Author Topic: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?  (Read 17896 times)

fa

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #250 on: March 04, 2017, 08:44:42 PM »
The key word was NEED - not want or anything else. If you NEED to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

If you want to go to foreign shores - by all means do so, but it is advisable to have enough so you can retire where you want to, not where you need to. As stated by others, you may need to come back.

My parents needed me to visit them very regularly form just after I retired. I may have wanted to retire to foreign shores, but that wouldn't have worked out. Families may need to be in their country of origin for the school years...

The other thing is that if your money is in your own currency, you may have problems in foreign shores. For many years, the English would retire to Spain, because it was cheap, and their retirement pensions bought mansions rather than cottages (and the life that went with it). Unfortunately for them, the Spanish currency became much better, and the pound declined in relative value. THIS COULD HAPPEN IN ANY UNDER DEVELOPED FOREIGN COUNTRY. Suddenly, they could not maintain their lifestyle. There have been a number of documentaries on this particular retirement problem. The south east Asian countries are all developing quite fast, and it could happen to you in the next 10 years if you count on their relative cheapness to get you through your FIRE lifestyle.

Very good points that I had not fully considered.  I agree that if you have insufficient funds to retire in your own country, you probably shouldn't consider yourself FIRE.  As you said, family issues may require you to stay home or come back.

jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #251 on: March 05, 2017, 08:40:43 AM »
If you don't have enough to FIRE in your own country, but your plan is to go to a LCOL country, then you should say you are FIREd if that is your plan.  Not everyone is the same.  All FIRE plans are flexible and adjustments get made as needed.  It is like saying you need enough to stay in a HCOL to say you are FIREd, that is silly.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #252 on: March 05, 2017, 11:42:14 AM »
If you don't have enough to FIRE in your own country, but your plan is to go to a LCOL country, then you should say you are FIREd if that is your plan.  Not everyone is the same.  All FIRE plans are flexible and adjustments get made as needed.  It is like saying you need enough to stay in a HCOL to say you are FIREd, that is silly.

I agree. You can absolutely FIRE to a lower COL (or country).

It's just that one planning to do so should do it cautiously; there is a much greater chance for unhappiness. Research, and trials runs as much as possible is important.

And relying on the lower budget means you have less flexibility, monetarily. If you're flexible about giving it a shot and going back (including going back to work) if it doesn't work out, cool.  No worries.

It's just something to be aware of.  :)
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #253 on: March 06, 2017, 12:58:18 AM »
If you don't have enough to FIRE in your own country, but your plan is to go to a LCOL country, then you should say you are FIREd if that is your plan.  Not everyone is the same.  All FIRE plans are flexible and adjustments get made as needed.  It is like saying you need enough to stay in a HCOL to say you are FIREd, that is silly.

I agree. You can absolutely FIRE to a lower COL (or country).

It's just that one planning to do so should do it cautiously; there is a much greater chance for unhappiness. Research, and trials runs as much as possible is important.

And relying on the lower budget means you have less flexibility, monetarily. If you're flexible about giving it a shot and going back (including going back to work) if it doesn't work out, cool.  No worries.

It's just something to be aware of.  :)

I guess if you're relatively young, healthy and adventurous, you could plan to spend several years in early FIRE in a super low COLC, backpacking through India and SE Asia for example. Then you get a way to avoid that potentially devastating early sequence of poor returns risk, your stach will grow much faster due to <<4% SWR being taken, and after a while you can more confidently sustain a return to home/HCOL.

I think many people as they get 'older' (>70)  and health issues start to build might not want to be in a permanent traveller situation, but when you're young, footloose and fancy free? Sounds like a great plan. It doesn't have to be a commitment for the rest of your life.

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arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #254 on: March 06, 2017, 01:07:19 AM »
If you don't have enough to FIRE in your own country, but your plan is to go to a LCOL country, then you should say you are FIREd if that is your plan.  Not everyone is the same.  All FIRE plans are flexible and adjustments get made as needed.  It is like saying you need enough to stay in a HCOL to say you are FIREd, that is silly.

