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brw549
10-24-2017, 07:07 PM
My wife and I are just under two years from retirement. Our plans are to sell our home and most belongings and travel in a fifth wheel. We have just returned from touring several manufacturers in and around Elkhart In. and have narrowed our selection down to three. We currently have a 2014 BC 3650 RL and this is our third RV so we are not new to the lifestyle. My question and or concerns are with regards to cost, budgets and other experiences some of you could share with us on what to be prepared for. I will say the RV will be financed because it would be our main tax deduction. We also plan to have a business as we travel conducting wildlife and nature photography programs. This will allow us to deduct some of the travel expenses associated with the business. Our income will be from my retirement as a paramedic for 40 years and my wife being a RN for the same amount of time. Our gross 401k and retirement should provide approx 65,000 per year. At 62 (2 years from now) we plan to apply for SS this will increase our gross to approx 98,000.00 per year. This may sound like a lot of money but, taxes and healthcare insurance and other cost have not been deducted. I estimate the RV payment will be around 650.00 month my truck 2016 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel should be paid for. Based on this information and comparison to your budgets and income. Should we do this. Are we making a big mistake? Any assistance, guidance, recommendations are appreciated. My email is brw549@bellsouth.net if you wish to contact me through that method.

Billy and Cathy

'Lil Guy'
10-24-2017, 07:26 PM
I think your RV payment might be high. Your biggest expense is gong to be your health insurance until you reach 65 and can get on Medicare with a supplement. A lot of people have done it with less and I'm sure people will chime in.
Good luck on your endeavor and enjoy. If this is the lifestyle you want, then by all means pursue it. Push comes to shove, you can always dock up north in the summer and move it south in the winter. It's the traveling time that is the most expensive with the fuel and 1 night stays.

MTPockets
10-24-2017, 07:39 PM
June & I were full time about five years. Your income is fine, but too, depends on how much extra you spend on site seeing tours, eating out, high priced RV parks, etc. We preferred State Parks, travelled a max of 200 miles per day, and always stayed a minimum of two nights. Many times much more. We travelled from FL to Alaska, Washington, AZ, MI etc.... We wintered in FL a couple winters, then Arizona. Our policy was to never winter more than once again in same place, therefore seeing new places each year. Getting prepared we sold the house and put some things into storage. Due to a fall, my wife could no longer RV, so we had to rent an apartment in AZ for a year until she could travel to Indiana where we are now settled in a house. As far as costs, I suggest you set aside money specifically for the inevitable RV & Truck costs: tires, awnings, and regular maintenance costs, as well as the surprises such as a new appliance if it fails abruptly, or major truck repair. Our end plan was to travel until we decided to stop, and decide where to stop. In our case, it happened a few years before we preferred, but we made do, although it was a bit traumatic for a while. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have kept more of our stuff in storage instead of selling it and then having to replace it. Also, we “sometimes” think we would have been better off to have kept the house and rented while we travelled... not real sure about that, but we’ll never know for sure. No regrets, but a thought. It sounds like you’ll be fine. Enjoy!

Garypowell
10-24-2017, 07:57 PM
Get with a CPA as you set up your business. If you have someone you can trust that actually owns the business you can take Per Diem. We bring about half of our income tax free this way.

Also you can set up a program where the company reimburses you for medical expanses (I.e. insurance, drugs, etc.)....again no taxes.

A lot will depend on actually how much you work. We work full time so Per Diem is easier. If you only take pictures one day a week....might be dicey as to how much you can deduct via per Diem....but the same would be true with actual expenses.....and one way or the other you eventually have to turn a profit.

Also remember no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.....so stay open minded. Try it one way the first year then approach the second year a different way. We have traveled this way with our business for 20+ years and have enjoyed every aspect.

danemayer
10-24-2017, 08:00 PM
I like to plan on spreadsheets. So I've attached a spreadsheet you can customize. If you don't have Excel, you can print the PDF or the JPG.

You might have to add some expense categories, or put in a general miscellaneous cash fund.

