Author Topic: Becoming a snowbird at age 40  (Read 1250 times)

Landspeed8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« on: September 02, 2019, 12:02:12 PM »
Age: 40

Situation: Single guy who has minimal desire for children and lots of desire for freedom and good weather. Trying to figure out if its realistic for me to live in the north for 6 months of the year and south the other 6.

Income: I have jumped the gun on FIRE a bit and have a remote part time job that pays about $15,000/yr and a couple enjoyable side gigs that I do (that can be done from most anywhere) that I make about $10,000/yr from.

Stash: I currently have about $214,000 saved after selling my home. My plan is to leave that untouched until I'm 65, but I also won't be able to add to it due to my reduced income. If I have to work full time for a couple years at some point to build the stash I certainly will.

I'm curious if anyone is doing something like this at a young age and if you have any tips on how to find decent housing 6 months at a time etc. I'm just in the "kicking it around" stage but it's realistic that I could put the plan in motion in the next year or so. I just don't know if its realistic to do this on $25,000/yr even without contributing to IRA etc.

Any snowbirds in their 30's/40's out there?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 12:32:56 PM by Landspeed8 »

SunnyDays

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 12:51:38 PM »
Not a snowbird, but know several at my RV park, who live up here (Canada) in summer and go south (Texas, Mexico, etc.) in winter.  If you're okay with living in a trailer, or a park-model home (about 500 sq. ft. with all the bells and whistles) it's certainly cheap enough.  My place comes with a lake and beach and costs $3500 to $4500 a year, depending on the lot you choose, with water and electricity included.  If you had one such place in each location, you could live pretty well for $25000 a year.

Landspeed8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 01:01:11 PM »
Interesting. I was actually thinking in terms of renting in both locations but am open to other suggestions like that one.

Padonak

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 567
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 01:15:39 PM »
You can "summer" in Eastern Europe and "winter" in South East Asia.

Landspeed8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 06:08:22 PM »
I like the thought but let's keep it to the USA for now because both my PT job and side gigs need to be done from this country.

MKinVA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 07:10:50 PM »
House sitting is probably the best way to do this without investing in a motor home. The short term rentals are expensive on a monthly basis in warm weather areas in the winter. You might also want to look at places that are warm but not too popular because they are well inland. Inland around the Gulf Coast states maybe? 

Landspeed8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 09:38:03 PM »
Was thinking Jacksonville area or maybe Phoenix. Figure I can get a decent 1 bedroom furnished apartment for 6 months for $750 or so? Seems like there would be alot of record keeping to prove which state my primary residence is, which would be a pretty big pain.

Omy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 06:26:24 AM »
I did this in a sailboat in my 30s. Spent May through September in Annapolis at a boat slip. Motored and sailed down the ICW in October, wintered in Florida, motored and sailed back to Annapolis in April. Similar costs to RVing, but it takes a month on each end to make the move. Wonderful life style and met lots of great people doing the same.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1414
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 06:37:19 AM »
I'm thinking of doing something like this with Toronto and south Texas (Brownsville) as my "poles". Housing is really cheap in south Texas. The issue for us would be whether to carry the rent on a Toronto place during the winter, or deal with the drama involved in short term subletting.

Would you consider having your southern place be a year-round rental, or even a purchase? I think the math might work better than looking for a six-month vacation-style rental.

MKinVA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 07:45:45 AM »
Is there a reason for  splitting it 6/6? What if you found a relatively cheap spot say in Florida and stayed from October thru May. Then find a way to get away from the heat for 3-4 months. Resident in Florida means no income tax and pretty cheap housing inland and panhandle. 

Landspeed8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 09:13:05 AM »
I'm thinking of doing something like this with Toronto and south Texas (Brownsville) as my "poles". Housing is really cheap in south Texas. The issue for us would be whether to carry the rent on a Toronto place during the winter, or deal with the drama involved in short term subletting.

Would you consider having your southern place be a year-round rental, or even a purchase? I think the math might work better than looking for a six-month vacation-style rental.







Is there a reason for  splitting it 6/6? What if you found a relatively cheap spot say in Florida and stayed from October thru May. Then find a way to get away from the heat for 3-4 months. Resident in Florida means no income tax and pretty cheap housing inland and panhandle. 

Most likely want to stay away from a purchase. Are six month rentals really that expensive in the south? I was hoping to approach an apartment complex, offer to pay them 6 months up front, and hope to get a decent deal when they see I'm a clean cut harmless looking dude. But maybe I'll have to pay a premium regardless if demand is that high.

Reasoning for splitting it 6/6 was that I figured I could get a 6 month lease in each place, but anything less than that would have to be a airbnb type thing. But I'm open to 8/4 or 9/3 or whatever if it makes more sense.

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1034
  • FIREd at 36? Or maybe it was 42?
Re: Becoming a snowbird at age 40
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 10:07:44 AM »
I retired around age 40 and kind of do this although the Sunbird version as I had a home in SoCal I liked to leave in the hot dry months from mid-Aug to Dec. For me as non-working no-earned-income person who has a fairly low passive income I have had a lot of trouble finding short term (6 month) regular rentals.  Year long are even harder. Apparently when you are younger and not working but have a stash you are either a stripper, a hooker, drug dealer, or mafia hit person. Offering to pay all cash up front doesn't really help dispel that image.  It is probably easier with a private owner/landlord but apt complexes and property management firms don't seem to like it and also have fairly strict rules about income requirements (monthly income 3Xs the rent amount). Plus I had a dog so made it much harder. This might not be an issue for you since you'll still be working.

So what I did at first was keep my paid off house and got a roommate to cover my housing costs and watch the place then just did road trips whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted. Either camping or staying at monthly vacation house rentals - Which can be very inexpensive if you go shoulder season or off season. For example ski resorts are super expensive in summer and winter but can be very cheap for a long term furnished rental in early fall or late spring. After I sold my house I tried full time travel (van camping mixed with rentals) and it was too hard to find longer term places.  So now I'm doing the roommate thing so I have a year round permenant place and just go somewhere for around 2 to 4 months at a time. 2 times a year and get an off season vacation rental. I like the flexibility to come and go as I like while not being tied down to a fixed "vacation" place. It works out much cheaper for me too. So you might look into that as an option.

You could even look into a temp roommate situation in each area you want to spend time in. I did this when I first quit my job (age 36) to travel overseas for 2 years and ended up finding a few good roommate situations in different countries for several months each.  It was the easiest and least expensive way I could find and I imagine it might be doable in the US also - especially if you follow traditional snowbirds routes like Florida in the winter and northern areas in the summer.

ETA: I also like not having to muck around looking for a new place each time I give up my place, and not having deadlines to move out/in. Plus the expense of possibly staying at motels while I apt hunted every 6 months and setting up utilities, etc. I also like that I can change my mind about where I want to go at the spur of the moment or stay put longer if I'm sick or injured or weather where I plan to go is bad.For instance I was planning on leaving SoCal this week but where I was going is having a big heat wave so I can put it off and stay awhile longer down by the cool beach. I imagine if you where planning to go to Florida today you'd probably rather just stay were you are for awhile longer rather then deal with a huge hurricane. So having an inexpensive year round roommate rental situation can be a better option sometimes.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 10:46:17 AM by spartana »