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Old 08-26-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,839 posts, read 18,861,423 times
Reputation: 33746

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Well, we can't afford $6000 for a snowbird trip to Florida and we also can't afford and don't want to buy a house there. But we have a camper. You can buy a good used one and if it's small enough you don't need a monster truck to tow it. The state campgrounds are beautiful but many get filled up long ahead of time.

You can pay a lot and get extra amenities at some RV campground or just get your gas and electric. It's not dirt cheap but I think it's about as cheap as you can get. You'll have your wifi, your tv and radio, you can read and relax. Leave your camper at the site and just travel around in your car. I would probably want to change campsites every so often so I wouldn't get bored and so that I could be closer to other attractions like certain beaches or museums or gardens.

(I'm at a campground in Maine right now and there are other retirees here--I met some at the pool today. Most of the campers you meet are nice people, down to earth people who enjoy nature and a little bit of adventure.)
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:24 PM
 
12 posts, read 9,598 times
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Don't know what your snowbirding budget would be, but I've seen holidayisle.net ads that offer studio apartments for $850 per month in the winter. It appears they are in Sandpiper Cove condominiums in Holiday Isle, FL. They are tiny-not even a separate bedroom-and probably not on the beach. I've never stayed there or seen them and am not connected with them in any way, but they do get good reviews on tripadvisor.com. There's also one listed on vrbo.com (#362903) for $850/month in the winter that shows pictures and has good reviews.

If you want something a little bigger, you might consider vrbo.com (#173095). It rents for $995/month in the winter. I have not stayed in this particular unit, but have stayed in this condo (Holiday Surf and Racquet Club). This is a 1 bedroom/1 bath unit and this condo is right on the beach in Destin, FL. It is an older condominium, but was well kept when I was there. It is also in an area that doesn't have as much traffic, which is a big plus in Destin, and it has easy access to the "main drag". Again, I have no connection with them other than having stayed there once. I'd be happy to stay there again, but we have a dog now and this condo is not dog-friendly.

Some people don't like northern Florida, because it is not that warm in the winter (average highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s).

Good luck in finding your snowbirding place.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:36 PM
 
1,593 posts, read 1,829,326 times
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Camping!
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Finally, someone else has noticed that. There are many people that work hard with no annual increase at all, and they are not considered "fixed income." I wish people would say they are on a limited retirement income or something else that makes more sense.
Good point. Working people often feel as if they are on a "fixed income" too. However, there is often the possibility of getting a moon-lighting job, getting a promotion at work, or finding a better-paying job. But when a retiree talks about "fixed income", to me that implies that absolutely nothing can be done about it. Suppose we are 80 years old; in all likelihood we either cannot work any more or no one would hire us or both. So the income of an 80-year-old is truly fixed and without recourse. It's then too late to undo any mistakes relating to financial planning and/or previous over-spending.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:36 AM
 
491 posts, read 598,162 times
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I see fixed income as being there really is never going to be anymore, and at best it will keep up with inflation. When I was working there was always the hope that I would find a better job, get a good raise, buy a house that would greatly increase in price, inherit a huge amount of money or was adding to my "wealth" by saving.

Now that I no longer work and once I start collecting SS or a pension if I had one I am pretty much taking out rather than putting in. If I need to take out a huge amount I will probably never recoup that and will always have to live on less to make it work.

Some people I know make a yearly winter trip to Las Vegas. There are usually cheap airfares and cheap hotels in the hopes you spend lots of money on the casinos(which they don't). They often rent a car and go on day trips out of LV. They also have said even if you don't gamble it is fun to see the hotels etc. I have been thinking I would like to try this sometime.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: brooklyn, new york, USA
895 posts, read 928,471 times
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why don't you guys live out of a nice RV? yes driving it down south would cost a bit but hey, NO RENT monthly and you never have to get a broker or deal with anything. just get a basic RV or class B camper and live free.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,455,776 times
Reputation: 31111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Blue View Post
I see fixed income as being there really is never going to be anymore, and at best it will keep up with inflation. When I was working there was always the hope that I would find a better job, get a good raise, buy a house that would greatly increase in price, inherit a huge amount of money or was adding to my "wealth" by saving.

Now that I no longer work and once I start collecting SS or a pension if I had one I am pretty much taking out rather than putting in. If I need to take out a huge amount I will probably never recoup that and will always have to live on less to make it work.

Some people I know make a yearly winter trip to Las Vegas. There are usually cheap airfares and cheap hotels in the hopes you spend lots of money on the casinos(which they don't). They often rent a car and go on day trips out of LV. They also have said even if you don't gamble it is fun to see the hotels etc. I have been thinking I would like to try this sometime.
I actually know a woman that's still working at age 83, and has 51 years of service. She could have drawn a pension that with social security would be more than she makes now at age 65, but with her husband passed and no grandchildren, she would be bored, and enjoys her work. Other than maybe Walmart greeter, it would be hard to get a job at that age.

I go to Las Vegas every year on business, and yes, there are cheap flights and hotels but if you try it, make sure it's when there is no big convention in town. I have seen $69 King Bed rooms in major resort hotel/casinos that are up to $250 a week later.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,068 posts, read 9,531,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy Guy View Post
why don't you guys live out of a nice RV? yes driving it down south would cost a bit but hey, NO RENT monthly and you never have to get a broker or deal with anything. just get a basic RV or class B camper and live free.
LOL. You make it sound so delightfully easy ...
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,515,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarajane2013 View Post
It seems to me that Snowbirds are rich or semi-rich.....or well off. We are neither of the three. But we would like to become snowbirds. We are in our sixties and on a fixed income. We rent now and can stay here forever. BUT are there any fixed-income snowbirds and how do you do it? We would like to be able to go to FL for 2-3 or even a month every year while we are still able. We don't spend a lot of money on vacations, we just enjoy nature and each other. Thank you....
Well whatever extra money you have per month is your snowbird money.
The rent you pay is fixed for 12 months so you only have your extra money.
Save the extra for 9 months and then spend 3 months in FL using the extra money.

It all comes down to just how much "extra money" you have.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:49 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 883,936 times
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In my current search I'm seeing small homes in Florida for $50k and even less. Fixers, to be sure. But many have the potential to be good rentals--long term or vacation, or even to be flipped (yes, even in this market if one approaches flips properly it can be done. Gone are the days of a constantly rising market doing the work for you, though). Many of them are Fannie Mae Homepath properties, too, which could mean eligibility for certain low-down and rehab loans, though likely requiring owner occupancy as well.

A modest beach-side bungalow for two is not as far out of reach as many might think, though you won't be in a tony neighborhood!

I see listings for duplexes and houses with apartments for $100k and considerably less. Yes, fixers.

And there's the insurance to consider, of course.

But if these houses are available near the ocean at these purchase prices, I have to believe there would be some very cheap rentals as well. And that there are more houses for sale in other areas of the south & southwest that would have such opportunities to own or rent an inexpensive home, park model home (trailer--don't knock the lifestyle! Lots of people love their retirement parks), etc. I enjoy fixing up homes, so for me it would be a money-generating way to finance a retirement location I would like.

If one makes the effort, I think you'd find opportunities to manage properties for vacation homeowners, too. Maybe you get the apartment above the garage for free while you manage the comings and goings at the vacation rental income property, delivering keys, cleaning the place after renters leave, etc. Craigslist is always a cheap and easy way to cast a line out there and see if something works.

All of these suggestions require a lot of research and some gumption, but to me they are fun ideas for making a winter getaway affordable. All of them are things I'd be willing to do regardless of affordablity, but different people like different things....
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