Friday, June 16, 2017

Breaking In: Full-timing by RV or Motorhome

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Going Full-timing by RV?
Don’t Break Those
Bonds Just Yet
    

Are you thinking of ditching your present job, home or lifestyle to go full-timing in an RV? I did it at age 31 and can say now that it was a good decision. But it wasn’t a quick decision, nor an angry one. The old expression, “Don’t burn your bridges behind you,” makes excellent advice. Here’s why. 

    * Remnants of the old life  could be solid currency to you in the future. No matter how bitter your divorce, how grief stricken you are over the death of a loved one or how much you hate your job, there may be things worth hanging onto.


    Another old saying is, “Keep your words sweet. You may have to eat them later.” Memories fade. Tempers cool. Forgiveness happens. Always leave a door ajar. Impossible as it seems now, you may need a reference someday from former coworkers, landlords, neighbors, spouses or roommates. 


    * If your parting with your employer is amicable, ask now for a letter of reference and carry it with you. 


    * Keep memberships in your professional associations, at least for now.  Dues may be high but it’s usually easier and cheaper to stay a member than to get in for the first time.


     * If your career requires a professional license, try to keep that current too. Some licenses (masseuse, nails, many health care professions, beauty operator) are issued by states, so  that makes them more difficult to use as you travel.  However, many states have reciprocal agreements and in others you can get a new license just by passing a test.


    An instructor’s or commercial pilot’s license is portable because it’s federal, but to keep it current you need regular physical exams and periodic rides with check pilots. A number of women also have marine captain’s licenses, also federal. With a small-boat commercial license you might skipper a nature cruise for six people or less, or work as a fishing guide. 


    *  Don’t be too quick to sell everything you own. If your RV sojourn will be for a set period and you’ll want to reclaim your furniture after a year or two, it can be put in a storage facility. If you’re hanging onto, say, a coin or art collection because it’s growing in value, put it in a  fireproof, insured safety deposit box or  vault. Get adequate insurance from your own insurer. The standard coverage offered by the rental facility is rarely enough. 


    *  You may decide to keep your apartment and sub-lease it, especially if you’re in a rent-controlled unit. You might also decide to rent out your house rather than sell it, at least for the first year. If so, hire professional management to collect the rent and take care of maintenance. Even the most willing neighbor or relative may soon weary of midnight calls about leaky roofs and clogged toilets. 


    * Sometimes it’s possible to tap a retirement fund early but don’t hatch that nest egg if you can help it. The younger you are now, the more important it is to keep feathering your nest.  Money continues to grow tax free in your IRA.  It’s insurance against the day you can no longer work or travel or both. 


 

Learn more about the full-time life on wheels. Order Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition.
   

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