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Old 01-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
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Opinions - Unreasonable for Full-Timing?

Hi All,

Been a long time since I posted but would like all and any advise on full-timeing. Please do not hold back I need to hear the pitfalls.

I have decided to retire in May and live in my 1965 Globetrotter. My plan is as follows:

Move back to Florida and establish residency (I have a physical address), but park my AS at Top of Georgia AS Park and reside there over the summer months enjoying the mountains, motorcycling, canoeing, and photography. I also have access to a cabin in Blueridge Ga, if I need to get away from trailer

In the winter months I will move aboard my small sailboat and sail the keys and the Bahamas, leaving the AS stored in Georgia.

I am single but have family in the SouthEast. I will have no bills save for liability insurance on truck (Honda Ridgeline, AS, and boat). I will switch to a prepay phone.

I am retired Navy with a pension and my healthcare is basically free, 57 in good shape, non smoker and very light social drinker. I am very laid back and play well with others and accept folks as they are.

So I guess my question is for those that are full-timing in basically one place, can this be accomplished on $1500 to $2000/month or is that unreasonable? The numbers seem to work out, but since my income will be dramatically reduced it is a bit unnerving.

I guess I am really looking for reassurance, or not, as this is a big life-stye change, but it is something I want to do. I know, I know--just do it.


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Old 01-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
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I would think food, rent, repairs/maintenance on vehicles, heating/cooling, and possibly health care costs (I am retired Navy and needed a supplement insurance until age 65 Medicare) will leave you little to enjoy other things. Maybe you have a some savings?

Difficult to answer the question though. Everyone's different, some do well on almost nothing after living costs, some are miserable. Some can stretch their money and there are many ways to do it. Learning these skills can help.

Forget "just do it", that's only a logo for high-priced sports shoes. "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" is not an answer either. You need a good plan.

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Old 01-03-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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I'm not much of a "just do it" person, but neither am I the sort to allow planning to paralyze me. I assume you've crunched the numbers and know how much discretionary funds you'll end up with, have allowed for savings for emergencies (repairs, replacing worn out or broken bits, etc.) and know what your bills will be.

I know that budget would be possible for me, certainly (since it's very similar to the amount I'm working with), but don't know about your expenses and lifestyle to know if it's possible for you.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:40 PM   #4
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Here is a link to this type discussion on the Escapees forum which is an organization for fulltimers.

What do you consider to be a minimum budget? - Escapees Discussion Forum

You can also do a search on the Escapess forum for budget and you will get many threads as this has been discussed many times.

The low end is $12,000 to $18,000 per year. Not many have a budget at this level but some do. Many live on a budget in the $20,000 to $36,000 per year.

There are also some who say they can't make it on $70,000 per year. So it comes down to each individual's lifestyle. What works for one won't work for another. The same goes for the size of RV. Some people fulltime in under 25' while others say that a 40' motorhome is too small.

Anything can be done (especially if you have health insurance covered) but is it a lifestyle you will enjoy? Only you can answer this.

Good Luck.

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zeta View Post
Hi All,

reside there over the summer months enjoying the mountains, motorcycling, canoeing, and photography. I also have access to a cabin in Blueridge Ga, if I need to get away from trailer

In the winter months I will move aboard my small sailboat and sail the keys and the Bahamas,
Um, a lot of people would kill for such a lifestyle.

But, on a practical level it's about the money. I know people who could float by without a sweat on half that money, and I know others that would blow that wad in a week. Only you know you. What's the worse thing that can happen if you try it?

Good sounds grand!
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:27 PM   #6
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There are numerous opportunities out there. Have you heard of "work camp". You do work for the campground you are staying at. Usually it amounts to around 20 hours per week. In exchange for that you have a free full hookup camp site. This could save you big bucks; my guess would be between $500 and $1000 per month. If a full hookup site is $30.00 per day that's $900.00 per month. I know most places give you a break by the month, but how many can you find with full hookups for $30.00 a day?
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #7
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I agree, you are going to want supplemental health insurance until you're 65. Military pays about 90%... which if you stay healthy is fine, but one major hospitalization can easily cost $250K and your 10% doesn't include stuff you need once you're home and recovering.

You CAN do it, but you'd probably be a lot happier with some employment. Work camping is one way to really cut your costs, another is some kind of home based work. Many call centers hire only home based operators. I think Marriott hotels have only home based workers in their call center. You work from your kitchen table, most are scheduled 25 hours per week, average pay $12 to $16 per hour. Not a bad job, and one that can be portable. My sister (PrudencePB here) recently got a job delivering meals to seniors 3 days a week. It's not huge money, but it's easy and she loves her bosses, co-workers, and clientele.

Part time employment might be wise. What did you do in the military and how much civilian crossover is there?

Best of luck, and Thank you for serving.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:18 AM   #8
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It does seem like a skeletal income, but you may be one of those who can live happily very, very frugally. I expect you have some savings for emergencies and as a slush fund to draw on when needed or wanted.

Sounds like your fixed expenses are minimal, and that is one of the big keys to retirement.

If you need or want more $$ than you have coming in every month, part-time employment or work camping would be a big boost in disposable income.

Proceed carefully.

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Old 01-07-2012, 07:26 AM   #9
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first there is a big difference between 1500 and 2000 dollars a month. so be sure as possible to the amount you have for retirement. It is great that you are in good health however I strongly recommend a supplement to Tricare. We used one offered by one of the retirement associations.

Food costs are going up and cooking for one can be expensive unless you like leftovers. To me clothing expenses are minimal. Buy the best you can and wear them out. For pants I prefer the zip off as the function best in all types of weather.

Not sure about the cost of ground rent I would assume a place on a military post would be the cheapest as they seem to provide full hook ups at a reasonable cost.

Other costs that you have to consider are insurance on the vehicles, gas and maintenance and of course always have a little put away for the unexpected.

On the other hand if this is what you want to do go for it as you certainly don't want to look back and say "I wish I could'a should'a"

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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You earned it...use it!

Plan ahead like suggested. Watch the Political activities going on in Washington now....your benefits, like TRICARE, Social Security and Medicare, are targets. There are a great variety of MWR facilities and activities which will fit your plans...from sailing marinas, to Camps, even part time employment. Many of these are in locals remote from active Bases.....just do some research. An Income Tax free State for residency is a must. It will be tight ..... you can do it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies. I am a math teacher and could sub if need be and my budget could go as high as $2400/month. I have never had to supplement my tricare as I use the military bases for medical, but will look into it. I will be permanently parked in Georgia and it is $180/month, not sure if that includes utilities. While on my boat I will be on the hook at least 5 of 7 days. Anyway, thanks for all the input....I'm gonna give it a shot--I'll let you know how it turns out.
Regards to all,

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