|06-04-2014, 01:29 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Living in my timeshares for 3 years
Two years fulltime in timeshares - start here if you didn't read one year post
My wife and I are just finishing up 2 years living full time (almost) in our timeshares. Below, I’ll share what I think of DVC compared to the other timeshares I’ve experience along with what it is like to be a timeshare bum.
A little background…I retired from the Air Force, after 33 years, in September 2010. We planned on start our timeshare adventure in May of 2011, but needed to delay it a year due to a serious traffic accident and injury that happened a few days after I retired. Watch out for little old ladies driving and talking on their cell phones. We sold our home, put our furniture in storage and started our adventure in May 2012.
Me – 56 male, retired military, military pilot for 26 years, civilian flying since high school.
Wife – 55, 30+ years NICU nurse, last job Director of NICU and Nursery – high school sweetheart
Daughter – 26 6th grade math teacher
Son – 24 Lt in Air Force currently in pilot training.
Disney family with over 125 trips to Disneyworld/Disneyland/Hilton Head –DVC/Vero Beach – DVC – Aulani and 21 Disney cruises and 1 Disney Adventure.
Our one year update can be found on an earlier posting. This will cover the last year and answers to some of the more common questions from the first posting considering another year of experience.
First, I’ll start with our itinerary for the last year. It’ll show our dates, location, room size and whether we had guests.
6.23.2013 7.27.2013 Club Intrawest – Sandestin FL 2 bedroom w/Daughter
Son and girlfriend came for 4th of July weekend- he dumped her afterwards J
Sister and Brother in law came for one week in their own unit
7.27.2013 8.3.2013 Club Intrawest - Sandestin 1 bedroom
8.3.2013 8.10.2013 Bay Club Sandestin 1 bedroom
8.11.2013 8.18.2013 Bluewater Resort and Marina HHI SC 3 bedroom w/niece and
8.17.2013 9.7.2013 Waterside HHI SC 3 bedroom
9.7.2013 9.14.2103 Marriott's Barony Beach HHI SC 2 bedroom w/friends
9.14.2013 9.15.2013 Disney's Hilton Head Resort Studio
9.15.2013 9.22.2013 Bluewater Resort and Marina 2 bedroom
9.21.2013 10.5.2013 Seawatch HGVC FT Myers Beach 2 bedroom
10.3.2013 10.6.2013 Beach Club Villas DVC 2 bedroom
w/Daughter & Sister Tower of Terror race
10.5.2013 10.12.2013 Club Regency of Marco Island FL 2 bedroom
10.12.2013 10.19.2013 Surf Club of Marco Island FL 2 bedroom
10.18.2013 10.19.2013 Wilderness Lodge Studio – 1 night before cruise
10.19.2013 10.26.2013 DCL Cruise Eastern Caribbean w/friends
10.26.2013 11.02.2013 Beach Club Villas - surgery 1 bedroom
11.02.2013 11.09.2013 Hyatt - Coconut Plantation Bonita Springs 2 bedroom
11.08.2013 11.11.2013 Boardwalk 2 bedroom w/Daughter
Wine & Dine half marathon
11.09.2013 11.16.2013 Surf Club of Marco Island FL 2 bedroom
11.16.2013 11.23.2013 Charter Club of Marco Island FL 2 bedroom
11.22.2013 11.25.2013 Del Webb - Ponte Verdi looking for new home
11.25.2013 12.02.2013 Sandestin - Club Intrawest 2 bedroom premier tower
room, both kids for Thanksgiving – very nice!
