Author Topic: Help me pick a travel plan  (Read 7891 times)

DollarBill

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Help me pick a travel plan
« on: June 01, 2014, 01:41:26 PM »
Iíll soon be retired from the Military. Iíve been dreaming about this day coming for a long time. Now that itís getting closer Iím trying to figure out what to do with myself and I was hoping to hear some of your thoughts. When I was doing my early pension calculations they were a little high and now that I think I have it all figured out it should be at least $2K after taxes (It may be a bit more but this is what Iím going to plan with).
Iím currently living on a $2K budget (This way it wonít hurt as much when my full pay goes away):
House Taxes-----------------$333
House Insurance-------------$70
Car Insurance----------------$53
Food (And all toiletries)-----$300
Phone-------------------------$75
Electric------------------------$75
Heating Gas------------------$60
Water-------------------------$40
Trash--------------------------$15
Net/Cable--------------------$114
Gas----------------------------$60
Travel Fund------------------$100
Emergency Fund-------------$150
Total--------------------------$1445
Left over from ($2K)---------$555

Assets:
House (Paid off)-------------------------------$170-180K
TSP----------------------------------------------$50K
Roth IRA-----------------------------------------$30K
Emergency Fund--------------------------------$10K
2012 Car (Paid off) (65K Od/34 MPGís)-------$10K

I have plans in the spring to sell my house. After itís sold I will take a sabbatical to travel and see friends and Family. Hereís where I need your help. I donít have a Wife or Kids. My Family lives on the East Coast (But donít plan on going back to the East Coast) and I have a Sister that lives in Austin and friends in Arizona. I donít really have just one place calling me so here are some plans I came up with.

Plan#1: Buy a small house (For a home base). Pay cash from the proceeds from the sale of the current house. I would look for something around $130K or below and invest the other $40ish. Iím thinking about Galveston or Freeport TX. Texas is good for me because they donít tax my retirement pay. I considered Austin too but I think it will be too expensive. If I go the house route then I will rent for a couple of months first to be sure I like the area. This option should bring down my house taxes and free up a little more money to travel but it will be on a budget. This option has my total investments at $120K

Plan#2: Sell house, sell car, then buy a truck and RV (probably a 20-25ft toy hauler). Iíll keep the cost for both under $35K. This leaves $135K to invest for a total of $215K. I think I would be able to full time RV with a budget of $2K. This option would be better if I had a travel buddy. I think I would try to get Friends/Family to come join me at times. I can also park it at my Dadís place for a few months with no charge.  I would do this until I find a place that I can call home.

Plan#3: Sell house and use all proceeds to invest total investment at $250K. Then slow travel the US. I would use my car w/ bike rack for two (Road/Mountain). Stay with friends and Family for a week or two and move on. I would also try new Cities by renting lower end vacation homes a month at a time.

Plan#4: Facepunch myself because I donít have enough assets yet and go get a J.O.B.

Plan#5: Enter your own option!

More on why Iím thinking about Galveston/Freeport area:
Proís: Like the water, fishing, boating, diving, hot climate, tax free for vets, low COL, very central for splitting time between the West/East Coast, I might try to make some side money doing dive master or fishing work.
Conís: Hurricanes, Humidity, Sharks, wonder if some of the Houston crime would spill over to that area, 
Other places I consider: Tucson, Flagstaff, Tempe, Colorado, WV (around the New River), Salt Lake City, and Savanah GA.
Please add suggestions if you think it would be a fit for me.

deborah

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 02:03:20 PM »
I like plan #3 the most - it doesn't commit you to staying in that lifestyle, and you probably need a few months off as a sabbatical to work out what you really want to do and where you want to stay. If you decide that the roving life is for you, you can then buy the RV.

oldladystache

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 02:15:58 PM »
I like plan #3 the most - it doesn't commit you to staying in that lifestyle, and you probably need a few months off as a sabbatical to work out what you really want to do and where you want to stay. If you decide that the roving life is for you, you can then buy the RV.

I like 3 also, for the same reasons. You can try out different places and decide if you really like them as much as you expected.

chasesfish

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 02:26:08 PM »
What an awesome place to be in and I hope you're ready for the adventure. 

