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Post Info TOPIC: Dealing with ambiguity and the 2 year plan


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Dealing with ambiguity and the 2 year plan


Hi all,

Since we are right in the middle of working through the specifics to get us out on the road next year I wanted to share a moment Lee and I had recently.  I like to work off a 5 year plan.  I started doing it for my career 10 years ago and it has worked very well because many of those goals took time to develop.  This is quite a bit different for us because we are working on a very aggressive time frame (for us) and thinking that far ahead was making us crazy.  What we realized is there are way to many unknowns for us to make certain decisions so w were stuck in a sort of analysis paralysis.    When we reached a high frustration level, we sat down and adjusted our thinking and now when we make decisions it is about what works for the first two years on the road.  Let me give you an example.  We will need storage...but to nail it down into where the storage is (could be here in New Hampshire, back home in Columbus, or in our new home state) all the myriad of choices really make it difficult to decide.  But by looking at a two year plan, we determined we could leave it here in New Hampshire (our daughter lives in the area) and we would pay upfront for two years so we know we would be covered.  This also fixes my need to come back to see my physician in New Hampshire in two years.  She said she would be happy to call in prescriptions for me on the road but needed to see me every two years.  Now maybe I will not want to continue to do that, but it gets me through the first two years.  Plus we need to come back anyways to deal with storage.  :)

This may all sound crazy to some, and I wish I was a person who could just "wing it", but it's simply not in my nature.  I am a risk planner by trade and by personality and this is a way to control the risks without being completely paralyzed by them.  It was a huge break through for us and I just wanted to share it.  Also I really recommend using Howard's budget template...in order to fill out your estimates...you have to start making decisions.  Again if your the type of person who can jump in and worry about it later god bless...but for us as a couple it is going to help us make serious decisions about work.  By knowing how much we have to make to live "comfortably", we'll have a better idea of how long we will be staying in areas (which affects the gas budget) and where we will be staying (work camping reduces campground fees versus working as a project manager would require being closer to a city and higher fees for example).  Anyways, I certainly don't have all the answers and am aware that once on the road things may change, but having a basic two year plan lessens the ambiguity and makes me feel better :)

 



-- Edited by Trace on Saturday 7th of December 2013 10:15:17 AM

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AHHHHHHHHH Tracy,

We're all different and I can't help thinking that you are in the perfect field based upon your personality. Getting down to a two year plan is progress. There has to be so much stress being that plan oriented.

We too purchased and use Howard & Linda's budget spreadsheets and if we don't keep 'killing' our laptop (latest event Jesse had an open beer next to open laptop and Kitty.... waiting for a new keyboard....) I'd know just where we are in our 'sorta' plan. The spreadsheet is handy for me to see how much OVER budget we are!

I tell you that because I am laughing at ourselves. We've had a lot of stuff go wrong since we hit the road 7 months ago but we're learning to take a deep breath and figure out solutions. Being somewhat flexible really helps with this lifestyle. You sound like smart, strong people that would be fun to know and learn from and you WILL find solutions to events that happen. For example: Many workamping positions are filled months ahead, but there are many last minute postings because things happen and people can't or won't keep their commitments. There is almost always a way. Many of our members have had major health setbacks but they adjust and go on and pass it on.

I used to be a huge worrier as I have a severely disabled daughter with seizures that can't be controlled. She would go into a bad one and not come out of it without a fast trip to the ER. She could have died many times. I slept with one ear open for her first 10 years until I finally realized I couldn't control every moment of her life; I could only do my best. She's still with us many years later. Yoga and/or meditation helps a lot.

Sending you peaceful wishes,

Sherry













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Tracy,

I wish you the best in your endeavors.  It may take time, but you may find that change will come easier for you.

Jo and I have our roots in agriculture and small town living.  As such, one learns that one's plans can go completely out the window with something as simple as a drought.  In farming, a drought means a huge loss in income and can cause a huge increase in expenses.  I guess you could say that while we plan and research, nothing is set in stone.  We are free to change at the drop of a hat, and even drop the hat ourselves.

I think it would do you wonders to just be able to get into the life and learn to live it.  After all, nature cares for its own.  The birds and animals have it easy compared to us humans.

Terry



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Planning is important, but stay flexible!

