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General Discussion => Post-FIRE => Topic started by: jim555 on October 22, 2016, 06:34:33 AM

Title: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on October 22, 2016, 06:34:33 AM
The Plan:
Since I no longer need to work...
Live in hotels/rooms/room shares permanently.
Lighten up all possessions, sell house and car.
Rent a small storage unit for the few remaining possessions.
Stay out of the US for 330 days to avoid ACA penalty.
Self insure for medical in low cost countries.

Advantages
See new countries on a constant basis.
Able to do Roth conversions to fill up 15% bracket without having to worry about loss of ACA subsidies.
No state income tax since no longer resident.
No property tax or home maintanence.
Taking pension/Social Security early is now possible since loss of ACA subsidies no longer a concern.
Money from house/condo sale can be invested and earn a return.
Save on medical insurance.
Few possessions means one can be nimble for travel.
If not a US citizen you may never owe tax since you are never residing in any country long enough to be liable for tax.  US citizens must still pay tax no matter where they are.

Disadvantages
Must always be moving
Travel can be stressful
Airfare/hotels expensive
Homesickness
Being locked out if real estate rises and you want to come back home and can't afford it when returning.

Any thoughts on this plan?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cottonswab on October 22, 2016, 07:37:23 AM
A few thoughts.

1.  If your remaining possessions are actually few and important, try to store them at a friend / family member's house for free.
2.  Living out of a vehicle (e.g., campervan) can be more cost effective for some locations.
3.  Don't underestimate the potential loneliness that can occur during log-term travel.  Not having long-term friends or significant others to share the experiences with can have a major impact on your happiness.   
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa on October 22, 2016, 08:02:59 AM
Quite a few people are doing this.  A well known couple is gocurrycracker.com.  Jeremy and his family are doing almost exactly what you are describing.

Just like a poor person experiences frugality differently than a middle class frugal person, being forced to travel to avoid ACA requirement, taxes, etc. may feel differently than wanting to see the world.  Do you want to travel or do you feel you have to travel?  I think the stress and loneliness of continuous travel would make this a plan for years, but probably not decades.  If you have a SO and they are on board with your plan would make a huge difference.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Rubic on October 22, 2016, 11:52:19 AM
I have a similar "plan", however plan is in quotes as I'm more geared
toward traveling opportunistically, but here goes ...

Live in hotels/rooms/room shares permanently.

AirBnB's or short-term apartment rentals, possibly house sitting.

Quote
Lighten up all possessions, sell house and car.

Sold my condo this month (yay!) and I'm down to a beater car with
a trade-in value < $500.

Quote
Rent a small storage unit for the few remaining possessions.

Except for my bicycle, my remaining possessions now fit into a small
closet, and will stay at a relative's.

Quote
Stay out of the US for 330 days to avoid ACA penalty.
Self insure for medical in low cost countries.

Similar plans, back in the US no more than 30 days/year.



Advantages

Quote
See new countries on a constant basis.

If I land in a place I like, I might consider applying for a residency
visa, if it's not too onerous.

Quote
Able to do Roth conversions to fill up 15% bracket without having to worry about loss of ACA subsidies.

I'd like to do a minimum of three year's worth of Roth conversions to
reduce my RMD.  Afterward I can start withdrawing directly from my IRA
accounts.

Quote
No state income tax since no longer resident.

My state has no income tax, so I'll remain a resident.

Quote
No property tax or home maintanence.

You don't need to leave the US to achieve this benefit.  Even when
I move back, I'm likely to be a renter for life.

Quote
Taking pension/Social Security early is now possible since loss of ACA subsidies no longer a concern.

Since I'm likely to move back to the US (most expatriates eventually do, even
if they don't plan on it), I'm deferring Social Security until the latest possible
date.  Probably age 70 unless circumstances such as health or taxes dictate
otherwise.
 
Quote
Money from house/condo sale can be invested and earn a return.

Funds will be in short-term treasuries to pay for travel so I can avoid selling
equities.

Quote
US citizens must still pay tax no matter where they are.

International travel won't affect my tax situation except for avoiding ACA
penalties.  A few years of this should benefit my stache.



Disadvantages

Quote
Must always be moving

As mentioned above, I may consider applying for residency if
I find a place I like.  Otherwise, movement will be in 90 day periods,
possibly extended to 6 month visas, where available.  I won't feel
rushed.

Quote
Travel can be stressful

It's certainly stressful pre-FIRE, when you have a schedule and
must accomplish everything according to schedule.  Post-FIRE,
I would assume it will only be as stressful as I decide it to be.

Quote
Airfare/hotels expensive

I've been stockpiling miles/points from various credit cards for
airfare.  In almost every place I plan to visit (including Europe),
my living expenses should be lower than my current situation.

