Archive for Hanging up the keys

If you are just starting out RVing and making decisions about whether or not to keep your house, think about what you’ll do and where you will live when you hang up the keys. An article in Chicago Tribune Health section states that Florida and Arizona -states popular with retirees and RVers – are not the best states to end up because of the availability of affordable long-term care options. Florida is 43rd while Arizona is only 21st compared to the other states. According to the article, “Minnesota, Washington state and Oregon led the nation. On the other end of the scale, the Southern states of Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi scored worst.”

Ideally where you live should have assistance so you can stay in your home (or parked RV). The leading states provide more services to make this happen.

If you are on the road now in your RV and are thinking about where you might end up, this is an important factor. Long-term care in a facility is pretty much unaffordable for the middle class in any state so other options will make the difference.

Enjoy your RV lifestyle but keep in mind the days when traveling all the time will not be realistic or may no longer be fun. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

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These are not among the popular states for RVersĀ  homebases, but considering you might end up there when you get off the road, take a look at why these are not good choices in this USA Today article. They mention two other states with good weather – Texas and California – that have negatives. Texas has high rates of property taxes. California’s property tax rates aren’t as high as others but since property costs so much there, effectively you pay a lot. Plus California has a high cost of living.

Another things you might notice is that the states on the USA Today list do not have good weather. If you’ll be living in your RV for the winter eventually in that state, brrr….. Continuing to live in your RV might not be a realistic option in states with extremely cold weather and snow. You can always change your homebase down the road, but it is a hassle so why not pick a more realistic one to start with? Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

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Tom Sightings, writing for U.S. News & World Report Money column, offers “10 Items for Your Retirement Checklist.” Choosing to live the RV lifestyle, at least for a while, could help you with a couple of the items. First, you could add to your income plus spend less living this lifestyle, stretching your retirement dollars.

Secondly, RVing would give you the opportunity to check out places to settle when you get off the road. Unlike someone who sells their house and then immediately buys in a new area, an RVer can stay in the area at an RV park prior to moving there and see if the climate and activities are a match for the long term. An RV park would be cheaper than renting an apartment. You would not be tied to a rental agreement or lease if you decided after a short time that this was not the place for you.

An other advantage, in my opinion, would be to see some of the places you’ve always wanted to see and perhaps stay long enough to thoroughly explore and experience an area. It’s much easier and cheaper to travel in an RV and stay for a week, month, or even longer than it is to rent a hotel room and live out of a suitcase. Plus, while you are traveling, you can check out potential places to live when you hang up the keys.

It’s something to consider! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

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Park models at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson

Many full-time RVers, after traveling for a time, decide to get a homebase again. Opportunities exist to lease or buy an RV lot. Or, you could go for a park model in an RV resort or park or even a mobile home. An article about a property scam in England at Money could happen here.

About 100 people bought into a mobile home park planning for this to be their retirement home. They were not aware until the transaction was completed that they could not live all year round in this park. Some areas in the United States have this restriction too. You cannot stay the whole year. It’s fine if you are still RVing and go off for a trip for the required time but if your RVing days are behind you, then this could create a hardship.

It is always wise to have an attorney read over a contract. And for the buyer to read all rules that the park or homeowner’s association has and that will apply. Don’t find yourself surprised after you have made a considerable investment. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

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Residents in a Largo, FL RV park are facing ouster. The owner wants to replace the RV park with a big apartment complex. Most of the residents would have a hard time finding another place to live that was comparable in price plus their RVs are more than 10 years old so some places would not accept them. The residents are protesting using also the fact that it could environmentally degrade what includes wetland property. The owner, of course, contends differently and says they are all on month-to-month leases. You can see the article at the Tampa Bay Times..

If you retire to an RV, full- or part-time, there will come a time when you have to get off the road. One of the less expensive options is to move to an RV park where you can stay year round. Others might choose a park where you can have a park model or mobile home. Read the lease/rental agreement carefully. In many cases it is month-to-month so the owner does have the option to sell if he/she gets a good price. Some property owners do look at their property as a retirement account: sell off when it’s time to retire and live on the proceeds.

Hot tub at  Voyager Resort in Tucson.

Hot tub at Voyager Resort in Tucson.

If the owner has put a lot of money in the park – perhaps in a community center, pool, landscaping – it could show an intention to keep it for the long run. However, if prices around the park skyrocket, any owner could be tempted to sell. And, who knows what their heirs will do when the owner passes away.

Another thing to think about is escalating rent and utilities costs. Is the park in an area where there are rent controls? At an older age it may not be so easy to move your RV or park model to a new park that is more reasonable.

You can find a higher level of protection if you purchase your lot or buy into a co-op park. Keeping up the infrastructure and common areas could prove to be expensive so it’s not a complete guarantee.

An RV or mobile home park could be a good decision. Often there are facilities and even activities. Check the agreement carefully and think about Plan B in case you would ever have to move. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak


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