2019 Decisions

This will be the year of our “semi-retirement”. We saved enough to leave early!

  • Expand the list of places we want to visit using a searchable database/spreadsheet organized by state. Was referred to this site to get started. Maybe use Google Maps or both. This is expanded from the  2015 decision because more than likely ratings on camp grounds and other stops would be more accurate the closer we are to retirement. I’ll include only permanent landmarks and leave the detailed trip plans to be made when we are on the road. Started the spreadsheet a long time ago and add to it as we find places we want to visit.
  • Attend the 2019 RV Show: If we have not already bought the rig.
  • Consider selling the house and moving to a month to month rent.  Bank the extra savings to be used to hack away at the $6000 we are short (as of 2015 estimates) each year we leave before 59 years of age. We decided back in 2015 not to do this. We have pets and also want to enjoy our current home and land while we still own it. We looked at this option again in 2017. It’s less expensive for us to live in a paid off house ($570 a month) than an $1,100 apartment.  We have to make repairs to the home regardless before we sell it and as we are not living in the house for much longer, we don’t expect any additional major repairs.
  • Mobile Office: Test everything from a campground to make sure it works. I kept a separate list of things to do.
  • Design a business card so we can hand them out when on the road etc.. I moved this to an earlier year as we are wanting to meet others now, before we hit the road. Move this from 2016 because we were not sure if we would be keeping our older phone numbers, going to one phone or what. But we want to get this done earlier than later so when we met people we can share our contact info.  I usually use Vista Print. But here is an interesting idea at moo.com. All cards have different backs that can be your photos.
  • Apply for a US Passport. For times we venture into Mexico and Canada. Also not sure if it will help once we apply for a driver’s license in another state. May move this and as much as possible, other items, to 2018 and thereby reduce the load for 2019.
  • Home Improvement: Paint final side of house.
  • Check into RV driving classes – maybe call a local trucking school to see if they can refer to a class
  • Start more in-depth review of RV technology such as phone, television, solar and other.  Consider what should be added at the time of purchase and what to wait on to see what is popular. Most likely we will add tech after we are on the road. (actually started in 2015 because I was finding ideas as I read other blogs)
  • Start studying outline for RV maintenance.    Check lists rule! I started reading up on this in 2017.
  • On-line banking review.  Got some early advice to look at Credit Unions for free national ATM usage.  As of 2015 we are with Bank of America and have been for years. Wells Fargo seems to be popular amongst full timers. Decided to stick with our current bank which is Bank of America. Also in 2016 I joined USAA. They offer about every service you would ever need to include insurance and financial planning.
  • Actually finish going paperless.  Moved from 2015 when I started scanning and shredding. We will need to have bills and similar forms of paper mail sent electronically to avoid having to pay for extra mail forwarding.
  • Draft up an itinerary for our first year first few months on the road. Found this idea on the Meandering Maddox’s blog. Bet I can get Karen heavily involved in this one. Figure we will just plan where to go from November 1st to our wherever winter place. I’m not interesting in planning for a year at a time. Wow, can’t believe I just typed that!
  • Research and join camping clubs for reduced park rates and other benefits. Decided to just stick with Good Sams and certainly Passport America until after we are on the road and find our travel style. We may also join Escapees depending on if we use their mail service.
  • Finalize research on healthcare: Karen will have Medicare after nine months. I’ll be providing my own. Starting following this topic hard in 2017.
  • Select domicile (as of 2014 TX, SD and Florida are popular). I will most likely maintain a separate list of steps. I read where some change their mailing address a few months early so they can see who they have to notify that their address has changed. Also helps in establishing the official domicile. They just have the mail send back to their sticks n bricks house.
  • Check life insurance rates before taking pension options.  Based on a study I did in November of 2017, it’s cheaper to get the life insurance over a 10 year period than to reduce the pension benefit and provide 50 to 100% survivor benefit to Karen.  It’s about break-even at 50% survivor benefit. I’ll provide a link to the article when done.
  • Vehicle fuel savings memberships. We get this with our Good Sam’s club membership already.
  • Look into what bank to use when full-timing.  Done. I see no reason not to just stay with Bank of America. They are a national brand with excellent online services. As a veteran I also jointed USAA and might make use of their insurance and or banking services as here in 2016 their ATM service is free.
  • Find out how to access pensions.  In 2014 when I revised my retirement plan I had anticipated using IRA accounts. That changed when I decided to keep a part-time job when on the road.  We are not going to need to get at IRA funds as part of our travel budget. In 2017 I hired a financial planner and consolidated resources. We are thinking about starting off with a certain amount in our checking account and replace what is spend with pension income and workcamping.
  • Prepare house for market and list it (waiting for retirement as should have time to get this done during the day). In reality this started back in 2015 with scheduling home repairs spread out through the years. Completion of this step is simply having the home to ready to show condition.
  • Rent a storage unit or not. Here in 2017 we are leaning towards a 5×10 unit and a couple boxes stored at our daughter’s house. It’s worth the money to not have to make the hard decisions if we might need something later. We can go back in a year and get rid of everything. What about the most secure storage options?
  • Safe Deposit Box or not? Nope, don’t have one now in 2017. Karen is taking stuff with her on the road in our new home and the other valuables can be left with our daughter.
  • Consider starting travel blog rather than adding to this blog. I could see the need for a different theme. Na, keeping it as it is so I don’t loose any followers. Although I may consolidate all the planning related pages into three or four pages rather than having it be the general theme of the blog. New blog name would be Home on a Hitch.
  • Hmm.. Complete final purge – do we move into the RV while house is for sale or leave furnishings inside house for now?
  • Get a second credit card for travel. From a different bank in case our main card gets blocked for some reason while a new one is  being shipped.
  • Get up to speed on current “best” RV construction. Done -With special attention to weak points.  Started construction methods research in 2015 and kept current.
  • Purchase an RV rating subscription. RV.org is the one that comes to mine.  I’ll have to see what others are recommending at the time. Did this in 2017. With as much research as I’ve done this was not a big help. I’d only suggest buying one during times they are advertised at a discount, that is unless you have very little time to plan.
  • Review exit strategy We decided just to save back some of the proceeds from selling our house and then decide when the time comes. We are trying to spend at least six years on the road and know what our net income should be then. So we have an idea of what we could afford and looked at what is out their in our price range if bought today. See how it went with Jack.
  • Find an RV park near Kansas City and Springfield worthy of spending a season at so we can visit family. Make use of RV Park Reviews.com. Got the KC one done (Smithville Lake is best for us so far). I’ve gone as far as I have time for now. We continue to visit local parks.
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