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The Nielsens: Enjoying a Turnkey, Traveling Lifestyle

Posted on September 26, 2019 in Resident Profile

When Fred and Maiken Nielsen decided to retire and leave their farm to their son, they knew they wanted to embrace a simple way of life. Knowing they wanted to remain in the Bucks County area, they visited Pennswood Village and immediately chose a one-bedroom-with-den apartment home.

Moving from 3,000 square feet to a little over 1,000 square feet, Fred and Maiken liked the idea of finding a home that reflected the lifestyle they wanted to lead: a smaller home with plenty of amenities, security and freedom from home maintenance. “It’s turnkey,” Fred said. “We shut the door and come back and the place looks the same.”

Fred and Maiken enjoy the travel lifestyle in their RV

A home full of amenities without the responsibilities

With a home in Florida and a busy travel schedule, Fred and Maiken knew that downsizing suited their needs. And because the Nielsens travel seven to eight months out of the year, they also sought a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle that gives them the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of while they’re away. “There’s no lawn to cut, fences to mend or gutters to clear,” Fred said.

Free of the everyday burdens of home ownership, the Nielsens can jump on a plane or hit the road without the need to arrange for a house sitter, lawn service or plant waterer. No matter how long they’re gone, Pennswood Village has them covered.

Tiny living on wheels

Way ahead of the tiny living movement, Fred and Maiken purchased their first mini-RV in 1976. Their current “home away from home” is a retrofitted Mercedes-Benz van. At 22 feet long and 7 feet wide, the RV isn’t expansive, but it offers a smooth ride and easy parking.

Fred admits that the couple sometimes opt for a hotel room while on the road, but the Nielsens’ mini-RV has all the creature comforts you’ll ever need: two beds, sofa, TV, kitchenette, a full bath, storage space, A/C and a water heater. And the RV is solar powered so they don’t have to find an electrical hook-up when they pull off the road at night.

Wanderlust or a zest for living? Yes!

Like many active seniors, Fred and Maiken view their retirement as an opportunity to travel and explore new experiences. They enjoy European river cruises and toured Amsterdam, Vienna and Budapest in 2018. Next year, the couple plans to visit Germany, England, the Shetland Islands, Iceland and Greenland.

Back in the RV, Fred and Maiken continue to add miles to the odometer and recently visited friends in Wisconsin and Michigan and then made their way to Nova Scotia in the fall. “It’s a great way to travel because you’re not in a hurry,” Fred explained. From Alaska to Texas, the Nielsens enjoy meeting people along the way. “We like to talk to young people and see how they view the world,” Fred shared.

At one point during a trip to Canada, the couple attended a concert at a former church and became acquainted with a couple who offered to let Fred and Maiken park their RV in their driveway for the night. They’ve also set up camp in a restaurant parking lot after an invitation from the restaurant owner.

Fred and Maiken enjoy the hiking lifestyle

Both healthy and in their early 80s, Fred and Maiken have no interest in slowing down; however, when they are at home at Pennswood Village, they swim laps in the warm indoor pool and Fred works on projects in the woodworking shop.

Pennswood Village offers a lifestyle fit for any active senior. Whether you love to travel or prefer to appreciate everything that Newtown, Bucks County and neighboring Philadelphia, PA, and Princeton, NJ, have to offer, you’ll experience inspired living in our active community. See where your retirement may take you, especially when you can live a lifestyle free of home upkeep. Call us today at 215-504-1118, or click here to discover how Pennswood Village adapts to all ways of life.