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Retiring to Salton City, any advice?
Old 02-17-2015, 11:02 AM   #1
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Retiring to Salton City, any advice?

So I quit the job and packed my bag. I'm looking for any tips or advice on my plan. Here's where I am so far.

At Christmas, I got a lottery ticket as a present and yup, I won. The thing is nobody knows and I figured I gotta get outa Dodge before the buzzards start circling. I've read about how people come out of the woodwork looking to get some of your money.

So I'm single with no real ties and have decided on moving to Salton City in California. I like the desert a lot and am tired of living with cold winters. I'm 52 and figure I can live off my winnings till I'm 90 if I spend $25k a year average. I don't need a lot and figure I can actually live simply right now for $12k a year really.

I found a company called Instant Mobile House in El Cajon California who offer a fly and buy deal. They pay for your return flight and hotel if you buy from them. So that's what I did. Bought a brand new park model home for $36k. Then I drove a rental car over to Salton City and found a serviced lot for $9k. The house is being delivered next week and then it just needs hooked up to services. When I was in Salton City buying the lot I also found a used 1990 Jeep in real good condition for $5k. So that's transportation taken care of as well.

I figure I will probably spend another $10k or so on other stuff getting set up and that should be about it. I might buy an ATV to run around the desert in besides the jeep but I'll see how it goes. My lot also has a separate boat slip included but I'm not into boating so I don't plan to buy a boat maybe I'll rent the slip to somebody.

I think I might get into doing some prospecting just for fun and an excuse to drive my jeep around in the desert. Other than that I expect to just sit back and drink a few beers and watch the road runners running around the yard.

So I would like to hear any advice you experienced retirees have for me.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
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What about medical insurance, you have that covered?
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:27 PM   #3
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Yeah kinda. I'll keep an address in Canada at my Brother's place and visit once or twice a year so that gives me coverage there. I'll travel on 2 passports which will let me come and go without breaking any immigration rules. Six months on one and 3 months on the other is what I can do. That's also one reason for picking Salton City, easy to drop south into Mexico and then back in on the other passport. Trips up to Canada for visits and to keep my medical coverage there. It might get to be a bit of a pain but I've got nothing else to do. Haha.

I'm buying travel insurance for when I'm in Salton City so that will give me coverage for an emergency while there. I'll get annual physicals when in Canada. So far, I've never really had any real illness or anything. Haven't even taken an aspirin more than once in 5 years in all my life. I'm a pretty healthy specimin. If I get some kind of long term illness or something later in life then I'll worry about it then. Worst case, I gotta move back to living in Canada. I'm not worried about the entire rest of my life, just the next 5-10 years or so. Things change and so will I no doubt.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lwinner View Post
At Christmas, I got a lottery ticket as a present and yup, I won.
Wow! I can't get past this sentence. This is a thread that I want to start one day - "I won a lottery and am pulling my ER in." Congrats!

More than anything, try to keep the money. Good number of lottery winners end up in bankruptcy.

There was a documentary I watched on the Salton City recently. I recommend you do a quick search on it. It showed life as it is today and was very interesting to say the least.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:29 PM   #5
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I know the history of Salton City rob and have been there before a few times. A very interesting history indeed. Some serious land scandals, rising water levels and then falling water levels etc. Apparently since around 2000, things have been looking up property wise. So I figure if I do end up selling some years down the road I'll probably not lose money.

I'm not worried about keeping the money so much as making it last. I'm investing it safely through my bank and at present should earn as much as I spend a year other than this first outlay. That's why I have kept my first spending as low as I think is reasonable. No Ferraris or anything like that.

I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life. My Brother gave it to me. I've paid of his mortgage and there is now a bedroom in his house with my name on the door. So I've got my backup plan in place. Haha.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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Salton City?!?? Um. OK.

That area is unique, with a colorful history and has it's own unusual lifestyle. Great for desert outdoor activities.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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Not sure how big your prize was but some thoughts.

- If this is a new winning - make sure you have taxes accounted for.