Quote
Homesickness

Could be.  I'm sure to miss family and friends.  On the other hand,
I seem to make new friends easily.

Quote
Being locked out if real estate rises and you want to come back home and can't afford it when returning.

As a renter, I consider this pretty much a non-issue.  Rent too high?  Look
for a situation where it's cheaper.  With enough flexibility, I could probably
find an affordable place in downtown Paris.



Quote
Any thoughts on this plan?

My apologies for this long-winded response.  I think we share more similarities
than differences.  Further thoughts ...


It has been pleasant to share this discussion with a similar traveler-in-waiting.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cannot Wait! on October 22, 2016, 12:30:59 PM
You don't have to plan the rest of your entire life out right now.  Just make the next right move.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on October 22, 2016, 12:36:18 PM
We are doing pretty much what you describe except we are currently on the road in the USA.

Sold our paid off home for near $300,000 and since that is money that has already been taxed, it affords us with plenty of spending money while adjusting our MAGI to whatever floats our boat.  Currently our boat is being floated by having a MAGI at $23,000 a year to enable a subsidized silver plan with cheese.  I suggest you look into something like this rather than self insure.  It is very very cheap (talking less than $100 a month with a $250 a year deductible for a single person in their 40s).

Advantage:  You are paying nearly no tax, so when XXX or YYY says they have a big plan to spend and need to raise income/property tax, you can just laugh it off.   So much to be said for being able to laugh at taxes.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Dexterous on October 23, 2016, 09:34:02 PM
Can you not just become a resident of a state without income tax before leaving?  Some states have simple requirements.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: scrubbyfish on October 23, 2016, 09:43:47 PM
All sounds good to me.

I'm with those who don't worry about being "priced out" of real estate. I mean, I AM largely priced out of owning in places like Vancouver BC, but I also have no desire or need to return there, so it's moot. So many great places on the planet to live :)

re: Human contact, you mentioned you seem to make friends easily. Might you also have a community that's spread across the world? i.e., Service club, faith group, forum, etc?

SERVAS, WWOOF, etc, are also ways to get some free nights, contribute, and connect more deeply with some really groovy people.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Exprezchef on October 23, 2016, 10:09:29 PM
Here is the story of a couple that has done just what you are looking at. I read their book a while ago when it was first released. While somewhat interesting, the book was meh. I was looking for more substance and numbers broken down for each country they lived in.

http://homefreeadventures.com

Looks like fun. I threw out the idea of that type of lifestyle to my wife and she just looked at me with a blank stare and walked off without saying a word. :)
Good luck with your adventure.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 23, 2016, 10:17:22 PM
Here is the story of a couple that has done just what you are looking at. I read their book a while ago when it was first released. While somewhat interesting, the book was meh. I was looking for more substance and numbers broken down for each country they lived in.

http://homefreeadventures.com

Looks like fun. I threw out the idea of that type of lifestyle to my wife and she just looked at me with a blank stare and walked off without saying a word. :)


That's a good thing, right?  I usually get a pathetic smile and then muttered at in a foreign language...
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on October 24, 2016, 12:32:43 AM
My wife and I have been on the road traveling around the world for the last 4.5 years. A bit different than what you're planning since we're overlanding on two motorcycles. But basically we sold everything and we live in a tent or in cheap AirBnBs, sometimes we rent an apartment for longer stays.

It's an amazing lifestyle if it's truly what you want to do.

Have you tried being nomadic for a shorter period of time? Say couple of months to a half year? Is it possible for you to sample this lifestyle without committing to selling everything first? That way if it isn't what you thought it was, you could go back to your life with little impact.

We know a young couple who tried Perpetual Travel/Slow Travel and they called it quits after 1 year. Turns out they were very driven people with goals and aspirations very much tied to work. They came to view their year on the road as wasted time and that it set them back wrt home equity and career.

If you're already retired, this may not be a concern, but the main point was that Perpetual Travel may not be everyone's cup of tea and it's always better to dip your toe in instead of dive headfirst.

We did some longer travel stints (over a month on the road), before we permanently cut the strings. By that time, we had a very good sense that Perpetual Travel was what we really wanted to do, and almost 5 years later, we're still moving.

Some thoughts about:

Cost: you list "hotels and airfare" as being expensive. How often were you thinking of moving? If you stay in one place for longer, you can rent apartments much less than the cost of staying in a hotel. Plus you also get a kitchen so you're not forced to eat at restaurants, saving you more costs.

If you plan your journey strategically, flying to a continent and then using ground transport (buses & trains) to get between cities and countries is way more economical. Staying for longer periods of time (one month+) also cuts down on transportation costs.

Must always be moving/Travel can be stressful: Why always be constantly moving? We stayed 4 months in Thailand last winter. Cost of living and medical were peanuts. When we felt ready to hit the road again, we picked up and left, which is the best part of being light and free: stop when you want, go when you want.

