We have entered the final phase of living here in Prescott, AZ. Last weekend our last furnishings were gifted away. We have no bed, no table, no chairs, no couch. We sit on folding chairs and we go out to the driveway at night to sleep in the van. Alta is our bedroom as we transition out of the house into van life. The dogs are confused! Sometimes when we all go outside to get in the van, we are going somewhere (did I mention that we sold all the cars?) and sometimes when we go outside to get in the van we are going to bed!
We did keep a few things. My theory is that IF we come back to the USA, we will be renting a small place or moving into a nursing home!! So with that in mind, we kept the following items: one antique, claw foot table, one comfy chair from IKEA, two small dressers, one floor lamp, one table lamp and a cedar chest filled with the memories that we just could not part with. These belongings will be in a storage container at my mothers house. Her house in Clarkdale will also become our mailing address and permanent USA address.
We also kept the trailer on the beach in Rocky Point. It is our hope that friends and family will go use that trailer as a beach getaway. If we need to come back to take care of any business, we can use that trailer as our residence so we maintain our “out of country” status for tax and insurance purposes. There are some great tax breaks to people who stay out of the country for nearly an entire year. And if we remain out of the country, we are not required to participate in health insurance.
Speaking of tax cuts and expenses….. some people ask why we have to leave when we retire, why don’t we just stay here and travel. The answer is simply that we cannot afford to live on our retirement income within the USA. Mike has a tidy retirement income starting in November 2014. But Geneva will not touch hers for another 6 or so years. Essentially Mike is retired, Geneva is just unemployed. That means that we need to live frugally and be cautious about spending. I cannot think of a more frugal lifestyle than that which we can find on the road. We have many resources to find free places to camp, food is cheaper in other countries than it is in the USA and medical care is a bargain. Our most expensive days will be those that we drive, as gas will be our biggest expense. Without the need to buy, consume, keep up and devour the products of American society, we should be able to make it happen on the plan that we have. But not to worry- if the income doesn’t make ends meet, we have done some wise investing, careful saving and have a fall back plan. And that is enough about the subject of budgets for this website. If you have specific questions, send us an email!
And of course, to help us make ends meet we need you to buy a sticker for your van, RV, camper or just for fun!