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Retiring to a simple life in Alaska?

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  • #16
    So you are talking land, well, septic, road, power, and two buildings. I would say you are looking at 300,000 or more by the time all is said and done. You will need a way to keep driveway and parking clear in the winter. If you pay ahead when you build (insulate well and in floor heat) fuel savings payback will be worth it. Figure 40-50 grand a year income to live OK. I would say you will need another job for a while (lots of good paying part/full time work available) so consider that in building choice. Really good view lots cost a lot of money 75-100 grand, but, I would say well worth it. I moved up here 15 years ago and it was one of the best things I have ever done!!!! Come up and
    DENNY

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    • #17
      We recently sold a parcel north of Nikiski with a finished cabin on it over looking Cook Inlet. Sounds like it would have made a good start for you. The Borough is building a gravel road into the area, and it is covered by Fire and Road Service areas. There will be other parcels available in the area. I am considering selling a 500 sq ft. cabin that is only a few hundred feet off the new road. haven't completely made my mind up about it. Might be something for you to check out when you're here.
      Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by logman 49 View Post
        But you now pay sales tax on an Amazon purchase.....
        In Theory yes, But so far only about one in 10 or 12 orders they even attempt to taxed. If the tax shows in the final pay screen, I don't complete the order. Wait a few minutes, and place the order with "NO" sales Tax.
        "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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        • #19
          Originally posted by mg4570 View Post
          ...I am 40 years old....
          And retired with 800k saved....Wow congrats! No matter where you end up going and doing, I'd say you've done da*n good for yourself already. By your post we can tell you've got a good head on your shoulders, and by everything you've read about building I'm sure you're off to a real good start. Your intensions sound very realistic to me. Good Luck!

          PS...The Fairbanks area can be brutally cold in the winter, but there is a certain kind of beauty in the cold that some can appreciate.....especially if you don't have to work out in it!....lol. So yes, cold it is, but the summers can be spectacular up there!
          Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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          • #20
            For a cabin I would do 2x4 exterior walls and wrap exterior with 6 inches of blue board. Everyone wants 2x6 walls with insulation in the bays but that wood is a poor insulator and a 2x4 wall with exterior sheeting is as strong as you need. Cold roof with R60 insulation and you will have a very low energy demand cabin. You can do a log siding if you want the cabin look. I would say come up with a camper and rent for a year or two, get a taste the country.
            DENNY

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            • #21
              Originally posted by 4merguide View Post
              PS...The Fairbanks area can be brutally cold in the winter, but there is a certain kind of beauty in the cold that some can appreciate.....especially if you don't have to work out in it!....lol. So yes, cold it is, but the summers can be spectacular up there!
              !!! A bunch of us are here in the interior BECAUSE of the winters! Best dog mushing on the planet, excellent trails everywhere, ice fishing, skiing and snowshoeing, can't beat it. Summer is spectacular, too - only bad season is breakup, really.

              A friend ended up here when she inherited a cabin from her uncle. It was kind of poorly built and her first winter was tough. Woke up one morning to find her boots frozen to the floor, drove to the airport, got on a plane, spent two weeks in southern California, came back, and never left again (although she and her husband did end up buying a house).
              Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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              • #22
                Many thanks for all the suggestions. When I come up to Alaska, I will check those places out. I am also curious about the cost of the build. If I find the perfect spot -- but what I want to do can't financially be done right away -- I can keep looking or I can work another year or two to save up additional funds. I'd be curious if anyone has a general idea of how much income a single guy would need to live in a location like those you've mentioned, assuming he owns the setup (cabin, truck, shop) free and clear -- for example, at a small outpost outside of Fairbanks. Would $30,000 do it?

                Originally posted by boneguy View Post
                For a cabin I would do 2x4 exterior walls and wrap exterior with 6 inches of blue board. Everyone wants 2x6 walls with insulation in the bays but that wood is a poor insulator and a 2x4 wall with exterior sheeting is as strong as you need. Cold roof with R60 insulation and you will have a very low energy demand cabin. You can do a log siding if you want the cabin look. I would say come up with a camper and rent for a year or two, get a taste the country.
                DENNY
                It's not set in stone yet, but when I get out of this hell hole next month, I am thinking of getting a truck and camper and taking a 10,000+ mile trip that will take me from New England to Key West and up to Alaska, with a lot of stops along the way. I'll give myself the better part of a year to make it all the way to Alaska, to arrive probably in the late spring or early summer of 2020. Life can always get in the way, of course, but that's what I'm planning for the time being.

                Thanks for the construction advice. I am definitely planning to "buy (or rather build) once, cry once" and insulate the heck out of my cabin. For now, since I know how to make a log cabin and built-up roof, I am thinking of an insulated thickened mono slab foundation, log walls at least 16" thick, and at least R49 roof, but what you've described sounds mighty good. I just don't know how to do it myself yet, but I can learn.

                Apropos, what are the chances of finding property with 18" diameter trees or, alternatively, the chances of purchasing such logs in, say, the outposts outside of Fairbanks on the road system? I do not need long logs for the walls, as I could make a a stockade-style vertical log cabin out of 7' fairly straight logs, and they could be green logs. But I would need three good, righteous 40' logs for the ridge pole and 2 cap logs.

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                • #23
                  I think a single person could live on $30,000 annually. But it would probably require that individual to grow a small vegetable garden and preserve what he/she could. As you've probably noticed in all your research, most of us live what I'd call a semi-subsistence life style. We try to catch/harvest and preserve an assortment of fish and game, to go with the vegetables we've grown.

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                  • #24
                    Just to clarify, I mean $30,000 net after taxes (i.e. take home pay), as it is being withdrawn from a portfolio. So the equivalent of roughly $42,000 before taxes. In case that changes anything.

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                    • #25
                      Just an observation, but I'd keep that trailer at the ready so you can boogey out in the winter when the dark and cold set in. Know a handful of older single guys that do just that up there. I'd also look for an area that has a some sort of a gathering spot for you. Can be a sport shop, cafe or coffee shop or bar for a little happy hour. Heck even hanging out around a boat ramp. The days get awful long talking to the walls. My dad was an older bachelor and after he couldn't get around as well, those type of spots were crucial for him to keep his spirits up. Last comment, make sure you got a plan for medical costs or insurance. One bad accident or illness could clip out 25 percent of that nest egg quickly. And the odds keep going up that something will happen as we age.

                      Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nolte View Post
                        Just an observation, but I'd keep that trailer at the ready so you can boogey out in the winter when the dark and cold set in. Know a handful of older single guys that do just that up there.
                        Yep....there's a reason people become snowbirds...
                        Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by mg4570 View Post
                          Apropos, what are the chances of finding property with 18" diameter trees or, alternatively, the chances of purchasing such logs in, say, the outposts outside of Fairbanks on the road system?
                          Slim to none....that kind of timber you'd likely have to import from the coastal areas....
                          " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by cdubbin View Post
                            Slim to none....that kind of timber you'd likely have to import from the coastal areas....
                            I do believe a friend of mine got his big logs from the Seward area?
                            Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                            • #29
                              For real trees on the Peninsula its Seward or Hope (or outer coast).

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by fuhrerak View Post
                                For real trees on the Peninsula its Seward or Hope (or outer coast).
                                I was taking out 2 1/2" diameter spruce on my property at Grey Cliff. The forest out there is very mature. Beetles have hit it all now though.
                                Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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