12.02.2013 12.07.2013 Royal Floridian Ormond Beach Fl 2 bedroom
12.07.2013 12.14.2013 Sand Pebble Treasure Island FL 1 bedroom
12.14.2013 12.21.2013 Las Olas Beach Club 2 bedroom
12.21.2013 12.26.2013 Vero Beach DVC with kids 2 bedroom
12.26.2013 12.29.2013 DCL cruise with kids
12.29.2014 1.02.2014 Saratoga Springs w/kids 2 bedroom
1.02.2014 1.04.2014 Grand Floridian 2 bedroom w/daughter
1.04.2014 1.08.2014 Visit son in Mississippi
1.08.2014 1.14.2014 Old Key West 1 bedroom Marathon
weekend, Brother & Sister in law stayed in studio
1.14.2014 1.15.2014 Wyndham Harbor Lights San Diego studio – rest stop on way to
1.15.2014 2.02.2014 Wyndham Waikiki Walk - Honolulu 1 bedroom deluxe
1.18.2014 1.20.2014 Maui – 1 bedroom double booked to go to Maui Oceanfront
2.02.2014 2.14.2014 Aulani 1 bedroom ocean view
2.14.2014 2.17.2014 Wyndham Harbor Lights San Diego studio – adjusting to time
2.17.2014 2.20.2014 Grand Floridian studio
2.20.2014 2.24.2014 Old Key West 2 bedroom harem – Wife,
Daughter, Sister-in-law and niece for Princess Half Marathon
2.24.2013 3.1.2013 Elysian Beach Resort St Thomas USVI Studio plus
3.1.2013 3.6.2013 Bluebeard's Beach Club St Thomas Studio
3.6.2014 3.10.2014 visit son in MS
3.10.2014 3.22.2014 Saratoga Springs 1 bedroom
3.22.2014 3.25.2014 Del Webb – Ocala FL OMG – rented house
3.25.2014 3/26/2014 Clearwater FL – hotel
36th wedding anniversary went to Moody Blues Concert
3/26/2014 3/28.2014 On Top of the World Ocala – looking for house
3.28.2014 4.5.2014 Sandestin - Club Intrawest 2 bedroom
With Daughter and 2 friends – school teachers on spring break
4.11.2014 4.14.2014 Columbus MS- visit son
4.14.2014 4.17.2014 Memphis TN– visit mother/sister/brother
4.17.2014 4.20.2014 Louisville KY – visit daughter
4.20.2014 4.23.2014 Greenville OH – visit mother-in-law/sisters-in-law
4.23.2014 4.25.2014 Shamokin PA – visit Aunts
4.25.2014 4.28.2014 Poconos Mountains PA – visit sister and brother in law
4.28.2014 5.05.2014 Move into new house Ocala FL 55+ community
5.05.2014 5.10.2014 Spinnaker at Shipyard - RCI HHI 2 bedroom
5.10.2014 5.17.2014 Marriott's Barony Beach HHI 2 bedroom
5.17.2014 5.31.2014 Waterside HHI 3 bedroom nephew and
Family visited for 5 days over Memorial Day weekend
Staying at our house in Ocala for the month of June except for 4 nights in a 1 bedroom at OKW and 3 day DCL cruise
Staying the month of July at Club Intrawest Sandestin FL in 2 bedroom with our daughter
August- One week away at Captiva Island HGVC 2 bedroom
September – gone the month to Hilton Head Island and Ft Myers Beach FL
October – 2 cruises, one with friends
One week at “Live Aqua” all inclusive in Cancun MX
November – one cruise and Thanksgiving at Wilderness Lodge with the kids
December – one week in San Antonio TX for a marathon
Three weeks in Los Cabo MX, two weeks with the kids
January – February – one week LA and Disneyland – LA half marathon, 2 weeks Maui for Maui Oceanfront Marathon, 2 weeks on Oahu with Marriott at Ko Olina and 1 week HGVC Hawaiian Village downtown Honolulu HI
One of the incentives to join the military was the retirement benefits. Now that planning is paying off. I retired at 52 and won’t need to work for a paycheck again. Now it is time to enjoy life and we are! We love to travel and were just as comfortable in our last home as we are at several of our timeshares. We’ve owned DVC for over 20 years and have picked up several timeshares along the way.
Here is what we own:
DVC 2795 points
Wyndham 1,479,000 points = about 1,479 DVC points
Club Intrawest 390
Fiesta Americana Vacation Club (Cabo, MX) 28,800 = 3 bedroom platinum season
Marriott’s Barony Beach – HHI 2 bedroom gold season
HHI – Hilton Head Island SC
Bluewater Resort and Marina – HHI Two 2 bedrooms - 1-52 float
Two 3 bedrooms – 1-52 float
Waterside HHI one 2 bedroom fixed week 43
Three 3 bedrooms 1-52 flex
Hyatt Vacation Club Coconut Plantation Bonita Springs, FL 2 bedroom silver season
Hilton Grand Vacation Club Seawatch on the Beach Ft Myers Beach, FL
2 bedroom fixed week 38/39
As you can tell, we kind of have a thing for Hilton Head Island, SC
Over the last year we made several exchanges on the East and West coasts of Florida.
