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justthisbloke

Living No Fixed Abode

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If my house purchase goes awry, Mrs JTB and I are seriously thinking of taking a gap year (or gap couple of decades). Sprogs are grown up (ish) and we have a stream of dividends so don't need jobs.

Current plan is to buy a house and sort of semi retire. But we're having trouble buying a house (bad surveys, dodgy covenants, unpalatable prices) and Mrs JTB pipes up "we don't actually need a house do we? we could go sailing, canal boating or just travel for a while, couldn't we? "

To which, my response was initially, "er..." and "omg, my wife is becoming a hippy ".

But, you know, I'm not against the idea. But it is for some reason, a bit scary. But we're young enough (early and mid forties) to find "a bit scary " an incentive.

Has anyone here done this sort of thing? What are the pitfalls and practicalities?

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If my house purchase goes awry, Mrs JTB and I are seriously thinking of taking a gap year (or gap couple of decades). Sprogs are grown up (ish) and we have a stream of dividends so don't need jobs.

Current plan is to buy a house and sort of semi retire. But we're having trouble buying a house (bad surveys, dodgy covenants, unpalatable prices) and Mrs JTB pipes up "we don't actually need a house do we? we could go sailing, canal boating or just travel for a while, couldn't we? "

To which, my response was initially, "er..." and "omg, my wife is becoming a hippy ".

But, you know, I'm not against the idea. But it is for some reason, a bit scary. But we're young enough (early and mid forties) to find "a bit scary " an incentive.

Has anyone here done this sort of thing? What are the pitfalls and practicalities?

Do it. Just doo it. You have the means , the chance and most importantly the mindset to free yourself of all the ******** that keeps most people trapped.

Dont worry about the pitfalls. They'll be the basis for all the stories you'll have afterwards.

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I am not in that situation!

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Campervans seem to hold their value quite well so buy in low season (last week before Xmas payday) and sell it late May and you may well lose no capital on it at all.

I've always dreamed of converting an old waterways tugboat into a barge, but it can wait until I'm retired I think.

I honestly can't think of any pitfalls of what you're suggesting, you only get one life; don't waste it. There's a big wide world out there for you to explore and you're young enough to not have to worry about the physical constraints of living a relatively off-grid life. In fact if you go for a campervan and splash out on something big, you'll probably find it comfier than your own bricks and mortar home.

You're then not even constrained by the confines of the UK; the world's your oyster. Just get yourself a 3g dongle so you can report back to HPC with your stories :)

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If my house purchase goes awry, Mrs JTB and I are seriously thinking of taking a gap year (or gap couple of decades). Sprogs are grown up (ish) and we have a stream of dividends so don't need jobs.

Current plan is to buy a house and sort of semi retire. But we're having trouble buying a house (bad surveys, dodgy covenants, unpalatable prices) and Mrs JTB pipes up "we don't actually need a house do we? we could go sailing, canal boating or just travel for a while, couldn't we? "

To which, my response was initially, "er..." and "omg, my wife is becoming a hippy ".

But, you know, I'm not against the idea. But it is for some reason, a bit scary. But we're young enough (early and mid forties) to find "a bit scary " an incentive.

Has anyone here done this sort of thing? What are the pitfalls and practicalities?

As long as you have a friend or relative who's address you can use it's plain sailing.Starting in 1992 at the age of 44 we did twelve years in a narrow boat In the UK,Ireland,France,Belgium, and Netherlands then four years full time in a motor caravan.Then summers in our house in Sweden winters in Spain,Portugal or the UK in the motor caravan.Now full time in Sweden.For various reasons still use an address in the UK for some banking.

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Sailing around the world appeals.. that's my plan for retirement.

I wouldn't reckon on it being cheap though (mooring fees, maintenance etc), and a lot of work learning the laws of different countries (and how to skipper a yacht if you've never done it). Plus I'd be looking to sell the boat at the end of it a couple of years later.. not live there indefinitely.

Doing that would depend more on how well you adapt to living in cramped conditions and relative inconvenience of day to day tasks / chores.

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You have the big advantage of people you trust well enough (your kids) to receive and open your post.

Combined with the plethora of admin you can now do online it's much easier than it was.

Somebody from work, about sixty, grandmother, neither her nor her husband is minted, junior jobs, took off about a year ago. Sold their house, round the world tickets, half an idea of living in Spain for a bit which is where they are at present.

Totally loving it and not even a camper van to call home.

Incredibly impressive and she (I don't know him) whilst confident is not the kind of person you would think would do this.

When I was chatting with her beforehand I assumed she would be renting out her house to come back to, thinking of it like a senior gap year, but no - she was selling it and she was off. Wow.

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All my friends have done it upon hitting their 50's (and I include the one couple that have a paid off bungalow in the UK, as they are pretty much completely, off grid). They all got fed up with the shallow pointlessness of 'keeping up' when your are only here for ~75 years and once your eyes are closed that's your one and only chance to see a polar bear or a morpho butterfly first hand, or go swimming in a natural pool in a secluded cove in Cornwall, which will all make you feel alive.

Look into the people circumnavigating and the blogs they write, eg Sailing Totem

Look at http://workaway.info. I had friends in your situation that did this for 2 years and they were never out of accommodation in mainland Europe, and then they stumbled on a small patch of land in southern Europe where they are now self-sufficient and completely off-grid.

Plenty of camper van blogs too, from the moderate to the more ambitious

Why am I typing here ? - cheerio :)

P.S. And why on Earth (literally) do you need to own a house ?

