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About ToddF

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    Senior Member

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    Burnsville, MN
  • Interests
    Biking, Half Timer, Bichon Frise fan

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  1. Thousand Trails (Encore) is advertising some great snowbird specials in the Sept/Oct Issue of Trailblazer, their bimonthly magazine. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a place to park for the winter. 1-888-443-7301
  2. Thanks for the "heads up". Boondock area will work fine. Looking forward to checking out the ranch.
  3. The TT zone pass + TC add on works especially great Labor Day-Dec because you can get in to any park in your "zone". If you only used it during those months, it would still pay for itself! Read the fine print, use is subject to availability, but it is possible to get into popular parks during peak periods if you play your cards right. One thing I really like about the setup is that the 14 day in and 7 out of the system forces you to try non-TT/Encore parks in-between visits. People on the permanent contracts can get stuck in a rut, going 21 days from "park to park". Looking forward to exploring AZ, that holds greatest promise for us when we become snowbirds.
  4. There are 18 parks in AZ that are part of the Trails Collection...2 in Apache Junction, 3 in Mesa, 5 in Yuma and more. You can buy a zone pass and add on the TC for $199... This is a great way to sample lots of parks without spending a lot of $.
  5. We're using our Trails Collection add on to sample 4 or 5 parks this Dec. We are both 55+ ...many of the Encore parks in the system are age restricted communities. A number had reviews (RV park reviews) from long term seasonals as well as transients. We're in no hurry to find a place to "settle down for the winter"...will move around quite a bit while we're able. Returning to Summerdale this Nov as I really liked the first impression last year when I passed through there. (FAIRHOPE, Foley...). We are both tax preparers and have to be back to MN after Christmas.
  6. Will be stopping in around Nov 25 for 4-5 nights. Doing a SW tour after a convention in Nashville...heading to the RGV, San Antonio, New Mexico and AZ before returning to MN for tax season. Looking forward to shortening up our winter a bit. 🤗
  7. Good article on one aspect of housing situation for boomers. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/11/baby-boomers-are-struggling-to-downsize--and-it-could-create-the-next-housing-crisis.html In particular, one should pay attention to livability of home as one ages. FT'ers should have a SOLID exit strategy. The article points out the pitfalls of today's market. In the Twin Cities, rents have soared. 1 Level type housing is very tough to find around here. My folks just moved into Boutwell Landing, a multi stage retirement community in Stillwater, MN. They lucked out and sold their maintenance intensive single family home in the woods -but it took time. At 79/76 they were ready.
  8. ToddF

    Co-op questions

    I agree with the suggestion of spending a month at a co-op/condo park before buying in. Read meeting minutes. Study financials. Attend open board meetings. Chat informally with residents/owners. The ownership structure can enhance the community feel and allow you to to make a contribution to the community. It's generally more cost effective in the long run to own vs renting. Selling your lot or share can take time in a down market. It's a democracy, everyone has one vote.
  9. ToddF

    Retirement plan-half timing

    Or, live for today and save for tomorrow since there is a good chance tomorrow will come. 🤗
  10. ToddF

    Trails Collection

    Just received my renewal for the new contract year for my zone pass with trails Collection add on. The price stayed at $199...looking forward to next year, didn't get to use it much this year. When we used it last year, it quickly paid for itself. The park in Punta Gorda FL is a "10".
  11. Will do. Thanks for keeping the lights on for us.
  12. ToddF

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    Wouldn't be caught without my oven. I haven't figured out the convection oven yet but I like having both. I need a clay tile!
  13. Here is a good story on the topic of early retirement... How to Retire in Your 30s With $1 Million in the Bank https://nyti.ms/2N8ClOn It has some good links to things like Reddit (didn't know what it was) 62 is looking better and better with no guilt or shame!
  14. ToddF

    Do any of you have Direct TV?

    OP...I have thought about sat TV too but decided against it for the following reasons: Too complicated. RVing is complex enough without adding a new item I have to learn about and deal with. When I get a signal, my OTA antenna usually provides enough local stations and public television that I am happy. Don't want to add another bill to the monthly budget. Don't want to add weight and more equipment to my RV. More wires, more stuff plugged in, those darn boxes. (I have 3 TVs). Don't want to have to think about clear view to the sky when I select a site. I love sat and local radio and listen to CNN and NPR and MSNBC for my news. When I start at a TT park, I do pay extra for cable TV and it is a nice treat once in awhile. But I am amazed at how little I find if interest to watch. Simpler is better right now. Am planning to start a new hobby buying movies at garage sales and flea markets as I don't have many and would like to broaden my horizons. For example, just bought a series by Art Wolfe, Travel on the edge. Much better than anything I find on paid TV, just as an example. I'm not a sports guy but realize if I was, I would have to have it for football etc.
  15. We added the Trails Collection last year to our zone pass. Between the 2 zones and TC, we have access to over 100 parks from ME to CA. I LOVE their reservation system And check in is always a breeze. Most of the parks we have been to have FHU. I plan to buy a membership when my 4 year contract (zone pass 2 zones for 4 years at $425 year + TC $199 optional) is up. Todd They might have a special at the Hershey RV show or at the Hershey Park.