Homesickness: Yes. This is the biggest concern for us. Friends and family, definitely. But also a familiar language and culture. We spent a couple of months in the British Isles and it was so odd being able to eavesdrop on background conversations... and actually understanding what they're saying! :) Haven't been able to do that in a few years. Little things like being able to read the labels on groceries, signs on the road, ask for directions, etc.

We go back to Canada once every couple of years. Seems to be a good way to refresh our thirst for travel... and renew documents like drivers licenses, passports, do bank stuff, etc.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 24, 2016, 12:41:46 AM
My wife and I have been on the road traveling around the world for the last 4.5 years. A bit different than what you're planning since we're overlanding on two motorcycles. But basically we sold everything and we live in a tent or in cheap AirBnBs, sometimes we rent an apartment for longer stays.

It's an amazing lifestyle if it's truly what you want to do.

Have you tried being nomadic for a shorter period of time? Say couple of months to a half year? Is it possible for you to sample this lifestyle without committing to selling everything first? That way if it isn't what you thought it was, you could go back to your life with little impact.

We know a young couple who tried Perpetual Travel/Slow Travel and they called it quits after 1 year. Turns out they were very driven people with goals and aspirations very much tied to work. They came to view their year on the road as wasted time and that it set them back wrt home equity and career.

If you're already retired, this may not be a concern, but the main point was that Perpetual Travel may not be everyone's cup of tea and it's always better to dip your toe in instead of dive headfirst.

We did some longer travel stints (over a month on the road), before we permanently cut the strings. By that time, we had a very good sense that Perpetual Travel was what we really wanted to do, and almost 5 years later, we're still moving.

Some thoughts about:

Cost: you list "hotels and airfare" as being expensive. How often were you thinking of moving? If you stay in one place for longer, you can rent apartments much less than the cost of staying in a hotel. Plus you also get a kitchen so you're not forced to eat at restaurants, saving you more costs.

If you plan your journey strategically, flying to a continent and then using ground transport (buses & trains) to get between cities and countries is way more economical. Staying for longer periods of time (one month+) also cuts down on transportation costs.

Must always be moving/Travel can be stressful: Why always be constantly moving? We stayed 4 months in Thailand last winter. Cost of living and medical were peanuts. When we felt ready to hit the road again, we picked up and left, which is the best part of being light and free: stop when you want, go when you want.

Homesickness: Yes. This is the biggest concern for us. Friends and family, definitely. But also a familiar language and culture. We spent a couple of months in the British Isles and it was so odd being able to eavesdrop on background conversations... and actually understanding what they're saying! :) Haven't been able to do that in a few years. Little things like being able to read the labels on groceries, signs on the road, ask for directions, etc.

We go back to Canada once every couple of years. Seems to be a good way to refresh our thirst for travel... and renew documents like drivers licenses, passports, do bank stuff, etc.

Ahh! I was thinking of your blog; I couldn't remember it, as I was going to link you as the perfect example and resource for this thread. Thanks for showing up!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on October 24, 2016, 12:52:38 AM
Ahh! I was thinking of your blog; I couldn't remember it, as I was going to link you as the perfect example and resource for this thread. Thanks for showing up!

The blog is slightly (...okay, very much) behind. We've been constantly moving the last few months, so very little time to write and edit photos. Should have more time soon to catch up, since the riding season is winding down in Europe.

If anyone is interested, you can find us here: http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: financialfreedomsloth on October 24, 2016, 02:07:22 AM
Somebody mentioned WWOOF but that is very much farm orientated. There is also helpx and workaway which offer a much broader choice of work. And it can reduce your accommodation and food budget to zero for the time you are helping somebody out. House sitting is also a possibility that lets you stay somewhere cheap.
Airtravel should indeed only be used to make big hops. All other transportation should be done over land. For Europe you have cheap bus companies connecting all the big cities (eurolines and flixbus, Berlin to Brussel for 40 euro!)  and also car share services like Blabla car that can get you around cheaply. Inside a country there is public transportation. Slow travel can be done very cheaply you just have to be flexible.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Rubic on October 24, 2016, 06:42:55 AM
One interesting resource, written by a MMM forum member:

https://www.theearthawaits.com/

No affiliation, I just think it's a useful resource for investigating
travel destinations.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa on October 24, 2016, 06:58:58 AM
We go back to Canada once every couple of years. Seems to be a good way to refresh our thirst for travel... and renew documents like drivers licenses, passports, do bank stuff, etc.

Does that mean you don't see friends and family for years on end?  Or do they come and see you?  Or Skype regularly?  My wife would never agree to not physically see her family for years, so I wonder if you have found a practical solution.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on October 24, 2016, 09:47:29 AM
Does that mean you don't see friends and family for years on end?  Or do they come and see you?  Or Skype regularly?  My wife would never agree to not physically see her family for years, so I wonder if you have found a practical solution.

