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Old 10-02-2015, 03:09 AM   #1
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Cool Planning early retirement. Keep a home or not?

Hey Everyone! I haven't purchased my RV yet. I'm a Fireman with about 10 yrs. until retirement. Last kid just left the nest. For the last 20 yrs. I have watched while my Brethren in the fire service stay working far past the time when they could retire only to get cancer or have a heart attack soon after they finally do retire. I don't want to be that guy. My wife is a Nurse and when I retire I'll be 56 and we will both have retirement insurance (only reason I'm not getting out at 51) so I really want to live Full Time in a motor home. I'm really wanting insight from the experienced. My wife wants to keep our home in AK and travel but always have a home base. However I want to keep working on it until I retire and sell our home and have a high end motor home, a vehicle all paid off and around 750k sitting in the bank for safety net. Has anyone on here done this? Life is just to short and I need to plan and have a goal to that "Toes in the Water, ass in the sand " stage of life while we can still enjoy it! The high end motor homes to me are nicer than most homes and a heck of a lot less work. It's not like I'm asking her to live like cousin Eddie. Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:15 AM   #2
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Howdy and welcome HoseDragger!

Your line of thought is reasonably common in the fulltimer groups. I certainly don't think it's crazy but much of the world does - be prepared for that. I've already sold my S&B home and nearly all my junk and am a fulltimer (though this isn't my final goal). However; I'm still working (on the road, via the Internet). The goal is the same, live as frugally as is reasonable/comfortable, save every dime possible, retire early, and do what I want to do with my last twenty or twenty-five years (or less, who knows).

I have similar observations as you and I have a number of older friends. They all say the same thing - the golden years aren't so golden and do it now, while you can. I read a statistic that said only 25% of the population lives to age 65. Of that number, some small percentage (I don't recall what it was) has the financial means and health to do whatever it is they said they wanted to do in retirement. I don't know if that stat is accurate but it sure matches my observations. A couple years ago (while still owning a S&B home) I was sitting in a barber shop contemplating what I should do. An older fellow hobbles in and sits down next to me. He was obviously in very poor health. He looked at me and said, "whatever you are thinking about doing, do it now." I just about fell out of my chair.

The details of this plan vary from person to person - we are all different. Often times we think we need much more than we really do. Of course, we cannot predict the future (big mechanical problems, big medical bills, or ???). I don't believe anyone can say that you need a MH of X class or Y cost or even how much money you need in the bank. This may be the biggest stumbling block for people - there is no set recipe for how to accomplish this goal.
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Old 10-02-2015, 11:46 AM   #3
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You may want to keep your home for a year or so to be sure full timing is really for the both of you. If you use the home as hub for you travels, you will be able to keep the home pristine to be able to sell if you both agree. If you think that you will never want to return to this home when you no longer travel, you may want to sell and invest the money which should appreciate. A motor home investment will always depreciate at the rate of 20% first year and 10% of the balance each year thereafter or about so. Motor homes are not good investment if you are expecting a good return.
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:09 PM   #4
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Planning early retirement. Keep a home or not?

Just do it!
We sold the house and hit the road while we still are able. Now on year 4!
The freedom to wander and no worries about the house are magical. Just imagine the things that will never touch your hands again: snow shovel, lawn mower, paint brush, real estate tax bill....
Have fun now, we will all be dead long enough.
And may the Journey be Your Destination!
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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We considered selling out and just get out on the road. Then my wife's health took a down turn and we are so thankful now that we kept the house and property. You never know what the future will bring. We still try to get out as often as things will allow, but it is great reassurance to have something/some place to come home to.


If we are lucky, we all will get old one day. Some of us are not as lucky as others and have health issues. All of us in the first category will get too old to travel and drive one of these day.


