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MontegoMag

Countdown To Retirement RV'ing

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Heya Folks...first post here.

I have spent most of the day thumbing through the newbie folder and I can't find a thread that fits my exact situation so I'll lay it on ya and see what I uncover!

I am a machinist by trade and I am counting down the time I have left to retire (Jan 2023)! I currently have a mortgage with my wife and we live in Virginia Beach area. Once we retire...we hope to relocate to the mid-west...somewhere below the snow belt...probably East Texas. We have kids and grands in TX, IN, IL, NC, KY and CA so we hope to buy a home somewhere centrally located. Plus it looks like TX is a retirement friendly state.

My thoughts at this time is to consider...

  • Selling our house and contents (early spring 2023)
  • Buying a used Class C RV (summer 2022) Currently leaning toward a 2008-2010 Winnebago View 24V. (Love the king sized rear bed!)
  • Hitting the road at a leisurely pace and checking out different areas to settle down (spring 2023) Texarkana area...Gulf Coast area...Ozarks...Lake Texoma...San Antonio area...etc?
  • Buy a retirement home...and start accumulating STUFF again! (fall/winter 2023)
  • Probably selling the RV in favor of a pontoon boat if we find a waterfront home.

I know it seems a bit early...but I don't know how much I don't know and I figure it is better to start planning now than to wait until we buy an RV to begin our learning curve.

We have walked through a Class B...too small. Neither of us want to consider driving a Class A. So whatever Class C we decide on, we'd like it to be as stealthy/streamlined as possible as we won't be settling in an urban setting. We will be visiting the small towns and byways, looking to take advantage of great peaceful areas...and hopefully a well maintained Estate sale on a house. You just can' do that by spending week long vacations before-the-fact and driving rental cars around from a hotel base. That's why we are now considering the RV to make a 4/6 month transition to our retirement home.

I guess that's about it for now. Of course, I have a million questions but I will spend some more time searching the threads that already address them before hounding you too much more. I guess the immediate question I have is regarding an address to use while we are on the road. Can we just claim one of our kid's addresses in TX until we buy a place?

Seriously...if y'all can think about those issues that are MUST consider items  before we even go down this road....throw it out there!

Ain't gonna be as long as it has been...

MontegoMag

 

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Will you me on Medicare when you retire?

If you'll be under 65 and need to purchase your own health insurance, then currently FL is your best best.

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I can't find a 2010 Winnebago View 24V for sale (didn't find anything older than 2014 in that model), but if older models have the fold-down twin bed set up, my immediate question would be: how comfortable are you going to be if you have to get out of bed at night through a small-ish opening at the bottom of the middle of the bed, rather than being able to get out on each side? 

Have you been in that model? Will the rather cozy confines be comfortable for 4-6 months, full-time?

Edited by Bigthinkers

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I would keep the Class C after you buy a house. Your kids are scattered all over and will probably move a few more times for job opportunities. It is very nice to have your own "home when visiting the kids. Gives everyone some space. A fair amount of people go full time and just drive from one kid to the next with some wandering in between.

Zulu asked part of the question. If you are not on Medicare will you have company insurance?

If you are not comfortable, or don't want to burden your daughter, get an Escapees address from their Mail Service. You probably won;t have that much mail since everything is going electronic and automated. We also found thta having the Escapees address was very convenient. Mail would be sent promptly whenever we wanted it to wherever we were. We used Escapees Mail SErvice for 18 years before we went full time.

Also, go to shows and dealers and start looking at Class C. You must visit, you can't do this via paper as a newbie. Think about flow. Cooking, eating, several rainy days in a row etc.

Come back as you have more questions.

 

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My only suggestion is to give yourself a bigger window (2 years?) to travel and enjoy and explore (as you have laid out) before buying. Once you get going, you'll see how much there is to see out there and you would have more time to experience different areas before settling. We are still working part-time, but started serious rving in Oct '12 and still have no idea where we would settle if we left MN.

 

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14 years ago we began what we thought would be a full time lifestyle. We did not sell our S&B and most all of our possessions. We headed out the first year to see what would happen. We both took notes. We were gone for a long time. Short story we both realized that we could do what we were doing and still have our S&B. The determining factor was of course financial. We have been until last year when health issues took their toll out for @ 9 months of the year pretty much 6 months were it was warm and 6 months at our S&B but most of the time on Road trips. We now have purchased a lot in Florida and we have not yet decided what our new adventure will be.