We returned to North America last year to attend my brother's wedding. He moved to Illinois from Toronto about 20 years ago. Goes back to Toronto every year to see our parents for Xmas. His father-in-law thought that was the oddest thing in the world - to be *so* far away from family and only see them so infrequently. His entire family lives 10 minutes away from each other - three generations all in the same community. They all see each other pretty much every single day.

Then I show up to the wedding. Just arrived from the other side of the planet. Only seen my parents twice in the last five years. That blew his mind.

So I understand how your wife feels. But we're from a different culture. My wife left the Eastern Bloc for a better life in the 90s and only returned every 3-4 years to visit her mother and grandparents. My whole family moved from SE Asia to Canada and my dad only visited "home" every few years as well. We just stayed with my aunt in England this summer, she's got a son (my cousin) in Singapore that she only sees a couple of times a year.

To be far away from family for long periods of time is normal for most immigrants.

But yes, Skype, Facebook and e-mail helps to keep in touch.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: flyingaway on October 24, 2016, 07:50:27 PM
Ahh! I was thinking of your blog; I couldn't remember it, as I was going to link you as the perfect example and resource for this thread. Thanks for showing up!

The blog is slightly (...okay, very much) behind. We've been constantly moving the last few months, so very little time to write and edit photos. Should have more time soon to catch up, since the riding season is winding down in Europe.

If anyone is interested, you can find us here: http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw

Glad to see you showed up here. I was worried about you since your blog has not been updated for a few months.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: StetsTerhune on October 24, 2016, 10:56:34 PM
Another "permanent traveler" here. My wife and I just hit 2 years since giving up our apartment. The first year and a half were in the states, and the last 6 months we've been in Europe and southeast Asia. Stayed in the states while I still had my 9-5 job (remote) and left now that I'm semi-FIRED, planning on doing 330 out of every 400 days out of the US.

I could write a book on the subject probably, but since I'm on my phone (sitting overlooking the ocean in Thailand, waiting out peak-sun), I'll just throw a couple of random thoughts in to complement what's already been said.

The key with permanent travel is that you get to find your own balance. I think that's the answer to most of your questions, but I don't know where you'll end up, and neither do you before you try it. 

For example, costs: the novelty of travel makes it easier to stay cheaper, crappier places, but there's a limit to that, I'm not a 23 year old backpacker (anymore), and long term super cheap is not sustainable. So I balance free (friends, family, hotel points) with cheap (rooms on airbnb, crappy bungalows in Thailand, etc) with expensive (hotels, house rentals) and even some ludicrous splurges (slopeside skiing). It's been fairly comparable to what I was paying in Chicago, though I've been doing very well since I left the states.

Loneliness: Ive seen my family more in these years than I have since I was a kid. More quality too, now I can come for a week or two and hang out instead of just stopping by for the day. That said, it's not clear if you're single, if you are I think it'll be tough. Having my wife here day to day and then getting to see friends and family for extended periods occasionally works great for me. But everyone is different on this one.

Stress: I'm all about variety. Sometimes I actively travel for weeks, sometimes I just sit around for weeks in one place, mostly I'm in between. The best part about this is that if I'm bored, I can go somewhere new, if I'm stressed, I can just cool my heels where I am.

I love this life and may never stop, but it's certainly not for everyone. Be realistic, so much stuff online talks about "geographic arbitrage"like it's a budget panacea. Realistically, long-term any budget anywhere mostly depends on you and what you're willing to live with and without. That said, try it out, it might be for you.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on October 25, 2016, 05:09:43 AM
For those who are doing it, what do you do for heath insurance?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on October 25, 2016, 06:18:33 AM
For those who are doing it, what do you do for heath insurance?  Thanks.

ACA, specifically silver plan with the subsidy and cost sharing is not bad.  Get BCBS for wide network.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on October 25, 2016, 07:41:57 AM
In Ontario, we are covered by our provincial health insurance (because we are a socialist country - yay!) for a period of up to two years out of the country.

Since we've long since passed that mark, we've gotten third party medical insurance. Some companies offer greatly reduced premiums if you exclude certain countries: U.S., Canada, China,. Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, and Taiwan. Since healthcare is so expensive in those countries, if you exclude them, the premiums can drop by 50%.

In some countries, the cost of healthcare is so cheap that it's more cost-effective to just pay-as-you-go instead of continuing coverage. A friend of ours broke her arm in Thailand. Cost to get it X-Rayed and casted: $50. And the quality of healthcare in that country is top-notch, as is evidenced by their medical tourism industry and ex-pat retiree population.

When we were traveling through Central and South America, we opted for Emergency Medical Evacuation and repatriation insurance, which flies you back to your home country in the event of a severe incident which requires surgery and/or hospitalization. The quality of healthcare in those countries was not up to par with most first-world countries.