I agree. You can absolutely FIRE to a lower COL (or country).

It's just that one planning to do so should do it cautiously; there is a much greater chance for unhappiness. Research, and trials runs as much as possible is important.

And relying on the lower budget means you have less flexibility, monetarily. If you're flexible about giving it a shot and going back (including going back to work) if it doesn't work out, cool.  No worries.

It's just something to be aware of.  :)

I guess if you're relatively young, healthy and adventurous, you could plan to spend several years in early FIRE in a super low COLC, backpacking through India and SE Asia for example. Then you get a way to avoid that potentially devastating early sequence of poor returns risk, your stach will grow much faster due to <<4% SWR being taken, and after a while you can more confidently sustain a return to home/HCOL.

I think many people as they get 'older' (>70)  and health issues start to build might not want to be in a permanent traveller situation, but when you're young, footloose and fancy free? Sounds like a great plan. It doesn't have to be a commitment for the rest of your life.

I definitely agree that's a good plan.

Not quite what we're talking about here, whereby one would be doing a 4% plan but at the expense level of the lower COL area for the permanent budget... precluding using the lower COL area to do < 4% and let the stache grow.

Because theoretically, if you can do < 4%, you worked too long.

The key either way, I suppose, is being flexible. Whether that's spending less in early years, or being willing to go back to work, or being willing to try a sabbatical to test out a place, or whatever.  Once again, that idea seems pretty key.
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deborah

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #255 on: March 06, 2017, 01:28:47 AM »
Life can send you curved balls. You need to have ideas about how to deal with them even (or especially) in your low col plans. When I left Uni, one of my schoolmates traveled to India for a while (I think she was away for 10 months - it's a long time ago) and caught one of those diseases that stops you being able to do much for several years. Another friend from Uni went to Egypt for six months, and on his last week there hitchhiked in a jeep, that rolled, and he was in traction in an Egyptian hospital for several more months with a fractured pelvis. Unfortunately, it was when blood screening for AIDS wasn't much good.

These things are very, very unlikely, but it is always good to have ideas about how you would deal with things that blow holes into your FIRE plans.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #256 on: March 06, 2017, 01:45:45 AM »
Life can send you curved balls. You need to have ideas about how to deal with them even (or especially) in your low col plans. When I left Uni, one of my schoolmates traveled to India for a while (I think she was away for 10 months - it's a long time ago) and caught one of those diseases that stops you being able to do much for several years. Another friend from Uni went to Egypt for six months, and on his last week there hitchhiked in a jeep, that rolled, and he was in traction in an Egyptian hospital for several more months with a fractured pelvis. Unfortunately, it was when blood screening for AIDS wasn't much good.

These things are very, very unlikely, but it is always good to have ideas about how you would deal with things that blow holes into your FIRE plans.
Those are some seriously unfortunate events.
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #257 on: March 06, 2017, 10:39:50 AM »
Life can send you curved balls. You need to have ideas about how to deal with them even (or especially) in your low col plans. When I left Uni, one of my schoolmates traveled to India for a while (I think she was away for 10 months - it's a long time ago) and caught one of those diseases that stops you being able to do much for several years. Another friend from Uni went to Egypt for six months, and on his last week there hitchhiked in a jeep, that rolled, and he was in traction in an Egyptian hospital for several more months with a fractured pelvis. Unfortunately, it was when blood screening for AIDS wasn't much good.

These things are very, very unlikely, but it is always good to have ideas about how you would deal with things that blow holes into your FIRE plans.
Those are some seriously unfortunate events.

That's terrible, but stuff could happen to you in the developed world, too.  I would think you'd need a plan whether you decide to stay in Kansas or bike across Zimbabwe. 

deborah

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #258 on: March 06, 2017, 01:13:24 PM »
However, you are more susceptible to these things as a permanent traveler.

