Author Topic: Geographic Stability post-FIRE  (Read 6989 times)

Seadog

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Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« on: September 28, 2015, 04:13:36 PM »
Long time lurker, new poster, but turns out I've been a Moustacian all my life, and hardly knew there was a name for people like me until about a year ago when a friend mentioned MMM. I remember 12 years back in university pressuring some friends into making a game of who could make the cheapest lunches for a week, so the writing was on the wall.

Anyways I worked petro engineering all over the world for 7.5 years, hated the job, but it paid great, and when I was living/working abroad essentially had all expenses covered.  31 now, had a stache within spitting distance of $1m CAD a year ago, now after all the market fun, is around 750k, which being a single guy with no ties I feel is still plenty (despite the ~200k loss psychologically stinging like acid - It'll go back up? Right? Right!?).

Sold what limited possessions I had, drove back home, sold the car, couple boxes in storage and am planning on using parents house as a home base, since it doesn't really make sense to maintain my own empty apartment. It's been 6 months already, had a few trips, and now the plans are ~2 months to do my dive master in SE Asia, 2 months to do a safari in Africa, and then maybe 6 months living a "normal" life in Australia on the working holiday program. Might do casual work to keep busy and meet people. 

The problem is, that like when I had a job I'll continue to be living out of a bag, and wont be able to consider things like friends/relationships/gym memberships/clubs/etc. on a time line of longer than 6 months.

I can certainly see the value in having a home base, but one which is empty half the year while you travel isn't very Moustacian.  There is a huge world to see out there, but there is a lot to be said as well for familiar faces/friends/places. How do you reconcile the two?

LAGuy

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 06:20:31 PM »
Cool post! I was asking around about the same thing a bit earlier, but didn't find anybody doing exactly what I was thinking of doing. I haven't FIRE'd yet, but getting close.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/anybody-out-there-living-the-life-of-a-nomad/

Finding somewhere to at least partially "settle" is on my mind as well. Figured SE Asia is a pretty good option as it's affordable and easy to travel to a lot of nearby destinations. Visa issues is really the big problem, especially for those that are under 50. Sure, at 35 you can get set up easy enough with a retirement visa in the Philippines and get yourself a decent little place set up for pretty cheap. But what happens if you decide you just want to hit the road for a year? You've still got to deal with keeping up your Phil's visa? Otherwise, it's deal with constant tourist visa extensions. At least to start, I plan to do as you are. Set up shop at my brothers in Washington for tax purposes, see the world for a year or two, and then maybe decide to try my hand at living somewhere for a year.

Cookie78

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 06:41:24 PM »
My plan is to reconcile the two by coming 'home' for half the year, or going wherever my friends and family are to spend time with them. Also possibly traveling with them along the way too, depending on how their schedules line up.


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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 09:04:18 AM »
...The problem is, that like when I had a job I'll continue to be living out of a bag, and wont be able to consider things like friends/relationships/gym memberships/clubs/etc. on a time line of longer than 6 months.

I can certainly see the value in having a home base, but one which is empty half the year while you travel isn't very Moustacian.  There is a huge world to see out there, but there is a lot to be said as well for familiar faces/friends/places. How do you reconcile the two?

One answer: pick out a home base locality and come back to it regularly.  But do it via shorter term rentals; maybe even (probably) furnished places.

Another answer:  find a home base locality that gives you the option of keeping a "park model" place year round, even if you only use it half the time.  (Easier for you to google "park model" than me going through a longwinded explanation.)

UnleashHell

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 10:58:02 AM »
I live in Florida and theres plenty of people who winter here and leave their homes untouched for 6 months during the summer.

mandy_2002

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 04:03:09 PM »
31 now,,,

...and then maybe 6 months living a "normal" life in Australia on the working holiday program...


According to the Australian visa rules I've found, as a Canadian citizen you may be too old for the working holiday program. 
"Working Holiday Visa Australia - Basic Requirements
You must be between 18 and 30 years old."

Is there another program that you've found that would work for a 31 YO?

