Sunday, July 14, 2013

Late Night Thoughts

Sometimes late at night, when I should be asleep my mind just won't relax. I'm sure many of my thoughts are similar to ones many full-timers have. Last night as I tried to fall asleep, I decided that today I would do a post about all the questions and thoughts that were running thru my mind at the time.

Funny thing is, now in the light of day, I really can't remember most of them, or can easily answer them for myself.

I guess they all revolve around one big one. "What if this is all a big mistake?"

I know no one can answer that for us.

I keep thinking of Aesop's fable about the dog who sees his reflection in the water. He has a bone in his mouth and so does the dog in the water. Trying to grab the other dog's bone, he loses his own.

We have a good life and live in a beautiful place. Are we reaching for an imaginary better one?

Today was an absolutely perfect day here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The temperature was just perfect, no humidity, no wind, no bugs. I spent some time out on the deck listening to the birds and watching my deer friend and her two fawns. Craig decided he wanted one of our summer favorites for dinner, a large plate of tomatoes with fresh basil, a balsamic vinegar dressing, fresh provolone and mozzarella, with a crunchy fresh baked sweet baguette on the side. No problem! He just zipped down to town to our wonderful local grocery. A perfect meal, enjoyed together.

I think it's quite normal to have a few misgivings about what we are about to do. Do I want to stay here? NO! Maybe I'm just a little bit afraid of the unknown. For me the story ends with the sale of the house. "And they lived happily ever after..." 

I'm tired of waiting. I'm ready to start living the sequel.

I know we will never be able to come back and live in this house again, but if we don't like full timing we can always settle down somewhere else. And if we love the RV lifestyle as much as I expect to, there will still come a time when our bodies will want to stop traveling.

We are going to talk to an investment advisor this week to get some advice on how to set things up after the house sells. I know we should have an "exit" plan.

The house is not listed yet, but having some ideas and information in advance will lessen the number of unknowns. We need to talk to at least two companies. I want to find the best one that will do it all. Investments, ATM card, money market account, and online bill pay. When all is said and done and the house does sell I want to have the information we need to make the best decisions for us.

Do any of you use Charles Schwab or Fidelity?

Any suggestions on what companies to consider?


  1. Lots of decisions to be made. With your gift for organization and thinking things through, I have no doubt you and Craig will make the decisions that will best benefit your life.

  2. The latest issue of the Escapees magazine has an article about having a plan ready for getting off the road. I read all of Sharlene Minshall's (sp.) books about RV'ing and she purchased and Escapees lot when she started RV'ing. I know she does not own an RV anymore and I believe she is living in a park model on that lot now. I read last week that ScotTrade customers without a "real address" are having problems because of the strict laws for opening accounts after 9/11 - Escapees does a lot to back up the full-timers in situations like this.

  3. Hi.

    I fully understand your statement.....

    We have a good life and live in a beautiful place. Are we reaching for an imaginary better one?

    That is also my dilemma everytime I think about the move we will make once Mum's house sells.

    Maybe we are asking the wrong question.

    Perhaps we should be asking, "Are we ready for a new adventure in life?"

    A major lifestyle change is scary and exciting at the same time.

    Hope you sleep better now you've written/blogged about it.

    I don't enjoy those nights when my brain goes round and round. It's amazing how a good night's sleep causes those worrisome thoughts to vanish.


  4. I think what you are feeling is normal and most of us had those same types of thoughts. If you don't like the rv lifestyle, you can always go back to a house.

    We used Bank of America before we went fulltime and never felt the need to change. We pay our bills online, just like we did before. We can even scan a check that we need to deposit to our accounts, instead of finding a branch office.

    We do have a Fidelity account, but that is just for our investments. I never saw any need to change banks because BOA did everything we needed it to do. I think most banks have online banking now, so you might not even need to change.

    We have our mail forwarding service through MyRvMail and they have done a good job for us. We chose to become Florida residents again and that went smoothly. There was info on the Escapees sight (I believe) that explained some of this. We joined MyRvMail when we spent the first winter in Florida as snowbirds while we were waiting for the house to sell.

    We had Directv at our sticks n bricks house, and just switched that over for an Rv account. I know you don't watch tv so you probably won't need that.

    Probably the thing you will need to decide the soonest is which state you intend to use as for your residency. Another place to look for info on that is on

    It sounds like you might be getting close to listing the house.

  5. in terms of investing in mutual funds there are no better funds than those offered by Vanguard... Why? They have the best expense ratios hands down, thus you will be paying them far less than the competition and keeping that money you would have paid others...