Often, you have a limited understanding of the language, and are more at risk of things going wrong. When I was waiting for a train in an overhead station in Tokyo, suddenly everyone else disappeared, and then came the earthquake. The warning over the loudspeakers was in Japanese. People can try to warn you of things, but you just don't understand.

You don't know the risks associated with there you are. And people can tell you the risks, but they appear trivial to you. Each year tourists die in the Australian desert because they haven't taken what seem to us to be the most basic precautions. Every car hire place will tell travelers to take these precautions, and yet, each year people die - or we have to mount very expensive rescue operations to save them from themselves, and nobody involved gets paid for their effort - which is a drain on remote communities. Just a month ago two tourists decided to visit a National Park on an incredibly hot day. They went for a short walk, didn't fill out the form that is in all car parks to say who they were and what walks they were planning to take, didn't take water with them, didn't wear hats, must have got confused, and left the path (although not far) and died. Nobody else was stupid enough to visit that park for a couple of days. It took emergency people several days to find them, because they had separated, and had fallen in amongst rocks. I'm sure that there are similar stories of "incredibly stupid tourists" in your home state too.

Eric

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #259 on: March 06, 2017, 04:51:58 PM »
However, you are more susceptible to these things as a permanent traveler.

Often, you have a limited understanding of the language, and are more at risk of things going wrong. When I was waiting for a train in an overhead station in Tokyo, suddenly everyone else disappeared, and then came the earthquake. The warning over the loudspeakers was in Japanese. People can try to warn you of things, but you just don't understand.

You don't know the risks associated with there you are. And people can tell you the risks, but they appear trivial to you. Each year tourists die in the Australian desert because they haven't taken what seem to us to be the most basic precautions. Every car hire place will tell travelers to take these precautions, and yet, each year people die - or we have to mount very expensive rescue operations to save them from themselves, and nobody involved gets paid for their effort - which is a drain on remote communities. Just a month ago two tourists decided to visit a National Park on an incredibly hot day. They went for a short walk, didn't fill out the form that is in all car parks to say who they were and what walks they were planning to take, didn't take water with them, didn't wear hats, must have got confused, and left the path (although not far) and died. Nobody else was stupid enough to visit that park for a couple of days. It took emergency people several days to find them, because they had separated, and had fallen in amongst rocks. I'm sure that there are similar stories of "incredibly stupid tourists" in your home state too.

While I appreciate some good retirement fearmongering as much as the next person, bad shit happens all the time (traveling or not) and you can't prepare for every possible outcome.  You can easily not do stupid shit though.  That takes care of most of my worries.  For the rest, I'll just adapt.

I don't really see how any of this is travel specific.
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spartana

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #260 on: March 06, 2017, 05:22:28 PM »
However, you are more susceptible to these things as a permanent traveler.

Often, you have a limited understanding of the language, and are more at risk of things going wrong. When I was waiting for a train in an overhead station in Tokyo, suddenly everyone else disappeared, and then came the earthquake. The warning over the loudspeakers was in Japanese. People can try to warn you of things, but you just don't understand.

You don't know the risks associated with there you are. And people can tell you the risks, but they appear trivial to you. Each year tourists die in the Australian desert because they haven't taken what seem to us to be the most basic precautions. Every car hire place will tell travelers to take these precautions, and yet, each year people die - or we have to mount very expensive rescue operations to save them from themselves, and nobody involved gets paid for their effort - which is a drain on remote communities. Just a month ago two tourists decided to visit a National Park on an incredibly hot day. They went for a short walk, didn't fill out the form that is in all car parks to say who they were and what walks they were planning to take, didn't take water with them, didn't wear hats, must have got confused, and left the path (although not far) and died. Nobody else was stupid enough to visit that park for a couple of days. It took emergency people several days to find them, because they had separated, and had fallen in amongst rocks. I'm sure that there are similar stories of "incredibly stupid tourists" in your home state too.

While I appreciate some good retirement fearmongering as much as the next person, bad shit happens all the time (traveling or not) and you can't prepare for every possible outcome.  You can easily not do stupid shit though.  That takes care of most of my worries.  For the rest, I'll just adapt.