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There are many ways people make this lifestyle change. Having a budget is great and a plan is even better. However I am spontaneous; but have to admit; get the same anxiety and thoughts about moving to a strange place. Terry hit it; with expecting the unexpected. As I can relate to really well; Never thought I'd get the big one. A heart attack the end of march 2012 put a real change in my plans Now I have to learn how to budget a small social security and pension check as well as take medications on time; what healthy foods I can afford; follow up on the Primary and Cardio Drs. recommendations; and force myself to exercise even when the fatigue wears on me.
The greatest is we all seem to find a way to manage and get on with this new found freedom! PIEERE

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"Wing it"? I don't think a lot of people actually do that but there are different levels of planning. I have been trying to teach my husband that the only thing, if that, that one can control is their own behavior. I generally have multiple plans based on different scenarios so we are sort of like those little bumper cars from the past that hit one barricade, backup and continue until they hit another.......... My brother had those and I loved them which might have been an indicator of how I would live my life.

There is no right way. Some people take baby steps and other giant steps but that you are moving forward at all is what really counts.

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Tracy,

Sounds like you have worked out a great system for you! There are so many factors that contribute to finding a happy medium between spontaneous and planned. Finances, health, family.....we all have different issues that are important considerations for our future. Most important is knowing you want to make the lifestyle change and then figuring out how to make it happen. Making decisions for two years sounds brilliant to me to get out of the paralysis of how to make it work. You'll be able to adjust as you go forward but be more comfortable with the cushion you've made. As others have said, you have to do it your way.

We started out with big plans for everything from rig options to domicile to route and on and on. Now we've stepped back and figure we will make decisions as they present themselves to us after "take-off". With another 18 months until our launch date we will make and unmake decisions for awhile longer. Really the planning part is just fun for us now as we try to patient .

Jodee



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I'm also a planner; some accuse me of planning things to the molecular level! However, my favorite saying these days is "Man plans and God laughs."

Pretty much what Terry and others have suggested - no matter how much you plan, always expect the unexpected and be flexible enough to adapt to a new solution!



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Trace - I can relate, only we had a 1 year plan after we decided to FT, which ended as a 15 month plan before we actually got on the road. Along the way we learned that I could keep planning but not to hold onto those plans too tightly. With the work needed to prep the house, the buying of the 5th wheel and truck, we had several delays, changes in plans, etc. Then closing was delayed 3 times, etc.

Like Sherry & Jesse, we've just been on the road for a few months, we've had several things go wrong or not occur in the time frame we thought it would happen which has forced a change in plans. We've had mechanical issues, weather issues, family issues, etc. Each had to be worked through one step at a time and disrupted the plans we thought we had.

Dale knows I am a planner and will continue to plan, we've just learned that no plan is set in stone and the past few months have taught us a lot more about adpating to our ever changing plans.

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I have found being out here like others...

If you are fulltiming and just going with the flow , destinations and relaxing between them is "normally" Simple!

If you are fulltiming with a work schedule in mind, you might want to plan it with a break in-
between so the un-planned is included. on the road things happen whether its a simple(hopefully)break-down to mother nature...these things happen....and they will , no-one is imune.

I normally work weekends and it gives me 4 days of travel to get to where I want to be , and I normally dont go more than 200 miles to do it. I have had weather bring me to a halt for longer than that. I have had jobs that should have taken 2 days go a week or longer......I have gotten to a spot I just fell in love with that it took better than a month to turn the key and leave!!!

a 2 year out plan might be good to figure out where one is in their heart and financially......but to schedule 2 years on the road point a to point b.......I think would really take the fun out of it and place demands that would be difficult to control without suffering.

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Each of us have different subjects that we consider important. My plan wouldn't work for someone else and visa versa. Other than budgetary concerns, I didn't try to over think the whole lifestyle until I had purchased the RV. Now I am putting numbers to paper and scheduling purchases. Hating going to work and counting the days... 660. I find my jealousy of those who are already out there more intense now.

Your concerns are where your attention should be. For example, if you have plenty of money, you won't worry much about your budget. On the other hand, if money is an issue you may want to think through what your monthly budget looks like. Where can you cut, where can you splurge, what do you "need" and what do you "want". If you are still wrestling with the type of RV you want to buy, that will impact your direction. I started out planning for a class A. After buying a solid tow vehicle (unplanned when we started this) I went with a fiver. I am much happier with the way it turned out.

I don't believe you can plan the transition too finite. Things change, so flexibility is a key ingredient. Although you should be focused on accomplishing your goal, you proably should try to control the obsession. This is all I think about from the time I get up till the time I go to sleep. I may drive myself nuts before we get to our goal in 660 days. Lucky for me, no one will notice the difference.

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Lucky Mike wrote:

a 2 year out plan might be good to figure out where one is in their heart and financially......but to schedule 2 years on the road point a to point b.......I think would really take the fun out of it and place demands that would be difficult to control without suffering.

