I’m trying to be true to living within my means. Often I might feel a bit shameful because I don’t want friends and family to know the truth. Which is: sometimes I just can’t afford everything. No one wants to be judged or criticized but here’s the reality truth. I invited one of my “wealthy” RVers to come visit me and join us in a beach day and she told me she’d come BUT she’d have to overnight park at a WalMart. Say what?
Then I asked my other “wealthy” friend, who owes a condo here but rents it out all year , when she was coming down. She told me she’d find a cheap hotel in February and come down then. Cheap hotel?
Lastly, my long time RV friend, who turned me on to this area, asked where I was staying and when I told her she said a friend of hers stayed two days here last year and said it wasn’t such a nice place. The people were very unfriendly. “Yes” I said. “The folks here don’t like transients. They like long-termers (4 to 3 months) which is what we are and we found the people to be friendly, helpful and kind”. Needless to say, she won’t be coming here for an invited visit any time soon.
This last friend pays $4400 for a 3 month stay. She owns a condo but rents it out all year for income. She and her partner live 365 in a motor coach they jointly own and split most bills. I’m paying $2100 for my3 month stay and I own a paid-for home. Who’s the snob? Someone recently stated that I try (wrongfully so) to keep up with the Joneses. I’d like to know what Joneses that would be? No one in my circle of self-deceiving friends, for sure. Sadly I find most retirees full of s***t. Sorry to say that but I practically believe no one anymore.
So, here are my bottom retirement figures, the kind no one else will talk about or divulge. We live on $29,000 a year, that is covered by 1 social security check, 1 pension check, 1 family repayment loan, several sources of investment income and sometimes part time work. In order to cover property taxes ($2814) and two RV vacations a year ($3450) I withdraw 3.53% out of my cash holdings in order to accomplish these non-negotiable retirement lifestyle choices. In two more years hubby’s bigger socialsecurity check will come in handy and not only will we no longer need to withdraw that 3.53% BUT we’ll be able to further save and invest.
This strategy doesn’t include the $400,000 paid for home we’re living in now. Eventually we will be forced to move out of this insane, liberal, progressive, communist, atheist, socialist state of New York and look for redder pastures. In the interim, we bide our time. And we live within our means.
Am I a mad retiree? You betcha.