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Retiring in 5 Years to Hit the Road
Old 02-10-2018, 06:21 AM   #1
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Retiring in 5 Years to Hit the Road

Hi everyone-
I'm 31 and my husband is Matt 41. We have 2 kids, age 4 and 6. We are currently working full time and banking money to leave work and travel full-time in a towable tiny house while "roadschooling" our kids. The timeline is about 5 years.

Current stats:
-$800,000 in a pretty equal mix of traditional and Roth retirement accounts and non tax-advantaged mutual funds. Current asset allocation is pretty aggressive on all fronts (90% stocks with an equal mix of international, small, mid and large cap funds).
-House worth $230,000 with $190,000 remaining on mortgage.
-Currently investing approximately $50,000-$60,000 annually into accounts with increases each year as we get kids out of daycare and get raises.

The Plan:
-Continue status quo for next 3 years (2018-2020).
-Sell house and move into towable tiny house in 2021. Continue working and bank the extra money saved on housing for additional 2 years (2021-2023).
-Quit our jobs in 2023 and hit the road to travel around the country in our tiny house.
-We'll live off non tax-advantaged accounts for the 13 years until my husband reaches 59 1/2, then pull from his traditional retirement accounts for 10 years until I reach 59 1/2, then live on my traditional retirement accounts. We'll both also get small pensions in our mid-60s and (maybe) some social security at 70. We hope to not have to touch the Roths so that we can leave those for the kids.
-We'll change our asset allocation to reflect a more conservative approach in each account based on the anticipated timeline in which we plan to use it.
-Expected annual expenses in retirement will range from 40,000-50,000 annually depending on how crazy we get with travel.

TARGET NUMBER FOR RETIREMENT: $1.2 Million!!
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:21 AM   #2
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I admire your ambition, but I suspect that you will find that living on $40-$50K for the rest of your life, with kids, is a bit light.

You may be able to do it if you have a lot of public subsidies, although many of them require an asset test.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:49 AM   #3
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Is it difficult to "road school" children, unless one has a teaching type background?
It does sound exciting!!!!
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:58 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. I agree that the projected budget could get tight. Just because you are living in a RV/towable home, there are still expenses associated. There are several people that full time on the road, most are retired without kids or younger without kids, but there are some that do it with kids. Just a question, why not just get an RV? Typically tiny houses built on a trailer frame don't have holding tanks and many of the self-sufficient capabilities. They have to be hooked up to utilities. That limits the places you can go and settle. Also be sure you are ready to have 2 adults and 2 bigger kids in a small space? Whether towing an RV or a tiny house, you can expect some pretty high fuel costs if you move around much. Most bigger RV motorhomes or large trailers with a diesel truck towing it are in the 7-8 mpg range.

I think you have done great job saving so far. Keep up the good work there, and evaluate realistic budget and plans once you get closer to target.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:26 PM   #5
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Towable tiny house? Unless it's a factory built RV you might have trouble finding campgrounds that will allow it. I'd rethink tiny house and look at travel trailer, 5th wheel, or motorhome.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:32 PM   #6
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I love the plan. Money may be a little tight, but you can always adjust as you go if things get tight.

The good news is that you are still young, and after a few years on the road, if you feel like you might need to pad the nest egg a bit more, you could likely find a cool location to park the tiny home for a few years while you work a full or part-time job.

Having a pension kick in down the line is also a great bit of comfort.

Most of all, I like your plan because you and your husband are putting life and experiences first, above generating an even bigger nest egg. The experiences and education from traveling around the country will last a lifetime for you and your children! Congrats on putting a plan in place and trying something different!
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Letsdoit View Post
I'm 31 and my husband is Matt 41. We have 2 kids, age 4 and 6. We are currently working full time and banking money to leave work and travel full-time in a towable tiny house while "roadschooling" our kids. The timeline is about 5 years.
I'm always curious about these things.

Why? What motivates you toward this sort of plan?

Good luck. Sounds like you are on your way.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Just a question, why not just get an RV? Typically tiny houses built on a trailer frame don't have holding tanks and many of the self-sufficient capabilities. They have to be hooked up to utilities. That limits the places you can go and settle. Also be sure you are ready to have 2 adults and 2 bigger kids in a small space? Whether towing an RV or a tiny house, you can expect some pretty high fuel costs if you move around much. Most bigger RV motorhomes or large trailers with a diesel truck towing it are in the 7-8 mpg range.
We haven't completely settled on what we will get as far as housing yet but it seems like the tiny house industry has jumped on this trend and almost all manufacturers now have "off-grid" packages that include solar panels, water tanks, etc.

As far as gas, our plan isn't to drive too far at one time. We live in MD and the difference in landscape with just a couple hours drive is amazing. Our thought is that we would like to "set up camp" for a couple weeks in one location and then drive a few hours away to check out a new location. Obviously we are still a bit away from hitting the road so plans may change as we research more and see where life takes us!


As far as all of us fitting in a tiny house, the remains to be seen. I know that I couldn't do it now with our 4 year old and I don't think it would be fair to her anyway. Our 6 year old would definitely be a wonderful tiny house roommate. We figure we can see what the personalities are like in a few years and decide if it would be manageable at that point.

Really right now our only goal is to cut expenses as much as humanly possible and save. That way we have the option to do whatever we want, depending on what seems most reasonable at the time!
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:44 AM   #9
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I admire your ambition, but I suspect that you will find that living on $40-$50K for the rest of your life, with kids, is a bit light.

