Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode  545(335) Live Home Free

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

Three months in Paris, three months in Prague, three months in Rio de Janeiro, four months in Tuscany, three months in New England; you get the picture. And a very nice looking picture it seems to be. It has appeal; especially retirement appeal. Wouldn't it be ideal to be able to live like this. Of course you could vary the locations and the time. You might prefer a year or two in each one of the places. Long enough to learn the language. Long enough to develop a sense of place or belonging. Now this is a retirement, this is a life, that could be yours, or mine.

A few years ago I came across an article about two folks - age 71 and 68 - who sold their house, sold their worldly possessions and bought a ticket to ride. They decided to live house free during their retirement years. No limit was mentioned concerning how long they intend to keep up this style of living. They have already been at it two years and as excited now as the day they left home.
They live on a budget of about six thousand dollars per month. They live very well varying their moves from rather expensive locals to those that are much less expensive. It is possible to find these things out and to actually do it. You might balance a stay in Paris with a stay just north of Puerto Vallarta. Or a stay in London with a stay in Columbia or Thailand. They claim that the budget is plenty adequate and that one could have a similar experience with less.

Of particular interest to me was their use of ships to connect continents. They rely on repositioning voyages as a means of travel. The cruise companies evidently change the bases of their ships twice a year during the off season. They can book transportation including food and lodging for two weeks for around twenty-five hundred dollars per person and avoid everything we might dislike about air travel. This particularly interested me since it is one of my least favorite things to do - or to even consider.

These people love the idea of experiencing something new and different on a daily basis without needing to rush. They can afford to lay low any time they want and not feel the pressure to see it all in a flash. They can shop in local markets, linger in coffee shops, visit tourist attractions at leisure and take extended naps whenever desired. I must admit there doesn't seem like much to not like about their style  of retirement living.

They broke the news to their kids slowly and carefully until they came on board with the concept. They held a garage sale. They rented a storage unit for things they wanted to keep. They sold the house and car. They took their laptops and cell phones and headed out of town.

She wrote an article about their adventure and it was published by the Wall Street Journal. She now has a book deal that is to be published in 2014.  They have a web site If this is an idea that intrigues you, you might want to check it out for more details than I can remember.

I wrote all of the above four years ago. Since then their travels and adventures have only increased. Check out their website for stories and information. They are still on the move.

In previous podcasts I have talk before about some of my friends from Alaska who sold everything they owned and then rented - everything. They were retired around age seventy. They wanted to be free for the remainder of their lives and they wanted to make their death easy for their children to manage. They sold their house, furniture, tools, knick-knacks, and anything they could not carry in their mini-van. They even threw away all of their old  photos unless they were very special pictures with people in them. They deposit all their money in a local bank and rented a furnished apartment.

They drove out of Alaska in that minivan with their bikes, tent and backpacks. They rented a small furnished place in Ruidoso, New Mexico to use as a base. Then they travelled. And when I say they travelled that is exactly what they did. They flew, they biked, they cruised and they took the train. They visited all of the continents and took their good sweet time. They saw the sites - many times from the seats of their bicycles, they participated in yoga and health retreats in many exotic places. They met lots of interesting people and I think it is safe to say enjoyed all the days of their lives - at least all of these days of their lives. He died recently. A life well considered and actualized.

When we hear stories like the above they always start the wheels turning. Would that be a better way to live than the way we have chosen? Should we follow suite. It is very tempting. What do you think? More of my thoughts in this direction on the next podcast.

This is Retirement Talk.

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