We dropped the Emergency Medical Evacuation insurance once we were in Europe, will probably reinstate it when we reach Africa.

My advice for shopping around for insurance is not to look for the lowest premiums, but to research what the process is like to make a claim and Google how many claims have been denied in the past due to frivolous reasons (ie. denying coverage for a broken arm because you listed asthma as a pre-existing condition, or because you failed to list that one time you went to the doctor's office to get a plantar's wart removed 15 years ago).

Insurance companies don't stay in business by paying out claims, so you'll want to find a company that is fair in whether or not they honour or deny your claim.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: scrubbyfish on October 25, 2016, 09:07:43 AM
In Ontario, we are covered by our provincial health insurance (because we are a socialist country - yay!) for a period of up to two years out of the country.

Whoa! Is this different from BC's? (I mean, I know lots of things are different in health coverage from province to province, but this sounds like a biggie!)

BC recommends getting private insurance upon leaving the province, even if just for a day. It has (limited) agreements with other provinces, and will pay for a certain amount of some stuff elsewhere too, but anything falling outside of these is left with the patient to pay. I got caught in that difference once (Europe), so I do buy private insurance when travelling out now.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on October 25, 2016, 10:01:11 AM
Whoa! Is this different from BC's? (I mean, I know lots of things are different in health coverage from province to province, but this sounds like a biggie!)

BC recommends getting private insurance upon leaving the province, even if just for a day. It has (limited) agreements with other provinces, and will pay for a certain amount of some stuff elsewhere too, but anything falling outside of these is left with the patient to pay. I got caught in that difference once (Europe), so I do buy private insurance when travelling out now.

Sorry, I should have clarified.

OHIP provides "very limited" coverage once out of the province. They mention a number like $50CDN/day which doesn't really cover anything. But what it does afford you is the ability to apply for travel insurance like Blue Cross which "tops up" OHIP to cover anything above and beyond that $50/day.

After that two-year OHIP base coverage is over, supplemental travel insurance will stop covering you and you will need to buy third party medical insurance like something aimed at ex-pats vs short-term travelers.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on October 25, 2016, 11:01:28 AM
For those who are doing it, what do you do for heath insurance?  Thanks.

ACA, specifically silver plan with the subsidy and cost sharing is not bad.  Get BCBS for wide network.
I am on ACA too.  But in order to get a reasonable price I need to make sure the MAGI is low.  The advantage to travel outside the US is the ability for a higher MAGI which would allow for Roth conversions.  330 days outside the US and no worry about penalty for no health insurance.
So I guess self- insure in a LCOL area like Mexico or Thailand.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on October 25, 2016, 11:20:21 AM
Is the point of all of this to lower the cost of health insurance and taxes? Or to see the world and experience new cultures?

If it's the former, than just relocating and finding an ex-pat community is probably your cheapest option. In most ex-pat-friendly destinations, there is often a retiree visa which you can apply for if you can demonstrate self-sufficiency. In Thailand, it's something ridiculously low like having $20K USD in the bank. And then it's just Pay-As-You-Go hospital visits.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: StetsTerhune on October 26, 2016, 06:29:32 AM
I have a Cigna global health insurance policy. it doesn't meet US standards to avoid the penalty, so I have to be out of the US to avoid the penalty. I think I'm paying something like $80 a month for the two of us. I've literally never had a medical expense in my life, but don't feel comfortable without insurance on this. Sure, day to day care is expensive here, but if something actually goes wrong, then it'll still be very expensive to get the treatment I will want to have.

I started full time travel for the sake of it. Now I'm staying outside the US to lower taxes and health insurance. I'm planning on visiting some ex-pat areas this year to see if any appeal to me as options in the future, but if I stop traveling at some point, I'm expecting to return to the US.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: usoverseas on October 29, 2016, 08:35:03 AM
Posting to follow.  We will be doing something similar;however, are already working/living overseas.

Regarding state income tax, be sure to look at the rules of your state.  As you won't be working probably won't be too big of a deal, but as an expat working overseas it can make a big difference.  We were in California prior to our move and you need to be out of the country for 18 months to not have to pay CA taxes (you still have have your 30 days of the 365) but for Virginia residents no matter how long they lived outside the country, if they had any ties (driver's license, maybe storage unit?) they still paid state taxes.  We talked to 2 CPAs who interpreted it very differently, so make sure you understand it so you don't run into tax issues. 

Also make sure you understand that 330 days.  Again if you have little income not a big deal, but the US is VERY strict on how they count those days for the foreign income exclusion.  Cruise ship work, etc might not be counted....
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: FIFoFum on October 29, 2016, 10:29:34 AM
Most of what is driving you seems more geared toward expat living in a lower cost of living area, not a real desire to travel or be nomadic.

