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Old 05-25-2015, 12:08 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,778 times
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I am going to be a snowbird for the first time this year. We will be in Mexico Beach for six months renting a two bedroom cottage right on the beach. This cottage is costing us $550.00 a month, plus utilities which will make it around $850.00. We have a home in NC and had toyed for almost two years on what to do. We researched buying an RV, but decided there was too much work/responsibilities involved. As far as buying a second home, I really believe that limits you to where you can spend your time. Next year we may decide to rent some where else during the winter, or come back to the beach. After a lot of thought and research, renting your snowbird residence should be a lot less costly and less stressful, unless you have unlimited resources. We have been working toward this for about four years, downsizing, creating and living on a budget, and making sure we maintain a frugal lifestyle, but not to the point of not doing What we want to do.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:14 PM
 
17,413 posts, read 10,500,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbird001 View Post
I am going to be a snowbird for the first time this year. We will be in Mexico Beach for six months renting a two bedroom cottage right on the beach. This cottage is costing us $550.00 a month, plus utilities which will make it around $850.00. We have a home in NC and had toyed for almost two years on what to do. We researched buying an RV, but decided there was too much work/responsibilities involved. As far as buying a second home, I really believe that limits you to where you can spend your time. Next year we may decide to rent some where else during the winter, or come back to the beach. After a lot of thought and research, renting your snowbird residence should be a lot less costly and less stressful, unless you have unlimited resources. We have been working toward this for about four years, downsizing, creating and living on a budget, and making sure we maintain a frugal lifestyle, but not to the point of not doing What we want to do.
Yep, I am considering doing the same rather than moving to FL.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:45 PM
 
5,976 posts, read 3,361,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbird001 View Post
I am going to be a snowbird for the first time this year. We will be in Mexico Beach for six months renting a two bedroom cottage right on the beach. This cottage is costing us $550.00 a month, plus utilities which will make it around $850.00. We have a home in NC and had toyed for almost two years on what to do. We researched buying an RV, but decided there was too much work/responsibilities involved. As far as buying a second home, I really believe that limits you to where you can spend your time. Next year we may decide to rent some where else during the winter, or come back to the beach. After a lot of thought and research, renting your snowbird residence should be a lot less costly and less stressful, unless you have unlimited resources. We have been working toward this for about four years, downsizing, creating and living on a budget, and making sure we maintain a frugal lifestyle, but not to the point of not doing What we want to do.
If you're not sure exactly where you want to be then your approach makes total sense. Others want the stability and solidity of knowing exactly where they will be.

You're just extending what many families do when younger for vacation - some go the timeshare or vacation cottage route as they like to go to the same place year after year while others book hotels and try different things
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:07 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,778 times
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Default Snowbirding

So true to both post. Some of the things I'm worried about is getting our mail forwarded, making sure our prescriptions are up-to-date. So if anyone has ideas, please let me know. I have researched and tried to think of everything. We have taken long vacations, but never for six months. So, this will be a new experience for us to be gone for so long. I have someone set up to rake leaves, and look after our home while we're away. I have a security system I can monitor via smartphone, change temp, unlock door, etc. So, I'm confident about my house being ok. Just wondering what I have forgotten!!
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:51 PM
 
2,100 posts, read 2,068,366 times
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Update: I noticed you're going to Mexico. I don't know if the following will work for international:
To get your mail forwarded go to the usps.com site. Under quick tools pick change of address. Then pick temporary. Make sure you have the mail forwarded for the family. If you pick individual and have a spouse his/her mail will not be forwarded (I made that mistake once and my northern postman was kind enough to send me a note telling me my husband had mail piling up, so I had to do it again for him). It will cost you $1.05 on a credit card- they want to make sure you are you and they validate your address through the credit card. Don't bother to pay for the forwarding they want to charge $17/wk for, this works just fine. You have to put in a stop date, but you can always edit it if you keep the weblink and confirmation number they send back to you in the confirmation e-mail. You can forward for up to 1 year. We use this every year. When we're ready to come back, I adjust the mail forward to stop 2 weeks before we depart and set up a hold mail (right above the mail forward option on the quick links) for the day the forward stops. That way we only have 2 weeks of hold mail and the pipeline in the mail forward has been cleaned out. It can take 7-10 days for the mail to arrive at the forwarded address.

