after a rain when that one RV driver didn't know not to spin his wheels to get out of the mud, etc.

That is one thing I would never do, especially in retirement.
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