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Do not buy a boat

If you think bricks and mortar are a millstone with costs then a boat will break your heart (and your wallet)

By all means do your thing (good luck and enjoy - I;m enviable but far too conservative) - but rent the damn thing - as the saying goes "the two greatest moments owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it"

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Once met a lady who swapped her house for a boat and ended up living in bed and breakfast accommodation when the latter became a millstone of repairs.

A bit like a fable where you swap your way to a bag of corn.

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I'm going to get a boat like Iggle Piggle, the narcoleptic old sailor from the Night Garden!

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Near me (NW Leicestershire) there are some holiday cabins in the woods. Offgrid but there are some bogs and shower blocks. You can live there from Easter to bonfire night and whilst some are used rarely, many people do live there in summer and just rent somewhere over winter or go elsewhere. People used to live there all year round but the council put paid to that. Ground rent is about £1300 and wrecks start at about £3k, usable at £7k and nice for £10k plus I think there is a transfer fee.. I know a couple of people who have them and have done a fair bit of work up there fixing them up. Feel free to PM me if interested and I'll tell you what I can.

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I would guess the three main things that hold people back from doing this:

- Money

- Children

- Apathy

So if the first two aren't an issue... then you only live once.

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From the info you have given - you would be a ******ing idiot not to. No offence intended :)

Can I be nosey and ask how you happen to be in this situation at this age ? Its pretty impressive.

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I would guess the three main things that hold people back from doing this:

- Money

- Children

- Apathy

So if the first two aren't an issue... then you only live once.

I have none of these three gifts! :wacko:

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From the info you have given - you would be a ******ing idiot not to. No offence intended :)

Can I be nosey and ask how you happen to be in this situation at this age ? Its pretty impressive.

Got married young by today's standards (at uni! Against parents' wishes! Eloped). Had children pronto - young (by today's standards for non-benefits types). Some of my pals have just started families. They'll be old before they get free.

The money aspect is secondary to the children considerations, I think. Frugal living, continuous investment over a long period and catching the twilight of the era of well paid middle class careers. Nothing exciting.

Actually, there's a third aspect; the spouse. This is her idea. And the frugality/investment wouldn't have been possible without her instinctive skinflintishness. She puts even the HPC skinflinterati in the shade.

Anyway. Nothing may come of it. Maybe we'll get the cottage with roses round the door after all. We're submitting another best and final next week.

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Planning on doing something similar to this in the future.

Current plan is to pay off mortgage in 5 years, then save hard for 5 years. Will be 50ish when that's done so hopefully still fit enough to enjoy it.

Will rent out the place in London and go off and live somewhere remote for a year and then see where we go from there. In theory the rent should cover our living expenses more or less, the savings will just be a buffer. I'd like it to be Scotland but they girlfriend is from Ireland so more than likely it will be there somewhere.

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Got married young by today's standards (at uni! Against parents' wishes! Eloped). Had children pronto - young (by today's standards for non-benefits types). Some of my pals have just started families. They'll be old before they get free.

The money aspect is secondary to the children considerations, I think. Frugal living, continuous investment over a long period and catching the twilight of the era of well paid middle class careers. Nothing exciting.

Actually, there's a third aspect; the spouse. This is her idea. And the frugality/investment wouldn't have been possible without her instinctive skinflintishness. She puts even the HPC skinflinterati in the shade.

Anyway. Nothing may come of it. Maybe we'll get the cottage with roses round the door after all. We're submitting another best and final next week.

I suspect you know it - but you are both a lucky chap, and have obviously had the smarts to make the best of the opportunities available to you.

Well done. In retrospect, I would have liked to couple up in my early 20s - but didn't meet Mrs Stainless (or anyone else of note) until my early 30s.

If I ever get sick of my current job, I'd probably do something similar. House is paid off - and it is amazing how little you can live on once it is.

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If you think you might like it take the plunge. Easier to say than to do (I doubt I'd have the nerve) but it may be the best thing you've ever done, and if it doesn't work out at least you've tried. The old "nothing ventured, nothing gained." The idea of wandering around in a canal boat sounds quite appealing (in summer at least), the closest I'm going to get is trying to buy a house next to a canal (sorry HPC!), hope all the survey stuff that'll inevitably come back from that doesn't scare me off. That's a big enough risk for me.

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If you have a loving, frugal wife who is keen on the idea too, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Trust me, women like that are a price beyond rubies.

Things to bear in mind:

You'll need a postal address in the UK. You don't have to live there, just use it on all your official paperwork. I've used a relative's address for free, but if it was a friend's place I would probably pay him something for the service.

If you get a boat, go for continuous cruising rather than a residential mooring; the latter are almost impossible to find.

Another option is to rent a static caravan for part of the year, then spend the winter abroad. This gets round the no full time living rule that most caravan parks have.

If you are travelling abroad, don't spend so long in one country that you become liable for tax there. Also, be sure you maintain your UK tax status for your future pensions, NHS requirements etc.

Getting access to GP might be tricky in the UK if you're away from your postal address. It's no problem abroad if you have an EHIC card.

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Cancelled the phone, gas, electricity and almost all dds...redirected post and locked up house....drove to Dover, over to France and travelled staying in places all over Europe, places that only cost a few Euros a night, spent some time in a couple of homes belonging to people then came back six months later via northern Spain......a great adventure that doesn't need to be expensive and can be organised to be done very cheaply if mostly planned ahead....still anything can happen. ;)

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