- I'm not sure the ins/outs of residency establishment when using 2 passports... I was always told to use the passport that is valid in the country you're entering. So, for example, my family members have dual Italian citizenship. Legally they present their US passport when they are boarding the plan to leave the US. When they enter Europe (schengen) they present their Italian passports. And the same in reverse. I don't see how that would get you around the residency issues if you are following the rules.

- your nest egg/winnings should be invested for some growth - in a bank isn't going to get you there. Lots of fees/expenses charged by the bank will eat into your growth and possibly principal. Read up on asset allocations. I know investment options are different in Canada, but it should be doable to come up with an investment plan.

- last thought - manufactured home in the desert is not my cup of tea - but my aunt has been living in the desert in AZ in a mobile home for the past couple of decades. Insulation and good windows are your friend, as is AC.
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:05 PM   #8
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The Salton Sea's water has gotten more brackish over the years. From Wikipedia, "Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as salinity and suspected pollution levels in the Salton Sea increased, the attraction of the Salton Sea as a recreational destination diminished.[8] Most of the original tourist related structures fell during this time, including the Truckhaven Cafe, the Salton Bay Yacht Club hotel and restaurant, and the Holly House motel and restaurant (later renamed Desser House and then the Sundowner)."

The weather is balmy in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, but it is downright hot in the Summer. I love the California desert, but not in the Summer. From Sperling's Best Places to Live, the average July high in Salton City is 107 F.
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:08 PM   #9
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Love the plan, can I come visit.
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:15 PM   #10
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Congrats and welcome. I'd suggest you read this book, or another on the topic, if you haven't already. I've used it as reference material for a few talks I've given.
Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall: Susan Bradley, Mary Martin: 9780471380863: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Not sure how big your prize was but some thoughts.

- If this is a new winning - make sure you have taxes accounted for.

- I'm not sure the ins/outs of residency establishment when using 2 passports... I was always told to use the passport that is valid in the country you're entering. So, for example, my family members have dual Italian citizenship. Legally they present their US passport when they are boarding the plan to leave the US. When they enter Europe (schengen) they present their Italian passports. And the same in reverse. I don't see how that would get you around the residency issues if you are following the rules.

- your nest egg/winnings should be invested for some growth - in a bank isn't going to get you there. Lots of fees/expenses charged by the bank will eat into your growth and possibly principal. Read up on asset allocations. I know investment options are different in Canada, but it should be doable to come up with an investment plan.

- last thought - manufactured home in the desert is not my cup of tea - but my aunt has been living in the desert in AZ in a mobile home for the past couple of decades. Insulation and good windows are your friend, as is AC.
Canadian lottery winnings are not taxed, but investment returns are. Investment income is taxed at the highest marginal rate. Capital gains are taxed least and dividends in between.

With respect to passports, I understand that immigration services on both sides of the border now have the ability to track comings and goings electronically. The OP risks losing resident status in Canada and acquiring a U.S. income tax liability.
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:21 PM   #12
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
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Looks like you did your homework. I was gonna ask what you did to the person who "gifted" you the ticket and you answered it. Good to have a lucky brother.


Quote:
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I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life. My Brother gave it to me. I've paid of his mortgage and there is now a bedroom in his house with my name on the door. So I've got my backup plan in place. Haha.
Whaaaaaaaat? I buy often whenever I fill up my car at a gas station and have never won anything over $20 (which is quickly reinvested in more lottery ticket that goes nowhere). You won on a ticket you didn't even buy. Life can be so unfair.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:22 PM   #14
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One of the finer travelogues on the Salton Sea, narrated by the famed explorer John Waters. Starts about 1:30 in. Love that place, but dinna wanna live there.



Edit: BTW, the initial static image is of Leonard White, now departed, and his Salvation Mountain. A good man.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:07 PM   #15
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Salton City?!?? Um. OK.

That area is unique, with a colorful history and has it's own unusual lifestyle. Great for desert outdoor activities.
Yeah I've been a desert lover for a long time and like nothing better than spending a week backpacking in it M Paquette. This will just be like staying in a very fancy tent.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:13 PM   #16
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Not sure how big your prize was but some thoughts.