I would advise you to create accounts with all of your northern utilities and have them send you your bills by e-mail. When I did this, I did not discontinue the paper right away to make sure it was working. I also have a spreadsheet with a list of on-line bills I should get, so when I pay the bill I put it in that month's column. That helps me track and make sure I didn't forget one.

You should downgrade any Comcast or Verizon services up north to the lowest level or put on seasonal plan. If you are purchasing here, Florida Comcast has a seasonal plan called a convenience plan where you only pay for the equipment rental (or you can return it and pay nothing, but you have to go pick it up again when you come back).

Again- don't know about Mexico, might have to take all prescriptions with you. As to prescriptions, Walgreens has a national database and our NJ prescriptions can be filled here in FL. My husband has run out of his medication and called his NJ doctors and it wasn't a problem to get a refill. I would think that would depend on what the medication is and whether the doctor has to see you. He takes blood pressure medication that really doesn't require a visit just for a refill.

Don't turn the heat off or the pipes will freeze. I set our heat to 60. I see you have a security system so you can change the temp, but you also need to monitor it as well. I bought a device on Amazon that you plug into a socket and plug a lamp into it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o06_s00 I put a red light bulb into the lamp and asked my neighbor if he saw the light to call me. Lucky he did as the heat went off last Feb during that really cold spell. The device was set to trigger at 50. By the time the repair people got there the next morning the house was 38.

I assume your leaf raker will also shovel snow. You don't want the house to look unlived in. Last thing I did was set up a lamp in the back of the house to go off with a timer. You can see some light from the front, but since we're down a private drive no one goes down there anyway.

I am a list maker, so I have a list of things I want to bring with me as well as things to do before I leave (take the inkjet cartridges out of the printer and put them in a plastic bag so they don't dry out, turn off all unnecessary appliances, routers, etc- that sort of thing)

Enjoy, sounds like you've taken care of everything and you have someone to look after the house.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:07 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,117,825 times
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Doing it this year. We are not retired. That's at least 10 years away. But I have a business that I can work online - as well as a skill that I can use anywhere.

My last child graduated from HS this week. I feel that I have PTSD (seriously) from this last Midwestern winter. I love my house. I love the change of seasons.

However, after Christmas and New Years - there is a whole bunch of cold that I'd rather avoid.

We have a relative who can live in our house, so fortunately, that is not an issue.

We are thinking about the Cassadega, Lake Helen, Deland, Deltona, area - because there is a small spiritualist community there and we enjoy being with open minded people.

Since the COL is so low here in OH, I see this as very doable.

I am not seeing a downside for myself.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,876 posts, read 2,364,525 times
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Although myself is no "Snowbird"..however my parent's were as is my brother..who still goes down to Mexico for that "Allowable time Period" which is between 4 & 6 months..While my parent's only rented condo's over those years (Florada> Orlando area and New Smyrna Beach area) back in the '70's and early '80's..my brother and sister-in law actually bought condo's both apt. and townhouses in Mexico. ..My SIL passed away about year and half ago..and my brother's toyed with selling his condo..decided to stay..He has cultivated a huge circle of friendships down their along with other snowy folk would come and visit as well...So has kept it...

Found a nice link tho that addresses many of the questions Snowbirds have to answer before they even decide to fly south avoiding our awful winters!! It's fairly recent 2012 so should be helpful