 

Thanks Mike :)  I love your comments btw...love to meet you in person out there.  You nailed it on the head.  I need a plan for both head and heart to get ready but am FULLY prepared for it all go out the window once on the road.  When you make decisions in life they impact your course and make to many bad decisions and you can find yourself in a place that's tough to get out of. 

An output from lots of discussion this weekend is we now have three different budgets.  One for bare minimum, one for moderate, and one for the consulting lifestyle.  Because we don't have SS or investments to supplement, we need to make enough money to meet the requirements of the bare minimum.  This means we have to be more cautious before accepting that first work kamping job that it will pay enough to net $24,000 as year.  There are plenty out there I've seen that wouldn't do that and for someone whose retired and has other funds coming in that's great but won't work for us. 

The other thing that became very clear is we need to be 100% debt free.  We had some discussions about allowing a minimal amount of debt to get us on the road on time, but that is a monkey on our back we probably couldn't afford unless I had at least 6 months of solid consulting work lined up.

There are so many variables it's really tough to plan..but I need to break it down and look at the paths best I can.  Appreciate everyone's thoughts!!

 

 

 



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Of the two of us, I am the more implusive one most of the time.  Bill is the one who brings me back to down to Earth and asks the questions that are needed to determine if my current implusive idea is a good one.  Sometimes it is, sometimes not.  When we travel, I do like to have a general idea of where we are going when, but then to some extent "wing it" with the smaller details.

Relating this to our full-time plans, we originally started out with a 5 year plan (which seemed like eternity to me!).  Bill had just started a new job, our kids were getting ready to move out, we were just about fully out of debt, things were looking good.  My son moved out, then I lost my job (long boring story), which wasn't the end of the world b/c mine was just a supplemental income.  My daughter moved out.  The HUGE wrench in the 5 year plan is that hubby's job isn't what he was told it to be, things that were promised never happened, too many issues to list here.  So now, instead of staying with the 5 year plan, with him miserable in his job for 3 more years, the plan has been accelerated to hopefully be only 2 1/2 years.  The only thing that will be different (and I don't want to understate the importance of this one thing) is we won't have as much money in reserves as we originally thought.  If we had another 2 1/2 years of savings, it would make being on the road a lot easier from a financial perspective, but we decided not so much easier that it was worth it to wait.  So, we will probably have to work camp a bit more than originally expected - so what?  Now our biggest wait will how long it takes to sell the house once we list it, which we plan to do early in the spring, hopefully early March.  Like everyone else, we have some minor things to do, the largest being clean out the garage and attic space!  I have already started the purge process in the rest of the house.  And, after this weekend I will have some exciting news to share!

There is a balance that needs to be found, as others have said, plan for sure, but keep those plans as flexible as you can, because things happen all the time that will throw that wrench into the mix.  Each of us needs to find what works for us individually as well as half of a partnership.  I am glad my hubby and I have found that (for the most part).   



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What I look forward to saying on Jan. 1, '14 regarding a "two-year plan": "Next year I retire in Dec. '15 and hit the road in Jan. '16." Now, to figure out what I'll be driving :)

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Tim & Cindy



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Trace: I'm wondering if you might expand your idea of "workamping" since it really just means "working while camping". We subscribe to Workamper News and that doesn't appear to be the place to look for an income unless you just want pocket change. I know that Amazon gets a lot of press when it comes to workamping and can be just seasonal but I noticed that Amazon in KS anyway was hiring through the summer. May not be the kind of work you are looking for. Also, temp agencies can be a better resource. With Obamacare, a lot of employers close to the max for requiring they provide insurance have been hiring only temp positions. Pay here in a very low cost area ranges from $7.25 to $10.00 for general type labor. I have noticed that many here transition from the house to the RV and then work on the employment end of the plan. I like the Coolworks website for browsing job openings, some are year round. Workers on Wheels is another choice for looking for positions. Do you have any idea what types of workamping jobs you would be looking for? And, with the job your husband took, the description you gave sounds like most of the jobs and not an exception and my husband has ran across those too so we totally sympathize you on that. We will need an income also but we are determined to make the break hopefully sooner rather than later.

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With regards to us, our situation is likely a lot different than most.  Jo and I will be retiring from our current jobs the first of July and moving to the Colorado Springs area.  The reason for that is that Jo's sisters and a niece all live up within a 50 to 60 mile radius from where we will be living.  We are at the stage where we are both about burned out on our jobs and retirement is a possibility, so that is what we will do.  It is likely that when we get to Colorado, we will likely still seek some kind of full-time work.  That will help us get more out of debt but still out of burn-out jobs.

I don't know of your family situations and where they may live, but would moving on to where relatives lived provide you a possibility of still having full time work there?  Granted, with our retirement benefits and my Social Security, our situation is likely way different from yours, but this was just an idea.

