Monday, September 18, 2017

Preparing to retire early and Travel in the RV full time

This is the first article in a series of preparing for full-time RV life.
Well, retiring at 62 is that really early? Who the heck wants to wait until 70 to retire, I want to have fun and enjoyment now while I can.
I'm sure Thomas, our miniature dachshund, will enjoy having us full-time.
To live full-time in the RV means we would need to sell the house and get rid of almost everything that we own so we can scale down to live in the trailer.  We are scaling back from a 2600 sq. ft home to a 30 ft travel trailer. Do we keep some of our furniture and put it in storage in case we decide to come off the road? Is it worth it paying for storage? Then we need to apply for social security retirement money. What do we do about health care for me because I would only be 62?  Should I chance not having health insurance and hope I don't get sick? Maybe I should establish residency in a state that has lower health care costs. What about voting? Where do I get mail? What about income tax and sales tax, drivers licenses, auto registration, auto insurance? What state has the best deal overall?
Do we use the money from the sale of the house to pay off bills or do we try and conserve the cash and pay down the bills as we go? Both my wife and I will be collecting Social Security benefits early, but she's closer to the full retirement age than I am. So we will have income from Social Security and perhaps we can make some extra money while on the road to help supplement it.
So the plan is, after taking care of all these miscellaneous items, to travel in our current travel trailer for one year. If we decide that we like it then we will upgrade to a 5th wheel. The trailer is set up with 300 Watts of solar panels on the roof so we should have plenty of power while boondocking. We also have a 1000 Watt pure sine wave inverter to run all the electronics. The plan is to boondock for five or six days at a time and then one day at an RV park. That should help reduce our living expenses quite a bit. Certainly not having a mortgage payment and utility bills anymore will save a lot of money each month. It's certainly a lot of things to consider and to prepare for.

So the smaller items, we will try and sell on eBay and then the rest of stuff try and sell in yard sales. We will have to do a couple yard sales until it is all gone.
So in preparation for all this, we purchased a new truck that has better towing capabilities than our previous one.  We had a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 truck and now we have a Chevy Silverado one-ton truck.  I decided to go with the gas 3500 because I can't justify the cost increase for the diesel.  Also, only 50% of the gas stations across the country carry diesel so it's a lot more convenient using a gas truck.
We switched our cell phone carriers from Sprint to Verizon because Verizon has much better coverage which will be important when we start traveling. Having unlimited internet access will be important because we watch a lot of YouTube, Hulu, and Vudu.
I'm sure this is going to be a lot of fun but it's also kind of scary.
Our preparations begin now. They say you need to have a date set to commit to, or it may never happen, so we need to have all tasks completed by June 2018. The clock is running! I will write updates as we plan and discover new ideas on how to do this.
If you have any thoughts or ideas that will help as we move forward, please feel free to comment.
Watch for my next article on why I decided on the truck that we bought.
Until next time, happy camping!


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