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Old 08-02-2002, 08:05 AM   #1
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Hi All

I'm new here - just found these booards & WOW!! do I love them.

I retired 3 years ago at 42. Live very modestly by most peoples standards. Didn't do anything fancy- just lived well below my means always and saved my pennies. Was in the Coast Guard for a while & then worked for the government after that - taking several years off inbetween to first go to college (thank you Uncle Sam) and then to travel for 2 years. Was able to combine my C.G. time with my Gov. pension and can begin collecting that when I'm 50 - in 5 years. When I retired I had a paid for house, no debt (never had any except house) and enough in savings to last me quite a while. I'm single with no kids.

I've been travelling around the U.S. & Canada for several months at a time with my 2 dogs since retiring. I decided I liked doing that so much that I sold my house in S. California last winter, bought a camper van & am now a full time homeless vagabond!! YIPEE! Plan to spend about 8 months of the year travelling and then stay in Calif with family the other months. Once the pups are gone I plan to do the expat thing & backpack around the world for as long as I feel like it before I settle down again in a little condo or apt in some small but very interesting city.

I'm very happy to have found a place on line with so many people that share the same desires to retire early.

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Re: Hi All
Old 08-02-2002, 03:09 PM   #2
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Re: Hi All

Welcome! We're also doing the homeless vagabond thing, starting about 14 months ago, but aboard a boat instead of a camper (although we're currently in a camper because we're visiting Texas for our son's wedding).

I've been amazed at how many people we've met in the past year who are doing this sort of retirement. It's a lot more common than I expected!

Dory36
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: Hi All

Hi Cody,

I noticed that all of your posts were on one morning, 8/2/2002. I hope nothing happened to you.

These boards are not very active, but some postings- including all of yours- are very interesting.

I am considering either doing what you do, in some sort of RV, or doing what Dory36 and his wife do, in a beamy boat.

I am cool with the financial parts, what I wonder about is the day to day life, what sort of vehicle you use, etc.

Are you able to hang out in cities, or is it pretty much limited to the outback? How do you find parking places where you won't be hassled, and where you feel safe, but which are free or very cheap? What sort of places have you found best?

What kind of vehicle? When I had a family we bought a trailer and took it to the beach, etc. It was pretty good for that kind of thing, but I am thinking that to park unobtrusively in parking lots, urban parks, etc. - the smaller the better, like some kind of van conversion. I will be traveling alone, with one dog which I inherited when my wife decamped. I like to cook, but would prefer mostly cooking in the open air, not in the vehicle. I have safety issues with propane in enclosed spaces.

Do you go north or west for the summer and south for the winter?

Do you feel the need for a home base? I know that you sold your house. I would probably do that also, and like you move to an apartment or condo if I decided not to travel anymore.

Well, this is a lot of questions. I know people who travel extensively in their rigs, but they mostly are couples, and they mostly have greater money resources and different interests from mine.

I am hoping that you see this post, and have some time to shed a little light on any of this, or anything else that may come to your mind. Incidentally, I live on Puget Sound, north of Everett, WA.

Mike
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Re: Hi All
Old 05-03-2003, 07:29 PM   #4
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Re: Hi All

Hi Cody-Girl and mikey, it's good to see more people who are already retired, especially one with so much experience as mikey.

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum: trying to get rid of debt in anticipation of build-up to early retirement. I notice Cody-Girl said she never had any, I think that's key.

It does seem to be a common thread that early retirees want to move around; perhaps if you're going to be retired for a long time with no job to tie you down you don't want a house and yard tying you down, too.
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:28 PM   #5
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Re: Hi All

Although I am a big time fan of the Terhorsts, I could
never adapt to their PT (perpetual traveler) lifestyle.
I need a home base, even if it's a boat. Right now we
are working on having 2 homes, the one we are in
plus another hear The Gulf. Tricky but doable.
Very non-Terhorstian I know. Different strokes, right?
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Old 05-04-2003, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: Hi All

Hi Big-Money and John. Re moving around, part of it I think is that if you are going to stay put, many people would just continue to work. Often jobs give us a connection, and some power and sphere of competence which can be lost when you stop working or go to a lesser part time job. Also, if you are really young when you do this, there may be a degree of mistrust or mild hostility on the part of your neighbors and friends. When I retired, my work experience in South America, and my return trips there, made some who didn't know me well wonder about the source of my income. This was before the big bull market, and before most people had experience with stocks. If you travel, you leave that BS behind, plus you get to do all sorts of cool things that would really be impossible if you were still working.

