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Old 08-25-2014, 02:54 PM
 
676 posts, read 745,359 times
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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....
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarajane2013 View Post
It seems to me that Snowbirds are rich or semi-rich.....or well of.f. 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....
I'm sure there are many snowbirds around on a fixed income ( who ISN'T on a fixed income these days, even if they're working, at least the SS gets a small COLA each year, some incomes don't) who aren't that well off. We see some around here (SW Florida) who rent, or perhaps they own trailers, even travel trailers that they set up in a mobile home park or campground. You may also be able to find a small house to rent somewhere for that long- short term rentals, although you have to keep in mind that due to the demands for this housing during the winter (snowbird season) the rents are at their peak, they're less off season.

I promise you, depending on where you want to go, there are many snowbirds who do short-term rentals, and don't own their second homes....
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
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Either a short-term rental, or find someone looking for house-sitters.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Florida -
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Another possibility is to look for Floridians or those with second homes in Florida, who might be interested in swapping weeks in their home for weeks in yours. We've seen others who share a multi-bedroom 'snowbird rental' with another couple. There are also folks who rent-out apartments/condos, but, are not really on the 'snowbird circuit' -- (Craigslist etc. -- while VRBO is a different type of short-term, high ticket renter.)
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:10 PM
 
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I agree with looking for someone who needs a house sitter. There are websites that put house sitters together with people looking for a house sitter.

Also, why don't you look into volunteering in a state or national park? As I understand it, you would get a campsite or other housing in lieu of pay. Try this website:
U.S. National Park ServiceVolunteers In Parks

Maybe you would be able to sublet your current apartment for the winter months you are in Florida?

One other website you might try- and this wouldn't work for long term stays, but it might help on your travel expenses while on the road. Look into couchsurfing.org
it is an organization that puts travelers together with people who are willing to share their couch, bedroom, attic, etc with someone who is traveling. The "catch" is that you will also be willing to offer your couch to a similarly minded traveler. You would need to be careful, of course, but you might meet some terrific people.
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:14 PM
 
Location: it depends
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So it might take $6,000 or so to rent for three or four months in FLA and travel to and from. If you run the rest of your budget sensibly, it isn't that hard to fit in the snowbird routine.
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:23 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 813,231 times
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DH and I traveled for 6 years as full-timers and met many snowbirds who lived on fixed-incomes.

The main thing was securing a home-away base. Most we met, had portable accommodations preferring travel trailers, van-campers or motorhomes to renting. The reason was always the same...they liked living with their own 'stuff', sleeping in their own bed and the ability to leave on a moments notice without having to pack. Of course the ability to move around, see the country and visit friends and family always came up, but it was mostly about the freedom to move freely.

There are a few strategies you could use to cut your expenses while on the road, assuming you will be keeping your rental during the winter. For those that were really limited in income but in relatively good health, they became Workampers. Here is a link: Workamper News. Workamping allows you the flexibility to accept positions for pay in areas that you will be visiting anyway. Most are seasonal and there are a wide variety of different jobs available from tour guides to park hosts to maintenance staff at resorts.

If your portable home is equipped with self-sufficient power, traveling to areas in the southwest and staying LTV areas on BLM lands may be very reasonable for you. You will need to purchase a permit that is valid from Oct through Apr, and you will have to manage your self-sufficiency, but LTV areas are equipped with dumpsters, potable water and dump stations and some even offer a very active social atmosphere.

If you or your spouse were in the military and have earned the privilege of utilizing MWR facilities, many bases have rec areas that available for use at a reduced rate. If the rec area is on or near the base itself, you may also be able to utilize the gym, hobby shop, commissary and PX/BX which will save you money.

The biggest factor I see (aside from making sure you can afford to keep your permanent rental), is securing a home-away base. If this is something you want to try out in a specific area, then renting may be the way to go. But from what I have heard, there are infinitely more perks to owning your own portable home and living on the cheap.

BTW...we had our mail forwarded to family while we were gone and managed all our bills online through our bank where our direct deposits went. May I suggest that you start visiting and perhaps join some RVing forums. Those that have been where you are now can offer some great advice!

RVcook
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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We get over 250,000 snowbirds every winter here in AZ. A good portion of them rent for 1-3 months. The longer the rent time the cheaper by the month it is. Most usually line up or reserve their rental time a year or more in advance. Generally they go through leasing agents to find a place.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:48 AM
 
676 posts, read 745,359 times
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Thank you all !!!
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,777 posts, read 54,424,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
I'm sure there are many snowbirds around on a fixed income ( who ISN'T on a fixed income these days, even if they're working, at least the SS gets a small COLA each year, some incomes don't) who aren't that well off. We see some around here (SW Florida) who rent, or perhaps they own trailers, even travel trailers that they set up in a mobile home park or campground. You may also be able to find a small house to rent somewhere for that long- short term rentals, although you have to keep in mind that due to the demands for this housing during the winter (snowbird season) the rents are at their peak, they're less off season.

I promise you, depending on where you want to go, there are many snowbirds who do short-term rentals, and don't own their second homes....
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.

As to the OPs question, buying a small lower-tier home in a desirable warm climate area will allow you to make the mortgage payments when not living there by using VRBO or similar to get vacation rental income.
It helps to be near some kind of attractions or recreational opportunities. You can also go the other way.
For example, buy in a snow area with skiing nearby and rent it out during the winter, when you go back to the warmer climate.
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