On the annual funding for RV and Truck repairs, if you don't spend it every year, you'll eventually spend it. You might go 3 years on the truck and then need $1200 tires, and a $4500 transmission. Same on the RV. Maybe no spending one year, and a bunch the next.

On site expenses, I would assume 10% inflation in rates every year.

brw549
10-24-2017, 08:10 PM
MT Pockets and Lil Guy, Thank You so much for you input. I guess we have lived such a structured life that making this type of change is a little unsettling but, I know we can do it. As I told my wife (who wants a big new fifth wheel) I don't care what we travel in but I want to be able to afford to live and see this country. I want to see all of the national parks and for one time in our life no alarms or schedules. We will keep our professional licenses as a Paramedic and RN current. Who knows we snag a job at a national or state park for the summer or something if we want to. I wish there were some seminars or classes on this we could attend.

- - - Updated - - -

Danemayer and Gary, great info and the spreadsheet is awesome. Thanks

Razorbackfan
10-24-2017, 10:01 PM
I would look at at 2-3 year old units. They have all the bugs worked out and the major depreciation has already happened. I got this Landmark from the original owner. He paid 92k for it in Jan 2013 and I got it in May 2017 for $26k. With a 6 year note my payment is pretty cheap and I’ll own it pretty quick.
That way if you don’t like the rig you bought you can sell it without much loss (I had an offer on this one for $40k) and get something different.
I love the new units but man I can’t imagine having that kind of depreciation even if your writing it off. I think it’s awesome your getting out there but definitely like mentioned above, be taking the advice of a financial planner and CPA. We are just a sounding board of ideas.

'Lil Guy'
10-24-2017, 10:12 PM
Just looking at your signature, it appears you are not members of the HOC. You need to join and attend some rallies. We have people who full time and travel the circuit. Great time to sit down and visit with these people at the rallies and they love to share their stories. Jay and Stella gave us some good options. We did a 3 1/2 month trip up north all the way to Maine. Nice to break up the trip and stop in at rallies and visit with old friends and make new ones. We now try to schedule our long trips to coincide with some of the rallies along the way. Some of our members like to travel in small groups. Regardless, by joining the HOC and attending some rallies now, you can start to gather the knowledge you'll need for your transition. Again, wish you guys the best on your journey and hope to meet you down the road.

Gary521
10-25-2017, 06:48 PM
I would talk to a financial advisor before you talk to anybody else. Most advisors will tell you to not take SS at 62 if you can make due. While mortgage is a write off, it may not offset interest payments. You are deducting the full amount of the interest payment but it is only returning cash ( offsetting income ) at your tax rate. What may offset interest, is investments that earn more that the loan interest rate.

MTPockets
10-25-2017, 08:51 PM
I would talk to a financial advisor before you talk to anybody else. Most advisors will tell you to not take SS at 62 if you can make due. While mortgage is a write off, it may not offset interest payments. You are deducting the full amount of the interest payment but it is only returning cash ( offsetting income ) at your tax rate. What may offset interest, is investments that earn more that the loan interest rate.

Just a personal comment. If I had taken my financial advisors advice I would have worked eight more years... would have a “lot” more money and things, but a lot less travel and personal pleasure and peace. Retired at 57 and I would do it again for sure. Just sayin’

brw549
10-26-2017, 07:53 AM
Thanks all. This is great advice and somethings to think about.

wdk450
10-26-2017, 09:31 AM
I wish you a terrific retirement with all going as you planned. As any of us who have lived full lifetimes know, sometimes life doesn't go as you planned, especially with your health. As both healthcare professionals you have seen this. Do all you can to make your bodies strong, healthy, and have strong immune systems. But have in your minds a contingency plan in case of major injury or major illness. Good Sam and Skymed have insurance plans to fly you "home", fly your mate with you, get your rig driven home, take care of pets, etc.

brw549
10-26-2017, 11:02 PM
Thanks WDK450. When my wife and I were in Elkhart In. a few ago we met the President of the Family Motor Coach Association FMCA. He informed us that their association had taken a vote to change their by-laws to allow all campers in their organization. He was telling me about some of their benefits also. This may be something all of should look into.

porthole
10-27-2017, 01:13 AM
Is your paramedic job and pension private or local/state government?

