See the World: How to Fund a Nomadic Retirement

According to the 18th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, 70% of American workers dream of a retirement spent travelling the world, visiting exotic locations and enjoying the diverse cultures of the world before it’s too late.

The only problem with this plan is that travelling can often be quite expensive.

Unless you want to live like a backpacker, then traveling costs money, but that doesn’t make it impossible for retirees.

One American couple, Michael and Debbie Campbell, have dubbed themselves “the senior nomads” for their unique travelling retirement lifestyle.

With careful planning and budgeting, the Campbells are have made their traveling retirement a success.

Here are three tips that can help you do the same.

First, broaden your horizons

The cost of travel in Western Europe and much of North America can be prohibitive, but by opening your mind to opportunities outside of these regions you can significantly reduce your travel costs.

While you might pay $100 a night for a cheap room in Copenhagen, in Bangkok you can probably find a similar place for only $40.

For travel on a budget, take a look at Southeast Asia and South America. Most of the countries in these regions (with a few exceptions) offer a much lower cost of living than most in the West are accustomed to.

Not only will accommodation costs be lower, but taxis, meals out, and all the necessities of life will be that much easier to afford.

Now, be flexible

Retirement offers an escape from the conformity of the nine to working week and a release from the limitations of 10-day vacation policies. 

This added flexibility means that you can avoid travelling on the days that are thought to be the most expensive,  like Saturdays and Sundays when everyone wants to take a trip.

It’s easy to save a few bucks by departing mid-week, when most people are still caught up in concerns of day job. Not only will you save money, but you will probably also have a quieter and more relaxed journey.

Finally, set a budget

Plan, plan, plan. Before you start out on your journey, take stock of your situation, and keep track of everything in a spreadsheet. Setting a budget, and sticking to it, is crucial if you are to make this lifestyle sustainable in the long-term.

Sticking to the tourist hotspots will drain your wallet faster than a nimble pickpocket. In truth, many of the best experiences come from full immersion in local life.

Try getting off the beaten path and seeking out the authentic local culture — look for free concerts at churches, free exhibitions at museums, and opportunities to experience the reality of local life.

The key to traveling the world as a retiree to balance time and money. Setting goals and budgeting can make just about any travel plan work out and even turn into a new and interesting lifestyle.


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