Our Next Life series: Part 4 – Making the move!

Published September 11, 2015   Posted in How to Retire How to Think

Oh crap, here we go.  By now, we should have our rental home sold.  Both my wife and I are nearing the end of our working careers.  It’s the fall of 2016 and everything is coming together.  Hopefully we’ve found our new home on wheels, detailed in Our Next Life part 3.

The next step is perhaps the biggest of them all.  We need to sell our current home, ditch all remaining crap that we haven’t already gotten rid of, and officially move into the Airstream that we bought weeks (or days) before.  This is where the shit gets real.  Selling our last remaining vestige of our previous life.

Fireworks in Epcot

Yay, we’re getting rid of crap and traveling!

Our 1600 sqft home with a pool and slick-looking glass-sharded fire pit in the backyard will be gone.  No more big kitchen.  No more space for the dogs to run around outside, whenever they want, without a leash.  No more stationary home.

For a while, we’re living in a cylinder!

The idea is to put our house on the market and stage it well.  This is the “money house” – easily the nicest house in our neighborhood with the best mountain views out the backyard.  Like I said, luxury bullshit items like a pool and fire pit.  Tile flooring.  Kitchen appliances less than 3 years old.  Luxury.  Border-line ridiculous.

Yeah, we need this place to look its best so it sells well.  We will probably pay for a staging company to come in here and bring out its true potential before we put it on the market.  We might schedule an open house.  Those are specifics that we haven’t yet figured out, but we’re willing to invest a little into the home at the time of sale to ensure it brings in maximum value.

Because it’s this money that we will be living off of during our first year on the road.

By the time that we put the home on the market, or shortly thereafter, we’ll probably be in our new-to-us Airstream, living full time somewhere close.  Oh, and we’ll still be working, too.  This overlap of work and Airstream living will most likely prove to be interesting, but certainly doable.  But hey, talk about jumping in head first!

Once the house sells, we use whatever we make to bring our short term savings account back up to a respectable amount because it probably took somewhat of a hit during the purchase process of our trailer and truck.

We plan to live the entire first year off of our savings and let our investments continue to grow.  As gloriously unemployed poverty-stricken adults, we certainly will not be contributing to those investments any longer, but for the first year, we will avoid withdrawing from them as well.

Let them do what they do best – make us beautiful, cold hard cash.

Then, we begin our jedi-wizardry (okay, this is actually fairly simple) and begin the rollover process of our traditional 401ks into post tax Roth retirement accounts for tax-free withdrawals in the future.  It becomes easier to avoid maximum taxes during this process when you aren’t pulling in earned income.  Joblessness is key.

According to our FireSim calculations, living off of our short term savings, in excess of what we’ve already saved and earmarked for emergencies, brings our success rate up to 97%.  In the event that we experience the 3%, we’ll find temporary jobs.  Careers are replaceable.  So are jobs.  Not too worried about it.

Once the house sells, we sell off our last remaining car (after we quit our jobs) and officially call ourselves nomads, full time RVers, trailer trash or whatever other adjective is appropriate for this new on-the-go trailer-living lifestyle.  My camera will be with me.  My wife will have her knitting stuff.  We’ll be set to explore, have fun and wake up whenever the hell we want every morning and explore our beautiful world.

Now, the fun really starts.

The end.  For now.

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


22 responses to “Our Next Life series: Part 4 – Making the move!”

  1. I enjoyed your four part series of your next life! I bet it was fun writing about this subject and imagining how life will be by the end of next year.

    We wish you and Courtney the best of luck with selling your home next year. It sounds like your place is nice and should sell quickly. For us, we have had some challenges with selling our homes in the past. I would recommend you have a “plan B” just in case. Check out our article titled “How Liquid is your Real Estate?”

    I look forward to hearing about the experience of finding, buying, and updating the Airstream. Take care Steve!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Bryan! Appreciate the words of encouragement, and I’d like to reflect them back in your direction and you also gear up to make the move next year. You’re right, it was quite a bit of fun to write this article series. It’s interesting how putting your thoughts down on [digital] paper has a way of clarifying your plans.

  2. Lisa says:

    I have enjoyed reading your posts, and maybe you have mentioned it before, or in some of the comments, but what are your thoughts on health insurance? My husband and I talk about this and while the Healthcare Exchange is there right now, we don’t if we can rely on it in the future.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Honestly I haven’t put a whole lot of thought into healthcare and insurance. I know that there are plenty of options, and this will probably be one of those “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” kind of things. We will probably take the advice of some other bloggers out there who have already retired early – think Mr. Money Mustache, Go Curry Cracker and the like.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Maggie says:

    Great series! And I can’t wait to see your Airstream rollin’ up the Al-Can highway. To future adventures!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Maggie! Trust me, we can’t wait either. We are both looking forward to finishing out our jobs, selling the majority of our stuff and setting sail down the highway. 🙂

      It’s gonna be fun!

  4. ARBM says:

    This is a great series! What a fun thing to write! (and read!) I’m excited to follow along as you make this happen. Will you continue blogging once you are retired? Will we get to see how awesome it is to help motivate us to get our early retirement happening too?

