Good on you, hpeer!
I spent most of my life in the computer industry, and I really enjoyed my job. But the day I retired I left it all behind and don't miss it one bit. I always had and worked on the latest state of the art machines. Today I have only a seven year old laptop
, still running Windows XT.
First of all, as long as you are in the good old USA you will have little trouble getting anything you need bought and anything you need fixed. It's only when you go off to the Bahamas
or Central America
or the Caribbean
that it gets harder, although even that isn't as bad as it used to be. So don't worry too much about what you forgot to bring. You can get it as you go along. Hopefully by the time you're ready to leave the USA you'll have everything you think you need (and it will probably be more than you actually need).
Q. What do I need to do in preparation for this change in life?
A. A good attitude and an open mind.
Q. Shift to electronic banking?
A. Yes. Have your SS and other retirement income
deposited in to your checking account. Set up online access to your account so you can check it on your laptop
when you want to. Get money
at any ATM. The fee for using another bank, not your own, is the same if you withdraw $10 or $500, so I withdraw larger amounts.
Q. Mail forwarding?
A. Use St. Brendans Isle in Green Cove Springs Florida
. Mail Forwarding Services at St Brendan's Isle
Go through their website to learn about their services. They are widely used by cruisers and RV'ers.
Q. Property manager?
A. You're asking the wrong guy. I would never rent property unless I lived in the neighborhood. I would sell it and invest the money
in a secure government
bond or CD.
Q. Pay off last 2 years of mortgage?
A. At this point you're paying very little interest so there's not much urgency to pay it off. But if it makes you sleep a little better go ahead and do it. Maybe with the money you get from selling your rental property...
Q. Change residence to Florida
A. Yes, good. And you can use St Brendans Isle to establish your residency in Florida
. Many cruisers do that. There is a big tax advantage because Florida has no income
tax, unlike Pennsylvania (my daughter lives there). Cruisng friends of ours from New Jersey
did just that BEFORE he retired. He was getting a pension plus a lump sum. He had the lump sum sent to his St Brendans Isle address and avoided a big New Jersey
income tax hit.
Q. Look into ACA for my Wife?
Q. Apply for SS? (Railroad retirement
A. Yes. I retired early and researched getting SS early. In the end I decided to take it as early as I could, at 62, in spite of the penalties. Ten years later I have no regrets.
Q. Apply for Medicare?
A. Yes. A no brainer. But do some research
on which Medicare plan you sign up with, or just take straight Medicare with no plan.
Q. Any other ideas? I feel I'm missing something, but what?
A. Since you will be hanging around the USA for awhile you don't need to know everything right now. It will all eventually come up and you will find a solution. Easy to do if you are still in the USA. Harder if you have to fly home from Grenada
Good luck to you and The Admiral.