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Author Topic: "Supplementing income"...  (Read 3004 times)


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"Supplementing income"...
« on: June 13, 2013, 10:35:29 AM »
Howdy. I am new here. Trying to find out if anyone other than you retirees can do this fulltime...


The beginning of this article and so many others seems like it assumes I already have an income... it leaves me both discouraged and frustrated.

An income... from what? Does it assume I am collecting from a company retirement plan? Collecting social security in retirement? Collecting from my massive stock portfolio?

Well. I am not.

And probably will never have such a luxury. I am 28 and have never even seen a job, anywhere, offering a retirement kickback and 401k matching is a joke most places. I have no stocks or dividends and would not even know where to start to do go about doing that and most importantly I am not anxious to wait till I am too old to ride my dirt bikes anymore to start. I work a horrible 9-5 and that is all I really know anything about. I am desperate to escape this terrible city and this wretched 9-5 cycle of misery. I am 28 years old and I want to do this long before I am 67, or whatever the retirement age will be once I am old enough to collect it (probably about 150...).

How does one make a living on the road if they are NOT a retiree? Is there anyone out there like me who does this? Someone still relatively young? A young couple? Some other working slob who escaped his life he hated too? Who does not have a massive savings or wealth? Who does not collect interest from a lifetime of it? Sometimes it seems impossible for anyone else... is that true?

Quillback 424

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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 10:43:50 AM »
You make a living on the road the same way you do on a 9 - 5. You sell your skills. Tell us what skills you have and you will probably get some advice on how to market them,and yourself, while you live on the road.
Larry --  Olathe, Kansas
2012 Winnebago Sightseer 33C
2005 Trail Rated Jeep GC 4.7 L

"Only an insane society would restrict the liberties of healthy people based on the actions of the disturbed." 
John Hayward


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 11:00:24 AM »
One of the most popular ways to generate income is to work the shows.  Either selling your product or selling for another.  Some travel with a trailer behind them and carry things they have made or things they bought at good prices elsewhere.  They work as many shows, in various areas, as they need, to make what they want to live on.  I like the idea as you are totally in charge of what you do, where you do it and when.  If you have ever attended one of the big shows, RV or otherwise, you have seen countless booths set up for this purpose.  Some are pretty creative and seem to be doing pretty well.  Might not make six figure income but if it keeps you going from show to show it might be worthwhile.  Living on the road can be financially doable if you can control the miles you drive and the fuel you buy.  There are many shows out there and some in the area of interest you have, or the area where you have worked and have some expertise.
John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 11:17:13 AM »
Most work-camping jobs are insufficient to be sole source of income, so the articles on them generally do assume they are supplemental.

As Quillback says, if you need a regular and total source of income, you need a regular job, and to do that you need to sell your skills.  And if you want to be able to move from place to place periodically, you need skills that are either in demand everywhere or can be used (sold) remotely. Some skills are easily marketed wherever you go, e.g. nursing and dental assistant, skilled construction trades (pipe fitters, electricians, etc.), and chefs & cooks,  so you can always find another job.  Surprisingly, general labor jobs aren't too difficult to find either, but pay tends to be relatively low and the work physical, and areas with high unemployment will be difficult.

Remote skills are those that allow you to work from where ever you may be, via computer, telephone and even mail.  Some examples are computer software and website development, writing & editing, language translation,  bulk data entry, and legal and academic research. All these are skilled trades, where the skill is in demand and the work can move to the worker rather than vice versa.

We had someone here not long ago who "joined the circus" as a traveling advance man for a traveling carnival. Perhaps not for everybody, but suited for someone who wants to travel while working.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 11:19:16 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »
One option is to become a "seasonal" worker, visit sites like coolworks.com and you can work the summer circuit then work the winter circuit. Many offer full room and board and others provide some meals and many offer RV sites.

You can do it if you have good customer service skills and enjoy working with the public....positions vary from housekeeping jobs to food service positions to retail and maintenance.

Make a plan and you can make it work....most "work kamper" positions are for supplemental income, whereas Coolworks provides a resource for seasonal workers not all are RV friendly, but if you look hard enough you can find some that are or set up close enough to enjoy the job and perks of free meals and pay for your own camping. I had one where they had an agreement with a local campground for a severely reduced monthly rate and I worked days and ate three meals on the job site and then had my campground fees partially paid by my employer.

