In September of 2014 I had looked to “retire” at age 59.5 when there would be no tax penalty for early withdrawal of tax deferred savings such as traditional or simple IRA accounts. Before 2014 I had always planned to retire by age 62. The death of my parents changed my opinion.
I hope this dump of information about our current financial considerations might help readers planning for their retirement. I suspect someone will read this blog having just made the decision to plan to live fulltime in an RV. I was there in 2014 and really appreciated all the budgeting advise I learned from others.
As a public service employee in law enforcement we have an added tax benefit. We can withdrawal from our tax deferred 451 account any time after age 50 without penalty. Unfortunately, I believe this is because our life expectancy in retirement is less than the average.
My financial plan still considered the need to take from additional accounts that don’t have the same tax advantage such as a Simple IRA. I wrote an earlier blog post about detailed financial planning which I updated in April of this year. If you’re interested, here is a link. My own planning includes preserving the principal balances of those tax deferred accounts.
It might not be shocking that Karen and I became to excited about the prospect of traveling around the country in an RV to wait any longer than necessary. Of course, we could break camp now (sell everything), find a job that supports our additional income needs, and take off. I’m not that adventures and have to feel comfortable with a potentially disastrous decision. Many current RV fulltimers have more than joked when we met that Karen and I would advance our plans. If you keep track of our progress you know we did just that by moving the date to October of 2019 when I’m 56 and qualify for one remaining small pension plan. Had we waited until 2023 there would be no need to work. Leaving in 2019 causes us to have to make up about $500 a month in income shortage and use some cash savings for a few years. Volunteering for a camping spot, working a paid job at times and other methods would easily help make up part of the shortfall.
To demonstrate how anal I am about finances, I figured out I had to save $21 to knock one day off our retirement date to get it down to October of 2019. That way we would have a cash account to help makeup our budget deficit for a few years in additional to taking temporary workamping jobs. I called this our Save and Leave Early Plan.
I’m overjoyed to report we should meet our savings goal by around January of 2018. There is a counter on the right side of this page counting down to the retirement date. I’m leaving it alone rather than admitting October 2019 is a go date because it encourages me to keep saving. But you can damn well expect me to change the countdown calendar to show hours left at work once 2019 gets here. However, we are planning to get our truck and fifth wheel early and use up a lot of saved vacation before then. I’ll have to work 1000 hours in 2019 per the pension folks. Maybe I can beat the October 2019 goal!
The only concern Karen and I are left with is healthcare. Although she will qualify for Medicare a year into this, I’ll have to provide my own insurance. There is no way I’m going to let that stop us. I’d rather step in front of a truck dying with cancer than to postpone real living! This year I switched our insurance at work to a health savings plan/account. This plan was available through my job and is provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. If things go as planned at retirement we should have built up a savings balance to hopefully get us started with whatever high deductible plan we can find when retired.
God continues to provide for us. Although I don’t feel deserving of it, I had mentioned earlier that a part-time employer of mine wants me to keep the job while on the road. Early this week he said it again. Fact is he wants me to keep the job for the next 13 years. The work requires about 10 hour of my time each week. I’m thinking about doing it because the income is greater than our budget deficit without the job. Love having a plan B! For those of you still planning you might want to consider starting a part-time job now that can be taken on the road with you. Although I had read about others taking on mobile jobs, I’d not thought of that before this opportunity came up. A few months before we leave I may start doing the part-time job as if we were already on the road. Such as working in a confined space with minimal internet connectivity and from a laptop computer.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope I don’t chase off any readers with my rants.
I’m still trying to figure out one other goal. That is how to switch off a type A personality and learn to better go with the flow. Perhaps God already gave me the ability to think through that as well? I hope.