Old Friends and Magic

We have had the good fortune to have visited Disney World several times. Our first time was in 1989 when our girls were 12 and 6.

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We returned, just the 2 of us, in 2003.

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In 2004 we took our older daughter and son-in-law as a reward when they received their MBA’s.

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The entire family (at the time only 2 grandkids) enjoyed a trip in 2012.

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This trip we only went to Epcot. Our best friends Jeanne and Ray are visiting from the Cincinnati area and had never been to Disney.

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We chose Epcot as we feel it is the most adult oriented park. We got there shortly after the park opened at 9 and started in Future World at Spaceship Earth. Then we rode Soarin’ which was a highlight of the day. While we were at the Land pavilion we rode Living with the Land. Then we headed to Mission Space with the most frustrating wait of the day. We decided we could withstand the g forces and opted for the Orange Mission to Mars.

We ate tacos and drank beer outside at the cantina by Mexico. We rode the three Caballeros boat ride before moving on to Norway were we met Elsa and Anna.

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At the China Pavilion we watched Reflections of China. We had a beer at Germany and did the Wine Walk in Italy. At the USA pavilion we watched an A Capella group and the animated American Adventure. Jeanne enjoyed a Grand Marnier drink in France and we watched the dated film – Impressions de France film in the French pavilion.

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We ate Fish and Chips at UK area. The Canada pavilion was closed for a private event so we headed back to Future World. We tried to go the Immaginarium, but, it too was closed. So we went to the Seas where we rode the Nemo ride and looked at the Aquarium for a while. We headed back to the World Showcase to watch Illuminations from our viewpoint near the boat dock. The weather was perfect all day and with the crowds low – we had a great time. Of course, the company was the best part of the day.

MLK Day 2018

We visited the Martin Luther King, Jr National Monument this year as part of our discovery tour of Washington DC.

The Statue was particularly impressive at dusk when illuminated from the ground making the large monument seem even larger looming over the park and lake.

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Being of a certain age – we remember the civil rights movement and the mission of Dr King – Although we were far removed from the movement in our all-white, suburban, Midwest small towns. And, unaware of his importance as we were only in the eighth when Dr King was assassinated.

In light of events of the past year it seems to us this country has made backward progress in the long journey toward race equality. Perhaps this country needs to stop thinking of MKL day as a long weekend in January and get back on track – starting with its leader on down.

The time is always right to do what is right – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life on the Road Part 2 Choosing a Domicile

When we were at the Newmar Kountry Klub International Rally in Sedalia, Missouri, we presented 3 different topics as part of the Fulltimers Chapter Life on the Road Seminars. This is the second of 3 posts outlining the information we shared.

 

Life on the Road – 2017 International Rally Presentation – Choosing a Domicile

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Your Domicile will influence many aspects of your fulltime life. Taxes, insurance rates, and registration fees all vary from state to state, and in some cases, from county to county and zip code to zip code.

But first…What is a domicile? A domicile is your fixed permanent, principal home for legal purposes. It differs from your residence – which is your place of bodily presence.

How do you establish a domicile? Primarily through mail, registrations, driver’s license, and the address you use for financial activities. One of the major considerations in choosing a domicile is taxes. Property tax and sales tax rates will vary. State income tax is historically a big consideration for RV’ers in making this decision. AK, FL, NV, SD, TX, WA, WY have no state income tax NH, TN are also tax friendly and only tax interest and dividends. In the past FL, SD and TX have been considered most RV friendly, but their laws are changing, so RV’ers must keep up on the current laws. Vehicle registration fees vary widely depending on the state. Some state’s fees are based on the value of the vehicle.

Insurance Rates for Vehicles and Liability insurance should also be considered. We strongly advise specific RV Insurance for fulltimers. Consider also your Toad Insurance. Here again, rates will vary widely. Liability insurance with umbrella coverage would be a wise choice.

For fulltime RV’ers under 65 (pre Medicare) and not covered by Government, Military, or Retiree coverage, insurance rates for health insurance may be the deciding factor in setting up a domicile. We found that the states of FL, SD and TX although tax friendly, had few desirable options in health care coverage. In our case, we wanted a plan offering nationwide PPO coverage. This may not even be available depending on the area. ACA (Obamacare) options are limited and change every year. Where you ‘live’ could make a big difference in premiums. Even those covered through Medicare should research supplemental coverage for nationwide plans and consider their spouse’s coverage. New options such as Christian medical cost sharing programs and Escapees health care should also be explored.

Other major considerations include whether mail forwarding services are available. How easy does that state make it to register vehicles? Are inspections necessary and how often? Do you need a special license (CDL) to drive a RV? How often do you physically have to go there to maintain your domicile? Depending on your individual circumstances, you may need to assess Inheritance tax, wills, trust and estates issues, divorce agreements, homeschooling laws, jury duty commitments, and Voting considerations. If voting in local elections is important to you where do you want to vote?

Some complicating factors that may affect setting up your domicile of choice is if you own property somewhere other than where you want your domicile to be as well as the amount of time you spend at a non-domicile location.  Different states may have different criteria, some are more aggressive going after taxes and may complicate matters.

Every situation is unique, and no single solution fits every need. Take the time to research. Compare and contrast all the various options. Start early to establish mail, drivers’ licenses, banking and registrations

Life on the Road Part 1 Selling the House

While we are stationary at Mt Olive Shores North and there’s not much new going on, We are posting the content of the seminars we presented.

When we were at the Newmar Kountry Klub International Rally in Sedalia, Missouri, we presented 3 different topics as part of the Fulltimers Chapter Life on the Road Seminars. This is the first of 3 posts outlining the information we shared.

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As part of our introduction – our prom picture 1972

Life on the Road – 2017 International Rally Presentation – Sell the House or Not?

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Our home in Cincinnati. Too big and we had to deal with that white, cold stuff.

One of the decisions RV’ers face when making the move to fulltiming is whether to keep the house or sell it. In making this decision one must confront emotional, financial and family considerations. A big part of this decision involves looking ahead to what your wants and needs will be when you are no longer fulltiming. Will your current house match your lifestyle? Will the location be where you will want to live? You must also assess how certain you are that the fulltiming lifestyle is right for you. If you sell your house and shortly thereafter decide fulltiming is not your thing, you will no longer have a house to come back to. Perhaps a family member wants the house. You can either sell it to them or have them rent it for a while as you try things out. Another consideration you need to deliberate is whether you will have the funds to buy another house when you come off the road, and if this is best market in which to sell. Renting may make more sense. But then you must ask yourself if you are comfortable being a long-distance landlord?

We recommend if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It’s a big emotional and financial decision. You can always sell later.

Of course, if you keep the house there are fixed expenses you need to look at. Mortgage payments, property taxes, HOA or neighborhood fees to mention a few. Look closely at your homeowners and liability Insurance. Many times your rate will be higher if the house is empty. Upkeep and renovations will continue to be an expense and an empty house ages quickly.

Another issue that will need to be addressed is what about keeping “the stuff”. Will you still want it? Will it be what you need when you set up a house again? What about your peace of mind – will you worry about theft, or damage? What will insurance cost? Does a storage facility make sense and how will storage effect your possessions? Is it worth the ongoing storage fees? Does someone, perhaps a family member, want or need it?

Our advice is to research the financial aspects. Don’t use all the proceeds from the sale of an appreciating asset (house) to buy a depreciating asset (RV). Talk with a financial advisor. Timing may be critical. Buy the RV before selling the house, especially if you need to finance the RV. Banks are reluctant to make loans to ‘homeless people’. And talk with family members, consult realtors, and run the numbers.