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A shout out of thanks! First full year complete...


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As 2014 wraps up, it closes out our first full year of Full Timers. I'm making the rounds to several RV boards, to THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE!

 

From two or so years in advance, as we did the retirement planning, to the early stages as we headed out. The info from Escapees has been our largest foundation (run into many of you helping on other forums too) on making this as smooth of transition as possible.

 

We did end up keeping our S&B home, now a Vacation Home, so that DW's Mother would have a nice place to live in her golden years. This affected our budget some, but more so our travel plans. We always planned to visit the area from time to time, to catch up with old friends and a few siblings. But the addition of now needing to check in on not only Mom, but also coordinate maintenance on the home too, has changed some of travel plans. We go out for several months at a time (completed our 4 month Retirement Victory Tour to Alaska), and did boondocking for over a month down in the South West Arizona region, and a few other visits to other regions too.

 

Retaining the home as for Vacation Usage, and to help Mom, did simplify the great purge of selling everything off. We did a massive sell of both of our homes, and Mom moved in much of her own stuff. So we did get rid of many things, but admit we have a larger purging ahead - when we do plan to sell the home when it's no longer needed for Mom.

 

We keep learning, keep having fun. Have really enjoyed making new friends, becoming an Elk in South Dakota in our new Domicile, and having the time to become more involved in the locales that we travel too.

 

Again, THANKS! We will do our best to help others as we can, as we know how much we learned from you veterans of RV'ing...

Best to you all,

Smitty

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I don't know if I was one of the posters offering advice or suggestions or not as you posted questions but what a nice Thank You & update letter. It is lovely to hear you have completed your 1st Fulltime year.

We hope you still enjoy as much after 18 years which is how long we have been enjoying this wonderful lifestyle. Hugs, Di

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Thanks Di,

 

I'm surprised, as long winded as I usually am, that I did not point out the knowledge was shared in two ways:

 

1) From me posting questions, in this section, budget section, finance section, etc. - as appropriate.

 

2) And from Data Mining, as I searched topics, and just sat back with a cup of coffee (well, perhaps a glass of vino in the afternoon), and read my back thru the older posts.

 

Such an incredibly friendly group, and willing to share personal information. One key thing my wife and I commented onto some friends recently (They too, are thinking of going off on the road...), was the importance of having an 'exit strategy'. It made us do a few things differently on the budget front. While we are Domiciled now in SD, we're both going to keep and eye out for locales to consider when we need to come off the road. That could be as easy as one of the Rainbow parks, or a Co-Op park, or private lot with Casita, etc. Or heck, we may just downsize our rig, and get a condo in a town that we like. I have to admit, that I did not put 'exit strategy' on our To Do list, while planning... One of the more invaluable things we picked up.

 

That along with keeping in mind it is the journey, and to take time in an areas to get to know it. We liked that tip so much, we got Personal License plates for our coach 'THE JRNY":)!

 

Best to you, and Happy New years to you and all,

Smitty

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Smtty, very nice & thoughtful post! We have been fulltiming for two years now... but had done none prior to that - this forum was a huge help, along with a couple of others. people like Kirk, and RV, were big helps in figuring some things out "minus the learning curve".

 

Similar experience... we planned to sell our S & B house... but ended up keeping it with now eventual plans of selling it to our daughter & Son-in-Law. We are constructing an 'in-Laws apartment in the walkout basement for my wife and I for when we are home (like now). Down the road when & if it becomes time to travel less... we could settle Winters in Texas or Arizona and Summers back here in Michigan. A manufactured home on a few acres is a real possibility.

Jim

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Great to hear that the first year was such a success, even if your initial plans were changed along the way. Remember, everything is in jello. We had thought we would do more extensive cross country travel, but because my mom is now 92, we have been making the trek up to Seattle each year (the one year we didn't go she got very confused) because we never know when it will be the last summer to visit.

