2018 Decisions

  • Take a look at major technology trends that are out five years or so. Some may end up being worth following a little closer in the years to come – such as engine technology, solar, national wireless coverage and such. I started making my list of what we might purchase the first year and those are the items I’m planning to study in detail.
  • Home Improvement: Replace hall bath mirror and possible light fixture.
  • Home Improvement: Cleanup the trail through our woods. Bought some better cutting tools back in 2015 which included attachments for weedeater. Should allow for minimum time needed to spruce up the trail before selling the house.
  • Home Improvement: Paint third side of 4 sides of house.
  • Consider attending an RV rally/seminar  – I moved this from 2017. The RV-Dream Rally looks good and at a fair price. What I like about the RV Dream Rally is you have a chance to meet up with a lot of fulltimers or futuretimers to include touring their trailers if you have not already decided on one. Need to book early before cabins are all taken if we don’t already own our RV  by then. We are seriously considering getting our rig in 2018 or early 2019 as I plan to use up saved vacation my last year at work. This might be a better time to attend a rally. Last year I looked at going to a Owner’s Rally but felt having the actual trailer to attend with would be required. I also looked at the Escapee’s Club Bootcamp but don’t want to drive to Texas for it because, according to their website, the topics covered are fairly basic for someone with a little RVing experience.
  • Consider selecting a luxury rig this year: The 2017 models would most likely be the year we would purchase a relatively more expensive rig from as a used unit. Fulltime rigs are all expensive to us, especially in the 19,000 pound and above price point. We might also consider a new 2019 model year trailer if buying in the 16,500 pound weight price point. We could also wait, maybe, and get a 2020 model year when they first come out next year. But we want to travel during the last year of work and waiting for the 2020 model years could be after the travel season. It’s looking more likely this might move to the spring of 2019 because that’s as early as I would have time away from work to use it. We also are considering living in it once the house goes on the market.
  • Get the dents fixed on Karen’s car. Not much of an RV related goal but we will be trading it in or selling to get a truck eventually. Note – in 2017 we decided it might be best to trade my car in on the truck and keep hers in case our home sells early and we have to live in the fifth wheel while I’m still working. That way she would have her car for daily travels.
  • Consider if this is the year to buy the truck. We are going to stick with 19,000 pound and below for trailer weight. Here is a link to my blog posts in 2017. We are getting a dual wheel truck to improve the cargo (pin weight) load max weight. I think a truck might be handy when downsizing the house. I already know the top 10 trailers we might buy and the truck I’m considering will handle them all.  So we are buying the truck first.  I’ll trade one family car in and keep another because Karen uses a car maybe twice a week. If she gets to feeling comfortable with the truck then we will sell the car. . It’s unlikely I’ll push this off until 2019 but might wait and buy a 2018 when the 2019 model years come out. I’ve heard there might be major changes coming to the 2018 Ram (update – there were). Ford did it in 2017 and Chevy/GMC had more minor changes in 2017 from what I can tell.
  • Downsizing: Give some consideration to if this would be a good year to start downsizing more rapidly. We want to enjoy our stuff while we can, but don’t want to be hindered by getting rid of it next year when I retire. Would be nice to see the house sell about the same time we get our rig.
  • check-mark-md (2)Attend a larger RV Show:  We need to get out of the Kansas City area to see more units. Actually, there are only two brands that we might be interested in that are not usually at the local show or sold at area dealerships. I don’t see any point in traveling to a larger show. Factory tours would be a better way to spend my time. A friend was in Washington State and toured one of the trailers of the two I had not seen. He posted a video on his youtube for subscribers.
  • check-mark-md (2)Confirm alternatives for early withdrawal of retirement funds: As of 2017 we are not planning to have to use this for our budget as I’m keeping a part-time job. Without penalty I can use funds from my government 457 plan after age 50. I believe I can move money from a simple IRA to a traditional IRA as I’ve been in the plan more than two years. I believe I can use substantial equal payments from a traditional IRA at any time but not take substantial payments from the simple IRA until I’ve separated from employment. And if I take substantial equal payments they must continue for five years minimum. If I take money out of the 457 plan they will withhold 20% for taxes. Of course, I would receive a tax refund if my actual income tax was less than 20%.
  • Consider starting payments for one pension: I’m 55 this year and can start drawing from one pension for an earlier job. I’ll be checking to see how much more I can get if I delay. One thing I really want to do is get all the retirement payments setup before we hit the road. Preferably through direct deposit accounts. Good chance this one will move to next year.
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