You have to WORK at making it work for you, it does not magically appear....do your research and sell your skills.

Good Luck.

Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 12:09:19 PM »
I am 28 and have never even seen a job, anywhere, offering a retirement kickback and 401k matching is a joke most places. I have no stocks or dividends and would not even know where to start to do go about doing that and most importantly I am not anxious to wait till I am too old to ride my dirt bikes anymore to start.

In our travels we have met many young people living a mobile life style and earning a living. We have met airplane pilots, construction workers, IT professionals, cell phone tower installers, truck drivers, professional clowns, accountants, fast food workers, store clerks, writers, artists, and many, many others. The fact is, whether you are living in an rv, an apartment, or a stick and brick home, as others have said, you sell your skills.

At your age, you probably have to do what many of us did. In my case, I had to go back to school twice when I discovered I wanted to make more money. I also began very early funding my own pension and retirement by saving a huge chunk of whatever I made, and living frugally on what was left. I also worked hard investing money in real estate, mostly rental properties. But the fact is, unless you hit the lottery or inherit a huge amount, retirement income accumulation is a process, not an event. Most of us worked crummy 9-5s when we had to, and did without when we were younger so that we were able to leave working behind. Some of us saved and scrimped so that retirement would be comfortable, some of us enter retirement not knowing where their next meal will come from. The decisions are basically yours.


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 01:42:23 PM »
We were seasonal workers for the National Park Service when we were in our early 30s. Loved it. Moved to full-time permanent for the retirement and health care. There are plenty of seasonal jobs out there, some of them pay enough for 6 months work so that you don't have to work the other 6 months. I know people who have made enough to live on for a year, made it in 4 months in the sugar beet fields. Others do quit well working season for amazon.com. As suggested, try http://www.coolworks.com/ for interesting jobs in interesting places. If you want to do it, you can do it. Lots of touristy towns do a lot of hiring in their busy season. Look around and go for it.

Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 10:54:58 AM »
What's with working 9 to 5. When I finally retired at age 56, I was working 70 plus hours a week, generally daily from 7 am to 7 in the evening and Sundays after church until dinner. My life was consumed by work but.........I was able to retire and look back on a great, but hectic life. Work hard and you will get your rewards.

Bob and Pam
Schaumburg, Ill
2008 F250 Diesel 
2009 Komfort 34' fifth wheel


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2013, 09:31:36 AM »
28's not too young to go back to school and learn a skill you can do from the road. There are traveling positions for physical therapists, nurses, pharmacists, doctors, etc. If you were a nurse and wanted to live in AZ or Florida for the winter and up north in the summer, you'd have it made. You could actually go anywhere you want in the country at any time if there's a position available. You might have to stick around the horrible city for awhile, but a nursing degree wouldn't take that long to get.

Also, with the right computer skills, you can work from your RV. I know a woman who works for a grocery store company. She fills orders for people online. I can't remember the name of the company and she doesn't RV, but sounds like something simple to do from a rig anywhere.

Get the book, "What Color is Your Parachute". Use the exercises in there to invent your own job and go to it! Plus, there are work camping jobs available. Where there's a will, there's a way. You can do it (if you're not a lazy person. If you're a lazy person, you're screwed.)


Ernie n Tara

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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 11:00:09 AM »

Frankly, your post sounds as if you want to play without first paying the entrance fee. If you just want to travel, work restaurants. I washed dishes, and then cooked (god forgot to provide me rich parents). Later I decided to get at least some education and joined the Army; and we were in shooting war then too.

After I got out, I worked mostly 12-16 hour days for a lot of years to pay for the dirt bike time, but I did have some. Now we are comfortably retired and get to play most of the time!

THE MESSAGE: Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, no one's going to do it for you! Think creatively, work hard (and smart), save, and it's doable.

Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 07:38:05 PM »
I'm with Ernie; You have to pay your dues first.

I worked for one company, my second employer, for 20 years before they filed for bankruptcy and my retirement nest egg disappeared. I picked myself up and applied myself at other jobs/companies, not all of which worked out. At the last company I worked my butt off; My wife told me on the phone one time while I was somewhere in Asia "I haven't seen you for 6 weekends in a row", and my response was "you're right Honey, but this will pay off one day"; It did.

