Author Topic: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement  (Read 3588 times)

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1774
Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« on: April 03, 2014, 07:23:22 AM »
One of the biggest budget items people have is their home.  Not only do you have a decent chunk of money tied up in the equity, but the real estate taxes and insurance are unavoidable (and real estate taxes are only going to increase as states and local governments *solve* their budget problems).

We plan to strike the home off the budget list by not having one.  We are making our own RV from scratch and plan to camp out on public lands during part of the year, much like RV Sue and her Canine Crew.

One of the things I have noticed living in Seattle is I really appreciate the summers compared to when we lived in the southern USA.  I also appreciate a sunny day more after two months of drizzle.

Based on this theory that you will actually enjoy comfort more if you are not always comfortable, we are thinking of varying our lifestyle each year, with 8 or 9 months of *roughing it* and 3 or 4 months of vacation style living.

On a $40,000 budget we may spend $2,000 a month for eight months while boondocking and then spend $6,000 a month for four months renting a nice waterfront house in the Florida Keys.  Or spend 9 months boondocking at $2000 a month and $7500 a month in Costa Rica for three months.

I guess you could call this vacationing, but in the past when we have taken a vacation there was always the worry of leaving our home vacant, keeping it maintained, paying taxes and insurance when you are not using it, etc.  In our plan we have everything with us and drive to the new area where we would be renting (preferably that has a place to park our RV, but we could put it in long term storage and cut the insurance back to just damage and theft which is only a few dollars a month).

Is this pretty common or fairly radical?

Prairie Stash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1764
Re: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 07:40:18 AM »
Not uncommon. There's an estimated 500,000 Canadians who winter in Florida. Arizona is also quite popular. During the recent house sale several people bought houses, they were just so cheap.

As for driving, I know people who use to. As age took its toll they were forced to stop. They had their primary home in Canada, lived in a RV in the south. The thought was you don't need much house where it's warm.

Others just rent on both ends.

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1774
Re: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 07:45:23 AM »
Not uncommon. There's an estimated 500,000 Canadians who winter in Florida. Arizona is also quite popular. During the recent house sale several people bought houses, they were just so cheap.

As for driving, I know people who use to. As age took its toll they were forced to stop. They had their primary home in Canada, lived in a RV in the south. The thought was you don't need much house where it's warm.

Others just rent on both ends.

I know snowbirding is quite common but I think most of them keep a primary home, so their expenses just go from high to very high.

I think we could live on as little as $1500 a month, which would leave a lot of meat on a $40,000 budget.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 11:00:53 AM »
I like having a "home base" to return to, since I have family here and the summers are nice. We're quite a few years from FI but I do want to devote a substantial amount of time to some form of slow travel.

The DW likes hiking. We haven't tried backpacking yet, but maybe we'd do long thru-hikes like the AT. If she gets into biking, then there's all sorts of cool bike tours to do.

RV is another option but also slightly more expensive to operate.

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1774
Re: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 11:11:30 AM »
Backpacking is great.  We have done the West Coast trail on Vancouver Island, BC as well as the Kalalau trail in Kauai, Hawaii  (plus a lot of other weekend backpacking trips in the local mountains in the PNW.  I have not done any of the AT yet.

I don't think RVs need be super expensive.  RV Sue manages to live on just SS of about $1200 a month (actually I think she saves some of that each month).  If you don't have a home base and the associated $1000 to $1500 month costs with that, then the RV starts to look more attractive.  Even spending $500 a month on fuel and $300 a month on vehicle maintenance puts you ahead of the game in most budgets.  The trick is to take advantage of all of the free camping in the western USA, which has the added benefit of avoided the crowded, noisy RV parks anyway.

Still, living your whole retirement in a small box out in the desert or woods might get old, but if it is balanced by staying in a beach condo in Costa Rica for three out of twelve months then it may be great.


rescuedog

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 11:32:00 AM »
If renting a condo or something is part of the idea, you could also look into house sitting job like this couple did in ER: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/profile.htm

I even checked it out: http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/house-and-pet-sitting-assignments/#?sortby=add

They mostly house sit in other countries, but they have had some big villas to house sit!  Not a style for everyone (jumping house rental to house rental), but it might be fun for a while!

My H's uncle lives in an RV in the winter in AZ.  This 72 year old is on Facebook and man is he having fun.  He's quite the social butterfly and very active in hiking and dirt biking.  But they do return home to a house in the summer.

You could consider house sitting out your house if you're worried about it just sitting unoccupied.

netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: Thinking of trying a rain/sunshine retirement
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 12:24:20 PM »
That sounds CRAZY doable to me.  $2000/month?  I live off $1875/mo, and that's renting a $750/mo apartment with high energy bills.