DISCLAIMER: This is an editorial. This is only an editorial. Had this been an actual fact you would have been advised to withdraw to your nearest fact shelter to await further instructions. We repeat. This is only an editorial. If you wish to add your own two cents to this debate, you may post your own editorial....
I'm sitting here in NM planning a future move to Texas. I'm also trying to work out our "retirement". At some point, I will be too old to work. That means I will have many years of unemployment. Since I am heading into my final working years with very little, I have been doing some thinking.... and reading old Mother Earth News CD's
I thought I would entertain you guys with some of our plans.
I'm always reading about the importance for fulltimers to have an exit plan. I agree... to a point. I never want a house but I would like a place to park the bus without having to pay the "rent" the campgrounds ask for. I can live in the bus even if it can't move. David is a tad bit to gungho to find a place since he figures he will not be around. His rationale is the fact both sides of his family can't seem to live very far into their 70's (something I intend to changing). My family has a habit of living to just shy of 100 and we don't "do" doctors. I attribute that to what my aunt refers to as "just plain cussedness". Since we have barely survived the "recession" we don't have too much material things to worry about. We also don't have tons of credit cards etc. So we have achieved the cherished "debt free" status... along with being "poor". I'm not complaining. This is actually a good thing. We have winnowed out and thinned things down to where I know exactly how much it will take us to live on per month. It's not a whole lot. I think we could transfer these expenses over to a piece of land as our own private "RV site". Right now we pay $375 per month for a spot to park the bus, electric, cable and wifi. Our "budget" for quite some time has been $400/month. So I will use $400/mo as our projected "monthly expenses base" for our home base expenses.
The ideal home base, for us, would be a spot of land (1 acre would be nice) where we can build a pad for the bus with sewer, water and electric hookups. Put a covered picnic table in (sound familar?) and room to park the towed. We want to build our own campground just for us. And maybe a spot for our daughter to park so she can visit us.
In addition to the "campground", I would like to be able to put in an intensive organic garden, fruit trees and berries with perhaps a bit of aqua-culture to raise some fish. Nothing too fancy, maybe some brim, perch, sunfish & catfish. I want fish that reproduces, not fish I have to buy every year. I could make an exception to catfish. I do love pan seared "blackened" catfish with drawn butter. David likes frog legs so raising bullfrogs would provide food and bug control. While in my "money making" years, we could put in a solar system that we can add to over time until it is large enough to support all or at least most of our electrical needs (need to build a shed to hold the panels and batteries). Perhaps do a grid-tie. Ideally our water would be supplied by a well with a solar powered well pump to pump the water into a holding tank while the sun shines. The garden & fish could hopefully not only feed us (can & freeze) but we could sell the excess at a farmers market or flea market. Once we get to the "parked" stage, we could add chickens for eggs & meat. David said no to rabbits (vicious beasties). Actually he said "Never again". Garden gleanings would provide the bulk of the summer food for the chickens (been there, done that with chickens & hogs... another "never again"). And I want to build a storm/tornado shelter/can shed. Berm the walls and plant strawberries on the berms. Perhaps a greenhouse for winter food production. You can see why reading the old Mother Earth News on CD's is bad. I get all these great(?) ideas.
Ideally, this land would have had a house or mobile home on it so power, utilities, septic tank and a driveway had already been. A run down, uninhabitable house or mobile home depreciates the land because most folks want a clean slate to work with. We do not. We see the opportunity. This type of land could have mature trees already established, possibly some fruit trees too. If all the utilities, etc have already been put in, all we would need to do is rejuvenate everything rather than put in from scratch. I'm talking sweat equity. Something we have always had more of then money.
If this land could be close enough to a place I am working at, we could move onto it sooner. Like as soon as we got the RV pad set up. All money we "saved" by not paying for an RV site would be funneled back into turning our "homestead" into reality.
I figure if I can sit in NM and find 1 acre for sale on the internet for $1000 outside of Huntsville TX (20 miles outside of Huntsville!), then I can find others once I get there. And it has.... TREES!!!!! OMG I MISS TREES. Too much desert is bad for my soul.
Look! Trees and a dilapidated house. You know what that means? Power has already been run into the property and a driveway is already in to the house site. The hard stuff! The expensive stuff! We could clean the house and land off by "hand" (not like we haven't done that before) and set up an RV pad" at the house site. Now if it was close to a place for me to work (down side of the location)...
I have found other places too...
Lake Livingston Village
WARNING! HOA FEES!
WARNING! HOA FEES!
There must be others. I'm not too wild about HOA fees. So that is a very good reason for me to look elsewhere. Upside is that these HOA fees also cover trash pickup and the places have "amenities" like boat docks, pools, community centers, etc. We don't do pools and have no interest in any boat that needs a boat dock. Community center... not very social either.
So what happens if we decide that we don't want to live in the place after we put all that work into it? Our theory is to sell it. I figure land values will rise again. The land is "improved". We would have been living on it and it should be providing the majority of our food requirements. So the home base is basically a "savings account". And we should do better than what we would make on interest from a savings account or CD. If we don't sell, then the home base would be supplying most if not all our food. Our money needs should be covered by the meager Social Security payments plus I am currently buying Home Depot stocks and should be getting roughly 20 shares per year over time (wonder what their dividend payments will be?) plus once I go fulltime, I will sign up for the 401k (5% from my pay and HD contributes to it). I wonder how long I can work?
Has anyone else thought about something similar? If so, what are your daydreams? Maybe I can steal some of your ideas! ;lol;