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  1. #1
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    Question Becoming a swallow?

    Hi All,

    This might better belong in the "It are Time" thread, but here goes.

    A few months ago there was a spot on the radio about folks that have joined the swallows and travel more or less full time. Mostly folks who are at retirement age.

    I am not there yet (retirement age is about ten years away if I make it that far), but it tickled my interest and has been sitting quietly at the back of my mind, mostly to do with the day to day practicality of doing something like this.

    And while this is all very romantic sounding, for those who might be doing this already I have some questions about how you are handling particular practicalities as follows:


    • Fixed assets - this would usually be one's house / property. Do you sell up and invest the money, or do you rent out? Both have pros and cons.
    • Fixed address - if you sell up, how do you renew your licenses and other accounts that require proof of address. Family and friends?
    • Work - I can actually work on the road, I really don't need a fixed address, just connectivity. How do you stay connected in ZA, SADC and elsewhere?
    • Sustainability - is this lifestyle actually sustainable, or is it really really hard on a longer term basis? Vehicle servicing and maintenance would probably fall into this category also.
    • Cost (fuel and camping accommodation).
    • If you have done it, or are currently doing it, are there practical (or other) issues you have experienced to date that I haven't covered (I am sure there are lots)?


    Anyone else contemplating similar? Swallows best travel in flocks...

    Regards
    Craig
    Last edited by CraigWatt; 2021/02/02 at 01:42 PM.
    1995 Defender 110 300tdi

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Very similar to the guys that buy a yacht and start touring. Not sure if they would have info and suggestions as well. The advantage of that approach is you can probably keep all your assets out of the hands of the tax man.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    On Facebook a group: Senior kampeerders. Lots of info in both languages there about the long and permanent campers. On OZ sites look for " Gray Nomads". Different country, but some things remain the same. Widely differing views here about the concept and / or desirability of this.
    Drik Hoskin

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    I'm , if all goes well, about 8 years away from retirement.

    We ( me & wife) are seriously considering trying this for at least a year to see if it is something we could do permanently.

    During this period we will keep house/assets and only at the end of the period make a final decision.

    If we become swallows we will still buy a flat/townhouse that we can utilize if need be.

    It appears the monthly rate for senior citizens is about R2500 - R4500 p/m - campsite dependent( not all campsites allow for monthly campers at a discounted rate).

    Also check out this Foosbook page : Lankstaan kampers
    Last edited by 4x4 wannabie; 2021/02/02 at 04:13 PM.

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    isn't the correct "definition" of a swallow someone who spends summer in a place and when winter arrives moves to a summer region again.
    thus having property in two hemispheres
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Subscribed.

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigWatt View Post
    Hi All,

    This might better belong in the "It are Time" thread, but here goes.

    A few months ago there was a spot on the radio about folks that have joined the swallows and travel more or less full time. Mostly folks who are at retirement age.

    I am not there yet (retirement age is about ten years away if I make it that far), but it tickled my interest and has been sitting quietly at the back of my mind, mostly to do with the day to day practicality of doing something like this.

    And while this is all very romantic sounding, for those who might be doing this already I have some questions about how you are handling particular practicalities as follows:


    • Fixed assets - this would usually be one's house / property. Do you sell up and invest the money, or do you rent out? Both have pros and cons.
    • Fixed address - if you sell up, how do you renew your licenses and other accounts that require proof of address. Family and friends?
    • Work - I can actually work on the road, I really don't need a fixed address, just connectivity. How do you stay connected in ZA, SADC and elsewhere?
    • Sustainability - is this lifestyle actually sustainable, or is it really really hard on a longer term basis? Vehicle servicing and maintenance would probably fall into this category also.
    • Cost (fuel and camping accommodation).
    • If you have done it, or are currently doing it, are there practical (or other) issues you have experienced to date that I haven't covered (I am sure there are lots)?


    Anyone else contemplating similar? Swallows best travel in flocks...

    Regards
    Craig

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    There is a Facebook group of like minded people. They should be able to answer most of your questions.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Swaeltjies/
    Pete Williamson

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    In short to do this you need A LOT of money in retirement.Depending on this amount you are still liable to pay TAX additional
    renting property out is income..
    There is no simple answer

    Who Dares Wins

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Total what it costs you to keep your current household running now for a year. Now think of having to earn that amount every year until you die just to keep your household. Stupid hey?

    So if you can work from the road and dont have that cost, how much will you be able to save from now until retirement yet do what you want to do?

    My mom did this in her 50s and drove around the outline of Australia, from Pert to Perth.
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson, A Schrodingers Douche Bag GOF

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  15. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Thanks everyone for the facebook group suggestions, and other input I will give them a gander.
    1995 Defender 110 300tdi

    Shortly taking wing..


