Monthly Archives: September 2017

9/27/2017: House Hunting Part II

After a couple trips to Delaware and about 10 house visits, we decided on a house in the Rehobeth Beach area. The house is west of Route 1 (main north\south road); however, it is still close to a lot. Being close meets one of our goals of being able to ride bikes to the beach, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and bars, so we are excited by how many places are nearby.

The house has one floor living, so we have no need to use stairs on a day-to-day basis which was another big goal for the house. The house is laid out very well with the master suite on one side and the other two guests bedrooms\baths are on the other side of the house, so there is a little separation. The whole house was redone and updated, so besides a little paint, we will not have any real work to take care of onc e we get the keys. The rear yard is fully fenced with a vinyl fence which will allow the dogs to roam and sniff safely. All in all, we feel this house meets our long term wants for a retirement house.

Assuming everything stays on track, we will close on 10/20, which is a Friday, so we will pack stuff, load up the dogs and stay the weekend. Since it is right around the corner, I got the bikes ready for the first weekend, and after a short ride around the neighborhood, I decided to get a “comfy” seat for my bike along with a headlight\taillight set to test. If these work well, I will get a set for Kelly’s bike.

As we experiment with our bike ventures, I am really considering an electric conversion to provide a little boost of “energy” when\i needed. This will come in handy once I get a trailer rigged up for trips to the store. More to follow…

9/14/2017: House Hunting: Delaware

This coming weekend, Kelly and I will be looking at houses in Delaware, and the two main locations are Selbyville and Lewes. Each have their pros and cons, so the recon should provide a lot more information for us to decide. We are basically looking for a smaller house with a little bit of land (1/2 acre or so) and a two car garage along with close proximity to the beaches, restaurants and daily shops such as grocery stores and gas stations. To my surprise, we have seen several houses that meet this criteria for sale, and hopefully, the visit will show that the houses are as nice as the online pictures show.

The Selbyville homes are between 3 to 5 miles away from the beaches which are at the Delaware\Maryland line, and the Lewes homes are similar distance from the beaches. Just like any house hunt, each house meets our criteria a little different, but I think we will be able to find something that suits our needs, and once found, Kelly and I will need to work through the “to buy” or “not to buy” decision.

Why Delaware… The big reason for a Delaware house is to lower our overall cost of living. Northern Virginia has high property tax rates, and in general, has many taxes which eat at your earnings, and when you spread these costs over 10, 20 and 30 years, they add up to a substantial amount. By eliminating many of these taxes, our earnings and savings will go farther into retirement. we will also be looking at the prices of different items this weekend to include gas, groceries and other cost of living items which will allow us to compare to Northern Virginia. At initial glance, we should be able to lower our cost of living substantially by moving to Delaware.

09/06/2017: Busy, Busy and Decisions, Decisions

Well, it has been a good little while since my last post, and while I was thinking about the lack of postings, I have been busy with a few different items that will\may impact some life decisions in the near term.

Kelly was on her yearly vacation with her family in Ocean City, MD; so, we decided to meet up during the middle weekend in Fenwick Island, DE. I got a decent room in a hotel that allowed dogs which means Buddy and Circe also enjoyed a weekend away with a lot of new items to smell and pee on. The weekend flew by, but between my weekend visit and her two weeks, I feel we turned the corner on lining up our exit plan from our current work situations.

Since we over analyze everything, working through the plan on getting out of our current work situation will take a few\many items to get aligned before we pull the ejection handle. The initial big item is what area we would like to retire to, and expenses are a big item on this decision. In general, we like the area we currently live in Northern Virginia, and due to the money in the area, it would benefit for a business plan I’ll mention later; however, the property values are relatively high, so the property taxes are a big chunk of money every year ($5000/year). Besides Northern Virginia, we are also interested in the Eastern Shore area that would include the greater Ocean City, MD area and the “lower and slower” Delaware area.

There are a lot of options in the OC MD area, and we particularly like the area just west of the Route 50 bridge. This area would provide easy access to OC MD attractions, but also provide us easy access to part time jobs to generate income, but like NoVA, Maryland has high taxes. The last area is in the southern Delaware area, and there are a few obvious options to include Rehobeth, Bethany, Dewey and Lewes, but there a other options that are West of the main north\south road that area attractive, and in general Delaware has much lower taxes to include to sales tax and no tax on Social Security. The trade off between Maryland and Delaware is that Maryland homes seems to be less expansive than Delaware homes, but the long term tax impacts are mush higher in MD.

Kelly has been really looking into the housing situation in the above mentioned areas, so time will tell what we decide to do. I feel that we area still a few years away before any type of move, but we do like to plan and try to eliminate any surprised in the long run.

Besides housing, the other item we are working through is income. We don’t want to get stuck at home because a lack of money, so we are working through ways to bring in money with stuff we enjoy versus going to “the daily grind” in a cube farm.

First way we are creating income is buy purchasing dividend paying stocks. I have been working on this for a few years, and I have been making good progress over the years. My goal is to cover our taxes and insurance from the dividends which allows us to control our discretionary expenses. I need a few more years to reach my initial dividend goal, but I’m getting there.

The next option, which we just recently tried out, is to build a business on refurbishing furniture, building metal sculptures\furniture and reselling antiques. Kelly rented a 10×10 space at a local antique fair, and in general we did pretty well. We learned a lot of things over the weekend, and I know it gave me confidence that we can do this type of business to create additional income. During the weekend, we did meet a great retired couple who does this type of business for exactly the reasons we are looking into it. They basically said that they create a little extra income, and since they shop for items\antiques while on vacation, they are written off as business trips. After the weekend, I really feel that we will be pursuing this in the coming months\years with hopes that it works out and turns into a real side business.

Well that is a long post for me, so I would expect a change in the type of posts you see on this sight and maybe even a little redesign to align with our new direction.