Revisiting A Tale of Two RVs

My husband and I watched Netflix’s Nomadland last weekend, the film about retirement-age Americans of various demographic and financial means living in campers and RVs. Frances McDormand’s character lost her husband and her job all in the same year, when the company in the remote Nevada company town they were living in closed, essentially shutting down the town with it. I wrote about the book in this blog post.

The focus of that post three years ago was the difference between the person who tried everything they could to hang onto their house and the person who threw in the towel sooner. The former cashed in all their retirement savings, cobbled together part-time work, begged, borrowed and stole to try to keep up with the mortgage payments, but ended up losing it all anyway. The latter did the math, crunched the numbers and high-tailed it out of there as soon as it appeared they’d lose everything trying to save the house.

Let’s now factor in Covid to the equation using today’s numbers—can you move, do you want to move, will you have enough money to stay and keep the house, should you just sell? That all depends on –

  • whether you are still working- has Covid interrupted your income at all?
  • your age (Are you young? Kids still living at home? Adult kids living at home?)
  • your health
  • how much you have saved for retirement
  • how much you will get in Social Security and other income once you retire

My blog post three years ago was intended to encourage people to start planning early for everything, especially if there’s a home with a mortgage in the equation. (Even if you don’t have a mortgage, you still have property tax, insurance and maintenance to think about.) I want to talk to people before they retire, before they lose their jobs unexpectedly, before their kids move out, before they get sick. I know you can’t predict; but you can imagine.

This blog post is about how Covid has tweaked things for all of us–

  • -Are you now working from home?
  • -Are your kids learning from home?
  • -Did you lose your job?
  • -Did you get sick, or are you now having to care for family members who are aging or sick?
  • -Is your house working for you?
  • -What is your 1 year, 2 year and 5 year plan for your house? (If the answer is “I don’t know,” then it’s time to make a plan).

The new questions are, whatever your situation is: are you making it work, and how long can it last?

The only difference really is that real estate values are CURRENTLY (but not forever) very high. Remember 2003-2007—where every week it appeared everyone’s houses increased in value by the thousands (until that bubble burst)?

That was great.

And prices are WAY up right now. For now.

So can you take advantage of that? You can if you are realistic: crunch the numbers and make a decision according to the numbers.

The idea of moving into a camper or RV and roving the country doing part-time work wherever there is an opening is heaven for some people, and for others it is hell.

I can help you work out the math, come up with a plan for the future of your dreams, not your nightmares.