Terry



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SnowGypsy wrote:

... Also, temp agencies can be a better resource. With Obamacare, a lot of employers close to the max for requiring they provide insurance have been hiring only temp positions. ...


 I discovered that Manpower (manpower.com) has a nationwide database of candidates.  If you sign up at one location (take the tests, etc, maybe establish a little bit of a reputation by working a few gigs there), then when you travel, you can visit another Manpower office anywhere USA.  You will be in their database so you won't have to sign up again.



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Terry and Jo wrote:

With regards to us, our situation is likely a lot different than most.  Jo and I will be retiring from our current jobs the first of July and moving to the Colorado Springs area.  The reason for that is that Jo's sisters and a niece all live up within a 50 to 60 mile radius from where we will be living.  We are at the stage where we are both about burned out on our jobs and retirement is a possibility, so that is what we will do.  It is likely that when we get to Colorado, we will likely still seek some kind of full-time work.  That will help us get more out of debt but still out of burn-out jobs.

I don't know of your family situations and where they may live, but would moving on to where relatives lived provide you a possibility of still having full time work there?  Granted, with our retirement benefits and my Social Security, our situation is likely way different from yours, but this was just an idea.

Terry


 Terry,

We lived in CS for four years back in the early 80s when I was stationed at Ft. Carson and met my DW.  Simply loved it.   Are you planning to bring your 5er up to CS and live in it up there?  If so, what community do you plan to live in?  I don't want to get off topic so feel free to pm me with your plans.  Just interested since we still have family and close friends in CS.



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Tim & Cindy



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Jake,

We have reservations for site 58-A at Mountaindale Cabins and RV Resort, just off of Highway 115 southwest of Colorado Springs.  I'm getting jealous looks here in Oklahoma City when I tell folks that we are going to trade the "screams of sirens of emergency vehicles" (off the interstate highway only 200 yards from us) for the screams of mountain lions.  I posted about it in the "Campgrounds and RV Parks" forum category.

Well, I'm Impressed

Terry



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SnowGypsy wrote:

Trace: I'm wondering if you might expand your idea of "workamping" since it really just means "working while camping". We subscribe to Workamper News and that doesn't appear to be the place to look for an income unless you just want pocket change.


 We spent some time this weekend looking at available jobs on Work Kamper...sorting them by $$$ which means all hours are paid.  In general the site is free and you make $8.50 - $10 and hour with 32-40 hours guaranteed.  For the exercise anything that didn't guarantee hours or was vague about rates we skipped.  If we were truly looking we would have called several of those to negotiate. We then bumped this salary for one month up against out monthly bare bones budget which was $1950 per month net.  We discovered we could barely make it in those scenarios which made me feel a whole lot better.   We also had a great discussi9on about what our lives would look like in those cicumstances and if it would be practical to work 2 jobs for extra cash.    We will have a nice contingency fund to start but that will be used for exactly that so "subsistence living" as we are calling it can be done for short stints but long term woud cause some serious financial pressures.  We also determined it was important to prepay as much as possible while at this income to take some of the pressure off.  This lifestyle is our Plan B if I am not able to find more lucrative consulting work on the road but it is very good to know that we could live indefinitely like this if necessary.



-- Edited by Trace on Thursday 12th of December 2013 10:31:09 AM

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Hello Trace,

I have been following this post and today I went back and re-read your first comments. We have been rv'ing for 25 years but in the last 10 we have joined clubs and got to "know" other rvers and their travels. One thing that became common is the people who went full time and stored their "stuff" usually came back and sold or donated it after a year. They also commented about how they could have simply re-purchased the "stuff" for what they paid in rent.......just a thought. Next idea was about working in your consulting job. You might make more doing that 10% to 20% of the the time rather than working for $10.00 an hour.

Anyway I wish you the best of luck in this venture.

Red

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Trace: Keep in mind that jobs in the winter are much harder to find in workamping so figure that into your plan B and that Workamper News has many subscribers. If you are a subscriber and have access to the forum there, read through and ask about employers you might be interested in working for. I don't want to be discouraging but to make the income you are talking about workamping is said to be difficult especially year round so make sure you have looked at what is available for pay in the winter months. I think there are more opportunities now because of the high cost of traveling from one location to another so that will be a plus as long as you have budgeted for the travel expenses which I am sure you have. Hopefully, Plan A will fall into place for you.

 

I just realized that you were talking exclusively about the KOA Work Kamper program.  We aren't familiar with that one but try to find some reviews before making it a part of Plan B.



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Friday 13th of December 2013 12:30:55 PM

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