My suggestion would be to take it easy make no snap decisions.

We are slowing down but we have a paid for S&B to return to and a residence in Florida.

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Welcome!

It sounds like you have done some research already, and that's a good thing. Buying the RV before you move out of the house may let you transition from house to RV more easily. IF (and that's a big IF) you can park your rig at your current house you can begin to move into it gradually, eventually getting to the point where you are sleeping in it, then basically living in it. All the while, everything is just a few feet away, so when you need the can opener for the first time you can run back into the kitchen, get it, and then leave it in the RV. That isn't possible in many places, though. Check your local zoning laws.

Like others have said, take a bit more time to find a new home base. There are many options for you to consider. One would be the Escapees co-op in Hondo, TX. There is currently a waiting list, so you could get on the list (if it looks like something that would interest you) and later change your mind if you find something else that is better. Another option would be the ERPU program at a couple of Escapees parks (Livingstone, for one). Both of those require you to live in your RV, rather than a S&B, on the park. Kirk lives in another TX RV community that is more or less modeled on the co-ops, but is enough different that you may find it an option. He can tell you more about it.

We retired from the Missouri Ozarks. If you are interested in rural/small town living, that may be something to consider. Dallas County, where we used to live, as no restrictions on what you have on your property, so you could keep the RV on site. In fact, you could live in it on your property while you are building a S&B if you don't find something already like what you want. There are lots of places around Pomme de Terre lake.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to be able to help and will do our best.

In my opinion, starting now to plan for retirement is not too early but rather it is a wise decision. Those 4 years will pass far more rapidly than you expect. I am a transplant to east TX myself and believe that you are on the right track to consider this area. We found the area aroun Tyler to be avery good place for retirees as it still has much of the beauty and security of rural places but has a city of 100k as an anchor. Tyler is the medical center of east TX with 2 major teaching hospitals and 4 major medical facilities. Taxes here are still reasonable and real estate prices are modest. We do get cold weather but it rarely stays below freezing for 24 hours and snow is very rare. Spring is a long season here, starting in late February most years and flowers are out in March. It can get hot and and sometimes humid but nowhere is weather perfect. TX is a very RV friendly state.

As a side note, the Winnebago View was intorduced in 2006. We live in an RV community and one of our neighbors has a View and is very happy with it. I do think that before you completely drop the class A from consideration you should go on a test drive with at least one and preferably 2 or 3 as you may be quite suprprised by how easily they can be driven. 

I would agree with the comment about spending more than just a few months traveling in the RV as there is far more to see and experience in this country than you can evern touch on in such a short time. It may also be worthwhile to consider renting an RV for a trip before you make up your mind completely. Doing that would enable you both to experience the life before you comit to buying one. 

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1 minute ago, Kirk W said:

As a side note, the Winnebago View was intorduced in 2006.

I tried to find the specific model mentioned (24V) but couldn't. I didn't mean the View wasn't around, I just couldn't find that model, and curiosity got the best of me. I love seeing all sorts of interiors.  :)

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6 hours ago, Zulu said:

Will you me on Medicare when you retire?

Yes, I will turn 65 and start my SS and my Medicare all at the same time.  I don't know how it all works yet...but its on my list of things to find out!

5 hours ago, SWharton said:

If you are not comfortable, or don't want to burden your daughter, get an Escapees address from their Mail Service.

I'll have to find out more about this because that sounds like a very doable option! Thanks!

6 hours ago, Bigthinkers said:

I can't find a 2010 Winnebago View 24V for sale (didn't find anything older than 2014 in that model), ...Have you been in that model? Will the rather cozy confines be comfortable for 4-6 months, full-time?

Here is where I am showing my ignorance! I HAVE toured the 2019 24V and yes...like it very much. I was not aware the V didn't make its appearance until 2014. But when I retire in 2023...that will be just right! LOL

I can live in a cave...as long as O have a frige...TV...computer and a LazyBoy! My wife on the other hand....

4 hours ago, richfaa said:

My suggestion would be to take it easy make no snap decisions.

If I go much slower...I'll be backin up! haha

2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to be able to help and will do our best.