 

As to an "exit plan" remain flexible. We had thought that we would just drive off into the sunset, never own anything else, etc. Then this summer some health problems reared their head and we got talking and the idea of a Park Model where we spend each winter came into view, so we now have 2 RVs (park models are classified as RVs) on stationary for the winter and one mobile (MH) for the summer! And, should either one of us die, the other has someplace to land and sort things out before deciding what to do. Also meant getting new physicians - and with new physicians come a thorough review and some things (like small skin cancers) have been caught that might have gone on for awhile, as well as some adjustment to medications. So stay flexible because you just never know what you will happen down the road.

 

Barb

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Congratulations Smitty on your year! Great advice Barb, we too thought we would ride off into the sunset, never looking back.But, as someone once said,, "Life is what happens while you're busy making plans" . We are delayed,"dead in the water " now due to unforseen medical and family complications. But we hope to be on our way again in 2015.

 

Carl

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No matter how much our minds try to tells us that we are still the same, the body keeps letting us know that we are aging. I think that is one of the things that gets more people off the road - a change in some condition which makes fulltiming not as easy as we would want. And then there are family ties. Best we can do is adjust, figure out what works, and try and head on out again.

 

Barb

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Glad to hear of your first year success and many more to come.

 

We full-timed for 16 years and we, too, thought we'd go on forever. However, the past two years we found that traveling and exploring new things were not the same. The awakening happened when we were heading back to Arizona for the winter and we toured - as we've done many times - the southern Utah national parks. We've had great memories of hiking and enjoying all aspects of the parks, including volunteering, but the past two times we did it we found that we zoomed through just like tourists. It just didn't feel right and we didn't want our excitement of full-timing to diminish to that point with repeat visits to our favorite places.

 

We can truthfully say we've seen and done all we've dreamed of - and more. We were very active full-timers, traveled constantly and volunteered many, many times. We had awesome experiences doing it all. We ended on a high note. We have bought a small townhouse in a very active 55+ community and 20+ couples whom we've wintered with all the years have bought in the same community. We have instant friendships and help when needed and have acquired many more friendships with new activities and learning. We're happy.

 

Folks keep saying to have an exit plan in place when you first begin. We highly disagree because in our case, we had no idea how it would end. We did invest the money from our sold S&B in the very beginning so perhaps you could call that our exit plan. However, we're sure glad we didn't buy anything at the start so we'd have someplace to come back. Being from the Midwest we had no idea our final home would be in Arizona. We fell in love with it.

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So, 2Gypsies, where are you in AZ? We are loosely looking for a more solid place for when we are only "travelling" part of they year. For us, we will likely be in an RV (fixed) or park model, and have a smaller unit to travel part time in. Kinda like Kirk did, but not a "real" house.....or - who knows, if we found the right deal it might be a "real" house....but nothing elaborate. I'm kinda liking the big barn with an apt in it.....

 

We like North Ranch and will look for a big lot there this fall (we are stuck on the East Coast this year). We have a small lot there now....

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Well Jack, you probably won't find your big barn here in Green Valley. We've always enjoyed North Ranch but it's a little colder in winter, as is Benson. where we had a lot for ten years. For summers we plan to rent a place in June & July in the AZ mountains. We'll return to the desert in August for the monsoons and hopefully it'll be cooler. We'll see how it goes. We don't have a RV anymore.

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I'm not sure I'd go back down until October. At least we don't plan on being in the Valley until then. October 15 to April 15th then on to somewhere cooler in the MH for the summer.

Barb,

 

There is a park on the Mississippi River just northwest of Minneapolis that advertises in Escapee's magazine that might suit you. It is only open April 15th to October 15th. It is called Mississippi Riverwood. It is a co-op so you rent from a lot owner. Everything you might need is close yet big city amenities such as museums, theaters, and concerts halls are not far away. We enjoyed our summer there. http://www.mrarvpark.com

 

Linda Sand

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