Not a choice to make rapidly and without a lot of thought and considerations
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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I am not a financial consultant and this is simply my opinion.
If you full time and plan on selling your house you need to make sure you have an exit plan. A MH is a depreciating asset. No matter how well you take care of it or add to it, its value will go down over the years. As you know there are no gaurentes in life, you never know what tomorrow might bring. You want to be in a position to go back to a house in a relatively short period of time. If all of you money is tied up in the MH you could be in trouble.
Not putting some the money from the sale of your house into an appreciating investment but putting that money into a depreciating MH may not make sense. Talk to a professional financial advisor, not an insurance salesman, and determine what best for you. Perhaps putting enough down to keep ahead of the depreciation might be the best plan. Worst case scenario is you could buy another house with cash on hand and sell the MH for what is owed.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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I just bought my first coach and have a plan to be a full timer in about 4 years if everything goes as expected (for now) My boss just retired and he has been a RV'er for along time. He got me really interested in it and thinking of buying. He retired in April and all along planned to go full time. Sold everything and consolidated all material and assets. He has a Monaco and loves it. His wife has some health issues and actually is spending sometime in a facility in texas. He just packed up and took her to the best facility he could and booked a long term stay at a nice park. There are obviously many ways to handle different situations but I see no big concern when it comes to living full time out of a nice coach. it actually gives you extra options when it comes to care facilities and treatment programs. You can always find a long term park just about anywhere nowadays and become semi-stationary. I look forward to the future and will do all I can to move towards full time RV'ing. Good Luck
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Old 10-02-2015, 02:34 PM   #8
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Take a close look at your medical insurance that you will have. Does it cover you if you are out of state? If it does great. I'm in the camp of keeping a home base but then I like where I live, like my friends, and like playing my golf course. Plus I know the wife would not want to live in 250 sq feet all the time, but then neither would I.
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:11 PM   #9
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you may want to buy a rv now to test the waters on weekends and vacation's .
some people take to it like ducks to water and others can not take the closeness and 400 sq ft of living space. better to find out now than later.
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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I retired at 53 after I had triple bypass. I changed my thinking from "how long can I keep working to amass as much as possible" to "how long to I have to work to have enough to maintain my lifestyle". I wish you the best and thanks for running into burning buildings to help others.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:45 PM   #11
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None of us know how many heartbeats we have been allocated. If it feels right and its what you think best - i say "just-do-it". We did it. 56.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoseDragger View Post
Hey Everyone! I haven't purchased my RV yet. I'm a Fireman with about 10 yrs. until retirement. Last kid just left the nest. For the last 20 yrs. I have watched while my Brethren in the fire service stay working far past the time when they could retire only to get cancer or have a heart attack soon after they finally do retire. I don't want to be that guy. My wife is a Nurse and when I retire I'll be 56 and we will both have retirement insurance (only reason I'm not getting out at 51) so I really want to live Full Time in a motor home. I'm really wanting insight from the experienced. My wife wants to keep our home in AK and travel but always have a home base. However I want to keep working on it until I retire and sell our home and have a high end motor home, a vehicle all paid off and around 750k sitting in the bank for safety net. Has anyone on here done this? Life is just to short and I need to plan and have a goal to that "Toes in the Water, ass in the sand " stage of life while we can still enjoy it! The high end motor homes to me are nicer than most homes and a heck of a lot less work. It's not like I'm asking her to live like cousin Eddie. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Do it!!
I retired in 1999 at 51 then went to IT contracting while waiting for the DW to retire. In 2008 her daughter died and left us with two grandkids to raise, so she canceled her retirement. The oldest has left but the youngest is still with us for a couple more years.
We have the high end MH, over half a mil in an annuity and cash, two retirements and two SS's
Now the DW has liver cancer so we will probably never get to enjoy what we worked for all those years.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoseDragger View Post
Hey Everyone! I haven't purchased my RV yet. I'm a Fireman with about 10 yrs. until retirement. Last kid just left the nest. For the last 20 yrs. I have watched while my Brethren in the fire service stay working far past the time when they could retire only to get cancer or have a heart attack soon after they finally do retire. I don't want to be that guy. My wife is a Nurse and when I retire I'll be 56 and we will both have retirement insurance (only reason I'm not getting out at 51) so I really want to live Full Time in a motor home. I'm really wanting insight from the experienced. My wife wants to keep our home in AK and travel but always have a home base. However I want to keep working on it until I retire and sell our home and have a high end motor home, a vehicle all paid off and around 750k sitting in the bank for safety net. Has anyone on here done this? Life is just to short and I need to plan and have a goal to that "Toes in the Water, ass in the sand " stage of life while we can still enjoy it! The high end motor homes to me are nicer than most homes and a heck of a lot less work. It's not like I'm asking her to live like cousin Eddie. Thanks in advance for your advice.
What do you want to do when you come off the road? If it's settle down back in AK then consider buying a piece of land you plan on retiring on to and build a barn that you can put the MH in. That gives you a place to store some stuff and go back to and locate at while you build a house down the road. OTOH if you want to relocate to a warmer spot as you slow down then figure out how you want to break all your ownership ties.

FWIW I'd rather have a good MH and money in the bank than a fancy one and no money. All that glitz adds to the upkeep and failure rate.
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:28 PM   #14
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Since your home is in Alaska you'll probably be traveling during the winter months. Do you feel o.k. with letting your home sit unoccupied all winter? Would you always return during the summer?

Also, do you really want to spend your last years in Alaska? Is your house small enough that you wouldn't have much upkeep? Think it out carefully. Everyone is different.

Ourselves, we lived in Michigan and when we got downsized in our early 50's we knew we wanted to travel, not sit at home. We also knew we definitely did not want to spend our later years in that cold climate with that 2500 sq ft house. So for us, we sold it and all our belongings and never regretted it for a minute.

During full-timing we dealt with medical issues, surgeries and even cancer. You never know what's in store for you but it can all be dealt with very easily in a RV. You can go to the best facilities in the country and recoup in a small space which is perfect. Physical therapists or nurses aides will even come to visit you in your RV.

After traveling constantly for 16 years we found the perfect place for us and it was one where we never dreamed we'd settle. It's in a very active 55+ community and we'd still young enough to enjoy all the activities. It's small - 1100 sq ft and came completely furnished with excellent furnishings to match the area. Our old furniture would have never looked right in this house. We have so many excellent medical facilities nearby and 23 couples that we met while full-timing settled here so we have an instant 'family' who helps one another. Our kids didn't even stay in Michigan so if we would have kept the house they wouldn't have even been there. People are very mobile nowadays. Plus, the house would have demanded too much upkeep for us.

As for as having an exit plan, ours was just investing the sale of our house. It worked out perfectly.

One thing though, I wouldn't advise you to purchase your first RV with the best that's out there. Give it a little time to learn how you will be RVing and what your needs are. We became minimalists and it's so much easier and makes it worry-free.

Finally, don't try to force your wife into something she's not 100%. It will never work.
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