In my opinion, starting now to plan for retirement is not too early but rather it is a wise decision. Those 4 years will pass far more rapidly than you expect. I am a transplant to east TX myself and believe that you are on the right track to consider this area. We found the area aroun Tyler to be avery good place for retirees as it still has much of the beauty and security of rural places but has a city of 100k as an anchor. Tyler is the medical center of east TX with 2 major teaching hospitals and 4 major medical facilities. Taxes here are still reasonable and real estate prices are modest. We do get cold weather but it rarely stays below freezing for 24 hours and snow is very rare. Spring is a long season here, starting in late February most years and flowers are out in March. It can get hot and and sometimes humid but nowhere is weather perfect. TX is a very RV friendly state.

Thanks...you have all welcomed me very warmly and I appreciate all the imput!! Keep it coming!

Actually Tyler is one of the first cities I explored...and for the medical facilities specifically. I am a diabetic and do have some complications from that and healthcare availability is a major consideration. And while we want to be near a city of 100-200K...we will be looking toward the suburbs and countryside surrounding those cities.

We have kids in Corpus...Lubbock...Mule Shoe and Evansville, IN. So Tyler seemed like a good fit. And when I learned of all the extensive medical care available...it moved to the front of the line. 

I understand what everyone is sayingm as far as taking our time to see the country and all it has to offerm but I have been to every state and Canada and Mexico. It isn't as if I havent already seen a lot of it. But our choice to settle in East Texas is more a matter of spreading ourselves out more evenly among our 6 kids and 22 grands than it is finding the ideal area to sette in. As far as that goes...I am a beach bum and my wife is a mountain mama! Where we have currently live is ideal for both. I am 5 minutes from the beach and 3 hours from the Appalachians. So we will never agree on the "ideal" place to settle. If I had my way...I'd move to Peru and rid myself of seasons altogether!! LOL I can stand 75-85 degrees year round with 1500 miles of beach!

Again...keepthe imput coming and I'll ask questions as I think of them....like...

Black water dumping...UGH!

Ain't gonna be as long as it has been...

MontegoMag

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7 hours ago, MontegoMag said:

Black water dumping...UGH!

That is one of those things which sound much worse that the actual experience, but you do need to know how before you make your first attempt as it can be a memorable mess if you do the wrong thing. Once familiar with it you will find it a rather minor chore. And that is also one of the reasons that so many of us suggest the renting of an RV before you buy. If you only plan to keep the RV for 6 months or so, you might be wiser not to buy one at all but if you both enjoy the travels in it, you just might find a new and way to travel as most of us have.

7 hours ago, MontegoMag said:

I understand what everyone is sayingm as far as taking our time to see the country and all it has to offerm but I have been to every state and Canada and Mexico. It isn't as if I havent already seen a lot of it.

We too have been in all of the states and we have spent time RVing in 48 of them, actually having an RV as our only home for nearly 12 years. Let me assure you that there is a great deal that you have not seen and even more to experience. One of the reasons that we avid RV folks love it so much is that we see and experience so many things that can only be done when you slow down and spend more time along the way. The real America is found in the small towns and along the byways of the countryside, away from the interstate highways and major cities. The secret to our way is that travel ceases to be just a means of moving between points and is a purpose of travel, much as Lewis & Clark did when opening the west. We left the fulltime because of age related health issues, but in our years on the road, we discovered that there is more to see and do around this great country than one could manage if he had an entire lifetime to explore. 

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13 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

One of the reasons that we avid RV folks love it so much is that we see and experience so many things that can only be done when you slow down and spend more time along the way. The real America is found in the small towns and along the byways of the countryside, away from the interstate highways and major cities.

THIS ^ x100! We did an 18 month project (off and on, not consecutively) that almost exclusively involved small towns, and that's where the REAL charm of being able to move slowly is allowed to shine. Totally addictive, and the main reason we're giving ourselves a year or two to travel by RV. Don't underestimate the lesser-known aspects of this great nation. :)

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15 hours ago, SWharton said:

I would keep the Class C after you buy a house. Your kids are scattered all over and will probably move a few more times for job opportunities. It is very nice to have your own "home when visiting the kids. Gives everyone some space. A fair amount of people go full time and just drive from one kid to the next with some wandering in between.

Zulu asked part of the question. If you are not on Medicare will you have company insurance?