Throw in a couple cruises, borrowing points and renting my sister-in-laws 585 points at Boardwalk and Saratoga Springs we can live full time out of timeshares after a couple of weeks visiting family.
I bought all of my DVC and 6,000 points of Fiesta Americana from the developer and the rest of the timeshares I bought off of the timeshare secondary market, all from EBay.
Locations -What we like and dislike
Our primary motivation for the last two years was to enjoy a fun lifestyle. We enjoy traveling to new locations, but that was secondary to just enjoying one another and our time together. Over the years we have a long list of favorite places to visit: Sandestin, FL, San Antonio, TX, Hilton Head Island, FL, Disneyland, Disneyworld, Vero Beach, FL, Hawaii (West coast of Maui is our new favorite), Los Cabos, MX, St John Island, USVI (Honeymoon Beach) and the Disney Cruise Line. From our recent travels we have learned to love Marco, Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida.
Since we travel to only a few new spots each year, we don’t feel like we miss home. It is like living in 8-10 of your favorite vacation spots spending a couple of weeks to a month in each.
If you like Hawaii but aren’t fond of traveling that far try the islands of the West coast of Florida. Marco Island can be a great substitute for Hawaii without the 16 hours travel time from the East Coast. Sanibel Island is very quaint, great for cycling and collecting shells. Captiva Island is North of Sanibel but much more exclusive and expensive. Captiva is home to the Bubble Room restaurant. The most eclectic place I have ever dined at. Also when you are out riding around Sanibel, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille has the best tropical salad I’ve ever had. If you’ve read his books, you’ll love his restaurant.
If you haven’t figured it out by now we tend to like Disney and the beach and shy away from any place cold. We’ve been enjoying an endless summer for over 2 years.
In our opinion, from our experiences, these are the places we are not fond of: Middle East Atlantic coast in Florida plus Pompano Beach (not counting Vero Beach). It is not that the Atlantic coast is that bad, it is that the Western Florida coast is that much better. I was not fond of our time in St Thomas, USVI. The roads and traffic were nothing less than dangerous. The “locals” were the most unfriendliest people I have ever met traveling. They were outright nasty to tourists and things were expensive. Even with the USVI speaking English I feel more comfortable and welcomed more in Mexico then U. S. Virgin Islands.
I have found that about 50% Wyndham properties are what I consider “low rent”. I call them the Motel 6 of timeshares. They have some great properties like Bonnet Creek, but it is the exception. Quite a few of Wyndham properties were distress sales. Wyndham swoops in a buys up a developers left overs (Emerald Grand in Destin) or remodels a bankrupt hotel into a timeshare. In general, we find Wyndham properties are of a lower quality and maintained poorly compared to the other properties that we visit. BUT, Wyndham is cheap on the resale market. If you like Disneyworld, but find DVC prices too steep, Wyndham is a low cost alternative on the resale market. You just need to be VERY CAREFUL on the properties you choose to stay at. I will say that most Wyndham’s have better than average housekeeping. I find the harassment at check-in to sign up for a timeshare presentation to be really annoying. They will not take “no” for an answer and ask 5 to 6 times. When I’ve had enough and I treat them as rudely as they treat me then they usually get an attitude. They act like I “owe” them my time to sit through their presentation. Checking in at a Wyndham is always an aggravation I don’t need. I am writing this sectional from Emerald Grande in Destin. At check-in I walked past the Wyndham Concierge desk where they try to get you to go on a timeshare presentation. They have called 4 times over the last two days to get use to go to a presentation. It is just harassment. I just signed a contract to sell Wyndham.
I’m not overly impressed with the trades we made with RCI. Generally speaking they average significantly below the value of the Disney Vacation Club properties. Starting with DVC and vacationing there for over 20 year’s kind of screws up what I expect from other timeshares. It is hard for most places to compare to DVC with their location in Disneyworld and Disneyland.