I don't really see how any of this is travel specific.
I don't think its really travel specific either except that you may have more issues dealing with a long term serious medical condition or injury in a foreign place and you end up needing to go.home or a more expensive area. So you might end up having to live in a higher cost place than you planned - especially if sick or disabled - and that could cause problems.

 As you pointed out, that could be the same even if living a bare bones FIRE budget at home. Having a bit of a cushion or ability to access extra $$ if needed is always a good thing if retiring. I'm in a HCOL area but can live on about $500/month easily in my current circumstances. But I probably wouldn't FIRE if that was all the income I could ever have available to me.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 05:26:19 PM by spartana »
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deborah

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #261 on: March 06, 2017, 06:27:41 PM »
Agreed - I got a bit off topic, but I guess that forever travelers need to get a bit more attuned to looking for implications (of any type) of comments by locals, because they just don't come from the same culture.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #262 on: March 06, 2017, 07:07:00 PM »
Posting to follow.

Also curious...spartana and others who may own a house in the US...how do you handle that?  Rent it out, I assume.  Any issues / concerns / lessons / tricks there?

I'm considering doing the PT thing in a few years when my youngest leaves the nest.  I have a paid off home and am not sure what to do with it.
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dixonge

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #263 on: March 06, 2017, 08:28:17 PM »
If you want to go to foreign shores - by all means do so, but it is advisable to have enough so you can retire where you want to, not where you need to. As stated by others, you may need to come back.

During the four years we weren't working, we regularly visited the family back in the states. The parents are now safely ensconced in an assisted living facility. There really isn't a scenario where we would *need* to come back...

My parents needed me to visit them very regularly form just after I retired. I may have wanted to retire to foreign shores, but that wouldn't have worked out. Families may need to be in their country of origin for the school years...

We see my parents less than when we lived nearby, but often enough. Given the longevity in my gene-pool I decided early on not to work until I was 70 while waiting for both of them to be gone. My grandfather's sister lived to 102.

The other thing is that if your money is in your own currency, you may have problems in foreign shores. For many years, the English would retire to Spain, because it was cheap, and their retirement pensions bought mansions rather than cottages (and the life that went with it). Unfortunately for them, the Spanish currency became much better, and the pound declined in relative value. THIS COULD HAPPEN IN ANY UNDER DEVELOPED FOREIGN COUNTRY. Suddenly, they could not maintain their lifestyle.

We'll be saving back around 50% of our pension for at least a decade. If the peso/dollar relationship suddenly reverses we'll be fine. Worst case, we just move somewhere else. We don't plan on buying any property for a long time.

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spartana

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #264 on: March 06, 2017, 09:15:36 PM »
Posting to follow.

Also curious...spartana and others who may own a house in the US...how do you handle that?  Rent it out, I assume.  Any issues / concerns / lessons / tricks there?

I'm considering doing the PT thing in a few years when my youngest leaves the nest.  I have a paid off home and am not sure what to do with it.
I only travel p/t (usually 2 months max at one time but often less) and just in North America because I bring my dog with me so just leave the house empty and have my sister check on it once a week. If I were planning on travelling full time I'd sell and just rent in various places.  I've also had short term roommates who have watch the house while I'm gone. That's probably the best set up.
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pbkmaine

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #265 on: March 06, 2017, 09:16:46 PM »
Posting to follow.

Also curious...spartana and others who may own a house in the US...how do you handle that?  Rent it out, I assume.  Any issues / concerns / lessons / tricks there?

I'm considering doing the PT thing in a few years when my youngest leaves the nest.  I have a paid off home and am not sure what to do with it.
I only travel p/t (usually 2 months max at one time but often less) and just in North America because I bring my dog with me so just leave the house empty and have my sister check on it once a week. If I were planning on travelling full time I'd sell and just rent in various places.  I've also had short term roommates who have watch the house while I'm gone. That's probably the best set up.