SS has a GPO, government pension offset. Formula used to reduce your benefits if you have a government pension.

In my case the GPO will reduce my SS benefit to about $125 a month.

Aandaar
10-27-2017, 10:34 AM
Is your paramedic job and pension private or local/state government?

SS has a GPO, government pension offset. Formula used to reduce your benefits if you have a government pension.

In my case the GPO will reduce my SS benefit to about $125 a month.

Can you explain this a little more. Have not heard anything about this?


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porthole
10-27-2017, 01:19 PM
From the SS website.

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/gpo.html

Aandaar
10-27-2017, 01:37 PM
From the SS website.

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/gpo.html

Thanks for the link. Luckily I do not fall into that category. Been paying SSA taxes all my life.


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porthole
10-27-2017, 03:51 PM
So have I, have over 150 quarters.
But I also have a qualifying local government pension, so I fall into the GPO category

Aandaar
10-27-2017, 08:28 PM
So you are not retired military are you?


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Gary521
10-28-2017, 09:50 AM
The government Pension offset only affects you if you are receiving SS as a result of your spouse.

wdk450
10-28-2017, 12:15 PM
The government Pension offset only affects you if you are receiving SS as a result of your spouse.

Since I get a CalPers benefit as a result of my late wife's work for the State of California, I was very interested in the above posting. I found this webpage off the SS website on the subject. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf This seems to indicate that it just involves any SS payment you get as a result of the deceased's SS account if YOUR work paycheck was SS exempt. I am pretty sure I don't get any of that, since I made so much more income than she did, and my work paycheck DID have SS withheld. I know I DID report her death to the SS office.

When I was working, the University always used the phrase that their retirements "were coordinated with Social Security". I took that to mean that they were talking about the Medicare offset, which Calpers upped my survivor's pension from them to cover, when I reached age 65.

danemayer
10-28-2017, 12:25 PM
When I was working, the University always used the phrase that their retirements "were coordinated with Social Security". I took that to mean that they were talking about the Medicare offset, which Calpers upped my survivor's pension from them to cover, when I reached age 65.

First time I ran into "coordination of benefits" in 1981 I discovered the meaning is they require more paperwork from me and pay less to me.

george637
10-28-2017, 01:02 PM
I like to plan on spreadsheets. So I've attached a spreadsheet you can customize. If you don't have Excel, you can print the PDF or the JPG.

You might have to add some expense categories, or put in a general miscellaneous cash fund.

On the annual funding for RV and Truck repairs, if you don't spend it every year, you'll eventually spend it. You might go 3 years on the truck and then need $1200 tires, and a $4500 transmission. Same on the RV. Maybe no spending one year, and a bunch the next.

On site expenses, I would assume 10% inflation in rates every year.

Nice spreadsheet! Thanks for sharing it. We plan on being full-time rvers in a couple of years after we retire. This spreadsheet helps a lot with our planning.

Gary521
10-29-2017, 10:47 AM
Since I get a CalPers benefit as a result of my late wife's work for the State of California, I was very interested in the above posting. I found this webpage off the SS website on the subject. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf This seems to indicate that it just involves any SS payment you get as a result of the deceased's SS account if YOUR work paycheck was SS exempt. I am pretty sure I don't get any of that, since I made so much more income than she did, and my work paycheck DID have SS withheld. I know I DID report her death to the SS office.

When I was working, the University always used the phrase that their retirements "were coordinated with Social Security". I took that to mean that they were talking about the Medicare offset, which Calpers upped my survivor's pension from them to cover, when I reached age 65.