If you are not comfortable, or don't want to burden your daughter, get an Escapees address from their Mail Service. You probably won;t have that much mail since everything is going electronic and automated. We also found thta having the Escapees address was very convenient. Mail would be sent promptly whenever we wanted it to wherever we were. We used Escapees Mail SErvice for 18 years before we went full time.

Also, go to shows and dealers and start looking at Class C. You must visit, you can't do this via paper as a newbie. Think about flow. Cooking, eating, several rainy days in a row etc.

Come back as you have more questions.

 

There are a lot of people who are full timing, and those on this forum who used to full time, that like to use mail services for mailing addresses.  There is nothing wrong with this option.  

However, if you search RV forums enough you will find issues can come up with going this route.  

The first time we "sold out" and went full time we used our oldest son's address.  Just like SWharton said, almost all of our stuff was done electronically so there wasn't much mail.  It was easypeasy and he would forward it to us if we needed him to.

Now we are into our 2nd year of our second stint of full timing and still didn't go with a mail service.  A life long friend had moved into our neighborhood in SW Florida prior to us selling our home and she offered to let us use her address.  It all worked out great because we were going to stay Florida residents anyway.  There is never any questions from anyone because our domicile and permanent address is a "real" physical address.  To us it just makes things easier and "cleaner".

But again, there is certainly nothing wrong with a mail service.  Just wanted to point out there are other options.

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12 minutes ago, FL-JOE said:

The first time we "sold out" and went full time we used our oldest son's address.  Just like SWharton said, almost all of our stuff was done electronically so there wasn't much mail.  It was easypeasy and he would forward it to us if we needed him to.

Yes...this option appeals to us as well. My wife's oldest lives in Lubbock and will be there long after we are gone. So that is a strong base address for us. I guess, always having had a S&B (puffs up with pride at starting to learn the RV jargon!), I am confused regarding vehicle registration...federal and property taxes...voting locations and all the other things I haven't even thought of that require a "permanent" address. As I said...being a lifelong CNC programmer and machinist...I could very easily pick up part time jobs along the highway at small machine shops. if need be. What do I put down as a residence addie??

<scratchin' my noggun>

I am smarter than the average bear...but some of this stuff give my melon a dull ache!

Ain't gonna be as long as it has been...

MontegoMag

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19 minutes ago, MontegoMag said:

Yes...this option appeals to us as well. My wife's oldest lives in Lubbock and will be there long after we are gone. So that is a strong base address for us. I guess, always having had a S&B (puffs up with pride at starting to learn the RV jargon!), I am confused regarding vehicle registration...federal and property taxes...voting locations and all the other things I haven't even thought of that require a "permanent" address. As I said...being a lifelong CNC programmer and machinist...I could very easily pick up part time jobs along the highway at small machine shops. if need be. What do I put down as a residence addie??

<scratchin' my noggun>

I am smarter than the average bear...but some of this stuff give my melon a dull ache!

Ain't gonna be as long as it has been...

MontegoMag

When we were preparing for our first stint of full timing I had the exact same questions.  I was muddling through it and figuring it out thinking how a mail service address could work.  However, when I compared going that route to simply changing our address to our son's (10 miles away), it was a no-brainer.  Either way someone has to check your mail and forward some things to you.  For us we could either have a stranger do it for $15 to $100 a month or family.

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5 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

For us we could either have a stranger do it for $15 to $100 a month or family.

If there is any mail service that charges $100/month, I am not aware of it. Some do charge as much as $15/month but Escapees charge between $95 and $135 per year. Of course that service is only available to members but a membership gains you far more benefits than just access to mail service. 

You mention an address for potential employers and most mail services also serve as that address, depending on the laws of the state you domicile in. In TX, the Escapee address is legal for all purposes and has been supported both by the courts and the state legislature. Where you are only thinking of a few months rather than a permanent address, I doubt that there would be great benefit to setting up a new domicile with a mail service address. You might benefit however, from reading up on just what domicile means and how to change it. It is much more than just where your mail is sent. 

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4 hours ago, sandsys said:

We didn't have the option of family because none of ours stay put. :)

Linda

In the past 13 years we have had ONE address - our Livingston one.  In the same time frame, our daughter has had 6 or 7!  It was 4 years ago they finally purchased a home and stayed more than 2 years in the same place - - and they are already talking about looking for something else!