FIKristen

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 09:52:22 AM »
Seadog, I couldn't agree more!  Had this EXACT debate for a while with my SO: we plan to travel for 3-12 months at at time, but also appreciate having a home base so we don't have to get rid of our stuff (mountain bikes, etc).   We ended up buying a very small (~300 sq ft) condo in Colorado for less than $50,000.  It is pretty close to a ski resort, so when we travel, we plan to put our stuff in the storage locker downstairs and hand the keys over to a vacation rental company.  We don't expect to make a bunch of money off of it, but the income it generates will be more than enough to cover the low condo fees and taxes.   That way we get to have a home base AND travel the world, without feeling stupid for paying for a bigger place. 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 09:54:18 AM by FIKristen »

EndlessJourney

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2015, 08:32:55 AM »
I can certainly see the value in having a home base, but one which is empty half the year while you travel isn't very Moustacian.  There is a huge world to see out there, but there is a lot to be said as well for familiar faces/friends/places. How do you reconcile the two?

It's going to be a personal decision, but what I can add is that your circumstances aren't static. I remember in my late 20s and 30s, I was very attached to my friends and had an active social life. Then everyone around us started having kids and we saw these "familiar faces" less and less often. And friendships in older age change as well, the need to see each other on a frequent basis becomes less urgent.

Also, you're single, but if and when you pair off with someone, that person becomes your familiar face that you're able to take anywhere in the world with you, if you happen to be lucky to find someone that shares your wanderlust.

Bottom line is that it may not be the right time for you to see the world. Your circumstances may change in the future so that the need to keep a tight circle of friends, gym membership, clubs, etc may not be as important to you as right now.

My wife and I have been wandering the world on motorcycles for 3.5 years now, never stopping for more than a couple of months in any one place. However, I could not envision doing this trip 15 years ago.

MayDay

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 07:42:02 AM »
What about renting a bedroom from someone in your home location?  It would be fairly cheap, you wouldn't have to worry about paying bills or worrying about maintenance when you are gone, you would have a place to leave your stuff, etc.  I would think you would be the ideal renter for someone who wants a little extra $$ but doesn't have to have a roommate underfoot full time. 

meadow lark

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2015, 11:27:30 PM »
FI Kristen - that sounds perfect!  What a great way to do this!

TomTX

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2015, 05:34:02 AM »
What about renting a bedroom from someone in your home location?  It would be fairly cheap, you wouldn't have to worry about paying bills or worrying about maintenance when you are gone, you would have a place to leave your stuff, etc.  I would think you would be the ideal renter for someone who wants a little extra $$ but doesn't have to have a roommate underfoot full time.

That's one of our alternate plans for FIRE. We have 3 sets of friends with big houses that should (I say SHOULD) have spare bedrooms by the time we hit FIRE. Which plan we go with depends a LOT on our school needs, health of my parents, when their kids go off to college, et cetera.

Seadog

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2016, 09:53:55 AM »
Haha, I guess I need to check the MMM forums more than a few times per year. Just to update, did Europe-Africa-Asia-Oz-Asia-Europe and got back to Canada for the summer. Honestly 8 months of travel got me feeling restless around month 4-5. Just missing the familiar faces, sights, and tired of living out of a bag as I mentioned before.  Really not much closer to settling, enjoying summer in Canada at my parents, but already eyeing cheap flights back to Asia. Probably spend 4-8 weeks in the same place diving, at least get to have my own place, and stability of the same people and a reason to get out of bed before 9.

And FYI on the working holiday visa, you can apply at 30, as in before you turn 31, then you have 1 year to actually enter and begin your year. So I applied 2 weeks before I turned 31, and entered 3 weeks before I turned 32. 

I'm somewhat envious of Americans, if RE prices here were like they are there, I would buy a small place without a second thought.

arebelspy

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2016, 03:31:26 AM »
Thanks for the thread bump; I missed this the first time around.

The wife and I are currently nomads (have been for a year).  I'd suggest anyone wanting this try it out--like you said, you got a bit sick of it after 4-5 months.  We love it, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Eventually we'll probably settle down (though we have no idea when--whenever we get tired of traveling full-time, I suppose..that could be a year, or it could be 10 years, or never).

I'd say the amount of time you plan to travel should dictate if you have a "home base" or not.  For me the line would be around 6 months--if you're going to be traveling more than that per year (say, 8-10 months per year), I probably wouldn't have a home base.  I'd rent in my "home base" area when going there.  If you're going to travel less than that (say 3-6 months per year), I'd say it makes sense to have a "home base" and then either leave it vacant for the few months you leave (or have a free housesitter), or rent it out if you're so inclined.

