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Hobo At Heart
So very exciting! I'd love to hear updates!
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This is the last week of my wife working before she retires. Next week we spend a few days taking stuff to our new home base in Michigan and then back to NY again to get the rest of it. By the 21st, we should be residents of Michigan and no longer living in the VERY expensive state of NY.

This move comes with some excitement and some heartache. We are moving to be near our daughter whom we left in Michigan back in 98. It will be good to be near her and her family. We will be leaving our son and his family and our daughter and hers. All totaled we will leave behind six grandkids. I have to keep reminding myself that we will be back often and whenever we want now that we are both retired.

I have asked several questions here on this fine forum and received much advice. I'll probably do as I usually do and ignore it all and then wish I hadn't. As soon as the dust settles in Michigan, we will start looking for our van. It will have to be and older one as the money is tight. We can't wait. We spend a lot of time on youtube looking at videos of other folk's vans trying to decide how we want to build it out.

As the time draws closer, I can't wait to change the way we live and the way we think about things. I'm starting to feel a bit fanatical about leaving the consumerist world behind and living for the moment. We are slowly beginning to see that it isn't in what we own, it's in what we do that counts.
1993 Jamboree Searcher 24'
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Yesterday we made our first move to Michigan from New York. Our SUV was packed to the roof and our teardrop was packed to the gills. It's a long drive; about 12 hours. The whole way I was arguing with myself about the move. Was this something I really wanted to do?

I wish I knew how to dump conditioned thinking. I have been conditioned to think that I need to have a place of my own. Sure, my daughter and her husband are building us a brand new apartment. Yes, we are only about 200 yards from Lake Michigan. This place is intended to be our home base. Everyone understands that we will be traveling much of the year. Still, I felt sad to the point of tears that I was leaving my home behind. I kept telling myself all the reasons why this is a good idea, but that conditioning kept me thinking I was making a mistake.

The one thing that helped was the fact that there really isn't many other alternatives. Money is a huge issue. We simply can't afford to live in New York and pay the taxes, nor can we afford a house in some cheaper location. We looked!

One thought that kept coming back to me was that not too long ago, people talked about kids in their twenties and even thirties living with their parents because they just couldn't get their feet under them enough to make it on their own. College loans were too high. Jobs were scarce.

Now it seems that many parents are having to move in with their kids. Retirement savings are not enough. Social security isn't all the secure. Jobs for older folks, especially middle level management types are nonexistent. I'm one of those.

I certainly do want to travel. I have wanted to be a hobo all my life, as I stated earlier. However, as many have said, living in your vehicle because you want to is one thing and quite another when there is little choice. No, I don't have to, but if I want to have any sort of freedom, I do have to. I have to learn to live a non-consumerist life. I have to learn to be more of a minimalist. I have to learn to live a, in some cases, very different way.

I hope I can.
1993 Jamboree Searcher 24'
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You'll be fine. Any big change is scary and stressful but I think you'll be happy with your decision.

Consider keeping the teardrop and using it for awhile before buying a van. Short vacations are a totally different thing than living full time or half time in a trailer, van, RV or other mobile dwelling. The teardrop may work well for you. Most of us avoid cold weather and if it's too wet, windy or otherwise too uncomfortable to be outside, we move. :-)
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We also were in about the same situation you are 12 years ago. But bought an old motor home which by luck kept us going down the road from seasonal job to low wage job till we were some what able to adjust to living with less. Funny thing was 10 years ago we found some place we liked so much we parked the motor home and just camped when traveling. You are fortunate to have a way to camp and a home base where there is family as some of our largest costs are visiting family. Hope things go as well for you as they did us.
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If you will be traveling most of the year, are you sure that you want to be a resident of Michigan and pay their State Income Tax?
It used to be the first $40k of a retirement was exempt. They changed that about 6-7 years ago. You pay on all of it now, (one of the reasons I didn't retire in Algonac).

I think Tennessee taxes dividends but not regular pensions, then there is South Dakota and Florida. Since you want to go South for the winter I think Florida with no State income tax would be a fine domicile. That would give you more than a 4% increase in your income.
The world is not perfect, and neither am I. Get over it already. 
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Well, here we are. We moved to Michigan, at least on paper. I know there are other states we might call home that have better tax breaks, but Michigan has some benefits.

We went on our first voyage out into the unknown a couple of days ago. We only came back to NY, but the trip was much different than in the past. We did some boondocking and found a free campsite in the bargain. We have been living in our teardrop for about a month now in our daughter's driveway. No, we aren't living in the wild most of the time, but this isn't just about camping. It's about living a very different lifestyle. We are moving into that slowly but surely.

One thing that has become pretty clear, the teardrop isn't going to cut it. We are now actively looking for a van. Hopefully, we will be changed over within the year. We could run out and just buy a new van. The problem with that is that it would eat up most of our savings. It doesn't feel smart. We will look for the right van and the the right deal.
1993 Jamboree Searcher 24'
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The prices teardrops are bring you might be able to trade for a van!
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It has been a while. We are somewhat settled in Michigan and working on what will be our base apartment. The work is going too slow for me, but that's how these things tend to be.

We lived in our teardrop until a couple of days ago. We had to move inside to our daughter's when the temps dropped into the low 20's and it started snowing in earnest. We were really bummed as, for now, the teardrop was the only place we could really call our own.

We have been searching for a van, but have not found anything yet. We even have a friend who is a car salesman looking. He is excited because his wife and he have been talking about doing the same thing. He wants us to be his testers.

Since vans seem to be scarce, (I have no doubt it is partly to my being too picky) we are beginning to think about a class C RV. There is much we don't like about them, but there are advantages too. I would be able to stand up for one thing. Also, they seem to be cheaper and have much less milage on them. I don't really want to drive a big beast, but then I don't want to sit here forever trying to find a van with no rust, less than 100K miles, and in good condition.

We have been invited to play a bit of music locally, but haven't yet as we seem to work all day and night trying to get the apartment ready. I guess it's just one day at a time.
1993 Jamboree Searcher 24'
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Well , you have chosen your path forward , so one step at a time should be all you need to get you there. Some paths have detours and alternate routes but as long as they all bring you where you want to be ..........enjoy the ride !
There is a saying in fulltime world. All plans set in jello , sometimes you have to give it a stir.........
Stay Tuned

Weirdo Overlord  YARC CRVL edition
12 "Stinkin'Badges"  a "Full Monty Badge" 2 "Just Ignore Me" clusters  4 "Pine Cone" clusters  one "Stinkin' Badger" and 4 of the coveted "Flying Manure Spreader"awards! (What a "Stinkin' " honor !) + ROOIRIA

1981 Travelcraft Class C - 23'
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