  16. #11
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Yes yes lots of referrals to other social media, but why not discuss it here?

    This is something I would also love to do. Retirement for me is about 10-15 years away and that leaves time to plan this.

    So, just thinking out loudly, the smart thing would be to do this without any form of debt. House and cars needs to be paid off.

    I also do not want to sell my house when doing so, and putting in tenants..... we all know this is a risk.

    But provided you do sell your house and are debt free, how expensive can it really be?

    The big expenditure would lie with accommodation and fuel. If you have worked out more or less what this would cost.

    You would have to work within a budget. Lets say my bond was R10k a month. This would now be put towards fuel and accommodation for a month, very doable in my opinion.

    Groceries you would've had to buy in any event, and now you don't have property rates and taxes. - this could be saved towards vehicle services and unforeseen expenses.

    Most of us also have friends and/or family in various provinces. You might even be able to set up your tent a few days in their backyard for example. Its all about your comfort zone (and the quality of your friend and family ) buy hey, this is mos meant to be an adventure, not so?
    Nico Swart

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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    We lived this gloriously simple lifestyle the whole of 2018...it was such a privilege...we rented out our then family home and put our goods in storage.

    My advice would be just to not overthink it...you're more likely to run out of time before you run out of money.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    I reckon it's a fantastic lifestyle. Touring around, at your own pace, with nowhere specific in mind as the end destination.

    Off the top of my head, there should be quite a significant saving. You don't have to pay for:
    - bond
    - insurance for building and house content
    - any policies that go with the bond, i.e. death or disability cover
    - electricity (you use the campsites )
    - water
    - property rates and taxes
    - gardener and maid

    Costs to take into account:
    - campsite costs. Most campsites have reduced rates for long term stay. There is a fantastic special on at Swadini Forever resort - stay longer than four months and you pay circa R3,000 per month
    - vehicle maintenance costs
    - diesel/petrol costs might increase. Dependent if you travel more than you would have if going to the office every day. Same with services, tyres, etc.

    I would have done this in a heartbeat if I didn't have a six year old child.
    Charl
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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Ranger View Post
    I reckon it's a fantastic lifestyle. Touring around, at your own pace, with nowhere specific in mind as the end destination.

    Off the top of my head, there should be quite a significant saving. You don't have to pay for:
    - bond
    - insurance for building and house content
    - any policies that go with the bond, i.e. death or disability cover
    - electricity (you use the campsites )
    - water
    - property rates and taxes
    - gardener and maid

    Costs to take into account:
    - campsite costs. Most campsites have reduced rates for long term stay. There is a fantastic special on at Swadini Forever resort - stay longer than four months and you pay circa R3,000 per month
    - vehicle maintenance costs
    - diesel/petrol costs might increase. Dependent if you travel more than you would have if going to the office every day. Same with services, tyres, etc.

    I would have done this in a heartbeat if I didn't have a six year old child.
    Yes preferably the children needs to be out of the house and self sufficient. Or in extreme cases, they do the online/home schooling thing whilst on the road.

    If my timing is right, my son will stay in the house whilst studying and we will be galavanting all over SA.

    Agree with the above. So preferably debt free, and pension obviously sufficient for your normal monthly needs, whether you have the house or not.

    So you arrive at one campsite and stay for a month, or as long as you want. During this time you plan your next destination and all financial and logistical aspects that accompanies it. Rustig touring voort at you own leisure and pace.

    This sounds marvelous to me.
    Nico Swart

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    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  23. #15
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    I think you can save quite a lot if you give up your house.
    Insurance, rates, taxes, water and electricity will already save you a big chunk which can go towards camping fees. You will probably spend less on monthly groceries as well, and less on cleaning products since you no longer have an entire house to clean. All maintenance cost in and around the house blocked drains, light bulbs etc. can now go towards vehicle maintenance.
    If you are a couple with a second vehicle you can sell the second vehicle, same goes for much of your home content, lounge suites, TV's, beds, cupboards and cupboards full of clothing, blankets etc.

    This can even work if you sell your big house and just get a small lock up and go place with the basics.

    There will also be a big difference between somebody wanting to tour a lot vs somebody staying at one place for a month or longer, with longer stays you will pay less in camping rates and of course also save a lot on fuel.