- If this is a new winning - make sure you have taxes accounted for.

- I'm not sure the ins/outs of residency establishment when using 2 passports... I was always told to use the passport that is valid in the country you're entering. So, for example, my family members have dual Italian citizenship. Legally they present their US passport when they are boarding the plan to leave the US. When they enter Europe (schengen) they present their Italian passports. And the same in reverse. I don't see how that would get you around the residency issues if you are following the rules.

- your nest egg/winnings should be invested for some growth - in a bank isn't going to get you there. Lots of fees/expenses charged by the bank will eat into your growth and possibly principal. Read up on asset allocations. I know investment options are different in Canada, but it should be doable to come up with an investment plan.

- last thought - manufactured home in the desert is not my cup of tea - but my aunt has been living in the desert in AZ in a mobile home for the past couple of decades. Insulation and good windows are your friend, as is AC.
Rodi, taxes don't bother me none. Around $1k a year the accountant tells me. Only on income and I'll barely earn enough to be taxed on at all after allowable deductions.

Not sure about your example re Italian/US passports. Neither of mine is a US passport. What I gotta do is more or less snowbirding. It's Canada's rules I gotta watch out for. I couldn't care less about US rules. There's plenty of Canadian snowbirds to tell me how to work it. Basically there will no record I ever left Canada.
Not worried about growth either. If I could I would plan to spend my last dollar on my last day. Any family I have are capable of earning their own money and I don't plan on leaving any money to a charity.
Yeah the trailer has ac and decent windows. I'll probably add a front awning of some kind. Been looking at these kind Shade Sails LLC | Innovative Tensioned Fabric Canopies Since 1997
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:28 PM   #17
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Congrats! Sounds like you have a well thought out plan. If I win the lottery, I'm buying a Jeep and moving to the desert too.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:49 PM   #18
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Tortoise, heat don't bother me and who ever heard of a Tortoise it bothered either? You just gotta know enough to get yourself out of the sun and into the shade.

Grasshopper, nope. I don't plan on anyone down there knowing I've got any money and you might grass me up. grass up - Wiktionary

No offense Sarah but I'm not about to read any books by anyone telling me how to invest money. In my experience their idea of invest is my idea of gambling. I don't gamble.

Meadbh, are you writing to rodi or to me? I understand what OP means but since I've got a name here I have to figure if you ain't using my name you're writing to someone else. Are you trying to explain something to rodi? It sures looks like it. I doubt he is interested if he isn't a Canadian. In any case, a Canadian can earn up to $44,700 in interest and/or dividend income with no tax owed. Who cares about investment income. Not me, I ain't no stock market gambler like I said.

Are you a Canadian Meadbh? I'm a Canadian citizen and I can't lose resident status so I don't know what you are thinking about there. I won't be on the radar in the US either so no US tax liability either.

MRG, depends on your age, gender and looks.

Camloki, seen it and others. One man's desert is another man's paradise.

Say, how come so many comments by moderators here? I've never seen this many moderators in any other forum. Whadda ya do, hand out moderator badges like Cracker Jack prizes?
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:57 PM   #19
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Good evening Lwinner.

1. rodi is female.

2. I am Canadian. My reply to rodi was addressed to forum members in general. As most forum members are from the U.S., they cannot be expected to know about how Canadian taxes work.

3. Nobody can take away your Canadian citizenship. However you may wish to read this link from the Canada Revenue Agency about determining residency for tax purposes.

Determining your residency status
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:04 PM   #20
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...

No offense Sarah but I'm not about to read any books by anyone telling me how to invest money. In my experience their idea of invest is my idea of gambling. I don't gamble.
...
You are giving reasons why you actually do need to read a good book on investing. Life is a gamble, your money is 'invested' one way or another. And history has shown the biggest 'gamble' an ER can make is to ignore inflation and keep a very high % in 'safe' investments. Then inflation might get them, ooops.

A prudent investment portfolio reduces the gambling you are doing by diversifying across different types of assets.

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