Cons for nomadic living -

Culture shock
Loneliness
Instability from always having to be in "planning" mode or thinking of the next step/place
Limitations in where you actually can go to based on visa/residency rules (there are good places to land, but there are entire countries and regions that are not doable indefinitely)
Hard to build meaningful friendships or relationships
Hedonic adaptation in travel

There are easily dozens of blogs of people doing this (and additionally there are forums/posters devoted to various types of nomadic living). Start searching and reading. See what people like, see what they don't, see why they choose to STOP living nomadic lives and at what stage. Some people feel like 6 months is "enough," some at 6 years. Some keep going and couldn't imagine any other way of being.

Then start somewhere knowing that it may or may not be what you want to do long term.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on October 29, 2016, 02:35:28 PM

Currently our boat is being floated by having a MAGI at $23,000 a year to enable a subsidized silver plan with cheese.  I suggest you look into something like this rather than self insure.  It is very very cheap (talking less than $100 a month with a $250 a year deductible for a single person in their 40s).

This! I don't understand OP's fixation to avoid ACA? With low income, it's super cheap anyway. If not, you can still get a cheap high-deductible plan that would cover your self-insured ass in the event of a disaster.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on October 29, 2016, 03:11:52 PM

Currently our boat is being floated by having a MAGI at $23,000 a year to enable a subsidized silver plan with cheese.  I suggest you look into something like this rather than self insure.  It is very very cheap (talking less than $100 a month with a $250 a year deductible for a single person in their 40s).

This! I don't understand OP's fixation to avoid ACA? With low income, it's super cheap anyway. If not, you can still get a cheap high-deductible plan that would cover your self-insured ass in the event of a disaster.
If you avoid the ACA you can do Roth conversions without killing your subsidies, so that is one reason to avoid it.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on October 29, 2016, 06:01:28 PM
If you avoid the ACA you can do Roth conversions without killing your subsidies, so that is one reason to avoid it.

Sure but even with no subsidies, the high-deductible plan is still cheap AND covers you in cases of disaster, so it's worth it.

I don't think it's worth altering your plans to adhere to the 330 day rule. At some point, you'll want to come back to the US most likely. Even until then, keeping a US base is useful. Did you know Vanguard freezes your account if you become non-resident (depending where you go)? You can bypass this by using a friend's address, but it seems hacky. You at least need a US mail forwarding service.

I know going completely nomad is enticing, but in practice you'll run into issues with your credit cards, driver license, phone plans, investments, etc.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: JoJo on October 31, 2016, 05:10:06 PM
If you avoid the ACA you can do Roth conversions without killing your subsidies, so that is one reason to avoid it.

Sure but even with no subsidies, the high-deductible plan is still cheap AND covers you in cases of disaster, so it's worth it.

I don't think it's worth altering your plans to adhere to the 330 day rule. At some point, you'll want to come back to the US most likely. Even until then, keeping a US base is useful. Did you know Vanguard freezes your account if you become non-resident (depending where you go)? You can bypass this by using a friend's address, but it seems hacky. You at least need a US mail forwarding service.

I know going completely nomad is enticing, but in practice you'll run into issues with your credit cards, driver license, phone plans, investments, etc.

High deductible plans cheap?  AFAIK, most of these plans don't cover you outside of the US.  So, if I'm out of the US for 330+ days per year, I don't want to be paying $350+ per month (2016 prices before the 25% increases) for coverage I won't use because I'm not in the US.  But, I am willing to pay $200 a month for an international health care plan with MUCH lower deductibles that covers me everywhere but the US.   My monthly budget is $3000 for everything so no way I want to pay $350 more than I need to. 

In my case, I'm getting some deferred comp pay that might price me out of subsidies (and I have a moral code that makes me not want to accept what I see as welfare).
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on November 06, 2016, 12:08:18 AM
We're in the "sold everything and became nomads" camp.

Let me tell you... it's awesome!

It's all it's cracked up to be.  :)

I have a Cigna global health insurance policy. it doesn't meet US standards to avoid the penalty, so I have to be out of the US to avoid the penalty. I think I'm paying something like $80 a month for the two of us. I've literally never had a medical expense in my life, but don't feel comfortable without insurance on this. Sure, day to day care is expensive here, but if something actually goes wrong, then it'll still be very expensive to get the treatment I will want to have.

I started full time travel for the sake of it. Now I'm staying outside the US to lower taxes and health insurance. I'm planning on visiting some ex-pat areas this year to see if any appeal to me as options in the future, but if I stop traveling at some point, I'm expecting to return to the US.