How does Disney Vacation Club Stack-Up?
Caveats and Notices:
If DVC is your only timeshare and you love it – stop reading
If you think there really is pixie dust – stop reading
If you think no one should ever complain about DVC – stop reading
If you usually shoot the messenger – stop reading
If any of the above apply, skip to the next section!!
From our experiences with DVC over the past 20+ years and our many reservations and ownership at other timeshares, DVC is average, at best. I am talking only about the operations of DVC, not your enjoyment of Disneyworld or Disneyland. That is a different topic! Why do I keep my DVC – because of its location to the parks!!!
Why I am little unimpressed with DVC’s operations:
1) The IT department routinely puts out a web site that has errors
2) Animal Kingdom Lodge has been the only timeshare I refused to accept the room because of cleanliness. The bathroom was never cleaned in-between guests. It was gross!
3) Member accounting has made several accounting errors with my account and dues.
4) DVC has been the only timeshare where my room was not ready at check-in time, several times. Although recently they have done an excellent job at filling my room requests.
5) Aulani has been the only timeshare we stayed at where the housekeeping REFUSED to perform the full cleaning as scheduled (on 3 different occasions) and the Aulani manager or DVC (later) did nothing. When Wyndham skipped a housekeeping they gave me full housekeeping everyday on my next week long stay.
6) It took DVC three times to get my contract correct on my latest purchase at Grand Floridian. We had to sign 3 different times.
7) Dues screw up at Vero Beach and Aulani – DVC misrepresented the dues.
8) DVC has the longest phone wait times of any of the timeshares I deal with.
9) Generally speaking, DVC cast members are not trained to the same level of competences as the staff of other timeshares we stay at. Case in point: Does anyone really know how the magic bands work??? Not half of the front desks staff.
10) I hear “sorry” more than I hear “welcome home”
11) I found a pair of dirty, lacy thong panties left behind by the previous member staying in my room at the Beach Club. When I told member satisfaction they didn’t seem like it was any big deal. At least they didn’t ask me if they fit.
I would not be so hard on DVC now, if they weren’t so good before. When we first bought DVC about 21 years ago, the quality of service was nothing less than outstanding. With each new resort/expansion, DVC’s quality of service slipped a little. Now, they are nothing special, average. But because of the draw from Disneyworld and Disneyland I will continue to own them and enjoy the parks. They are also the ONLY timeshare that I purchased that actually appreciated. Every point I own could be sold today for more than I paid for it. I can’t say that about any other timeshare!
Some of you out there have criticized me for criticizing DVC. I found that VERY humorous and totally hypocritical. It is simple, I expect what I have paid for. I expect a contract to be honored as written. I expect both parties to comply with oral agreements and promises. If I have a contractual agreement to get full housekeeping on the 8th day of my stay and I have paid my dues as promised then I don’t expect housekeeping to tell me they will not clean my room on the 8th day because I am leaving tomorrow. To me that is nothing less than fraud. Happen at Aulani 3 times out of 5 stays. Member Satisfaction basically ignored my complaint. That is not the DVC we all were promised and have contract agreements for.
What is it really like living full time your of your timeshares?
FANTASTIC! RELAXING! TERRIFIC! SENSATIONAL!
We are having the best times of our lives and marriage. Two songs come to mind: Jimmy Buffet’s “Changes in Latitude” only without the alcohol and drugs and the Zac Brown band’s “Knee Deep” only without the lost love. Most of the time the only worry we have is if we placed our chair to close to the surf for high tide. 99% of the time we do what we want, when we want. We almost never wake up to an alarm clock (except to catch a plane), eat when we are hungry and sleep when we are tired. Quite often we have no idea what day it is. I say we have 6 Saturdays and one Sunday a week. The only thing different about Sunday is that we go to church. Every day is the same but no two days are alike. We play sports and exercise between 2 and 4 hours a day except we cut that in half on Sunday, our rest day. When my wife is training for a marathon or Sprint/Olympic triathlon she sometimes trains 4 to 6 hours a day, crazy I know! After exercising it is the pool, Jacuzzi or ocean. Some days all three, heck most days all three when we are at the ocean. If we’re at Disney we’ll head to the parks in the late afternoon for a show, maybe a couple rides and then dinner. I really should keep track and see if we can eat at every restaurant at Disneyworld.
