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Anyone full timing on 25000 a year?


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#1 Hopeimakeit

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:45 PM

Still working so money is not a problem, but dw and I would like to start full timing in 2016. Will be using accred vacation time to get us through until I hit that magic retirement number.Anyway question is most of the budgets I have seen published online are around 30 to 35 thousand. Dw and my retirement benefits will equal a little over 25 thousand.Is it possible to fulltime on this amount?We plan to spend summers north and winters south. Spending around 6 months in a summer location and the same in a winter location. We don't eat out a lot. Once in a blue moon. We plan some day trips but most of the time we like to be at home with the dogs.We of course will have savings but don't want to touch that. We may want it for health problems, too old to drive, etc.Understand there are too many variables in lifestyles to be definite. But would be interested if anyone has or thinks this could be done.Thanks in advance
See you on the road!

#2 PETE & PAT

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

We did it on less than that last year. We volunteer workamp, so get our site and electric free - part of the time propane and laundry too. That helped keep expenses down. 2012 was the first entire year we were fulltime. We started in May 2011 and I worked a portion of that year.

Edited by PETE & PAT, 10 February 2013 - 07:32 PM.

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#3 jjwicklund

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

With workkamping it should be no problem. We do it on that with volunteering at various state and Federal locations. We do have health ins covered through former employment if you don't have that covered it could be tight.
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#4 DavidMc

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

The topic of living on $x per month / year has been tossed around some on this forum.
You could do a search on terms like "budget", "monthly costs", and so forth.

Some example threads:
http://www.rvnetwork...ndpost&p=595923
http://www.rvnetwork...ndpost&p=495543
http://www.rvnetwork...ndpost&p=489628

And the posts in them will give you potential other sources.

#5 Ranger and Jin

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:06 PM

I live on ,much less than that and it is difficult to say the least. I'm also not alone. There are a lot of us in the same position. $25,000 I could do it.

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#6 gbstewart

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:17 PM

Depends on how much you drive. staying in 1 place for 4-6 months at a time reduces your cost, if your staying at a modest campground you can pay 350. a month give or take plus electric,you can boondock in quartzsite for next to nothing, Look at the campgrounds in the places you want to stay at and make a budget you will have no problem at all with $25000. a year.

Im planning on a $1000. per month thas only 12000. a year

good luck

gbstewart




#7 BrianT

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:55 AM

$25k/yr is over $2k/mo. You can blow through it and then some if you move every few days, stay at fancy resorts and eat at fancy restaurants every day. We never had any desire to live like that and don't.

Absolutely you can fulltime on $25k/yr. There are probably some reading this right now that WISH they had $25k/yr. As already said, staying in places that don't have high monthly rent, staying longer term, workamping or volunteering can all reduce costs dramatically, as can farmers markets, doing your own cooking and staying in places that don't require huge amounts of heat or air conditioning.

If you have the income, volunteering can offer you a FREE place to park, and that can be one of the larger of your expenses. They generally require several months of work (can't blame them, training and all...). When you're parked at that FREE camnpsite with FREE utilities, you're not spending money on a campground or a lot of money on gas / diesel towing a rig around. A dollar saved is as good as a dollar earned.

Workamping can be even better because you usually have your site and utilities for FREE and get a small paycheck, too. And with the same kinds of savings as Volunteering.

Some people will work a gig like Amazon for a season where a couple who works the long hours can make somewhere between $10k and $15k over the course of 3 or 4 months all the while not paying rent for their campsite. They'll do something like that and then go south and relax in the warm weather for a while, or whatever. Or move on to other workamper or volunteer jobs they find interesting.

Seriously, a person can make it on a remarkably small income if need be. Or they can spend an incredibly large amount of money each month and still run short. Come to think of it, that's not just fulltime rving, that's life!

Best of luck,


Brian

#8 Kirk

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

Understand there are too many variables in lifestyles to be definite. But would be interested if anyone has or thinks this could be done.Thanks in advance

First of all, if nobody has yet done so, let me welcome you to the Escapee forums. We are honored that you have chosen us as your information source!

There is little doubt in my mind that it is possible to live the RV life on the income that you propose. On the other hand, the real question should be, "Can we live the fulltime RV life on $25K/year." Almost as important is the question, if we do choose to do this, will we be able to enjoy our life while doing so?

We could give much better advice if we knew some things about you and about your life needs. For example, will you have health care provided and how much of the cost will have to come out of that $25K? Health insurance is very costly and even if you both have Medicare, there are still premiums to pay and it does have a copay. In addition, if you use many drugs, the Plan D prescription drug coverage is very poor and difficult to work with. There are supplemental plans that are available and there are also plans which include drug coverage, but many of those also have travel restrictions, so be very careful in that choice. I suggest that if you plan to rely upon Medicare, start to study what it will be and will cost early as it is very complicated and it is in constant change.