Re: the Terhorsts- I have corresponded with them a bit (their book put the retire-early bug in my head). I think one of their secrets is that they are a very social couple. Perhaps in their case they don't feel like they have no home, they feel like they have many homes. They learn the language and make local as well as expat friends.

Of course if you have the financial resources to have two homes, and the upkeep isn't overwhelming either physically or financially- why not? That is the pattern of many people with inherited wealth who are essentially retired the day they quit going to school.

Personally, I want to own as little as possible going forward, except of course income producing assets!

Mike
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:07 PM   #7
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Re: Hi All

Johngalt, I think I'll need a home base, too, but I'm not sure yet. I have at least 10-20 years to figure it out. But two home bases might work. :-)

Mikey, you put it very well about the job and sphere of competence. And I believe you about the mistrust and hostility from neighbors. I've noticed that if you do don't comply with "the norm" people object, even more so if you're successful. It seems most people would rather drag others down than try to emulate their success.

When someone appears more successful than me, I ask myself why. When I figure it out I can either emulate what they did or decide it's not worth the consequences and not worry about it. I'm also weary of advice from people whose shoes I wouldn't want to walk in!
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Old 05-05-2003, 04:49 AM   #8
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Re: Hi All

Hello Mikey and BigMoneyJim. I can see and promote
the advantages of owning as little as possible
also (except those important income producing assets).
I have been "shrinking the pile" for years and am not done yet. As far as folks looking askance at my ER
situation, I never noticed it, only envy since they
couldn't (or more likely wouldn't) give RE a try.
Talking about it is one thing. Actually doing it takes a
certain mindset. Anyway, re. our new 2 home plan.
There was a time that I did not think we could swing it.
Now that I have crunched and recrunched the numbers
I see it is doable. Of course I am older now and so have less years (although unknown number) to worry about.
The biggest change in my attitude about changing locations,
homes, etc. is that I no longer have the energy to put
up with a lot of change. For example the Terhorst
PT lifestyle would literally kill me I believe. I do think
their highly social bent is the answer, i.e. they view the
whole world as their "home". I am more of a loner and
almost completely self entertaining, maybe even
borderline misanthropic, so..........................
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Re: Hi All
Old 05-08-2003, 11:03 AM   #9
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Re: Hi All

hi, i am fast eddie.

i am 60 and after 42 years of work i am ready to retire but worry what will i do with myself. also will i be able to keep my current standard of living.

i am glad that i found thei website.

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Old 05-08-2003, 03:08 PM   #10
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Re: Hi All

Hello fasteddie! I am 58 and I retired for good 5 years ago. I've never been bored a minute. Every day is
filled and then some. Maybe I am just lucky, but I know
I will never live long enough to get around to everything
on my list. I have a wonderful wife and a wonderful life.
My wish is that everyone could find the life that I have.
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Re: Hi All
Old 09-13-2003, 01:20 PM   #11
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Re: Hi All

Hi All again!!

I just got back from an almost year long jaunt around the Western U.S. and am now housebound for the winter. I just got back online so will write more & answer the questions to me posted above once I catch up on these forums!

Cody (AKA Cody-Girl)
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:00 PM   #12
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Re: Hi All

Hi Cody,

Glad you're back! I look forward to hearing about your jaunt and whether you've still been able to maintain the same expense level.

I retired earlier in January this year on a somewhat barebones budget and so it's good to hear from others who are making it work.

Patnbj
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:49 PM   #13
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Re: Hi All

Hi everyone!

Bare with me here as I don't have a computer, just a webtv thingy, and am not quite familiar with these boards yet.

OK, to answer some questions (from Mikey). I don't do the super low cost boondocking kind of travel. I generally stay at public campgrounds (State or Fed) and sleep either in my big 3 room tent or in the van - mostly the tent. I usually stay a week or 2 in one area, somtimes longer. I also occasionally stay in inexpensive motels like Motel 6, Hostels, or rent an off season vacation home for a couple of months. I found my expenses (ALL my expenses) average $1000/month. That's for food, fuel, campsites or motels, health insurance, vehicle insurance, etc... It's pretty barebones but that how I like to live anyways. I hate to cook, so just sort of live on fresh stuff I pick up at a market every couple of days - fruits & veggies, bread, nuts - stuff like that that doesn't need cooling or heating up. Of course that's how I ate when I live in a house too!