we go out to dinner every other night. When we stay in Honolulu, I ride my bike to Diamond Head, my wife jogs, and race/jog/walk to the top. The wife always wins. Then ride or jog back to spend the day on the beach. We also enjoy the hike up the Koko Head Crater Trail, about 1100 railroad ties going up the side of a dormant volcano. I swear the last third is at a 50 to 60 degree angle. We visit most of the beaches and hit the typical tourist spots, but by now we’ve seen almost all of them. We have found that Maui has the most amazing sunsets.
At Hilton Head a usual day is a 30+ mile bike ride around the island and down the beach. Lunch is usually at the Salty Dog or the Black Marlin cafés in the middle of the ride and other local spots. Then it is the beach and pool. Almost always a sunset walk down the beach is in order.
When on the islands of Sanibel, Marco and Ft Myers beach I usually walk 8-12 miles up and down the beach. It is a great attitude adjuster. Nothing bothers me after that. It is common for us to spend 3-4 hours on the beach when we are at the ocean. Most of the time spent relaxing, reading, playing in the surf and my wife goes swimming in the ocean – not me.
We’ve both become avid readers over the last two years. When we were working we really didn’t have the time. My kindle has 200+ books purchased over the last two years. I started with mostly political books but soon said the heck with it and started reading murder mysteries. So far the Doc Ford (by Randy White) series has been my favorite. My wife hates it when I got a new Doc Ford book because she said I ignore her and stuck my nose in the book. I often went to bed late or woke up in the middle of the night to read what happened next.
My brother keeps on asking me if I’m getting bored yet – almost never. I can honestly say I’ve been bored once for 20 minutes during the last two years.
This has been great for our health. My wife says I can’t tell her weight but I’ll say she now weighs just a little more than the first day I met her – she was just a few days past her 17th birthday. For the first time in her adult life, she is down to a size 6. Every day I tell her she is a beautiful women considering she is 45 – her actual age is 55. The past two years have done wonders for her.
The first year I gained 15 pounds because I said I was on “vacation”, then I grew up. I lost 50+ pounds, my cholesterol went from 417 down to 97 – yes the numbers are correct! My good cholesterol is high and my bad is low. My blood pressure is lower and my A1C went from 7.1 (diabetic) down to 5.0 (normal). I really believe the last two years changed my life for the better and will probably extend my life and my wife’s. We both say that if something happens and one of us dies we will never have any regrets on not spending enough time together or be sorry that there was something we always wanted to do, but didn’t.
Some of the nuts and bolts of full time timeshare living
Orlando was our base of operations and we had a 5 by 10 storage unit with our “extra stuff”.
We traveled in an F-150 Super Cab with a 6.5’ bed with a cap on top. We normally carried around 750 pounds of more stuff with us. Plus we had a cargo pod on top for all of the beach accessories and a hitch mounted bike rack with 2 to 4 bikes. The truck was modified with a Roush suspension and air bags. When we unloaded, I deflated the air bags and had a pickup truck that rode like a car. When we packed up the back, I inflated the air bags to safely carry the weight.
Our mail was handled through a commercial mailbox. They collected our mail and then we decided when and where to have it forwarded to or to have them scan it and email it to us.
Only one car accident in the two years because of a crazy woman driving like a mad woman after just renting a car at the Orlando Airport. She exited the parking garage and slammed into me doing about $11,000 damage to my truck. They replaced the entire left side of my truck and both bumpers and two wheels and tires. I tore a ligament in my left hand and had to have surgery. Currently, I’m in negotiations to settle my pain and suffering claim out of court, but we’ll see where it ends up.
Seeing doctors and dentist never presented a problem. We both had regular doctors in Orlando who we saw every 6 months, same with the dentist. I broke a tooth in Hawaii once and there were plenty of dentist advertising to treat tourist. Cost me way too much, but his office did have a great view. My doctor STILL doesn’t believe my drop in cholesterol, he has checked it several times.
