Aloha and welcome aboard!
Thanks for your service
. When I retired from the Navy
my goal was to live off the retirement
check. It worked for me but luckily no one took all my money
and maxed out my credit cards and I had some cash from the sale
of a home.
I think it was the Jeep she was laughing at not you. When I retired I had an 83 Mazda pickup and an 86 Mazda pickup. Pretty laughable too. At least one had a canopy on it.
It can be done and you can get a fixer upper and do pretty well. It takes a lot of fixing and learning
but it can be done. You seem to already be living frugally.