I like #3.  Have you considered talking to your sister and seeing if you can use her address as your "residence"?  You can have that as your home base and someone you trust to get the few pieces of regular mail that still show up.    You can invest the proceeds of the house and draw another 10k off your savings per year in perpetuity, so that brings your retirement "pay" to around $2,700/mo.  That's not an astronomical number to have without a home, but its not chump change either. 

I really like the idea of friends, family, and using lower end vacation rentals to go try every single place you listed on those places you want to visit.  Who knows who you might meet and what opportunity may come up for hobby work or a significant other. 

One thing I'd recommend is trying to hook up on some seasonal tourism work enjoying the water as a way to partially fund exploring the US.  Alaska in the summer, ski resorts/Florida/Hawaii in the winter.   Again, some place may just stick for you.

 

Argyle

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 02:42:28 PM »
Another vote for Plan 3.

DollarBill

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 03:52:06 PM »
Wow plan#3 is really popular. I've always thought I would choose the RV plan but recently found a web site for vacation homes. I had a friend wanting to go on a vacation but all of their idea's were over the top and I tried to find something that wasn't a jab to the gut.
http://www.vacationrentals.com/
I think I would need to stay under the $1000 per month. Cook my food there but should still have enough for fun money. As long as I stay away from the tourist traps I should be good. Well except I might spurge on this one in Key West.
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/3765198ha.html?promoType=none

I also thought about doing all this by motorcycle but decided I don't trust other drivers enough. I've been thinking about the seasonal work like adventure touring, biking, hiking, white water. That would be fun and I think a lot of those places give you a place to stay...don't know about food.

If I do this I won't touch the stache and I will still try to add to it. If I start digging into it I'll go back to work. What would be great is if I can find someone along the way that can join me (Share the cost). I doubt it will be any of my current friends, they're all broke. Both my Mom and Dad are retired so I'll pull them along at times.

yyc-phil

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 04:08:58 PM »
Plan #3 sounds like a good plan. I don't want to go into the personal aspects of your life, but you said you have no wife and no kids, what about having a like-minded girlfriend who can share those carefree years and the open road ahead of you?

boarder42

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2014, 04:24:50 PM »
i'm considering plan 3 for when my wife and i retire in 7-8 years.  we have no kids either.  seems to be a perfect fit if you like to travel. 

Check out gocurrycracker.com  they have budgets and have been doing the slow travel for 2-3 years now

DollarBill

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2014, 04:36:50 PM »
Plan #3 sounds like a good plan. I don't want to go into the personal aspects of your life, but you said you have no wife and no kids, what about having a like-minded girlfriend who can share those carefree years and the open road ahead of you?

I've been doing the loner thing for a while. I was hurt bad in a divorce and since I've moved around a lot from being in the military I've just wanted to wait until after I got out. I did date some one a while back but ended it because of selfish reasons, would love to re-kindle that one. I currently have an open mind and would like to meet someone who is compatible but I don't go out of my way searching.

yyc-phil

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2014, 05:47:32 PM »
Plan #3 sounds like a good plan. I don't want to go into the personal aspects of your life, but you said you have no wife and no kids, what about having a like-minded girlfriend who can share those carefree years and the open road ahead of you?

I've been doing the loner thing for a while. I was hurt bad in a divorce and since I've moved around a lot from being in the military I've just wanted to wait until after I got out. I did date some one a while back but ended it because of selfish reasons, would love to re-kindle that one. I currently have an open mind and would like to meet someone who is compatible but I don't go out of my way searching.

I wish you the best. After a bad marriage, I was so desperate to find a companion that I dove blindly and head-first into another bad relationship, with similar bad results. After that, I practically gave up looking for the right companion, opting instead for a hedonistic lifestyle, but I finally found her at a time and place I never expected.   

Catbert

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2014, 05:55:29 PM »
#3 is my thought also partly because it gives you the most flexibility to change your mind and lifestyle.  You can rent a lot of motel rooms and vacation rentals for the cost of an RV - plus you don't have to worry about them breaking down or depreciating. 

ch12

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2014, 06:07:11 PM »
Check out gocurrycracker.com  they have budgets and have been doing the slow travel for 2-3 years now

3 seems to be the overwhelmingly popular option, possibly because it's what almost all of us would do in your situation.