Another important question is what bills you will have? Is the RV paid for, or do you have to make payments on it? The more debt free that you can be the better that you will be able to live on the income that you have. There are some expenses that will not go away, such as insurance on the RV & tow car or truck. When you have no home other than the RV, you need to have a higher level of insurance on the RV, usually called a fulltimer's clause. Yet another expense that we all have is taxes and a great factor in that is based upon where you call home. The issue is one of your choice of domicile and I strongly suggest that you read this article from Escapees Magazine which I think will help you to address those choices.

From what you say, you are only planning for limited amounts of travel, but I really think that you should build into your plans at least some extra money for fuel as you may find that you want to spend your summers and winters in a different location each season and not keep returning to the same park over and over. I suggest that in that area you start now to look to see what sort of accommodations are available in various locations for RV living in each area that you consider probable choices. While costs will change, you can get a pretty good feel for the costs by contacting parks in each of the possible locations and ask what their monthly rates are. You can estimate the cost of fuel, using the mpg that you get now, if you own the proposed RV and I would base it on current fuel prices, plus at least 20% to allow for future increases. You also need to consider funds for occasional repairs as both RVs and vehicles will at least occasionally need repairs. It is much better to build in more money than needed than to risk the chance of finding yourself stranded along the road one day.

Look at what sort of things that you do now with your free time in order to enjoy life. Most likely your preferences will not change a great deal when on the road, but only be expanded. If you have hobbies such as ours, you will find that changing locations will bring new places to explore on foot and new sights to photograph and by using a digital camera, there is very little expense to that hobby. I think that the suggestion of finding places to volunteer which was suggested is a very good one because it not only will supply you a place to live without the cost of RV parking and utilities, it will also be a source of activities that can be very satisfying and fulfilling as well as allowing you to learn new things and have new experiences that most people only dream of. For nearly 12 years we have lived most of our time as RV resident volunteers and we found it a very enjoyable life and a great way to expand upon a limited budget.

Another thing to consider is finding places where you can work for pay as you travel to expand the budget in that way. We have several folks on these forums who earn a significant share of their expense funding by working in RV parks, Christmas tree lots, fireworks stands, or other seasonal employment which can supply anything from just a free RV site to a major chuck of the budget. Remember that there are many different ways to live in an RV and that your possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I would invite you to take a look at the places we have worked on our website for some ideas and also to visit the sites found in the signature lines of those who post here, because you may be amazed at the possibilities that will open up for you. While you are researching possible lifestyles, there are two other sites that must not be missed and that is Jack Mayer's site and also that of Nick Russell but do take the time to explore the many other possible sources of information that can be found in signature lines on these forums!

I will close this post, as it is getting quite long, but I make one more suggestion of reading for you as you look to the future. Several years ago, I was fortunate to have read a column about the cost of RV living, written by the late Gaylord Nelson. There is no question in my mind that he answered the question of what it costs for each of us to live on the road, far better than any of us are able to do. You are invited to read his column by visiting his column, How Much Does it Take?

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
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#9 whj

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

As usual, Kirk has provided most of the info that needs to be considered. Thank you Kirk, again.
If I were going to do it on that amount, I would try to find work, part time, that would pay for the RV space
and were you could work 20 to 25 hours between you both, even at $7.25 per hour, it would keep you out of trouble
while you were working and $100 per week or so after taxes will help. You could do this for say 1/2 of the time or so.
Happy Trails and Good Luck

#10 richfaa

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

Both wife and I work at Disneyworld for about 5 months during our winter stay. We could stay here and RV without that income as it never was and still is not factored into our overall budget.We view it as discretionary income to use for whatever purpose we choose to use it.Having said that we tend to use it to pay for all or most of our winter stay and most if not all of our summer Rv travel expense.

between the two of us we will NET a average of 7,000 $$ working about 5 months average 25/30 hours a week each.Our budget lot and utilities including propane is 600.00 per month for 6 months=3600.00 so there is a lot left over.Most of that will go to our travel fund or to pay for "other expenses" like 6 new tires for the Dually. My hourly salary is 7.95 and the wife's is 8.20 .Not a big pay check but plenty as a add on income.

My point is as others have indicated that work on the road can increase your income and make the full time experience possible. I work more for the therapy. It keeps the gray matter working and provides exercise not to mention we both love to work at Disneyworld.

