Getting ready to test drive our early retirement lifestyle

44 thoughts on “Getting ready to test drive our early retirement lifestyle”

    1. Yup, we are excited to try this new lifestyle for sure. Different scenery. Different routine. It’s all good, variety is the spice of life! πŸ™‚

  1. Reading this, it sounds like planning for your own version of a ‘moon mission.’ It will be a terrific adventure to figure out the best way to live, drive & survive in the Airstream. The fun will be in the incredible freedom & independence you will have to explore & enjoy the country. I am just 13 workdays from my FIRE escape from the MegaCorp world and feeling nervous about the lifestyle change. What you are doing is SO much more!

    1. Ha! Thanks MrFireStation. Yup, learning process for sure, no doubt about that. There will be lots and lots of figuring stuff out. Just like anything new, it’ll take some time, but it will quickly become second nature, too, once we have our new lifestyle down.

      13 days, woohoo! I’ll be following your journey as well. I bet you’ll wish that you pulled the plug sooner, too. We all seem to!

  2. Steve,
    $hit IS getting real! Exciting lifestyle change. That’s a nice looking interior. Definitely add an exterior pic when you get it.

    Sounds like you and your wife are all in. The new blog will be intriguing. Do you have any travel goals… all the states, or national parks or anything like that, once you hit the road full time?

    1. Shit is definitely getting real, and I like it. We’ve spent a long time talking about all this happening and now it finally is. I will most certainly add exterior pictures once we take delivery of the unit.

      No specific travel plans yet. For the remainder of our full-time working life, we’ll be right here in town because my wife commutes. Once that’s over, we will probably stay in the Four Corners region of the U.S. for the first year so we’re still close to family and friends, and so we aren’t traveling too much and spending money on fuel. No specific campsites our BLM land decisions yet, though. That’ll come later.

      One thing I want to do is photograph the Half Dome at Yosemite. That might not be the first year we full-time, but probably soon thereafter!

    1. My wife is the planner, so she will map out general locations ahead of time for sure. We know that we want to stay in the Four Corners region our first year, but we don’t have specific areas in mind yet. I’m more of a day-by-day kind of person. πŸ™‚

  3. Charlie is a great name as it also holds special meaning in my life. And there’s a lot of spin-offs that you can use – Charles, Sir Charles, and Chuck to name a few. Have fun testing your early retirement lifestyle!

    1. Thanks Ernie. Yup, I like Sir Charles too. I think that was the nickname for Charles Barkley back in the day (the former NBA basketball player) if I’m not mistaken.

    1. Thanks Mr. SSC – we can’t wait to get to some of those areas. Still have several more months of work yet, but we’ll get out and about every once in a while too, especially in the spring and fall. πŸ™‚

  4. Good luck – you’ll love it! Our campervan is about a quarter the size of your Airstream, so space is even tighter. So we have a rule that things we put in it should have at least two uses, such as the kitchen mixing bowl doubling up as a pot washing-up bowl too.

    We also have some fun ‘campervan laws’, but one is: “Always keep stuff in the same place if you want to find it again” – you’ll be surprised how things can ‘disappear’ in such a small space!

    Have fun,


    1. Thanks Paul! Sounds like you guys are more hardcore than us! But, you probably also get to park in more places than we can, which could definitely be an advantage. Yeah, we have much of the same rules in place, too. Another good one: “The acquisition of a ‘thing’ necessarily requires the removal of another ‘thing'”. πŸ™‚

  5. Sounds like a great plan, very excited for you both. Great that you found a grandfathered Verizon plan, was just going to ask you how you plan to get internet access while you’re traveling.

    1. Thanks Tawcan! Yeah, the grandfathered Verizon plan was a gold mine. It wasn’t cheap, though – but in the end, it will be well worth the initial cost to “buy into” the plan.

    1. Thanks Fervent! Yeah, I love driving manual transmission vehicles. More fun. Better gas mileage. And the torque in that sucker is pretty damn amazing. πŸ™‚

  6. All this talk of camping is starting to give me the itch to get the heck out of town. Things are really coming together for you guys and I’m really enjoying the updates. I, too, am living vicariously.