I could have written this post, just changing the word "two" to "three."  :)

Ditto to all of it!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah on November 07, 2016, 02:21:30 AM
I travel overseas for two months at a time. By the end of two months I am really missing Australia. I can travel in Australia for a lot longer. It's not just family and friends. It's the culture, and the place. Everywhere else is so exotic - has such different plants and animals and geography. It's good to visit, but no way would I LIVE elsewhere!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 10, 2016, 12:40:39 PM
For those permanent travelers: how much do you spend in slow travel compared to staying at home?

I know it depends on a lot of factors so please summarize those factors along with your answer :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 10, 2016, 01:19:07 PM
For those permanent travelers: how much do you spend in slow travel compared to staying at home?

I know it depends on a lot of factors so please summarize those factors along with your answer :)

After 1.5 years of travel, I can say we spend approximately the same now as we did settled in the States.

Though in the States our job covered health care, and now we'd be paying.  So being out of the US saves us ~5k on that (6k in the US versus 1k for international coverage).  And because of FEIE, we save another ~7k on taxes.

So we spend about the same now as we did before on "base" expenses, but were we in the States now, we'd be spending an extra 10-15k.  This is not counting some things being cheaper overseas. In other words, if our budgets were exactly equal, and we spent the exact same on food, lodging, transportation, etc., (same dollar amount on everything), we'd end up paying about 12k more in the States due to taxes and health insurance--powerful incentive to travel, when that would up your spending by 25-50%.

Slow travel isn't expensive.  Renting an apartment on AirBnB is the same, or cheaper, as in the US.  Food is the same, or cheaper.  You spend more on the "travel" part of the budget (even with travel hacking, some flights just make more sense to pay for) and "transportation" (need to get around cities, sometimes, even if you walk a lot, or over to side trips), and more on the entertainment part, likely, but that's offset by cheaper stuff elsewhere.

This is assuming you balance cheaper places (S. America, SE Asia, Eastern Europe) with more expensive places (parts of Western Europe.  Some parts, like Spain, are cheap, but some like France or Germany can be expensive).  Obviously if you spend it all in an expensive area, it'll cost more, and if you spend all your time in a cheaper area, it'll cost less.

But if you balance the two, there's no reason your spending traveling should be any more than not doing so.  And if you want to save, you can purposefully target lower COL areas, and stay in them longer.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 10, 2016, 01:37:42 PM
I travel overseas for two months at a time. By the end of two months I am really missing Australia. I can travel in Australia for a lot longer. It's not just family and friends. It's the culture, and the place. Everywhere else is so exotic - has such different plants and animals and geography. It's good to visit, but no way would I LIVE elsewhere!

This is kinda how i felt while I was traveling.  Just something about that one country where everything makes sense. I just never felt settled anywhere else; after a few years of homelessness right after I FIRED, I found it was time to come back and have a base for which to travel from if I ever felt the urge. Best thing I've ever done.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 11, 2016, 12:00:05 PM
If you live abroad permanently, do you try keeping your investments in the US? I know most US brokers will freeze your account if you become a US non-resident. Do you just use a remote mail service / US relative address, and connect via a VPN to bypass their checks?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on December 11, 2016, 12:40:43 PM
For those permanent travelers: how much do you spend in slow travel compared to staying at home?

Over the last five years, we've spent an average of $30/day per person. When we had a house, cars, fridge, closets, etc., we spent 5-6 times that amount. We were not very Mustachian back then...

I know it depends on a lot of factors so please summarize those factors along with your answer :)

Factors:

- We travel by motorcycle, so gas is a lot cheaper than a plane ticket or even by RV.

- We live in a tent. Well, sometimes. Also AirBnB and long-stay apartments. Many people around the world have contacted us through our blog (the motorcycling community is very tight-knit and passionate) and provided us a place to stay as well as a home-cooked meal, which is *very* generous!

- Location, convenience and creature comfort are the biggest factors determining how much you'll spend. I think if you set yourself a budget, you can scrimp in one area and splurge in another. Sometimes we stay far outside of touristy areas where the accommodations are cheaper. Then we ride in to town and feast like royalty! :)

- Sometimes, location will determine everything. In Norway, it costs $45 for a campsite. One (1!) red pepper costs $6 at the grocery store. We're in Cambodia right now, just outside of Angkor Wat, staying at a suite in a luxury hotel for less than a price of a campsite in Norway. $6 will buy both of us a nice dinner with drinks.

If you live abroad permanently, do you try keeping your investments in the US? I know most US brokers will freeze your account if you become a US non-resident. Do you just use a remote mail service / US relative address, and connect via a VPN to bypass their checks?

In Canada, as long as you don't declare non-residency, I don't think the brokerage firms really care where you do your web banking from. We just keep a Canadian address (technically we live in my parent's basement in Toronto), and as long as we keep paying income tax and the banks and government have a CDN address to send our statements to, everyone's happy.

