When long term travel turns into retirement

Even the most hard core of travelers seldom actually travel for more than a few years at a time. There are notable exceptions, we’ve all met that wizened traveler who’s been on the road for decades, but for most of us even extended trips are what you might call a “mini-retirement.”

But what if you want more than just a long trip? What if you want to get rid of the “mini” and just, you know, retire? Not later, now, at say, 30? Sounds impossible right?

Well, as John Bardos over at jetsetcitizen.com recently pointed out, you don’t necessarily have to be rich to retire. Especially not if you’re willing to retire abroad (and where else would a vagabond retire?).

Too many people still believe that retirement is for the 65 and older crowd who have worked and saved their whole lives and still have trouble making ends meet. How much money do you really need to retire? What if you could retire now, for as little as $500 per month? Of course, that means cutting back on most luxuries and living a relatively simple life but it does seem possible in lower income countries like The Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Bali.

Just about everyone who’s spent any time traveling to somewhere that’s significantly cheaper than their native country has probably thought, “wow, I could just move here.” And that’s exactly what a host of books like The Four Hour Work Week preach — earn money in high value currencies (generally your home country) and spend it in low value currencies abroad. It’s not revolutionary, it’s the basis of budget travel.

Bardos is just extending that idea from travel to permanent retirement living (though Bardos does say that he plans to continue working a few hours a week). For more details on Bardos’ plan, including an informative breakdown of projected living expenses, check out the full post: Can you Retire on $500 per month?.

It may not be something that everyone can or wants to do, but I’m quite sure at least a few readers of this site have done something similar and are reading this from the comfort of their beach-side hammock. Share you thoughts and experiences below.

[Photo credit: Gaetan Lee, Flickr]

Posted by | Comments (3)  | April 28, 2009
Category: General

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