But the "home base" idea probably comes down first to how much time you'll be traveling, and second to how much stuff you have (or your ability to part with or live without much).

Of course, if you have more than enough, you can afford to be inefficient and keep an extra home or two, so you may just do that because that's what you want.  On the other hand, the wife and I find it really, really freeing not to have a home base.  Having all our stuff in backpacks on our back is amazing.  Different strokes.
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Livingthedream2015

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2016, 06:24:56 AM »
So many similarities to my current lifestyle that Seadog mentioned, and yes I hear you and feel the same way re after 4-5 months home comforts, family, friends are all really missed. I've been in S.E Asia 15 months now (popped home at Christmas) but the visa situation is a headache, I've actually done the unthinkable; and returned to work.....let me elaborate. I travelled for a year, island hopping, surfing, sitting on the beach, partying, but after 12 months I needed something more, and what with the visa situation being a pain, I've started teaching English..not sure how long I'll do it for, but it ticks some boxes that I needed after a while; some familiar faces, a visa, daily purpose (after a year of travelling)...my worldly possessions are stashed at my Mums.
P.s I've also done the working holiday in Oz, great country and would highly recommend it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2016, 10:35:55 AM »
So many similarities to my current lifestyle that Seadog mentioned, and yes I hear you and feel the same way re after 4-5 months home comforts, family, friends are all really missed. I've been in S.E Asia 15 months now (popped home at Christmas) but the visa situation is a headache, I've actually done the unthinkable; and returned to work.....let me elaborate. I travelled for a year, island hopping, surfing, sitting on the beach, partying, but after 12 months I needed something more, and what with the visa situation being a pain, I've started teaching English..not sure how long I'll do it for, but it ticks some boxes that I needed after a while; some familiar faces, a visa, daily purpose (after a year of travelling)...my worldly possessions are stashed at my Mums.
P.s I've also done the working holiday in Oz, great country and would highly recommend it.

This sounds cool. I never settled down on my travels - just kept rolling visas and heading off to the next adventure. I'll always treasure my beach bum days surfing and partying in SE Asia. My life would be truly different if I hadn't.

To the OP:  Personally, I took a few years off and traveled. No home base, just kept exploring the planet, and the fantastic people that inhabit it.  There are enough truly beautiful places out there that I didn't miss home for quite awhile.

After that though, I switched gears and bought a house. Nice to have a home base for the motorcycles and a place to really leave your own mark.  Neither one is an either/or - one can always move back and forth between the two states.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2016, 10:42:01 AM »
We also struggled a bit with this decision. Ultimately we decided that we wanted a home base because we love our home city (friends, family, familiarity, culture) and we weren't sure that we want to travel full time.

Our solution was to buy a small condo that we could afford to maintain even while traveling half the year. If we ever travel for a full year we can easily rent it. We just got back from a 2 month trip. I'm wrapping up some projects this fall for my small biz, and then next year we're going to try a 3-5 month trip, then come home for the summer.

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Livingthedream2015

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2016, 07:50:29 AM »
I posted up thread almost a year ago that I was keeping my place as a home base but that has changed and now I'm selling. May ended up somewhere permanently or just temporarily or travel full time. Undecided as of now. However,,as Rebs said, you can look into having a perm place near family and friends and just rent it out or leave it empty while you travel P/T. That way you have a home base when wanted. For myself I prefer to be totally unencumbered and free to stay anywhere I want as long as I want without worry ir extra expenses to maintain a home base. You might be better off just renting occasionally when you return home rather than keeping a place full time unless you're there longer.

This is exactly what I do. I rent my property out back in the UK, so if I want to return now, in a year or several years time I just have to give the tenants a couple of months notice. Who knows where I will be further down the line, but to know I have a place back in the Motherland is a nice fall back plan. Asia is great, but I've learnt in life after a period of time, things always need refreshing. Maybe this is why I'm also still a bachelor.!

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Geographic Stability post-FIRE
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2016, 01:15:34 PM »
We aren't FIRE yet, but we're full-time expats who struggle with the same issues you do -- except we have kids and so have to make home leave and potential evacuation plans. We're in the market for a quad or triplex, where we can keep one of the units empty (or on short-term vacation rental) and have the other three units cover costs and mortgage. We looked at the option of buying a small condo, but we're a family of five and since we don't have housing costs this seemed to be a good combination of house-hacking and building equity we can use when we figure out where we're going to be post-FIRE.