Wasn't your sister living there at one point?

fa

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #266 on: March 06, 2017, 09:46:54 PM »
The "sell everything" part is scary.  We like our furniture and it was expensive.  I could sell it, but if we start slow long term travel and discover we don't like it as much as we anticipated, what do you do?  i would hate to sell my furniture used and then have to go out and buy new (or used) furniture that I may not like as much as what we have.

As a result, I am considering storing my stuff for a year or so, until we discover whether we really enjoy the nomadic lifestyle or not.

We have saved plenty, regardless of where we decide to travel or settle.  I am not concerned about exchange rates or getting priced out of the market.

spartana

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #267 on: March 06, 2017, 09:52:31 PM »
Posting to follow.

Also curious...spartana and others who may own a house in the US...how do you handle that?  Rent it out, I assume.  Any issues / concerns / lessons / tricks there?

I'm considering doing the PT thing in a few years when my youngest leaves the nest.  I have a paid off home and am not sure what to do with it.
I only travel p/t (usually 2 months max at one time but often less) and just in North America because I bring my dog with me so just leave the house empty and have my sister check on it once a week. If I were planning on travelling full time I'd sell and just rent in various places.  I've also had short term roommates who have watch the house while I'm gone. That's probably the best set up.

Wasn't your sister living there at one point?
yeah for a little while until her BFs last kid finished high school and left home and then she moved in with him (last Sept). But she lives close enough to check on my place everyday if needed. Plus I have a friend who lives in Alaska and she usually stays with me a few months in winter (at my house now). I also have a gardener to take care of the lawn and have a bunch of solar powered motion sensored security lights around the outside and timers inside. Plus have a second car or neighbors cars parked in my driveway while gone so looks like someone's home and turn off water. So far no problems.

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LAGuy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #268 on: March 07, 2017, 05:13:31 PM »
The "sell everything" part is scary.  We like our furniture and it was expensive.  I could sell it, but if we start slow long term travel and discover we don't like it as much as we anticipated, what do you do?  i would hate to sell my furniture used and then have to go out and buy new (or used) furniture that I may not like as much as what we have.

As a result, I am considering storing my stuff for a year or so, until we discover whether we really enjoy the nomadic lifestyle or not.

We have saved plenty, regardless of where we decide to travel or settle.  I am not concerned about exchange rates or getting priced out of the market.

This was on my mind as well. But if you really get down to it, you could just buy it all over again. Sure, there might be a piece or two that is tough to let go but surely you could find something comparable again. I mean, in the scheme of things is it really that much money? I mean, maybe it'll run you what...as much as $10K to deck out a new place? Clearly, that's not the sort of thing you want to be doing all the time in FIRE but as a one time cost to settle back in somewhere it would be a pittance of the 'stash. And compare it to the costs of moving, storing, and moving your stuff again. Movers are going to cost you at least $1k each time. Storage over even a year is going to seriously add up...storage rentals can be a couple of hundred dollars a month. Better to just commit and let it all go. I mean, I guess if you can't live without a place fully decorated by Restoration Hardware I could see not wanting to buy it all over again, but then if that's the case slow travel probably isn't for you anyways.

jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #269 on: March 07, 2017, 05:54:33 PM »
I'm thinking do a trial run for like 6 months to see if the lifestyle is something I want.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #270 on: March 07, 2017, 10:49:48 PM »
We kept a few boxes of seasonal clothes and mementos in my parent's closet when we sold our home and hit the road. Every couple of years we fly back to visit them. We go through those boxes in storage and then end up throwing out even more stuff that at the time, we thought we'd want to keep forever. The longer you are away from your possessions, the less hold they have on you. You start to realize the stuff you thought you could never live without... well, you're doing quite fine without it and don't even miss it now.

Technology has also allowed us to throw out a lot of printed pictures, VHS, CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, etc. I've digitized a lot of our old photos, and our extensive video and audio collection. Pretty much everything can fit on a single smartphone these days. I do make sure to make lots of backups though, physical and on the cloud.
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