$100 a month for mail service?  :blink:

 

Edited by Barbaraok

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We used the Escapees mail forwarding for approximately 20 years with absolutely no issues.... even traveling to Alaska.  Our kids had enough on their plates so we didn't want to add to it.  They also didn't stay in the same states - moving where the jobs were. Our address would have been all over the place.

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Obviously everyone's situation is different and everyone's family's are different.  Like I said in my earlier post there is nothing wrong with a mail service.  In our situation our oldest had lived in the same home for over 10 years and had no plans to move.  It worked out great.  In our present situation our friend lives alone and wanted us to use her address, and she has no plans on moving ever.

Several years ago when we priced mail services it was so much per month for the service and then added charges for what mail you actually had them forward to you.  At the time, if memory serves me, I estimated it would cost us at least $20 to $30 per month.  Like Kirk said, there are all kinds of issues involved when establishing your domicile and address.  One thing that comes to mind is financing an RV.  We discovered if you are financing an RV some banks get skittish if you are full time with a mail service address.  

Mail service companies are great IMHO.  We would prefer just not to use them if at all possible.

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8 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

Several years ago when we priced mail services it was so much per month for the service and then added charges for what mail you actually had them forward to you. 

So share with us who the services that are so expensive are so folks will know to avoid them. Most companies do add postage to your bill but unless you get many packages at your mail sevice, that is seldom anywhere close to the costs that you quote atthe services frequently mentioned on these forums. If you choose to have mail scanned or if you receive large volumes of mail it could run that high.

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Mailbox Express out of Cape Coral.  There was also one or two we considered which had Ft Myers addresses/boxes.  Like I said in my earlier post we figured at the time it would cost us around $20 to $30 a month in fees.

So what are the fees for the one associated with Escapees?  Wasn't there a mail service offered through an RV organization a few years ago that dropped the service and required everyone to go out and get a new address?  Was it FMCA?

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17 hours ago, Kirk W said:

You might benefit however, from reading up on just what domicile means and how to change it. It is much more than just where your mail is sent. 

 

10 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

We discovered if you are financing an RV some banks get skittish if you are full time with a mail service address.  

Exactly...a fine example of something I hadn't considered...though I will finance before I sell my S&B.

I read the article you linked Kirk...and it is still as clear as mud to me. As it states...."domicile" and "residence" seem to be interchangeable terms. Can anyone explain it to me as if I were a child?? (Not too far a stretch) Can I buy a house in any state...and have a domicile address in TX and be tax exempt? Can I spend my f/t days and years in an RV in VA and still claim residency / domicileability in TX and remain Tax exempt? Can I go head, today, and switch my domicile/residency to my daughter's addie in TX and start becoming tax exempt this year? Its all so convoluted!

Moving on...

What about banks? We current;y are, and have been, banking with a local credit union and we love it. We manage about 6 accounts through them..and I also billpay 100% through them. When I leave the state...is it better to switch to a nationwide accessible bank? I know I will still be able to access them electronically...but if I sell something and someone writes me a check...where do I cash it...where do I deposit it? It would feel very strange not to be able to walk into a my bank and not do business face-to-face...if the need or desire arises.

And then...there's black water!! UGHHHH!

Speaking of that...does anyone use Planet Fitness or YMCA to $#@!, shower and shave while you are meandering? That is also my plan. I currently have a PF membership but I wonder how populated the USA is with them or if it would be better to get a YMCA membership. I don't see us staying at a campground near as often as I will need to do those things and it will be too easy to hit a gym every other day or so and save my fresh water and avoid any ...<gulp> BLACK water!  🤢

Squeamishly yours...

Ain't gonna Be As Long As It Has Been...

MontegoMag

 

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We bank at a national Credit Union so I am not sure if it is apples to apples. We receive checks when on the road and deposit them either scanned in or via an app on the phone. Look on your CU's website and check their app for these options. We have found hey work great!!! So much more convenient than going to the CU. Also make sure you can use ATMs around the country for cash(we use very little cash).

Our CU has no problems with our being a full timer for loans or anything like that. They actually solicit RVers.

I haven't looked but Planet Fitness and Y's are mostly larger city options. IMO not a very feasible option. You can do all this in your rig. Are you planning mostly on boondocking? That is a whole new discussion.

 

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