"IF you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen" don't know who said that but It has been my inspiration for many years.
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
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#11 Guest_David & Lorna Schinske_*

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

... would be interested if anyone has or thinks this could be done...

I work part-time. Guaranteed 20 hours per week in my job plus they keep putting me in other locations. I do not workkamp. I work at Home Depot. I get a paycheck. Last year was not a full year. I made right at $13K for working 9 months (and I buy stock in HD so take home pay drops a little because of that). PLUS we have been sinking every drop of extra money we have into finishing up the bus conversion. Please note that we do not travel anywhere. I work Mon-Fri (plus Sundays most weeks) and do not plan to leave until after 2014. We do not fulltime like others here. We live just fine. I've posted elsewhere how we save money. So you can live on $18K (extrapolate out to 12 months), add fuel into that which would vary widely for everyone. Can you bounce weekly or monthly? No. But that is not necessarily fulltiming despite what the "experts" here say. Fulltiming is living in an RV 24/7/365. We treat our residential vehicle as an apartment that we occasionally move, contents and all. We just never pack. Everyone fulltimes differently. How you will end up fulltiming is up to you. I know of too many people who spend all winter in warmer valleys and move a 100 miles or so away to higher elevations to stay cool in the summer to pay much attention to some self-proclaimed "expert" who dishes out their supremely myopic opinion on how things must be. You need to figure out what you want and what you can handle realistically on a budget. Fuel involved with moving will be an expense that you will need to deal with. That's really what makes the "rolling stone" fulltimers lifestyle so expensive.

#12 Jack Mayer

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

Lorna, I hate to tell you this....and burst your bubble....but you ARE a fulltimer. :)

Oh, and on topic - we have been fulltiming for almost 13 years. Not counting capital expenditures on RVs and trucks we run between 24K and 28K a year for ALL expenses, including all insurance, fuel, entertainment, maintenance, etc. One year we were at 31K.

Edited by Jack Mayer, 11 February 2013 - 04:17 PM.

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#13 Guest_David & Lorna Schinske_*

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

Lorna, I hate to tell you this....and burst your bubble....but you ARE a fulltimer. :)

But I keep being told that we are NOT fulltimers. I have been directly, in no uncertain terms, told by someone I have blocked, that we are not fulltimers because we treat our "home" as a portable apartment and we stay in one location too much. We are the dreaded "workers/permanent residents" you see folks on RVparkereviews.com complaining about. And I think it is just so funny. I can't believe how many folks complain about working people when I'm pretty sure that the complainers used to (or still do) work themselves. Talk about having a set of brass ones! :D

RE: workers & permanent residents -- if a place is really bad, who do you think would know? The folks who stop in overnight or the folks who stay there by the month? When the park we are in right now lowered the heat in the bathhouse to 60F (and claimed it was 72F) and there were several days when the water had to be shut off, who do you think knew this? The workers & monthly residents (many of whom left) or the folks who stopped for one or two nights before moving on? We would have left too if we hadn't been paid thru the month it took to get the water fixed and the bathhouse temps back to warm. Not that we use the bathhouse anymore. We finished installing the shower. Now we can rent a site in one of the local mobile home parks if we ever need to change parks (we've looked at the other close in RV parks). We've parked an RV long term in a mobile home park before. We can do it again.

#14 MidMi

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

But I keep being told that we are NOT fulltimers. I have been directly, in no uncertain terms, told by someone I have blocked, that we are not fulltimers because we treat our "home" as a portable apartment and we stay in one location too much. We are the dreaded "workers/permanent residents"


I consider anybody that lives 365 in an RV to be "Fulltimers"

To the OP, We live on a LOT less than $25,000 a year. We move North in the summer and back to either AZ or CA in the winter. We spend a month in between destinations at the halfway point.



Arizona for a spell.

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#15 Hopeimakeit

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

Thanks to everyone who replied. The replies were much appreciated.When we go fulltime we will have no debt, everything will be payed for and we will have the sale of the house and land in savings plus our ira's.Want to keep from touching savings etc. in case of medical need or other unforeseen circumstance.Have never had to worry about a budget before. Need more money work a few more hours. When I retire budgeting is going to be a new thing. Had considered workamping and also volunteer but am not sure what the chances are of that in the areas that the DW and I want to visit.Seeing online budgets of 30 k and more had me nervous and wondering if our dream would go up in smoke due to lack of funds.Did not want to purchase a new truck and 5 th wheel just to have to sell them a year later.Yes Kirk I have looked at your website and I have read mr. Nelson's article. Your budget was one of the ones that got me wondering.Thanks for the welcome. I have been lurking on these forums and a few others for months.Have read just about everything I can on the rv lifestyle, rv repairs, rv maintinece. Sometimes the DW complains that I spend too much time.Have gotten quite a bit of knowledge off of this forum.Once again thanks to every one for the replies at least I now know that what we are hoping to due is at the very least possible
See you on the road!