I'd actually be likely to choose option 1 after a while of option 3, but the virtue of option 3 is that it still helps you with 1 without a house keeping you hooked to one spot.

boarder42

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2014, 06:46:26 PM »
checkout mindmyhouse.com and housesittersamerica.com 

for 50 bucks a year you can register at these 2 places.  and then you can go live for free in someone's house for a certain length of time.  Super legit i just stumbled onto this.  You may have to take care of a pet. or mow the lawn(which you could outsource for 50 bucks a week)  still cheaper than renting a home

DollarBill

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2014, 07:20:31 PM »
Quote
I wish you the best. After a bad marriage, I was so desperate to find a companion that I dove blindly and head-first into another bad relationship, with similar bad results. After that, I practically gave up looking for the right companion, opting instead for a hedonistic lifestyle, but I finally found her at a time and place I never expected.
I won't give up hope, I still dream about it.

#3 is my thought also partly because it gives you the most flexibility to change your mind and lifestyle.  You can rent a lot of motel rooms and vacation rentals for the cost of an RV - plus you don't have to worry about them breaking down or depreciating. 
My Dad says the same thing. Enter the price of truck, RV and parking cost...that's a lot of hotels or rent! Just to park your RV is $20-50 bucks a day.

I have seen the house sitting sights. I will look into it but I'm guessing it would be hard to be welcomed into it.

Do any of you have a different way to slow travel? I feel if I work a few more years I would have zero problems but want to do it sooner.


NinetyFour

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2014, 07:30:04 PM »
I would choose option 2.5

I would not buy an RV, but rather a pick up truck with a slide in camper.  This is what I plan to purchase sometime in the next 8 years.  It will allow me to travel fairly cheaply in the US (and Canada and Mexico, if I choose to spend time there).

With this kind of a setup, you could still stay in hotels now and then, and there are lots of places (BLM land, for example) where you would not need to pay in order to camp.

deborah

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2014, 08:03:08 PM »
I would choose option 2.5

I would not buy an RV, but rather a pick up truck with a slide in camper.  This is what I plan to purchase sometime in the next 8 years.  It will allow me to travel fairly cheaply in the US (and Canada and Mexico, if I choose to spend time there).

With this kind of a setup, you could still stay in hotels now and then, and there are lots of places (BLM land, for example) where you would not need to pay in order to camp.
If you get a tent, you can do this with option 3 a bit (depends on what you can put up with). I see option 3 as being something anyone could do for a couple of months (or longer) while they find out what they really want to do. Having just come out from the army, it gives some time to just think about things - slowly, with no pressure.

Nords

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2014, 08:43:00 PM »
I think a combination of #2 and #3 would work out great.  The most important factor is giving yourself the flexibility and the "permission" to change the rules every few months... or at least twice a decade.

Every full-time RV'er on Early-Retirement.org has seemed to last for five years or less-- even Dory36 (boating) and Audrey (Class A RV).  It's not that they wimp out or get bored but rather that they find a place where they'd like to spend more time.  They might never have planned to RV for decades, and when you full-time RV in a thoughtful manner it can be as cost-effective as being a homeowner.  REWahoo seems to have the RV routine figured out-- a long wandering trip (or two) every year with shorter trips to see family/friends.  Martha also has a great RV summer-north winter-south routine along the routes between Minnesota and Texas.  I think she has a home base in MN and spends 10-11 months of the year on the road yet will remain in one area for weeks at a time.

You could start out with either #2 or #3 and do it for as long as you're having fun, then settle in somewhere for a few months.  VRBO and AirBNB will give you plenty of opportunities.  Armed Forces Vacation Club (http://www.afvclub.com/) could lead to other longer-term rentals.  You might also be an ideal housesitter (like this discounted offer from Billy & Akaisha Kaderli:  http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/trustedhousesitters.htm).  You'd be surprised at how many places will let you rent month-to-month instead of annually.

As you get more experience with your retirement budget, I think you'll decide that you have enough money.  #4 might be reserved for interesting projects or entrepreneurial opportunities... or only if you gave up on being responsible for your own entertainment.  I don't see the latter as being an issue.

