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Home and RV Travel for retirement
Old 07-15-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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Home and RV Travel for retirement

Hi,

I am planning to retire a few years early in 2015. I am looking for an area in a mild - warm climate, close to a shore. At least I would like to be within 1/2 hour or so driving distance. I want to have a permanent home for part of the year and then RV around the country for the rest. The long distance RVing might only last for a few years so the choice of a permanent location is important to me.

I am looking into South Texas, South Carolina and Florida as possibilities. I would spend the summers RVing in cooler climates. Texas is appealing as I could easily go east or west in my RV travels from there. But I do not know much about the South Texas coastal communities. I hope to get down there in September to check them out.

For my interests, I would prefer a location that offers culture and entertainment, near but not in a city. I can't see myself in a rural area. I do love wildlife and outdoor activities and photography is a major hobby for me.

I am single, female, well-traveled and will have a moderately good income after retirement.

I would appreciate any recommendations for locations or other things I should be considering. The financial part is already planned. I'm thinking more about lifestyle now.

Thank you.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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As a single person, I would certainly investigate any violent crime rates of the areas that you are thinking about. Access to police services, and mobile phone access. While most areas of the country have mobile access, not all do.

Florida has plenty of coast. I have been to many places in FL, and others. Murtle Beach, VA Beach, Cape Cod, etc.

In 1982 I did a beach tour and saw many of the eastern beaches. If you are RVing, try a coatal tour from Panama City to Cape Cod and beyond. (just do not let a racoon take your bread out of your tent and force you to blow your $500 montly budget like I did...)
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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The idea of long term (as in 6 months) RV'ing is interesting. Am thinking that any advice would depend on how one pictures the traveling.
Very different if the idea is to enjoy nature, staying in National Parks for a few days at a time, or to explore the culture of cities, entertainment and adventure.
Type of RV... Trailer? Class C, or a smaller Class B.
Our choice in the early retirement days was a hightop van camper, and typically, one or two nights at a time in different campgrounds. For longer trips, every third or fourth night in a motel.
We spent about a month in the Tip of Texas around Westlaco and Donna, with trips to Brownsville and South Padre. It WAS a long time ago, and our interest at the time was square dancing, which we could begin at 10AM and go to four different venues with the last dance at 10PM... Surely different today, but then, we stayed in RV parks. Nothing against Texas, 'cuz we loved the RV families, but not too much in "culture".

We ended up in Florida, and spent six weeks "looking" for a retirement community that suited us, and still own in Leesburg FL, half the year, with home in Central IL. We "did" both coasts before settling in to the center, but spend long days at beaches from St Augustine, to Daytona (favorite), to the Gulf side from Cape Coral to Homassa. No waves, less fun.
Living for 45 years in New England gave us a good knowledge of the ocean and the culture of history and the enjoyment of the four seasons. For anyone who wasn't coached in the "colonies", New England could provide enough centers of interest to last a traveler several years. Maine to Connecticut, the coastline alone is a multi year, multi cultural adventure.
The NY Adirondaks is a 6 million acre protected state forest, with the most beautiful scenery, mountains, lakes, rivers and small villages, including the marvelous Lake Placid.
The Adironda(c)ks is bigger even than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and the Great Smokies National Parks combined .My favorite place for canoeing, and backwoods camping... and when I could.. mountain climbing... Blue Mountain Lake... watering hole for the 1900's NY wealthy... Beauty beyond belief. If my DW didn't hate the cold, would have settled there. Came within an hour of buying a mountain cabin in Long Lake... 'til we realized that the nearest hospital was 50 miles away.
The Boundary Waters of Minnesota, next choice for water and canoeing.
The one area that I loved, but didn't get enough time to explore, was Northern California... From Sacramento to Grass Valley, Auburn, The American River and Placerville for gold panning. Tahoe, while beautiful, was not a favorite.
Then of course, Yosemite.. though when I was there in winter... 1980's it was quiet... and John Muir beautiful... Imagine being the only person at Bridal Veil Falls... Nearby... Sonora, Twain Harte and the Stanislaus National forest... that reeks history... and where I got lost hiking.

Different strokes for different folks... We're not into "pay" concerts, entertainment or sports, so travel expenses were mainly fuel and camping fees... (then $5 to $15/night) in the public parks.

Cities?... Scared to death of Denver, NYC, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Baltimore, Fort Worth and Dallas, but after living in Boston for 6 months in the 1960's... comfortable as an old shoe.

Retirement is an individual thing... RV'ing even more individual... Friends with Class a motor homes wouldn't consider a trailer or smaller unit, and I couldn't conceive of driving a Class C...

Get a BIG Map of the USA... and post it on a wall. Perspective
and you'll see places you've heard about but couldn't locate. Seeing the country for some, is a 5000 mile drive. Enjoying the ride is another thing.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:53 PM   #4
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All of the areas you listed are warm climates and also quite high humidity. So I assume you are going to cooler and drier areas with the RV in summer. Sept in TX is starting to cool down and lower humidity. I suggest you go now to get the full affect.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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In Tx look along I-37 between San Antonio and Corpus, out side of the Eagle Ford activity area. Places like 3 Rivers (although I don't know how much the Eagle Ford boom has pushed up real estate in that area). Or Victoria. Ideally you want to be out of the hurricane evacuation area, in particular if you are elsewhere for august, better to have the house buttoned up and above flooding.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:13 PM   #6
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Wilmington, NC is a nice small coastal city with a university and some cultural attractions as well as good restaurants. The Outer Banks and the Raleigh metro area are only a couple of hours away (different directions). Myrtle Beach and Charleston are to the south. The Smokey Mountains are a 6 hour drive to the west and Washington DC is a 6-7 hour drive to the north.