What snowbirds should know - The Globe and Mail
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:05 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,778 times
Reputation: 25
Going to Mexico Beach, Florida!!!
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:10 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,778 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by macrodome2 View Post
Update: I noticed you're going to Mexico. I don't know if the following will work for international:
To get your mail forwarded go to the usps.com site. Under quick tools pick change of address. Then pick temporary. Make sure you have the mail forwarded for the family. If you pick individual and have a spouse his/her mail will not be forwarded (I made that mistake once and my northern postman was kind enough to send me a note telling me my husband had mail piling up, so I had to do it again for him). It will cost you $1.05 on a credit card- they want to make sure you are you and they validate your address through the credit card. Don't bother to pay for the forwarding they want to charge $17/wk for, this works just fine. You have to put in a stop date, but you can always edit it if you keep the weblink and confirmation number they send back to you in the confirmation e-mail. You can forward for up to 1 year. We use this every year. When we're ready to come back, I adjust the mail forward to stop 2 weeks before we depart and set up a hold mail (right above the mail forward option on the quick links) for the day the forward stops. That way we only have 2 weeks of hold mail and the pipeline in the mail forward has been cleaned out. It can take 7-10 days for the mail to arrive at the forwarded address.

I would advise you to create accounts with all of your northern utilities and have them send you your bills by e-mail. When I did this, I did not discontinue the paper right away to make sure it was working. I also have a spreadsheet with a list of on-line bills I should get, so when I pay the bill I put it in that month's column. That helps me track and make sure I didn't forget one.

You should downgrade any Comcast or Verizon services up north to the lowest level or put on seasonal plan. If you are purchasing here, Florida Comcast has a seasonal plan called a convenience plan where you only pay for the equipment rental (or you can return it and pay nothing, but you have to go pick it up again when you come back).

Again- don't know about Mexico, might have to take all prescriptions with you. As to prescriptions, Walgreens has a national database and our NJ prescriptions can be filled here in FL. My husband has run out of his medication and called his NJ doctors and it wasn't a problem to get a refill. I would think that would depend on what the medication is and whether the doctor has to see you. He takes blood pressure medication that really doesn't require a visit just for a refill.

Don't turn the heat off or the pipes will freeze. I set our heat to 60. I see you have a security system so you can change the temp, but you also need to monitor it as well. I bought a device on Amazon that you plug into a socket and plug a lamp into it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o06_s00 I put a red light bulb into the lamp and asked my neighbor if he saw the light to call me. Lucky he did as the heat went off last Feb during that really cold spell. The device was set to trigger at 50. By the time the repair people got there the next morning the house was 38.

I assume your leaf raker will also shovel snow. You don't want the house to look unlived in. Last thing I did was set up a lamp in the back of the house to go off with a timer. You can see some light from the front, but since we're down a private drive no one goes down there anyway.

I am a list maker, so I have a list of things I want to bring with me as well as things to do before I leave (take the inkjet cartridges out of the printer and put them in a plastic bag so they don't dry out, turn off all unnecessary appliances, routers, etc- that sort of thing)

Enjoy, sounds like you've taken care of everything and you have someone to look after the house.
Going to Mexico Beach Florida, which is in the panhandle... Your advise is great. I also have the lamp socket, so I can change the times the lights go on and off. Also, the snow removal is a great suggestion.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:30 AM
 
1,825 posts, read 2,583,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbird001 View Post
Going to Mexico Beach Florida, which is in the panhandle... Your advise is great. I also have the lamp socket, so I can change the times the lights go on and off. Also, the snow removal is a great suggestion.
We did six weeks in Florida, in three locations, last winter to "try it out" and see where we liked. This winter we are doing two months, all in the Bradenton down to Englewood area but one month each, one in a condo on the beach and one in a house in a 55+ community so we can see what we like for living arrangements. In other words, we are still exploring. DH is more willing to buy than I am. While it would be nice to know what you have, I'm not sure if it makes sense financially to have the monthly bills throughout the year. Would not want to rent it out, heard too many stories about that. The downside of renting is finding a place if you wait too long. I just recently secured February for us and just hope it is as good as it looks on VRBO.

As for prescriptions, as long as you are with a national group you should not have any problems. I ended up picking up meds at CVS in three totally different locations with no problem. You can have your mail forwarded but that's only first class. You can also have them bundle and send everything once a week or every two weeks, etc. to a post office. Not cheap for the service but everything comes, be that good or bad. Best thing to do is get all bills, etc set up electronically.
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