I love it when readers contact me about the site and even more so when we end up engaging in conversations about this awesome lifestyle. I was recently contacted by Matt Colender about the possibility of collaborating on a series of articles on financial planning. I was immediately interested because one of the most asked questions is ‘How much does it cost monthly to go full time?’ For those that are dreaming about going full time or even half time after retirement, the question is ‘How do I get there from here?’ And for those that are already full time, they need the peace of mind to know their financial future is secure so they can maintain this lifestyle and they need a plan for when/if they can no longer travel due medical or extenuating circumstances – they need an exit strategy.
Not being a financial wiz myself, I jumped on Matt’s offer to collaborate on a series or articles.
So let’s start off with an introduction. It’s my honor to introduce Matt ….
My name is Matt Colender. I am a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. I am married with three kids (16,14, and 11) and live in a suburban town in Maryland that we love. We have a pop-up. A Coleman Sequoia High Wall. We call her Night Owl. My wife Marcia and I have been campers for a long time. When the kids were tiny, we would bring the Pack n Play into the tent – but they would end up in our sleeping bag somehow, anyway. When they were young squirts, we taught them how to ride their bikes in the campground. We would make tie dye shirts together at the campsite. Now we are mid-life, dealing with sport practices and driving lessons and suburban work life, and we are Thankful. And still, we go camping. If we had an acre of land, we would have a travel trailer or a 5th Wheel. We don’t have that with our suburban house. The Night Owl fits into the garage, though so no storage fees.
I do look out into the future, though. I plan for the time when we can retire and hit the road in a Class C and travel the country. I am passionate about it. I ponder questions like, “Should we sell the house?”; and “What will we do with my mom’s paintings?” – even though I am ten to fifteen years away from doing it!
I would love to live a “Flip Flop” life in retirement. Follow that 75-85 degree weather. Have a class C and a little dog and travel. We could VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) a big house for the gatherings with the kids and eventual grandkids at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We could take our RV and visit the kids wherever they live.
In my planning over the last two years I have watched probably a hundred YouTube videos and have read many articles on what to expect for life on the road. I have watched Bob Wells and Millenials and Military couples and people who post about the “Ugly Truth” of this or that; or the “What they don’t tell you!” about this or that. I have watched so many on budgeting. On what people thought and what REALLY happened. And I know, for sure, that every person even reading this has a different take on what “life” on the road looks like; and each path weaves a financial tapestry that wraps you through the journey.
I talked with Carol, and the idea we had is to write a series of articles on topics that make you think about the journey ahead – whether you are in the planning stage or on the road already. The Topics are all intertwined but have distinct chapters.
- Can I afford it?
- How will I live my life on the road?
- What is our “Exit Strategy?” in the twilight years?
- Health Considerations.
- Maintenance considerations.
Carol and I talked about it and it is obvious that every camper has a different take on the way “it will be done”. There are multiple rigs: Camper Vans, Box Truck conversions, Travel Trailers, Teardrops, Airstreams, Class A’s, Class C’s and on and on. Also, there are a myriad of camping styles: Boondocking, Campground Memberships (Thousand Trails/ Trails collection Encore, Castaways, RPI, Harvest Host), friends who have land or a plot of land with a stationary trailer- sitting pretty.
We intend to talk about the middle of the road camper. Someone 55-75 that has worked and has a nest egg, coupled with Social Security and possibly a pension, planning to live or is living on the road, experiencing life, with amazing views and fun adventure just around the corner! The camper who likes air conditioning. The camper who has an instant pot and likes to cook dinner and then have a glass of wine around the fire. The camper who likes wifi so they can contact their kids, check facebook and check email. A camper who likes full hookups. A camper who likes to get the football game and NASCAR on their TV’s. We will share a sample budget of ONE couple, and describe their life on the road, and dissect the expenses. This will give us a baseline.
Article #1- Can I Afford It?
Article #2 – How Will I Live Life On The Road?
Article #3 – The Exit Strategy
Excellent! I’m in the same place…just getting ready to Dive in to full time, your information couldn’t have come at a better time for us! Anxiously awaiting your articles. Thank you!
Awesome!! Matt will provide expert guidance!