    • Steve says:

      Hi ARBM,

      Yup, I do plan to continue blogging, both here on ThinkSaveRetire.com as well as over on our exploration/travel blog, FullTimeExplorers.com. The content may change a bit because my perspective will be from an early retiree rather than a FUTURE early retiree, but rest assured that the posts will keep on coming. 🙂

  5. John says:

    Have you read the research work by Dr. Wade Pfau on retirement? He did bring up several important points wrt the 4% rule. The main points as I recall were that
    1) the US was in an unenviable position and if you retired in other countries, then your retirement would have a higher probability of failure.
    2) current stock markets valuations are high so the expected returns going forward would be much lower.

    I read GoCurryCraker and Mr. Money Mustache but their scenarios are different since they are not technically retired and drawing down their portfolio. Do you plan something similar?

    • Steve says:

      Hi John,

      Yep, I’m very familiar with Pfau’s work and even more familiar with the general notion that the market is over-valued as a whole. Those things can and will have an effect on retirement savings, but I do not anticipate that significantly affecting our retirement plan. We PLAN on absolutely NO income post-retirement, but we know that opportunities will arise for us to bring in some additional income here and there. We plan conservatively and anything in addition will just be more icing on the cake, as it were.

  6. Loved the series. Can’t wait until next year when you roll it out! Thanks for being my guinea pig for once I reach FI 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Ha! No problem, Fervent – glad to be that guinea pig. If your retirement plans are at all close to what we’re doing, we probably will have some advice so you can avoid some of the mistakes that we made. No plan will ever be perfect, though – the ability to be flexible is key to making almost anything work.

  7. Really enjoyed this whole series, Steve! We have our own vision of how things will unfold to carry us from career to FIRE, and it’s cool to read your full vision. Are you guys planning for any additional income streams in retirement, or any backup plans, or is the idea that you’ll work if you need to? I’m curious about this since it’s a question we wrestle with. We have one rental property which currently nets us nothing, but will provide income once that 15-year mortgage is settled. And knowing that we could sell that house (as well as our primary house, I suppose), if we had to, gives us comfort. But just curious what others are planning for contingencies.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks ONL, appreciate the kind words. Regarding work, honestly, we don’t plan on working a single second post-retirement. We do, however, anticipate off-and-on work camping to help reduce our costs, but in regards to additional income via work, not a single solitary cent.

      Of course, chances are that we WILL pull in at least some income here and there, and this will just be icing on the cake, as it were. A little buffer here and there. But, we plan and anticipate none of it because we are purposely making our post-retirement estimates as conservative as possible. Basically, it’s all “worst case”, or at least close to it.

      We will basically be “all in”. No other homes to sell, cars to get rid of. The thing we’ll have on our side is a relatively low cost of living. It’s hinging on that. 🙂

  8. […] Finish out the series with Our Next Life, Part 4! […]

  9. I just crushed the series, I am sad it is over and want more!

    This sound amazing.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Brian – I truly hope that it turns out as amazing as it sounds. Sometimes I re-read it myself just to make sure it’s real.

      We’re doing our very best to make sure it stays real!

      Appreciate you reading, as always. 🙂

  10. Jaime says:

    Lately FIRE is the new American Dream which just tells you something about how people are fed up with their jobs and companies. I think that’s sad. I’ve noticed that in a lot of IT jobs, there aren’t a lot of people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Is it common for people to get burned out in the IT field?

    • Steve says:

      Yep, the IT field is one of those industries that tends to squeeze the life out of you when you’re young and full of energy. Once you get old enough to want to settle down a bit, you probably have to find a fairly cushy niche where ever you happen to work, switch industries or, in my case, just up and retire.

      The money tends to be pretty good in this field, but the expectations placed upon you tend to be fairly steep because of it, too.

  11. Peter says:

    Hi Steve – I enjoyed the series and relate to a lot of your story. I too an in IT and would love to get out – I am sick of the grind. You’re full time travel life is kinda of a fantasy for me and I suspect a lot of people. There are a few obstacles I see and I am curious if you have considered them? What about needing to care for aging parents, I am going through this now perhaps that is years away for you. What about staying close to other family, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews etc? I suspect you do not plan on kids but being a little older I also suspect that those relationships will be more important to you in years to come. If you did have to return to work would you be able to do it in IT after being out of the field for a few years? Would you want to? Or would you focus your new free time on developing other marketable skills? Any thoughts on what they might be? What if you have a family event to attend? Weddings etc? Would you work your travel around them? Store your RV home in a location and fly to them? Have you considered a budget for these types if travel costs?

    None of these questions are meant to poke holes in your plan I would like to hear thoughts and maybe there is a future blog post in there for you to consider and address some of these. Look forward to following things as they unfold!

  12. […] my wife and I bought our Airstream and truck, so we are rapidly getting our house in order for our looming move. I have a picture-heavy article ready for Monday that will show what we bought and explain our […]

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