Why Not Retire to the Holiday Inn?

This looks like a fun place to retire!. (Photo: Coltera/Flickr)

Terry Robison of Spring, Texas, has his retirement figured out. The 64-year-old is going to live at the Holiday Inn. Retirement homes are expensive, but a Holiday Inn with a senior discount is only $59.23 per day. He can use the difference (roughly $128 per day, by his count) for "lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, gratuities and special TV movies," he wrote. "Plus, they provide a spa, swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc."

There are a lot of advantages to this approach, as a local ABC News affiliate explains:

The benefits of Holiday Inn, Robison added, also include free toothpaste, razors, shampoo and soap. An additional $5 a day in tips will "have the entire staff scrambling to help you" as well, he wrote.

There are shuttle buses to take you out, or to the airport if you want to try another Holiday Inn. "You're not stuck in one place forever — you can move from Inn or Inn, or even from city to city."

Robison doesn't seem particularly worried about aging in any particular place, noting that "staff like a security guard or maid could check to see if he is OK as well as call an ambulance or an undertaker, whichever is needed."

Holiday Inn, Allentown
Looks nice, but does it have a pool?. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

It's minimalism 2.0

It's hard to tell whether Robison is serious or not, but he's definitely on to something, especially when you combine this idea with other trends. Almost a decade ago, extreme minimalism was all the rage when portable hard drives and really good laptops were becoming available. At the time, we wrote over on TreeHugger about Chris Yurista, who owned almost nothing but his bike and a backpack.

I don't feel a void living the way I'm living because I've figured out a way to use digital technology to my advantage," Mr. Yurista explained. Mr. Yurista feels by digitising his life, he no longer has to worry about dusting, organising and cleaning his possessions.

Treehugger covered Andrew Hyde, who owned only 15 things, which all fit into his backpack (not including socks and underwear), or the Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who have built a career out of owning almost nothing. Most of these extreme minimalists were young and single and most aren't doing it anymore. Couch-surfing has its limits.

But Terry Robison could be leading the way here, a baby boomer combining extreme minimalism with the comfort of a Holiday Inn.

Textblade keyboard
The Textblade keyboard finally arrived!. (Photo: Lloyd Alter)

You don't even need to put your life in a hard drive anymore; two terabytes of iCloud costs 10 bucks a month, and you can do just about everything on your phone, especially with the Textblade keyboard. All the technology I need to live can now fit into my pocket.

As for clothing, many people are like me and could spend their lives in various bits of athleisure wear and puffy jackets that squeeze down to nothing. I suspect I could easily get a seasonal wardrobe down to 15 articles of clothing.

cargo bike
The author having a fine time on a Big Easy cargo bike. (Photo: Paul for Lloyd Alter)

In my dreams, I would join the bike-and-a-backpack brigade. I would load this stuff onto a cargo e-bike like the Surly Big Easy and get about 150 miles of range out of dual batteries, and just cruise from Holiday Inn to Holiday Inn. Who needs the shuttle bus or an airplane when you want to get somewhere?

Millie wouldn't be pleased with this turn of events. (Photo: Lloyd Alter)

It's not likely to happen for me in the near future; I have a spouse who likes her own bed and her big green reading chair, a cute little dog that cries every time I leave the house, and a job that keeps me tied to an iMac.

But the idea of combining hotel hopping with extreme minimalism could make for an extremely interesting retirement lifestyle.