Monday, August 27, 2012

To become a fulltimer

Roger tells me we have to blog regularly or people will lose interest and not come back to this site.  So he wants me to tell a little about preparing to become full timers.  

As many of you know I haven't been happy working for Vitas for at least 1 1/2 years and it gradually got worse.  I also found that I was having to do so much Medicare required administrative work that I was burning out.  It was clear they thought that I was paid too much and things were changing.  Roger had already decided that he is going to leave his practice by the time his lease runs out on his office in Oct. 2013.  He also wants to move out of California because our tax burden is way too high and he is convinced that Calif. is going to go broke.  So I started reading retirement books and blogs.  I searched the internet and we considered where we want to relocate.  In the meantime we decided to buy a new RV since our last one was 8 years old and we knew we were definitely going to travel more.  We bought the RV based on our ability to find a rig that met our requirements - a shower large enough for Roger to comfortably take a shower and more room in general.  We did a lot more researching for this one than we did for the previous 2.  We discovered that the Allegro brand is the highest rated Class A motorhome and we found a 37 foot (almost) Allegro Open Road gas RV.  I have been asked, "Why not a diesel pusher?"  Well, when we were RV shopping, we asked that question.  None of the salesman seemed to recommend them even though they would have made more money.  

Somewhere along the way I read an article about RV'ing full time.  I gingerly discussed the idea with Roger.  Work was becoming unbearable.  I decided to read books by fulltimer's.  Per our son, Chris, I became obsessed.  Well, I have read about every book out there about the full time life style at least twice.  But it gave me something positive to be focused on rather than all the negative emotions I was experiencing.  Oh, and I also joined about every RV club in existence...well 4 anyway.  Oops, it's 5.

My last day of work was the 10th of August and I haven't looked back.  Well, not much.  I have been asked what I am doing with all my free time.  I haven't had any.  It takes a lot of time getting rid of 20 years of junk that I haven't had time to touch for 20 years.  I got and filled a dumpster for that.  Bit by bit I'm getting the house ready to put on the market.  We've had to decide what we are going to take in the RV when we go full time.  We decided to use this year to iron out all the kinks in our RV.  We're leaving on August 30th to go to South Dakota to see if that's where we want to establish our domicile.  We might buy vacation rental property with the money we get from selling this house.  That would give us a place to put much of our furniture and stuff.  Much of the stuff we just have to get rid of.  I think we might have estate auctioneer come and set up the sale.  I'm just not a salesperson.  I just can't see myself doing yard sales and using Craigs List.

That's all for now.  My next chat will be to tell you about our RV.  I took pictures to inventory it for insurance purposes so I can use some of those to explain to those of you who can't understand how 2 people who have been living in 3800 sq. feet are going to be happy in about 300 sq. feet.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Beginning a Blog

My wife, Vicki, and I are starting this blog to mark a rather momentous decision in our lives. We have been married now for 36 years. We've been practicing medicine in one form or another for 34 of those years. We had a son and raised him to young manhood. In June he will graduate from college and, hopefully, strike out on his own in life (i.e. get off our payroll). And we are ready to move on.

After much thought (5 minutes at least) we decided that while we are still young enough to enjoy it, were going to chuck it all and become vagrants, bums, vagabonds, drifters, prodigals, tramps, shiftless transients. Yes, we've decided to become full-time RVers. To that end, we traded in our 10-year-old Bounder and purchased a shiny new 37 foot long Allegra motorhome. The most important feature of the new wheels is that it has a bath and a half. We decided that if we are going to live in a motorhome, it is critical that we be able to pee at the same time. It is also nice that it has a shower I can stand in without touching any of the walls. For years, our motorhome showers have been so claustrophobic that I have opted to walk to the campground community bathrooms to wash in the mornings during our vacations. Now, I can actually shower in the motorcoach, an unequivocal luxury.

New Wheels

When, exactly, all of this is going to take place is not entirely clear. I have to be able to sell my medical practice, and it is not clear how long that is going to take. We also need to sell our house, but the real estate agent thinks that should actually go faster than the medical office, so we're not putting it on the market just yet. Our best guess is that we will leave Redlands, CA sometime between February and July of 2013. This blog will cover our planning and preparations and, eventually, our traveling adventures.

Vicki is already unemployed, having finally parted ways with VITAS Hospice last week. I might con her into doing an entry about her trials and travails, just to take up space. The frequency of entries might be a little haphazard at first, but once we actually hit the road we will try to update about once or twice a week.

I will go-ahead and turn on blog comments but they will be heavily moderated. I would like to think that some posts might generate reasonable conversations but my Internet experience is that comment threads can attract idiots who think anonymity allows them to abandon all rules of civility. I reserve the right to remove inappropriate posts without explanation or justification. Hey, it's my blog. I'm God here.

Well, that's about as much introduction as I'm up for today. I'll be back before too long. See you all a little further on down the road.