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  1. Hi! We are looking for advice and guidance as to where to begin and how to prioritize our preparations for transitioning to the lifestyle of early retirement and full-time RVing. We are very excited about our plans, but the more we study this concept the more overwhelmed and apprehensive we feel and would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions based on your experiences. Following is our current status and our objectives: My name is Randy and I am 62 years old (8/23/54) and just retired from my full time job. My wife, Diane is 63 years old (8/21/53) and retired from her home daycare business as of July, 2013 for medical reasons, most of which she has been successfully treated. We have a 9-year old healthy Norwegian Elkhound and are temporarily taking care of our son’s two Siamese cats. We live in Sterling, VA and own our home, with approximately $175K in equity based on recent comps. We plan on selling our home early next spring in 2017 along with most all of our possessions, most of which are worth very little with the exception of a few antiques. We have completed significant home improvements and expect very few additional expenses in preparation for listing our home. The housing market is very good in our area and we have already made preliminary arrangements with a Real Estate agent; however we are considering selling our home ourselves as we have done in the past. I plan on paying for COBRA for our medical, dental and vision health insurance for the full 18 months or as long as we can afford to, which will cost an estimated $1,700 a month. I own a part-time photography wholesale business that brings in an annual income of $10K – $15K, which I plan on selling (if possible) when we sell our home in early spring, 2017. With the exception of our mortgage and remaining car loan balance of $5,000, we are essentially free of debt. Other income sources include an IRA and Annuity the total of which is approximately $1M; both are managed by a financial advisory firm. We plan on delaying receiving Social Security benefits for as long as possible. We recently updated our wills, living wills, general powers of attorney and other legal documents. Our plan is to drive across the country in our 2011 Subaru Outback towing a new 5′ x 8′ Haulmark enclosed cargo trailer with our final destination being Seattle, Washington. We are considering joining the Escapees RV Club and stopping in Livingston, TX to make arrangements for a permanent mailing address and mail forwarding. We are purchasing a used 2001 Class A Fleetwood Bounder, Model 32-H, mileage 42,069 from Diane’s mother for $20,000, for which we have a purchase agreement with a $2,000 down payment, contingent on passing a pre-delivery inspection. Once we have made all necessary repairs to the RV, we plan on living in it full time and traveling back and forth to the homes of our surviving parents who live at opposite ends of Seattle, and to assist them with downsizing their possessions, home maintenance and medical needs. Time permitting, we plan on exploring the greater Pacific Northwest in our RV in search for a final retirement location, and/or continue RVing for as long as we are able and are enjoying this lifestyle. Again, your thoughts are most appreciated. Sincerely yours, Randy and Diane
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