If you paid into SS and have the required number of hours, you are entitled to receive SS even if you have a government pension. If your wife is entitled to receive SS, you can either receive your own benefit or 50% of your wife's, whichever is higher. This is the "spousal benefit". However, if you are not entitled to SS and your wife is, you can get 50% of hers. However again, if you get a government pension, you can get 50% of hers minus the pension offset. The pension offset may result in the SS benefit being reduced to $0.

porthole
10-29-2017, 12:21 PM
The government Pension offset only affects you if you are receiving SS as a result of your spouse.

Not sure where you come up with that.

I do not or will not receive SS as a result of my spouse.

I will be eligible for SS like everyone else that paid into the system.
My SS will be adjusted by the GPO due to my eligibility in my State/municipal pension system.

Granted, I will be receiving a pension, but I also paid a good portion of my salary into that pension.
As I also paid into the SS system since I started working 45 years ago.
Although my municipal job did not have a SS deduction, I continued working during most of my career at jobs that did withhold SS.

I only bring it up as there are many that may have thought they would be eligible for a full SS payment when in fact they will get a greatly reduced payment.

porthole
10-29-2017, 12:58 PM
Got my acronyms reversed - The GPO is part of the WEP, “Windfall Elimination Provision” (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep.html)

The WEP affects benefits paid to workers who also have a government pension.

Chippendale
10-29-2017, 03:02 PM
Since you are researching full timing, you might find it useful to spend a little time surfing around on this web site: http://www.rv-dreams.com/ I discovered them back in 2006 when I first started thinking about purchasing an RV and have learned a lot from them. While I am not full timing, I still read their daily journal, etc from time to time. You will find some useful information on their site about living on the road and also about supporting yourself financially while doing it.

brw549
10-29-2017, 06:58 PM
Wow thanks for all of the great information. I knew I could find assistance here. I plan to visit my state retirement office and the SS office this week. From my first job at 17 I have paid into SS but my retirement is with the State of Georgia. I am not sure if the pension prevision is different from state to state or not. Its crazy but, again those who work hard and try to do the right thing always end up with the least and pay the most.

Gary521
10-29-2017, 10:25 PM
Not sure where you come up with that.

I do not or will not receive SS as a result of my spouse.

I will be eligible for SS like everyone else that paid into the system.
My SS will be adjusted by the GPO due to my eligibility in my State/municipal pension system.

Granted, I will be receiving a pension, but I also paid a good portion of my salary into that pension.
As I also paid into the SS system since I started working 45 years ago.
Although my municipal job did not have a SS deduction, I continued working during most of my career at jobs that did withhold SS.

I only bring it up as there are many that may have thought they would be eligible for a full SS payment when in fact they will get a greatly reduced payment.

Perhaps you should revisit what exactly is involved in the Government Pension offset or you could be shorting yourself. If you have full SS years AND a government pension for which you did not pay SS. you can get both subject to the windfall provision. I am just trying to help and not get into an issue.

porthole
11-01-2017, 08:31 AM
Perhaps you should revisit what exactly is involved in the Government Pension offset or you could be shorting yourself. If you have full SS years AND a government pension for which you did not pay SS. you can get both subject to the windfall provision. I am just trying to help and not get into an issue.


I did make the correction above with my acronyms mixup.

Either way, I still am subject to the WEP, windfall elimination provision. I will still be eligible for SS, but it will be reduced.
One of the online SS calculators has it at an approximately 25% reduction, using genreal numbers.

The SS calculator requires you to input your SS listed income, yearly, since - forever - whenever you started working.

wdk450
11-01-2017, 10:06 AM
If you paid into SS and have the required number of hours, you are entitled to receive SS even if you have a government pension. If your wife is entitled to receive SS, you can either receive your own benefit or 50% of your wife's, whichever is higher. This is the "spousal benefit". However, if you are not entitled to SS and your wife is, you can get 50% of hers. However again, if you get a government pension, you can get 50% of hers minus the pension offset. The pension offset may result in the SS benefit being reduced to $0.

Gary:
My wife passed in 2010. I get survivor's benefit from CalPers (which includes medical benefits), but no SS benefits for her. She passed before she was eligible for SS benefits but was getting her CalPers retirement.