    One day when I'm big...
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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    The Swallows usualy stay at least a month at one place. For that they get the benefit of monthly rates. Most of the popular Swallow resorts charge between R2000 to R5000 per month. We did it for 7 months while our retirement home was being built. Those with a house would typically rent out their property and store their furniture. Some sell everything and would buy again when tired of being on the road. Most of the people we met during our 7 month stint had already been doing it between 2 to 5 years. One usually would arrange with one of the kids to use them as a residential address. If one has no debt then this lifestyle is actually very affordable.
    Jan Lategan

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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigWatt View Post
    Hi All,

    This might better belong in the "It are Time" thread, but here goes.

    A few months ago there was a spot on the radio about folks that have joined the swallows and travel more or less full time. Mostly folks who are at retirement age.

    I am not there yet (retirement age is about ten years away if I make it that far), but it tickled my interest and has been sitting quietly at the back of my mind, mostly to do with the day to day practicality of doing something like this.

    And while this is all very romantic sounding, for those who might be doing this already I have some questions about how you are handling particular practicalities as follows:


    • Fixed assets - this would usually be one's house / property. Do you sell up and invest the money, or do you rent out? Both have pros and cons. I sold my house and put my possessions in storage. The interest I'm earning on the investment of the house's money is financing my trip. The budget is tight, but I've coped for more than two years already.
    • Fixed address - if you sell up, how do you renew your licenses and other accounts that require proof of address. Family and friends? I have a second property which is rented out. I use this municipal account as proof of residence. I use a courier to renew my licence and send it to wherever I am.
    • Work - I can actually work on the road, I really don't need a fixed address, just connectivity. How do you stay connected in ZA, SADC and elsewhere? A Vodacom data contract costs me about R200/month for 40Gb (20 + 20 night) which is more than enough. Most campsites also have free wi-fi.
    • Sustainability - is this lifestyle actually sustainable, or is it really really hard on a longer term basis? This is a personal thing. Some can live like that, others not. Only you can answer that.
    • Vehicle servicing and maintenance would probably fall into this category also.My bakkie has a 100k Km full maintenance plan. I've still got 25k Km to go. Only had to replace the battery and new tyres. I have it serviced wherever I am when it's due.
    • Cost (fuel and camping accommodation). Again depends on where you stay and for how long. Or how much travelling you do. Camping is cheaper than maintaining a home if you factor in everything.
    • If you have done it, or are currently doing it, are there practical (or other) issues you have experienced to date that I haven't covered (I am sure there are lots)? THE LIFESTYLE IS NOR FOR EVERYONE AND A LOT DEPENDS HOW MUCH YOU'RE PREPARED TO ALTER YOUR MINDSET. My plan was to travel for a year then settle down again somewhere in a small dorpie. 900 days later, I'm still not ready to settle. As long as I'm fit and healthy and can stay within my budget I'll keep travelling. Being single is also a huge plus for me, not many couples would BOTH feel the same about this lifestyle.


    Anyone else contemplating similar? Swallows best travel in flocks...

    Regards
    Craig
    You can read more about my trip and my setup on my blog Off The Hamster Wheel. As I've said, the way I'm doing it is probably not for everyone, but it has worked for me.
    Frank Visagie.

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  28. #18
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Quote Originally Posted by OffTheHamsterWheel View Post
    You can read more about my trip and my setup on my blog Off The Hamster Wheel. As I've said, the way I'm doing it is probably not for everyone, but it has worked for me.
    There's some sage advice in there and you've made me think now about having 2 properties to rent and maintain when you could just have the one.. What about if you hypothetically had 3 houses, paid off, no other debt and a decent 25yr pension saved up?

    Would you sell one of them, use the interest from the initial capital investment and rent out 2 properties or sell 2 and rent out 1?

    Then, after all, when deciding to 'settle down' again, you would only need 1 property to live in, so choose the best 1 and sell the other 2?

    Just some thoughts to ponder... I really like this thread.
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  30. #19
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglash View Post
    There's some sage advice in there and you've made me think now about having 2 properties to rent and maintain when you could just have the one.. What about if you hypothetically had 3 houses, paid off, no other debt and a decent 25yr pension saved up?

    Would you sell one of them, use the interest from the initial capital investment and rent out 2 properties or sell 2 and rent out 1?

    Then, after all, when deciding to 'settle down' again, you would only need 1 property to live in, so choose the best 1 and sell the other 2?

    Just some thoughts to ponder... I really like this thread.
    Each person's financial needs are different. The more I travel, the more I realise that I could probably rent far cheaper than owning a property. Especially in the platteland dorpies where lots of houses are now standing vacant.
    Frank Visagie.

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  32. #20
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    Default Re: Becoming a swallow?

    What happens if the day arrives (which will) when you cannot continue with the travels?
    When you need frail care or maybe suffer a stroke or heart attack?
    Living the nomad life sure is heaven on earth but must end sometime!

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