Sunday, August 8, 2010
As long as I can remember I've been thinking about getting a motor home when I retire, but it was only this year that I found out people actually LIVE in their motor homes. On Mother's day I visited my daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren, and they had just purchased a pop-up trailer to take camping and were awaiting delivery. We went to a few RV dealerships and looked at some rigs, and I was sold. Figuratively speaking.
From that day on, I've been using most of my free time researching what was available, reading tons of blogs and forums, and creating file after file of "cut and paste" info. Really exciting stuff. That was May 9, and it's now August 8 - three months. It was through reading the RVing blogs and forums that I discovered fulltiming and realized how perfect it would be for me when I retire in a couple of years. Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, socially and financially it fits who I am.
I’ve always thought I was “different” from most people because I love to move. Every two or three years, I’d sell my house, quit my job, and move. Buy another house, get another job and settle in for a few more years. I’ve always lived in California. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and as an adult I’ve lived in the San Jose area in multiple places, then to the Western slope of the Sierras in a couple of houses, next the Sacramento area, then the Central Valley, San Diego, back to the Sierras, and now in the San Diego area again.
I’ve lived in 20 places since I left home be on my own at 19. I want to live in the mountains, at the beach, in the city... wherever I am, after a while I want to be in a different environment. Now I know – I have Gypsy blood. Like lots of other people, I just didn’t know any of them. Everyone I know, family and friends, are more “growing roots” kind of people. As an adult, I’ve live in more houses than my parents, brother and sister combined. Living in a house on wheels is perfect for someone like me.
Unfortunately, this time I can’t move because of the housing market. I can’t sell until my house is at least worth my mortgage. I won’t get the 20%+ back that I put down, but if I can at least walk away with the mortgage paid off, I’ll do it. I’m hoping to have enough saved, and with my Social Security that will start in five months, will do fine fulltiming. My needs are few. If that doesn't work, I'll rent out my condo until it appreciates enough.
Starting this year, instead of receiving a raise I’m working full time four days a week, with Fridays and weekends off. I'm loving that! I still do the same work, but in four days instead of five and it’s working for me and my employer.
My main goal right now is to save as much money as I can, pay down my debts as soon as possible, and choose which RV I want. In January I'll start collecting Social Security, and that will be applied to credit cards until they are gone.
Today I went through the house and boxed up items I’ve purchased from Costco and not used, and returned them, to the tune of $700! I felt so good about that. I have started getting together some things I don’t use, don’t need, don’t want – it’s amazing what you find when you go through closets and cupboards and drawers. I don’t use most of what I have, and my needs are so much simpler in my 60’s than they were when I was younger. So, Craigs List and E-Bay, here I come! I’m putting everything I make from the sales on credit cards or in savings.
I’ve followed a few different people/couples who started their blogs at the beginning, before they purchased their RV and sold their house. I SO felt for them, the stress, uncertainty, and hard work that went with downsizing to this extent, and completely changing their lifestyles. Now they are all on the road, enjoying their fulltiming lifestyles and not looking back. I knew the same thing was in my future, and it helped to have a blueprint of sorts. I’m sure there are lots of people right now, right where I am, just at the beginning.
Posted by Barbara D at 5:49 PM