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Old 07-15-2014, 11:39 PM   #7
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Wilmington, NC is a nice small coastal city with a university and some cultural attractions as well as good restaurants. The Outer Banks and the Raleigh metro area are only a couple of hours away (different directions). Myrtle Beach and Charleston are to the south. The Smokey Mountains are a 6 hour drive to the west and Washington DC is a 6-7 hour drive to the north.


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Lots of recreational activities on the NC coast. Winters are mild, but it can occasionally get cold. You can always take the RV to Florida in January. The NC coast is not as crowded as other eastern coastal areas and the cost of living is moderate. NC has several major university medical research hospitals a couple of hours from the coast should you have a major illness. There are many great RV camping destinations within a one day drive. Lots of history and culture in the region as well.

I've lived in NC, Florida, and Virginia. If I were retiring near the shore on the east coast I'd look at Wilmington (first choice), Beaufort SC (Hilton Head), or Sarasota, Fl.

My wife and I spent 100 nights away from home last year in our Airstream travel trailer and will spend about 125 days this year traveling with the trailer. We've met many single women and men in their 50's, 60's, and even 70's traveling alone with an RV and loving the lifestyle. We are also enjoying our travels and the more we travel and talk to other campers, the longer our bucket list grows. Our NC home base is in the middle of the state because we like both the mountains and the shore.




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Old 08-31-2014, 08:01 PM   #8
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Am posting this, not for info purposes, but to share a great experience in Ultimate RV'ing.

My campground neighbor rolled in yesterday, with this new combination of RV's...

A 2015 $106,000 42 ft. brand new Cyclone Toy Hauler 5th wheel... Yeah... 42 feet long, including a toy chest built in the back, to carry his 2014 $52,000 Harley Trike, and the $7500 Harley 750 errand runner. All of these color matched to the ultimate, a $69,000 fully loaded brand new Dodge Ram 3500 diesel Laramie Longhorn Truck.

The 5th wheel has 3 tip outs and a loft along with the 12 ft garage in the rear.

The Dodge has an extended cab, and an interior that is ultra elegant, with seats and upholstery that warranted a full write up in the wall street Journal...
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...40543987262974 a "must read".

He and his DW have maxed out their active retirement at age 57 (7 years ago) with multi cross country motorcycle trips, enjoying it so much that they've decided to continue this lifestyle... in style. ... A summer home base next to me in our lakeside Illinois campground, and now... their wheeled adventure vehicles, so they can take off whenever the spirit moves.

Wonderful people, who believe that "We only come this way once." Their $235K investment in a dream.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:16 PM   #9
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Had to google "Cyclone Toy Hauler 5th wheel". Seems like a good deal for $106K!
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Am posting this, not for info purposes, but to share a great experience in Ultimate RV'ing.

My campground neighbor rolled in yesterday, with this new combination of RV's...

A 2015 $106,000 42 ft. brand new Cyclone Toy Hauler 5th wheel... Yeah... 42 feet long, including a toy chest built in the back, to carry his 2014 $52,000 Harley Trike, and the $7500 Harley 750 errand runner. All of these color matched to the ultimate, a $69,000 fully loaded brand new Dodge Ram 3500 diesel Laramie Longhorn Truck.

The 5th wheel has 3 tip outs and a loft along with the 12 ft garage in the rear.

The Dodge has an extended cab, and an interior that is ultra elegant, with seats and upholstery that warranted a full write up in the wall street Journal...
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...40543987262974 a "must read".

He and his DW have maxed out their active retirement at age 57 (7 years ago) with multi cross country motorcycle trips, enjoying it so much that they've decided to continue this lifestyle... in style. ... A summer home base next to me in our lakeside Illinois campground, and now... their wheeled adventure vehicles, so they can take off whenever the spirit moves.

Wonderful people, who believe that "We only come this way once." Their $235K investment in a dream.

Now that's living large!!


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Old 09-01-2014, 08:28 AM   #11
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I would be concerned if they were newly retired in that we have heard countless stories of people who retire and go out and make big changes in their lives and plunder their retirement savings on things like this but it sounds like these folks are experienced and just enjoying their hard earned money. Good for them.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:00 AM   #12
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I would be concerned if they were newly retired in that we have heard countless stories of people who retire and go out and make big changes in their lives and plunder their retirement savings on things like this but it sounds like these folks are experienced and just enjoying their hard earned money. Good for them.
As long as they don't have plans for Medicaid to fund their long-term care, it's OK with me! My BIL had dreams of seeing the USA by RV after my sister retires and he rented one and took off with my Dad last summer. He was SO happy to return the thing back to its owner. He'd been a long-haul trucker so he knew how to manipulate large vehicles and fix mechanical issues, but still found it more trouble than it was worth. Renting was a very wise choice.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:16 AM   #13
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... a $69,000 fully loaded brand new Dodge Ram 3500 diesel Laramie Longhorn Truck.
I hope it is a dually. Even then he may be over the truck's rated payload capacity (the weight it can carry on the frame/axles/tires) when he loads his toys in the trailer.

What he really needs is a MDT like the rig below:
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:27 AM   #14
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We're not retired yet, but we've chosen a slightly different direction via a 28' 2014 Airstream and a Ram 1500 tow vehicle with crew cab /short bed and a couple of recumbent trikes (http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkt...x/index_e.html).

We've had our rig out for a number of shorter trips (up to a week) and have done some great bike rides (e.g. Going to the Sun Road just before it opened seasonally to vehicles). It's looking like a great combo for extended camping trips you can only do after retirement, though we expect to maintain a home base somewhere. Home base retirement location is TBD.


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