  6. We use Wells Fargo for banking and Ameriprise for investments...both are easy to manage on line.

    Your concerns are all took us several months to realize we were living and not vacationing when we first started out almost 2 years ago. Even that was a relief because we didn't have the pressure to make plans for every second.

    It's a wonderful life!

  7. We just went through the same process you are going through now. We bought our RV (a new-to-us 2002 Winnebago Journey DL) in Oct 2011 and then had a hard time getting our home sold (a 1923 former 6 room school house with 6500 sq ft of space -- not your typical starter home.

    I think MargieAnn hit an important nail on the head -- it's easy to ask yourself questions comparing your future life to what you had in the past -- but the more important question is whether you are really ready for the ADVENTURE that lies ahead.

    We have only been on the road a month and a half now, and we did 5 mnths continuous last year -- so we are far from experts. But this lifestyle puts you in contact with so many people and the camp hosts here at our current location are an interesting example of the importance of asking yourself whether you are ready for the adventure.

    He loves RV'ing -- she can't get over the things she's missing from her house and the annoyances that she's currently experiencing. Being of the same mind is huge when you're living in a few hundred sq ft of space and with each other all the time.

    There is no wrong way to RV -- this lifestyle can be anything you want it to be. Lots of driving, hardly any driving, lots of socializing, hardly any socializing -- all you have to decide is what do YOU want it to be for YOU.

  8. Vanguard. Absolutely. Lowest investment fees in the business and top-notch customer service. Excellent website too.

    I feel for you. These big decisions are never easy. Why do we torture ourselves so in the middle of the night?

  9. Wells Fargo and Vanguard. After almost five years in an RV, I cannot imagine ever living in a house again. I know that eventually we'll need to move and I'm hoping it's just to a senior living center. But that's not true for everybody. After you've been on the road for a year or so you will know what works for you. Everything goes -nothing is right or wrong.

  10. Ronda and I are a long way off the full time path and I still think about it.

    I think the sequel is going to be fantastic and you two will weather the storms and come out the other side better off for doing it.


  11. As you know, most full-timers agonize over this whole transition. We did too. It all came down to one thing..were we going to stay in our house when we retired, or sell it and move somewhere else with less maintenance, etc. When we decided that we would not want to stay in that house, the answer was obvious. Instead of living somewhere else, we live in a rolling home :) The exit plan has not been fleshed out yet, but to me, it wouldn't be any different if we were still stationary.

    We use ING (now Capital One) for our checking/savings. We pay bills online through them, and deposit checks by snapping a picture of them with our smart phones. Never a problem. No issues finding fee-free ATM's either. We can also transfer money from our investment accounts easily.

  12. making the dream become a reality can occupy the mind in the middle of the night, oh heck even during the day those thoughts creep in!

  13. Vanguard for investments as several of your readers have already commented.

  14. The big question you already answered. Do you want to stay where you are? No. If you decide you don't like F/T, just think of the RV as a transition from one house to another. It's easier to sell a house or buy a house by itself than try to do both at once. You will now have the option of buying land if you want and living in the RV while a home is built, or at least take your time looking since you have a moving home. No worries. Remember, you did not want to stay where you were. RVing is giving you options.

  15. Honestly, I have always been one to keep control of your own money. You are smart enough to deal with it. For right now it doesn't matter if you make any money off of it or not...for a year. Take the money and run...put it in a nothing bearing account where you have free access to it. It doesn't matter for a year. Give yourself a chance to figure out what you want to do. Spend it even...have fun for a year! Life is too short. At the escapes by our house you can buy a nice lot for $50,000 which could be your home base and also set you up to travel. So many options. You will never know until you try....

  16. Had a lot of those same thoughts and concerns - especially in the beginning. I just made the conscious decision that I wasn't going to let "what if"s keep us from following our dream. When we decide that we are tired of traveling anymore, then we will decide where we want to land. I don't think we will ever own again - renting looks so much more inviting right now.

    As far as investments, we use Edward Jones, and have been very satisfied with the return on our investment.

  17. My suggestion: Read the blog, The Roadrunner Chronicles. Randy and Pam are on their 4th year I think. They sold their big home and hit the road.
    They travel in a large RV with a small tow car. He is a straight shooter about the good and sometimes bad things they encounter in this new life. Best of all he posts a detailed budget about twice a year. They are semi frugal like us and it costs just under $ 5000.00 a month to live like this.

    At this point in life, most of your money should be in something stable. Just remember the old saying " never invest any money in the market, you are not willing to lose".

    Doing 5 months in an RV together, was a good thing. Now you know you can RV long term. Getting along in a small space is a lot different than being in a large house where you can have your own space.

    Wish you the best in your new life adventure.


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