You may be able to do it if you have a lot of public subsidies, although many of them require an asset test.
For sure the budget in retirement is still being worked on. Surprisingly our budget right now is consistently $4500/month and that includes our mortgage and full time day care for one kid. Due to our high savings rate, we've already learned to live a very frugal life while still enjoying it. We would definitely try to get in touch with others who have already hit the road to get a better idea of where their money goes before pulling the trigger.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:45 AM   #10
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I really love my family but I donít know if we could have survived teen years in a small space together (no discussion on if that is healthy)

My concern is I donít see a replacement house cost. Either a new tiny house or moving back to something permanent. Living at the high end of SWR and no backup for a place to live sounds very risky. I donít even know what type of insurance cover towing a tiny home in the event of an accident. But say a few years in you no longer enjoy the tiny house and want to move back to a giant 1800 sq foot country home for $75k - how is that in the budget?
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:45 AM   #11
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Is it difficult to "road school" children, unless one has a teaching type background?
It does sound exciting!!!!
Honestly, I don't know. I don't know that I would feel as confident in my ability to give my kids a good education if I didn't have a teaching background but I think plenty of people do it!
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:50 AM   #12
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I really love my family but I donít know if we could have survived teen years in a small space together (no discussion on if that is healthy)

My concern is I donít see a replacement house cost. Either a new tiny house or moving back to something permanent. Living at the high end of SWR and no backup for a place to live sounds very risky. I donít even know what type of insurance cover towing a tiny home in the event of an accident. But say a few years in you no longer enjoy the tiny house and want to move back to a giant 1800 sq foot country home for $75k - how is that in the budget?
Ha, yes, I think that most people wonder if they could survive this way with their kids. Our thinking is that we are very young. If we do it and absolutely hate it, then we would just go back to a "normal" life. I'm a teacher and finding a job or even working as long term sub would be pretty easy for me to supplement our investments, if we should need to. DH has a similarly "in demand"/high need profession.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:52 AM   #13
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I'm always curious about these things.

Why? What motivates you toward this sort of plan?

Good luck. Sounds like you are on your way.
My mom passed away very suddenly a few years back. She had lots of plans that she never got to see through. We want to have time with our kids, we want to travel and we see now that there isn't a guarantee of tomorrow. We figure we are young, energetic, have the means and now is the time for adventure!
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:28 AM   #14
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My mom passed away very suddenly a few years back. She had lots of plans that she never got to see through. We want to have time with our kids, we want to travel and we see now that there isn't a guarantee of tomorrow. We figure we are young, energetic, have the means and now is the time for adventure!
We each make our plans. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. That was true of your Mom, and may be true for you too. (You might want to consider concocting a Plan B as well).

Your plan certainly isn't something I would have wanted.

But good luck.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:27 AM   #15
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have you taken your kids camping? the only difference in a big tent with air mattresses and a tiny house is the cost. living conditions are the same. You can accomplish your goals with a tent much cheaper, and probably more enjoyable for ALL.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:37 AM   #16
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As far as all of us fitting in a tiny house, the remains to be seen. I know that I couldn't do it now with our 4 year old and I don't think it would be fair to her anyway. Our 6 year old would definitely be a wonderful tiny house roommate.
They don't stay that size! Our kids are taller than us now, and along the way they liked having their own private space. My DW commented that the kids could not sustain friendships if they are constantly moving.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:41 AM   #17
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I read many blogs of young people who traveled and lived in an RV full-time. They settled back down after a couple of years.

Full-time RV'ers who are retirees last a few years longer, but many also settled back down.

When I bought my motorhome 8 years ago, I thought it would be fun living. After making several cross-country treks lasting up to 2 months each, I got the wanderlust out of the system. I will still do long RV trips, but prefer to have my home for a permanent dwelling.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:07 AM   #18
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Honestly, I don't know. I don't know that I would feel as confident in my ability to give my kids a good education if I didn't have a teaching background but I think plenty of people do it!
Teaching background not necessary. I homeschooled both my sons (believe me, NOT something I thought I'd ever do!). My profession was not education. Oldest son graduated from a highly respected liberal arts college (Economics) and landed a great job shortly thereafter. Great guy, beautiful girlfriend, big saver/investor. Second son about to graduate from college in a highly sought after liberal arts program. International studies/security. Speaks several languages (Russian, Czech, some French)...

My comment is not meant to say "aren't I great?" or "aren't they great?" but rather "wow, I've learned to never say never about what I'll do."

I will say that once your kids get a little bigger, their interest in being in a tiny home, traveling and learning, may or may not be very enthusiastic. You never know. They do get big though. Physically. Need space. They also get moody - even the best of them!

That said, you aren't committing to a lifetime here. When we homeschooled I always said "this is a one year at a time gig. If mom ain't happy, no one is gonna be happy."

Best of luck to you on your goal towards this adventure. And as you move along on your goal, it may take on a new form or twist down another road. All good. LBYM is a sure way of opening yourself up to having more options.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:39 AM   #19
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I'm 31 and my husband is Matt 41. We have 2 kids, age 4 and 6. We are currently working full time and banking money to leave work and travel full-time in a towable tiny house while "roadschooling" our kids. The timeline is about 5 years.
Have you ever taken a long vacation with young children?
Have you ever tried living in a towable tiny house for more than a few days? Or anything that tiny?
Do you have any experience/certification in homeschooling? Do you understand the educational standards required by your home state?

You are making a major lifestyle commitment both for you and your children. Hopefully, you've tested out at least some of the aspects so that you have some idea what you are getting them into.
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