#16 Kirk

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:35 PM

.Yes Kirk I have looked at your website and I have read mr. Nelson's article. Your budget was one of the ones that got me wondering.

One of the purposes of that posted budget is to see what we spent and thus to have a good idea of what expenses you will probably have, and then as a basis for determining where and how to make the needed adaptions for your available funds. If you look closely there are things in that budget that are not vital for everyone, but I suggest that you do consider each item and adjust to your circumstances. We probably have more medical costs than most people as my wife has quite a list of health maintenance medications when compared to the majority of people, as she has COPD and also an ongoing stomach condition. I also include there what we paid for both life insurance and for long term care insurance, which are things we chose to buy, but you may not have need for.

What I suggest that you do is to take that data and compare to your present budget, substituting numbers from what you spend now for things such as food, entertainment, health care, insurance, clothing, gifts, and all of the various expenses which we all have, no matter where we happen to live. Most of those are things which you can effect and adjust now, so that you will know exactly what you can expect in them, once you go on the road. Things like fuel are very controllable as you simply adjust your amount of travel as needed to stay withing budget limits.

Most of us live pretty much on the income available. I would suggest that since you have three years before your planned start, begin to lower you spending to the levels you expect to have available then, today. As you cut your present budget it will allow you to build your reserve funds more before you go on the road and to actually learn just what you can live on. The vast majority of expenses that you will have when you retire and hit the road are things that you have now and so you have three years to work on getting them in line with the budget that you expect to have available. By starting to change your lifestyle today, you can know a great deal more about what you can live with in terms of budget and activities. Your favorite activities will not change a great deal when you retire, but you will have far more time to peruse them.

You are wise to start your planning now, as you have lots of time to make adjustments and to figure things out and make them work.

Edited by Kirk, 11 February 2013 - 10:39 PM.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

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#17 Barbaraok

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:40 PM

I will echo Kirk's suggestion to start reducing spending now and building a reserve fund to use for extra expenses that come up as you travel. Even if you get an extended warranty, there will be items that will not be covered, there will be maintenance that needs to be done, deductibles on medical insurance, etc. We looked at the price of dental insurance versus what it covered and decided to self insure instead, putting what would have been monthly premiums into our medical fund and then pay for cleanings out of it and have enough to cover thing like biting down on a pop corn and have a tooth crack on an unpopped kernal.Posted Image


Barb

Edited by Barbaraok, 12 February 2013 - 11:07 AM.

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#18 richfaa

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:18 AM

We began planning 10 years..yes I said 10 years before we both were retired and ready to start our great adventure.In 1996 , actually 1995 we said ..were do we want to be financially in October of 2006 When Helen retired.We developed a course of act ion that included paying off all credit cards and small outstanding loans. We wanted to have as little outstanding debt as possible. We adjusted our investments for maximum return. We examined our Quicken categories to see what expenses we could eliminated or cut back on.We knew we would have at least a 25% reduction in income so we started to reduce spending and expenses by that amount before we retired.Economic conditions changed during that period and I took a job driving a bus to replace lost income and then some. Yes there are always unforeseen circumstances along the way but if you have a plan it is easier to adjust it that having no plan at all.

We were successful in being were we wanted to be in Oct of 2006. It did not happen by chance.It took planning and dedication to a plan and hard work.It is good to look at what others have done and what they spend it should not deter but help you in your course of action.
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

#19 Jack Mayer

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

Like Rich and some others we also planned many years ahead of time for our fulltiming. We "knew" we wanted to be fulltimers about 10 years before we started. We always lived WELL below our income levels....in our case we lived on around 25% of our earned income. So we did not really have to adjust "much". But we did work out a budget and then tried to live on a "housing version" of that budget. Debt was never an issue for us, because we are of the thought that if you can not buy it outright then you don't need it. With the exception of primary housing.

The advice to try to live on your proposed budget now - as much as is practical - is good advice. We did it, and many successful fulltimers I know did the same thing. There must be something to it....

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
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#20 Sigzy

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:15 PM

Like Rich and Jack we planned many years in the future.We also had an exit plan in case full timing didn't work out,which it didn't. I see you have somewhat of an exit plan also so you are on the right track.Good Luck
full time for 17 months Rving no longer an option but it was great while it lasted.