I went back to school/college multiple times over the years, to improve/broaden my education and marketability. Working graveyard (10:00pm-6:00am) while attending college 9:00am to 9:00pm and raising kids was a challenge, but it sure helped in the long run. Occasionally, my wife had to wake me up after falling asleep in the car outside the house (after graveyard), saying "time to shower, eat breakfast and go to college honey".
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 08:44:40 AM by Tom »
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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 07:00:24 PM »
I am 22 years old. I can understand exactly where you are coming from. Realistically, most of our generation probably won't have social security or a 401k by the time we are of retirement age. It is indeed very frustrating.  However, I think it can be realistic to be a full timer and also find a job. It just depends on your skills, and your location. It may not be realistic to at first travel constantly, but if you are willing to settle down in one place(provided that location isn't one where fry cook at mcdonald's is considered a "competitive" job, or a laundromat asking for 10 years experience) for 6 months it can certainly work out.


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 01:18:44 AM »
I think what many of you are missing is  you have to get an education to do much of anything.  Don't kid yourself SS will be there in some form.  It may only pay 50% of what it does now or something but if it goes the whole structure for the elderly goes.  It will bankrupt the country or I should say the people if it does so I wouldn't worry about that.

My son was a very smart kid, floated through school.  Was prepared to go to college to play, guess what the bank of mom and dad said no.  You haven't applied yourself in any way showing us you were responsible and we were not rich people.  We wanted to pay for him to go but it would have been wasted.

He worked at all kinds of dead end going nowhere jobs for about 4 years after high school.  One evening he said I'm moving back home, he couldn't make it.  He decided he was going in the army. We were shocked to say the least.  By the way you can chose what you want, if you pass the aptitude tests for it you can get that schooling.  He said I'm not going to be cannon fodder, no sense in that. He chose satellite microwave repair and had to sign up for 5 years!  We were shocked, dad said what if you don't like it, he said I will have to.  He struggled with the PT part as he is thin and not muscular but the rest was easy for him.  He ended up staying in for 10 years.  He had 2 years of college under his belt then.  He was convinced that was all he needed.  He messed around for quite a few more years and found he wasn't advancing, I said son without a degree you won't.  So while working fulltime as an IT contractor he finished the last 2 years of college, the military paid for it all so no debt.  Then it was just a few months and he was hired by the DOD.  He is now a digital systems engineer.  And guess what the DOD is making him go to school, they fly him back to the US for weeks at a time to attend training. The classes he is taking now will apply toward a masters degree. He said if enough hours are picked up then he will go for it and they are picking up the tab so no money out of his pocket.

He lives overseas and may be back this year after 20 years gone, by the way he is 44.  But he nor myself, I have a degree but am retired got anywhere without LONG hours at work, I would have LOVED to work only 9 to 5. Since I was an accountant many times I worked till midnight.

My husband just signed a contract for another 2 1/2 years but he is 67 and will have to pass his physical first.  He is healthy but has to take a stress test and like he said he doesn't do much aerobic exercises, so have to see how that goes.  He will be 70 when he retires. He will be heading to Africa.

I would suggest you get a good education if you don't have one in something practical.  Be prepared to work at it, so make it something you like, then live on less then you make and save the rest.  The military is really a good way to get one paid for, you don't have to stay in many years to get that benefit, you just pay in something like an extra $100 a month for the first year for it. That's how most of us old coots ended up pretty well off.  Working hard and smart.  My husband is a dinosaur, he has no degree but has been with the same company over 25 years so they know he knows what he is doing.  When he is replaced it will likely be with an engineer, but that rarely happens anymore. He is a Civil Manager

Good luck you can do it but it will require work and depending, maybe a lot of years.  Then take the fruits of your labor and enjoy.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 01:26:01 AM by PatrioticStabilist »


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 10:39:51 AM »
Mike and I went full-timing when we were in our late 20s, early 30s. We quickly learned that we couldn't do it without some sort of job. Mike went to work seasonally for the National Park Service so we were still full-timing, spending 4-5 months at a winter NPS site then 4-5 months at a summer NPS site, traveling between jobs. It was a great life. Unfortunately, seasonal NPS employees don't get retirement or health insurance (or at least they didn't back then), so when he was offered a permanent job, he took it for the benefits. There are lots of seasonal jobs out there so if someone wants to full-time while working, they have plenty of options.


Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug


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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 04:17:38 PM »
It makes me happy to see others with the same attitude I have about work, retirement, and paying ones dues. I see so many young folks who complain about not being able to buy a house. I recall when I bought my first house it required a 10% down payment.  It wasn't in a good neighborhood and at 1100 square feet it certainly wasn't a mansion. My parents and other relatives weren't able to help with that down payment so I had to save and scrimp myself to get the money. Oh the agony!

But I did it by working every minute of overtime I could find while my friends were out skiing and partying in college. 2 months before my 20th birthday I was a homeowner. I was 27 the first time I owned a car less than 10 years old. Guess which one was the best long term investment?

On another forum folks were moaning about how horrible it was that they had to work so much now that summer has arrived in the PNW. I looked back at my scheduling calendars and noted that the week before July 4, in 2006, 7 and 8 I worked 72, 83 and 70 hours respectively. I knew I was going to retire in 2010 and needed to continue to build the nest egg I had been working on for the past 30 some odd years. Nice weather or not didn't make much difference, I had a goal and I was able to make it happen.

When I started my full time job the standard work week was 48 hours, no OT for the extra 8 hours per week. (perfectly legal by way of loopholes in the law). by the time I retired we had negotiated it down to 46.5 hours per week. We worked shift work, nights, weekends, holidays included for no OT or extra pay. (again perfectly legal by loopholes) My second job was self employed so I could work those hours around my full time job. I had at least 2 jobs from age 22 on.

My job didn't allow me to move where I wanted. I didn't get to follow the sun in the wintertime. I didn't get to choose which days I'd work, or whether I'd work nights or not. What I got was a job that allowed me to retire at age 53. I got a steady paycheck for steady work. I got the opportunity to study on my own time and promote on my ability. My job didn't pay for me to go to college and the college classes I took were on my time at my expense.

Each person has to decide how they'll live their lives. If you choose correctly you can be happy most of your life. If you make poor decisions you may have to suffer or be unhappy for at least part of your life. If you choose to be carefree and "enjoy life" while young, don't come complaining when you're old that somebody "owes" you a retirement. Most of us worked hard for what we have. A few got lucky, good for them.



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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 11:19:24 PM »
No idea what your background is but the medical field is highly conducive to an rv lifestyle. The company I work for is a temp traveling company that does nationwide placements. They hire lab techs (that is what I do), nurses, x ray techs, physical therapists, speech language pathologists and more. I fulltime because it is financially much more favorable than living in hotels or short term apartment leases. I spent a year in NM, 6 months in OR, 3 months in GA and am currently back in NM for a 6 month gig. If you have the education for or the patience to get it, you can comfortably fulltime on a very respectable middle to upper middle class income. I love it and plan on doing this for many years to come. I would imagine many professions that require onsite installers/trainers could convert to an rv lifestyle as well as well as any job that supports telecommuting.
2011 Dodge Ram 1500
2012 Work-And-Play toyhauler
2011 Ducati Multistrada MTS
full timing since October 2011 as traveling healthcare worker

Mr Bojangles

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Re: "Supplementing income"...
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 05:38:45 AM »
To Original Poster (28 yr old):

In the forum postings, I read a lot of good stuff, good advice, wonderful success stories. Reading it all can make your head spin, if your anything like me.

The bottom line, and most important FACTOR in determining "your're success" in reaching your dreams is your "attitude".

Some of the components of "attitude" are:
Willingness  to save at least 10% of whatever you are making.
Willingness to get the skills you need to understand how to invest these savings prudently.
Willingness to remain "grateful" for what you have, but keep pursuing ......
Willingness not to hurt others in your pursuit.

I can go on some more about POSITIVE "components" of "Attitude", there are many........
Forgive me, I'm going to address what I perceive in your present "Attitude".
There is too much POOR ME in it..... get rid of that component. I've been wrong before, but just consider my thought.
Work hard and forget about SS, if it's there fine, but YOU determine what's going to be there for retirement.

Good luck young man..., you can do it!
See ya on down the road!
28 trips out.... 88,000 Miles -S  to Key West, SW to Gulf...w to Texas, NW Oregon, across Canada.