Sometimes people ask me what I plan to do after my mortgage is paid off. Initially, back in 2007, I thought I would quit my job right after it was paid off, get a part time fun job or start my own business, do some traveling, volunteering and basically whatever I felt like doing. Now, with the job market the way it is, it seems more prudent to keep my job a bit longer.
So, here are some of my options:
Option 1: Keep working but take 2 extra weeks of vacation without pay. That would give me the opportunity to visit my family in Washington 3 times a year and then I would still have a week to split up and use one day here and there to make some long weekends to visit other people. Maybe take an extra week off to visit a friend and his family in Europe (You know who you are. I believe I signed a fairy god-mother contract requiring a visit). I am leaning towards this plan for maybe 2-3 years after I pay off my mortgage. I could save $15-20k per year ($1200 that was budgeted for the mortgage + $600 rent per month) for whatever dwelling I decide to purchase or build or for refurbishing the mobile home I have or just keep it as a big emergency fund. The problem here is the temptation for lifestyle inflation but I will try to keep it in check.
Option 2: Quit working and move to Washington. Move in to my sister’s basement and be her nanny. Although this might be fun for a week, I don’t see this as a long term option. Plus, I don’t want to live there in the winter.
Option 3: Quit working the full time job and become a snow bird. Spend the 6 months of summer in Washington and the 6 months of winter in Arizona. Get involved in volunteering. I could try to find seasonal work or try my hand at some artistic endeavor. This plan would be a little financially shaky. Although I would still have $600/month coming in from rent (assuming I continue to have good renters) and my very basic expenses, including a budgeted category for a health saving account, are only $600, any emergency would stress my finances. If I could find reliable seasonal employment then I would be fine since that income would be saved for large expenses such as major vehicle repair, skin cancer and dental care. Those are expenses that I know will come up every 2 years or so. If I did this option I would also like to buy a small travel trailer (vintage 50’s-60’s if possible) or one of those cabover campers for my truck so that I can have my own little home when I travel and I can bring my cat.
Option 4: Keep working and buy a manufactured home for $40-50k to replace the old mobile home on my property. Drill a well for $30-40k (ouch). Foster kids, horses, dogs…whatever wants to live with me. Try not to become that crazy lady with all of the animals.
Option 5: Keep working for a while and buy a manufactured home so that my parents can be Arizona snow birds and escape from the snow. I would also need to drill a well. Fix up my shed and turn it in to a cabin so that I can have separate living quarters. Sell my big RV. Maybe buy a little trailer.
Option 6: Work until I can buy a manufactured home to replace the mobile home, then quit. Sell RV. Fix up shed. Rent out manufactured home for added income. Buy a little trailer and go wherever I want. Come home to the shed-house when I feel like it.
Option 7: Quit today! Liquidate my 401k, pay off house, sell big RV, buy little trailer or cabover camper and run away! Visit people, volunteer. Some days I feel like doing that. I need to stop looking at campers on craig’s list. It only adds fuel to the fire. But it's fun. :)
Option 8: Keep working. Get a construction loan and build a traditional site-built 3-4 bedroom, 2 bath home for $200k. Join on-line dating and find a husband. Start a family. Hopefully quit my job when the kids arrive and let my husband pay the mortgage. Or keep working, adopt school-age kids and pay off the house in 10 years.
I could keep going forever. I suspect I will do a mix of all of them. I think option 1 for a year or two depending on how long I can stand living in my RV. I really want to get off wheels. It just depends on the circumstances down the road and that’s part of the adventure, right? I'm going to link this post with my Things So Far Post in the About Me section so that people know what I am doing...or at least what I'm contemplating.