Tuesday, 8 April 2014

It's time to take the plunge

Our new Beginning

There’s a new NAB ad on TV where a little boy is asking his grandfather what the people in the exhibition are doing – he says, “they are in retirement”. What does that mean? he asks again. “It means they can do whatever they want to do”
While we have been doing some pre retirement toe dipping over the last few years, it felt real when we got on the plane on the end of March; we really are now “in retirement”. Over the last few months when we’ve told people what we were planning to do, they would say: “you are living my dream!” Yes, we are living ours too.

This retirement took a lot of work, but as with everything, it will be worth it. I’ve been packing since January which has allowed me to go through a lot of clutter and fill up our bins to the brim every week. Ebay has been an easy way to get rid of items that we didn’t feel were worth putting in storage. The renovation on the house had to be finished so that we could rent it out and the garden had to be as disaster proof as I could make it. I don’t want to think what it will look like when we get back. We had to find somewhere to store all our furniture and Lindsay’s car as he didn’t want to sell it. We decided to inform the ATO of our plans as the rules for managing a self managed super fund and staying an Australian resident for tax purposes are strict and we want to make sure we stay within the rules! They took nearly three months to make a decision as no-one had presented these circumstances to them before. All their requirements were reasonable and doable, so we are happy to comply.

The last week was incredibly stressful and I’m so happy it’s all over.

So glad we came with Qantas as they allow two suitcases each plus carry-on and luckily they didn’t weigh our carry-on. To say our carry on was on the heavy side is an understatement but we couldn’t put any of the items underneath or we wouldn’t have ever seen them again.

So we are back in the USA for an extended stay. We still have to leave every six months and have planned the next two exits, but that is all.

The first week back here in the States we stayed with our friends Dale and Shelly who have been kindly looking after our trailer and truck while we have been at home. It’s always a pleasure to see them again and we all get on extremely well.  Lindsay’s first job was to wire up the truck and trailer so that the truck would charge the three batteries in the trailer while we are driving. It took a little while to get used to where everything was and how we do things and getting into the general rhythm of life living in a 5th Wheel, de-stressing and getting over our jet lag.

Colorado River, California side

Our first trip was to the Colorado River. We camped at the river two years ago when the temperature was about 110F. This time it wasn’t much cooler but we now have air conditioning which made it a lot more pleasant. We went to an RV park which is only open to members and their guests. As Dale and Shelly are members we were able to stay as their guests for $10 per night with full hook up. They were lucky that a beach position had just become available (reserved for members but they cannot be booked) and we were one row back. Sitting next to the beach with the cool breeze coming off the water was very hard to take and if we were still too hot we could use one of the two pools. You can swim in the river but it is icy cold. The town of Parker, AZ isn’t far away, so we were able to duck into town for a few things when we needed to. Happy hour at the pool starts at 3pm and a pint (pitcher) of beer is $2.75! Lindsay got food poisoning somehow and wasn’t at all well. One night he woke up saying he was frozen to the bone but it wasn’t cold at all. I thought I would have to take him up to the hospital at Lake Havasu but he pulled through.

 The view from Dale and Shelly's site across the Colorado River
 Lindsay and Dale relax on the Colorado River
Our campsite at Emerald Cove, Colorado River, CA

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