    1. Thanks Chuck! It’ll definitely be a fun ride for us. Adventurous, sometimes frustrating, but all in all, this’ll be something that we will always remember.

  7. Clifford and Charlie – nice! We named our truck Jack and of course…wait for it….. Jill is the 24 foot trailer. Kind of catchy – huh? πŸ™‚

    We hereby volunteer to help you move Charlie down to Tucson if you want any assistance. We would bring Jill with us and camp for a couple days. It would give me a nice break from staring at the 4 walls of my home office.

    Hats off to you and Courtney for accomplishing your goals. You are an inspiration!

    1. Hah! Jack and Jill – perfect! πŸ™‚

      Appreciate the offer to help us move. Actually, my folks will be coming out for the trip down to Tucson (the ones who full-time RVed for 12 years), but once we are in our campsite (which should only be a couple days after that), we’ll be lookin’ for some company! πŸ˜‰

  8. Steve,

    Wow can’t believe all these changes are happening and testing out the new lifestyle is right around the corner, exciting stuff!

    Loved how you described some of the new challenges of smaller living, but called them “different” instead of “sacrifices.” Congrats on all the exciting news and looking forward to reading more in the upcoming months!

    1. Thanks Matt, appreciate the comment. Yup, we firmly believe that downsizing our lifestyle isn’t a sacrifice at all. In fact, it’s THAT that is enabling this entire adventure to begin with. Woohoo! πŸ™‚

  9. This is so exciting! I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures. One question though. Why stay in Arizona during the summer months? You’re not tied down at all, so travel to a cooler climate.

    Mr. Smith and I are always daydreaming about our own trip (six years from now). We plan to rely on a crockpot for lots of cooking. It won’t take up that much room, but is really versatile. Just a thought πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Harmony! Good question about staying in Arizona. My wife still works at a job that requires a commute, so that is what’s keeping us in Arizona through the summer. Otherwise, you’re right, we’d be out of here. πŸ™‚

      We love crockpot cooking, and good call. We probably will do quite a bit of that when the time comes. It’s easy.

    1. Thanks Justin. Yup, things are slowly fitting into place, finally. It’s gonna be a busy and interesting remainder of 2016, for sure. Huge amounts of learning. Should be fun. I really, really like the sound of “unlimited mobility”. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Jaime,

      Continue? As in, still maintain an investment portfolio, or something different? While we certainly won’t be *contributing* anywhere near what we are now, the idea with early retirement hinges on the continuation of investments by living frugally, controlling your spending and capital gains in the stock market (along with any other side income that you’ve managed to generate). So while we won’t be putting money in at quite the same rate that we are, we absolutely will continue our investment portfolio. πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you Steve! I was curious what people did with their investment portfolios once they reached FIRE. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. =)

  10. Kudos for making the plan, and executing on it!

    Can’t imagine doing it myself at this stage in my life, but love the idea of being able to pull up stakes and hit the road when the urge strikes.

    Looking forward to hearing the updates.

    1. Thanks Jack! This should definitely be a fun thing for us to experience. Change is the spice of life for us, and we definitely like to spice things up! πŸ™‚

  11. I’ve been curious about the Verizon Unlimited data plan. Were you able to do an assumption of liability transfer and make the account yours permanently or are you “leasing” a unit like they sell on ebay? I thought it wasn’t possible to do the first one now but if so I’d love to hear how you did it?

    1. Hey Patrick – yup, we did an assumption of liability, so no renting for us. We plan to keep this plan for as long as Verizon honors the grandfathered unlimited plans, so it was worth the risk of paying the higher initial fee to assume the plan. So far so good. πŸ™‚

  12. It’s so exciting to meet Charlie and Clifford! It’s all happening! Now you just have to get your house sold, and then it will all be super duper real. I hope the house sale goes smoothly, along with the move into your Airstream. We have all those practice tasks in our future one day when we get a trailer — I am not excited to learn to back up with a trailer, but I know I’ll have to do it.

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