We never missed friends and family. We had plenty of visitors. Sometimes too much. We talked or text with our adult children 4 or 5 times a week. I like to share pictures of what we were doing and they were very jealous. When we go to Hawaii we have a list of about 20 friends and family that we text pictures to almost daily. They loved the sunsets.
My earlier estimates were right. You can do this nicely for around $11,000 per month (with no loans). That includes about $45,000 in maintenance fees or just under $4,000 monthly. We charge 99% of what we buy and do all of our banking online. I check our charges weekly and NEVER had a problem. The only trip so far we cancelled because of money was a European cruise. We were going to take the DCL crossing the Atlantic, followed by the first 7 night cruise of the Med including the Adventure by Disney add on and then spend an Adventure by Disney in Ireland on the way home. When I added up a bill of about $35,000 we decided to skip that one.
Cooking and eating out
I went over this in the one year update so bear with me a little. We eat out between 12 and 29 times a month, I went back and checked receipts. It all depends on where we are staying and how many favorite restaurants are in town. My wife does most of the cooking but not every day. We grill out a lot. When we do, we make multiple meals. We’ll grill steaks, ribs, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs all at one time. Then for the next day or two we heat them up in the microwave. So no ladies, my wife is not slaving away at a hot stove every day. We really do eat out whenever she wants to!
I’ll never tell again
If you meet me in one of the DVC hot tubs you’ll never know it. I stopped telling people what we are doing when they ask “where are you from”. After a year or so I started to say Ohio now we tell them Ocala. You can’t believe some of the ugly, jealous responses we got from some people. I was called a liar because they said no one could ever do it. I was told I was selfish and should give away some of my vacations to poor people. I was told I didn’t deserve such a retirement. Most people were very positive but there are more than a few jerks out there. Now it is just easier to say we are from Ocala. I guess I’m a prime example of “vacation inequality”.
Exit it strategy in progress – what does the future hold?
While we were traveling we always had an eye out for where we wanted to retire. We decided that we weren’t ready to live in one place and would like to continue to travel but maybe not 52 weeks a year. We visited a Dale Webb community in Ocala and rented a home for the year. We plan on staying there about 15 weeks or so over the year, until April 2015. We are now reshuffling the deck with what timeshares we own. We put up for sale about 15 weeks’ worth. About 6 weeks at Wyndham sold within an hour and we lost less than $200 on it. Sold 160 points at Animal Kingdom and 160 points at Bay Lake, both with a profit. Thinking about selling two 50 point contracts at Grand California which should also turn a nice profit. We put 8 others weeks up for rent this year and rented out 4. Broke even on maintenance fees. We used the other 4 weeks. Next year I scheduled the 8 weeks all in the summer for better rental possibilities. I’m getting around to putting them up for sale. If they don’t sell, then I’ll try and rent them. If they don’t rent, then we will use them ourselves. I’m currently looking at picking up a couple of timeshare on Sanibel and Marco islands.
We are keeping around 26-30 weeks of timeshare for long term use – 10 to 12 years. We may keep renting this house but initially we are thinking about trying something a little smaller, say around 1800-2,000 sq ft. This one is over 2,400 sq ft and it is more than we need. We are looking around the communities in the Ocala area to see which one is right for us. We like Ocala because it is within a 5 drive to most of the places we like to go: Destin, Hilton Head, Vero Beach, Disneyworld, Port Canaveral for DCL, and Sanibel and Marco Islands. Plus, we are reasonably close to both the Tampa and Orlando airports. We like the 55+ communities because of all the amenities. We noticed we are on the young side and more active than the average resident.
When we are done traveling around the kids will get whatever they want and I don’t see any problem in selling what would be left. We are reducing DVC down to about 2,350 points and keeping all of Fiesta Americana and Club Intrawest for the foreseeable future. Basically I’m selling Wyndham, Hyatt, Marriott and most of the Hilton Head properties and picking up a few weeks on Marco and Sanibel.
I bought most non-DVC timeshares so cheap I could throw them away and not really loose to much considering how much I have already used them.
Is it worth it? HECK YES!!
