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.
Getting rid of that debt provides for so many options. You really can't lose whatever you decide.
Ya, it will be fun to try out some of those options. Weaning myself off the paycheck might be a little hard though.
That's lot of different options to consider, it must be nice, congrats on being so close.
Thanks Sallie's Niece. It is fun to dream.
Why wait till you retire to start a business? Why not do it now, automate the heck out of it and pursue those other dreams?
Well Chris, it is a good idea but the businesses that I have tried (they were more like hobbies gone wild) turned out to be money pits. A good business course would be a good place for me to start.
Option 3 and Option 6 are my favorites. I like coming up with ideas of what I'll do when I'm semi-retired as well. I'm thinking of buying a van and touring the country, teaching English abroad, joining the Peace Corps, and lots of other things. Hopefully, I'll get to do a few of them.
Dear Fairy Godmother of my daughter!
I count on Option 1 coming true. (The sooner, the better (-: )
Or else she may lose patience, grow up quick, take a plane to the US and find you.
Don't take it as a threat, it is rather just another option on a different list.
I think part of 6 and part of 8 are good ideas LOL ...We are kind of exploring similar options ourselves except we are already married and are done having kids :-) ...
PS how did the hair dyeing go did you like the beaty store stuff...I know I will never go back to store bough dye again....
I am overwhlemed by to many options (i get like that with paint colours too)but my only advice will be follow your heart.
May I ask approximately how old you are?
Andy, teaching English and the Peace Corps sound exciting. Good luck with that van (or tiny house).
KoBold, no fair sending her to New York and calling me to pick her up! It's a long drive.
If she comes out here I want you all to come out. Tell me how much I need to save. I'll put it in my budget. :)
LaDawn, the hair dye is working great. It smells so much better than the boxed stuff too. I'll never go back either!
Hi Lizzie, I get overwhelmed with too many options too. Since I wrote them down I probably won't think about them again for a year or so. Except for the quit now and runaway option...I think about that one a lot.
Petunia, you may ask. I have just started my 37th year.
We can't possibly all go.
That would be treated as an invasion!
We'll see later, don't budget us for the time being.
About that dream house....
Have you seen the Mother Earth News article, by chance, about the woman who built a small adobe house near Bisbee really inexpensively? April/May 1998 issue. Long time ago, I know. She did have help with a brother-in-law in building it, and hired out foundation and roofing jobs. It cost her, get this-- $5000! The way she did it is that bought 40 acres of cheap, beautiful land then subdivided and sold four smaller lots. It had a deep water table, so she has sort of a cistern system with rain off the roof, and got the rest of her water from town.
Hello Livingroom, thanks for the article. I had not seen it before.
It was interesting to read. My original idea was to split and sell 1 or 2 acres of my property to help pay for a house. I'm not sure of how much house I actually need anymore. I have friends that built strawbale homes. Tucson has an innovative home tour every year where people can see adobe, Rastra, strawbale, etc...I went last year. At this moment I think I could live in my shed if I added a porch, but I certainly couldn't fit a husband or foster kids in there!
Daisy You sound like an interesting person! I hope you hold on to your enthusiasm forever!
Thanks for the encouraging words Jean. I shall try.
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