I don't think I'll ever have a reason to go to Houston again, but I'm intrigued by the area between Galveston and Houston.  If you wander east from Austin, the real estate might get cheaper as you get closer to Fort Hood.  Darrow Kirkpatrick and his spouse traveled the country for months (in a camper van!) before choosing Santa Fe.  It was fun talking with him at FinCon13 because he had already written this post:
http://www.caniretireyet.com/ideal-retirement-location/
and he and his spouse were about to make the big decision:
http://www.caniretireyet.com/moving-west-part-1/

Hawaii fits many of the pros that you've listed for the Gulf Coast, and as a military retiree you can hop on a Space-A flight.  Your pros also might work for areas in the southeast coast or in southern CA.

DollarBill

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2014, 06:06:09 PM »
Good info! I liked the Darrow Kirkpatrick story. I will add some new cities to my list. I'm sure I will do a combo of things to travel and will think of more ways to do it cheaper. I really like the idea of AirBNB. In certain area's they could make great money. I think it would rock to stay with them and get the inside scoop on the area, plus I won't feel like such a loner. I saw one that they had two dogs and that you would have to take care of the dogs if they were gone...heck I would love that!! What a great concept but your relying on the people you rent to which would be scary.

arebelspy

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2014, 11:49:40 PM »
I vote number 2 for awhile, followed by number 3.

You might also be an ideal housesitter (like this discounted offer from Billy & Akaisha Kaderli:  http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/trustedhousesitters.htm).

Do you know anyone that has used that site (trustedhousesitters) Billy and Akaisha are linking to? I hate signing up for memberships on sites like that that always seem like a scam...

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

boarder42

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2014, 05:20:20 AM »
that one seems scammier than the other 2 i posted.  8 bucks a month vs 20 for the year

arebelspy

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2014, 09:49:36 AM »
that one seems scammier than the other 2 i posted.  8 bucks a month vs 20 for the year

I don't think the cost determines whether or not it's a scam. But I am curious if anyone has used that site or either of the other two you've linked successfully.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Nords

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2014, 02:48:33 PM »
I vote number 2 for awhile, followed by number 3.
You might also be an ideal housesitter (like this discounted offer from Billy & Akaisha Kaderli:  http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/trustedhousesitters.htm).
Do you know anyone that has used that site (trustedhousesitters) Billy and Akaisha are linking to? I hate signing up for memberships on sites like that that always seem like a scam...
that one seems scammier than the other 2 i posted.  8 bucks a month vs 20 for the year
I don't think the cost determines whether or not it's a scam. But I am curious if anyone has used that site or either of the other two you've linked successfully.
Billy & Akaisha mention discounts and other deals because they have a couple hundred thousand people visit their site every month.  They check out the business from their end, of course, but more importantly if it turned out to be a scam there'd be a lot of unhappy readers complaining about it back on their site. 

I think the site fees keep away the people who would try to scam or steal.  It's not as big as AirBnB or VRBO, but there's still the potential for problems.

For example, Sydney Lagier posted about a Home Exchange swap:
http://retiredsyd.typepad.com/retirement_a_fulltime_job/2011/09/intro-to-the-home-exchange-vacation.html
and she's used them a few times.  That's simply her experience with one particular owner (through the site).

lpep

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2014, 11:45:19 PM »
If you're looking for free rent, I can recommend WWOOFing! You trade your work on an organic farm or garden for accommodation and food, usually working about 5-6 hours/day doing interesting things! I WWOOFed for two months around the UK, and it's a very fun thing to do, you pay only for travel and fun.

BUT - and this is a big but - places vary widely in living conditions, type of work, hours you work, quality of food... 3/4 places I went were great (1 of those was absolutely phenomenal), and 1 was really sub-par. But there's no obligation, so you can move around as much as you want while learning a new skill.

barbaroja

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Re: Help me pick a travel plan
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2014, 08:44:10 PM »
My wife and I enjoyed a 5 month House Sitting adventure thru Australia and New Zealand this past winter.  We signed up with trustedhousesitters.com (using the discount code from Billy & Akaisha's web site) as well as HouseCarers.com and KiwiHouseSitters.com.  Each site has its quirks but I would not call any of them scams.  Each membership cost us about $50 but we managed to piece together 5 great house sits and live rent free during our stay.   Anyone who has been down under recently can tell you how expensive it can be to live there.  We got to stay in 5 great places and most included use of a vehicle (some with bikes!).  Now we know some great people down under and look forward to a return visit in the future.