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Old 05-09-2015, 08:00 AM
26,304 posts, read 12,893,040 times
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Considering a change in lifestyle/early retirement for me and the wife. She's disabled, And Im a software engineer for a large well known multinational. We have a house with a mortgage. I work, and earn a very comfortable wage. However the sheer expenses of the mortgage, and all the other bills associated with things means I am not getting ahead like I would like too. And work is....lets just be charitable and call it stressful. while I am making very good money Im not actually enjoying much of anything in life. The last kid of 8 is looking at moving out this coming summer. I no longer have a responsibility to provide a home for my children.

So we are considering a working retirement. Basically we want to sell the large home, purchase a RV add in 30-40K in customizations, and travel in it, camping on BLM lands, and keeping our expenses as low as possible. While...relaxing. Looking at it, we could sell the house, buy a large RV custom designed for boondocking (ie living in a area without power, water, etc provided), and still have about 50K left, in addition to a guaranteed income of about 700/month. I figure we could manage anywhere from 3-4 years with no other income if we were frugal. Obviously since we are 45 that would be a horrible plan if we weren't thinking of the future. So the plan is...I will take a year to see if I can write some software of my own to make money with, she will work on her books (she has been published-but not for a large income). At the end of that year we will re-evaluate, and if we aren't making it or staying at the same level then I will go back to work.

For me, working for myself, doing the software projects *I* want...thats retirement. I actually can't imagine NOT working or doing anything. But the idea of doing what I want...thats heaven.

You can look at it a couple ways...I want to live in a very large van...down by the river....Or you can consider it exchanging a high stress lifestyle with no actual life, for a life of relaxing in the forest while coding software.

Has anyone done something similar to this on the boards here?
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:16 AM
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Retiring to RV

Check out that thread.
May be some tips in there for you.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:17 AM
26,304 posts, read 12,893,040 times
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Originally Posted by elliotgb View Post
Retiring to RV

Check out that thread.
May be some tips in there for you.
Thanks for the link!

should have ran that search myself....
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:30 AM
761 posts, read 641,663 times
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I saved you the trouble before anybody could pound you for not doing a search!
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:42 AM
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It sounds like you have a good plan, except.....

Your finances are a bit thin. Consider a compromise plan. Downsize the possessions, sell the house and rent an inexpensive apartment. You should be able to substantially increase your nest egg. Then look at an extended vacation, rent an RV and see if it makes sense for you. If so, you can spend some time buying the right RV and setting it up the way you want. Think seriously about your needs and specific plans. A big, custom RV is typically not going to work as well as you might think for remote locations. It is hard to get by without hookups and you will need plenty of room, not typically available in remote locations. I certainly would not start out with $30-40K in customizations. The resale value for that type of modification falls to nearly zero. You need to find out what you need by experience. You can do that inexpensively by buying a used RV that requires very little upgrading.

You also need to consider your wife's disability and any special needs, proximity to medical care, etc.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:45 AM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,779,038 times
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Semi-retirement is a wonderful state of being, and can take so many forms. My own experience is different enough from the OP's situation that I doubt he would call it "similar", but after I retired at age 61 I was invited back for some special projects, none of them lasting more than five weeks. I continued working two or three days a week riding motorcycles (escorting funerals and/or officiating on the motorcycle at bicycle road races). None of the above paid very well, but I didn't need the money. The paid activities themselves were things I enjoyed, and there is a lot to be said for meeting challenges and feeling appreciated for it. One by one I gave up those things as they eventually started to feel like chores. Now, at age 71, I am left with only one annual five-week project, and I am still enjoying the hell out of that one.

But I say again, semi-retirement is a wonderful state of being; there is all that free time but still some structure - a combination of both worlds which, if right for the individual, feels like heaven.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:19 AM
Location: NC Piedmont
3,928 posts, read 2,891,269 times
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I think off the grid and remote might get old fast. Do you do extended outings now?

If I were to try that (dreamed of it sometimes) I would look at staying on the grid in a manufactured home. You can find one on a river/lake/inlet in a secluded location, spend under $50k (half that sometimes if you aren't hung up on "nice") and only have utilities or a small fee if it is a community (sounds like you don't want that, but there are some with large remote lots that people treat as hunting or fishing lodges) + food/clothes/medical/insurance/etc.

You might consider taking a few short term contracts that you are overqualified for during the year.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:50 AM
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You would go stircrazy shortly going from a house to an RV like that, I took a 2 week RV trip and was happy to go home at the end of the trip.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:57 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,704 posts, read 40,103,214 times
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Depending on DW disability, you could make 'PT retirement / living / work' very well.

I would avoid 'boondocking / off-grid' as the norm. There are many affordable ways to do this. (excluding healthcare). My fuel is free (cooking oil), I get 52 mpg in my converted station wagons, and 20 mpg in my Class C.

Consider keeping your home rented and adding an RV spot / shop to come home to and store your stuff. Or a similar space near a CHEAP airport. (I fly/drive very cheap).

I'm on my 4th 'retirement' (First was at age 15, then 35, 49, 59... thus I chose to work a few times in between). I could have survived at any age, several friends have done so since High School. Helps to be AG / wilderness savy / skilled and willing.

in 1990, We stayed in a commune in Boston that was FULL of 'semi-retired' computer coders. They homeschooled their kids in the skilled trades, and pooled their funds. They would get international gigs that paid a few hundred K and only have to work a few months / yr. I too have done 4 international gigs. (Free travel + paid living expenses + work + imbedded in local culture)

Rather than camping / RV, I prefer this ($10. night worldwide 25+ yrs now)
Hospitality exchange - Wikitravel

Retire early. retire often
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:08 AM
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,653,877 times
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Before you leave that company look to see if they participate in Transition to Teaching.
I'm a retired software engineer and did that program before I retired.
Took about 1 year. Your BS degree has enough Math credits that you can become a certified Math teacher in an alternative program. It's part of NCLB. Pays for your complete schooling and gives you about $15K while you do your student teaching. Then retire.

I did that and now do Math/Reading tutoring in local schools. It's not full time (which I'm not looking for).
You can sub/tutor and get higher pay being certified.

Won't cost you a dime or your company since it's NCLB tax dollars.
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