We walked away for about $225K more income a year to retire early and travel. We NEVER regretted it for one minute. We would never go back to both of us working full time again. I don’t want to sound like a pompous jerk, since we still do have a very nice yearly income, but the additional money was no where near enough reward for giving up the way we are living now.
We have found that “paradise” is not a place but a frame of mind!
To give you an idea on how busy we stay, this post took me about a month to write at 20 different sittings. So I’m sure it is disjointed with numerous spelling and grammar errors –sorry but I really didn’t have the time to do it justice. It is hard to pound on the key board when the sun is shining and the beach is calling.
Before you get the idea that the military gets paid too much in retirement, I’m an exception. My retirement is 82.5% of my last base pay. Normally, most military retirees retire with 50 to 55% of their base pay after 20 to 22 years of service, I was in for 33 years, very, very unusual. Also, my military retirement is only about 60% of what we live on. So don’t write you congressman and demand a reduction in military retirement. If I had left the military with so many of my friends and went to the airlines, I would be financially much better off now. I loved what I was doing in the Air force for 30 years of a 33 year career. I was very lucky. The last 3 years I wasn’t flying and was stuck at a desk, which sucked!
To the American taxpayer…I would like to say thank you for the over a million dollars in flight training, two undergraduate degrees and two graduate degrees and an incredibly fun and exciting career and an even better retirement! If you have a teenage who is unsure of what direction they are headed in, 4 years in the military is a great way to figure that out.
I’ll be happy to answer any questions, but just don’t expect an answer until it rains.
|06-04-2014, 01:44 PM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Walla Walla
Thanks for the dreams.
Remember ya all, we are not promised anything in this world, for "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes". So enjoy yourself and live today like you will never see it again.......... because you won't!!
|06-05-2014, 12:10 AM||#3|
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Calgary, CANADA
LOVED reading this! Congratulations on living a dream come true!
|06-05-2014, 12:40 AM||#4|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Loved reading about your first year, thanks for providing us an update on year 2. Your post has definitely got me thinking about how to extend our holidays once we are retired.
|06-05-2014, 07:38 AM||#5|
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Rutland MA,OKW, BWV
Congratulations! You are living the good life.
Nanajo DVC 8/98 2 2 =
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|06-05-2014, 12:58 PM||#7|
Join Date: Jun 2006
First of all, thank you and your family for your service. I read your first post and told my husband about it and we're intrigued. Can't retire for awhile, but we can dream....I think your adventure sounds great!
|06-05-2014, 02:24 PM||#8|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Thank you for your service! As a former Service Member and a current DA Civilian I am motivated by this and hope to find this joy that you have found, upon my own retirement in the distant future! Keep living life to the fullest and updating us on this adventure you are on (I read last year's post and was excited then...I am THRILLED for you now!). Thank you for sharing with us...
"I'm a married spud...I'm a married spud."
|06-06-2014, 06:04 AM||#12|
Join Date: Jul 2003
You need to start a military self-help program - "This is how you retire from the military!" I remember reading your initial post, and I loved reading the culmination of all your travels! My husband is retired army, and now semi-retired, and (don't tell him) I do enjoy not hearing "can I quit my job" every day! LOL He's riding his motorcycle, working at a golf course, golfing and in a shooting league. He's enjoying life, and we've realized we don't need as much money to live on than we thought. He retired at 21 years, so we're in that 50% category, but we're thankful for that and our health care benefits.
Thank you for your service, and I'm sorry for all the spoil sports you ran into along the way. I hope you continue to update us with your timeshare travels!!
|06-06-2014, 09:30 AM||#15|
everything went to "H*** in a handbasket
Keep me off the high horses!
Suffers from theme park dyslexia
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Harlingen, TX, USA
Thanks so much for your detailed post. I knew you liked heat when you mentioned visiting San Antonio? Are you doing the marathon there or are you a spectator? Visiting Hilton Head Island, did you say that you ate most of your lunches at the Salty Dog or Black Marlin? I'd look forward to meeting you and your wife in the hot tub sometime-DH retires next month, and you're certainlu living our dream! And congrats on lowering your cholesterol so much-outstanding!
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