I'm currenty in So. Calif. renting a shared condo for the season. My family is here and I suppose you could consider it "Home" althought I never plan to live here permanently. I don't feel the need for a home base at this time in my life and am really looking forward to the day I can live the "real" PT life overseas!! The Terhorsts are a bit upscale for my simple tastes, but I like the idea of renting an apt or room for long periods of time thru out the world rather than continuously travelling.

After doing that for 10 or 20 years I'd probably be more ready to settle down - maybe :-)!!

Cody
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:06 PM   #14
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Re: Hi All

Quote:
. . . I don't do the super low cost boondocking kind of travel. I generally stay at public campgrounds (State or Fed) and sleep either in my big 3 room tent or in the van - mostly the tent. I usually stay a week or 2 in one area, somtimes longer. I also occasionally stay in inexpensive motels like Motel 6, Hostels, or rent an off season vacation home for a couple of months. . .
Cody
This sounds like the kind of thing I want to spend some time doing ASAP. (My wife just quit her job today after I left my job this past April. We have already upgraded our very old tent and begun making travel plans). My question is, "how do you locate your camp sites?" Do you just travel and see what's available in areas you are interested in? Do you have some good campsite locator source?
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Old 09-20-2003, 03:24 AM   #15
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Re: Hi All

Do your camping while you are young. I had many
adventures planned which involved camping
(motorcycle trips, long distance canoe adventures).
Can't do it now. Of course, aging gradually eliminates
many activities, especially for those of us who are
outdoorsy. The trick is to have replacements.
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Old 09-21-2003, 03:42 PM   #16
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Re: Hi All

Quote:
Do your camping while you are young. *I had many
adventures planned which involved camping
(motorcycle trips, long distance canoe adventures).
Can't do it now. *Of course, aging gradually eliminates
many activities, especially for those of us who are
outdoorsy. *The trick is to have replacements. *
That's one of the main reasons I decided to retire at 42. I also wanted a shot at reliving my athletic Glory-Days before the old bod started to fall apart :-)!

However camping can be pretty comfortable. I have a big 3 room tent that I can set up alone in about 15 minutes.I have a large cot (a lot more comfortable than some of the motel beds I've slept in), a camp chair & table, beds for both dogs, and even a "bathrom" (rom with a port-i-potti) if I want. It's like being on on old fashion African Safari. All I need is a pith helmet, a gin & tonic, and a few rogue elephants careening thru camp to make it complete!

So I don't think camping will be too tough as I age but backpacking might be a different story. Then I'll hire a few strapping young porters to carry my gear :-)!

I think what may be difficult as I get older is my tolorance level. I had always planned to do the backpack around the world and stay at hostels thing once my pets were gone. I've already done this for 2 years but want to do a real long one of around 10 - 20 years next time. But I'm not sure I could tolorate the crowded dorm-rooms in hostels as I age. After reading the Terhorst's book, I think getting a rented room with one other person or a small apt for myself for several months in various places would be more my style now. I do plan to "settle down" somewhere permanent when I'm in my mid 60's though and will limit my travel after that to less strenous stuff.

Until then... could someone point me in the direction of Mt. Everest :-)!!

Cody
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Old 09-21-2003, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Hi All

Quote:

This sounds like the kind of thing I want to spend some time doing ASAP. *(My wife just quit her job today after I left my job this past April. *We have already upgraded our very old tent and begun making travel plans). *My question is, "how do you locate your camp sites?" *Do you just travel and see what's available in areas you are interested in? *Do you have some good campsite locator source?
I'm a member of AAA (Automobile Association of America - $44/year) and I get all my maps & guidebooks free thru them. They have camping directories also - free & that you can purchase.

I generally play it by ear and kind of go planless for the most part. I like the freedom to stay or go when I want and for as long as I want. Of course I've been stuck sleeping at rest areas occasionally.

In the summer it's best to make reservations far in advance. Some places - like Yosemite - are booked up almost a year in advance! Travelling on the shoulder season is best (Sept - Nov. & April to June) as summers can be crazy!

Cody
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