Once in awhile the bank's web site security algorithms will kick in: "We noticed you are coming in from a different IP address than you normally do. Please verify your identity by answering a few additional questions". That's just what happens when you're in a different country every other day.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 11, 2016, 02:26:43 PM
Sometimes I use a VPN if blocked. Usually isn't an issue.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 11, 2016, 07:32:09 PM
Everytime I start daydreaming about long-term international travel, I end up worrying about logistics: health care, banking, investments, visas or immigration, phone, addresses, taxes, possessions/storage, car, etc. I already immigrated to the US from Canada and I know it can be a huge pain to coordinate everything and I wouldn't want to go through that everytime I move. You could end up not even enjoying your trips!

I should probably let go of optimizing the details after a while... Did any of you go through that? did you overcome it?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 11, 2016, 08:13:08 PM
A few brief answers for you on what we did.

I added numbering in to your quote for ease of reference.

Everytime I start daydreaming about long-term international travel, I end up worrying about logistics: 1 health care, 2 banking, 3 investments, 4 visas or immigration, 5 phone, 6 addresses, 7 taxes, 8 possessions/storage, 9 car, etc.

1. Sign up for an international health insurance plan.  Pay most stuff out of pocket in silly cheap medical tourism style.

2. Schwab checking account reimburses you all ATM fees worldwide (not only doesn't charge any, but also pays you back what their ATM charges you!).  Just show up, hit any ATM, and withdraw money in local currency.

3. Yup, they keep accumulating, no matter where in the world you are.

4. If you have a US passport, most places are no visa required or visa on arrival.  Only a few places are a hassle where you have to apply at their embassy somewhere ahead of time.  I keep the following bookmarked in my travel folder: Visa Requirements fro US Citizens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_requirements_for_United_States_citizens)

5. Google Fi.

6. http://www.TravelingMailbox.com

7. IRS still wants you to pay them.  If you're outside the US >330 days/yr, you can exclude foreign earned income

8. Dump em.  Keep a backpack of what you need.  If necessary, save a box of stuff in a friends/relative's garage (my wife's mom, for example, has our box of stuff w/ wedding album, birth certs, etc.).  The rest is in backpacks on our backs on travel days, or unpacked in our AirBnBs.

9. Sell it.

It's really a lot less of a big deal than you'd think.  The big thing is getting rid of everything.  You'll end up taking so much stuff to Goodwill, because you don't want the hassle of selling.  Besides that, the logistics are surprisingly minimal.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: terran on December 11, 2016, 08:25:48 PM
1. Sign up for an international health insurance plan.  Pay most stuff out of pocket in silly cheap medical tourism style.

Great list! any suggested resources/companies for finding this one? Would I be right to assume this is something different than travel insurance you get for short term travel when you have insurance in your home country? Does the international insurance typically cover you in high healthcare cost countries (like the US) or are you self insuring during short visits to your home country?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on December 11, 2016, 08:51:52 PM
I know it can be a huge pain to coordinate everything and I wouldn't want to go through that everytime I move.

Good list from ARS above!

You only have to do all that once. And crossing borders is pretty standardized around the world. Once you have all your documentation and you know the process, it's as easy as crossing the street.

There are more ongoing logistics involved in owning a house and car: insurance, maintenance, registration, taxes, security.

We used to own a lot of things, and it's true what they say about the stuff owning you instead of the other way around. We sold/gave away/threw out 95% of our possessions before we left. The 5% that we stored had sentimental value. But these days, we don't even think about them at all. If that leftover stuff ever got stolen or lost in a fire/flood, we wouldn't miss them one bit.

Living a nomadic lifestyle really frees up a lot of physical and mental real estate and can be quite cleansing for the soul - if you're the kind of personality that likes new things and enjoys exploring.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 11, 2016, 08:59:06 PM
1. Sign up for an international health insurance plan.  Pay most stuff out of pocket in silly cheap medical tourism style.

Great list! any suggested resources/companies for finding this one?

Depends on what country you're from, and probably your specifics.  Common ones worth looking into: Cigna, WEA, Aetna, UHC Intl.

Would I be right to assume this is something different than travel insurance you get for short term travel when you have insurance in your home country?

Correct, they are different.  International Health Insurance is the term, versus Travel Insurance.

Does the international insurance typically cover you in high healthcare cost countries (like the US) or are you self insuring during short visits to your home country?

You can get US coverage, but it adds a lot to the cost (and it still won't be ACA compliant, so you'll either need an ACA plan, or to be exempt anyways), because you'll need to have that extra expensive rider on the whole year.

The better route, IMO, is to get only international coverage, excluding the U.S., and then getting travel insurance just for the periods when you're in the US.  The most common one for US based people is World Nomads, but if you're a UK/EU citizen, I've heard good things about True Traveller.



If you have more questions, probably best to start a new thread specific to health insurance + travel (feel free to quote any/all of the above), but I'm betting should be enough to give you a good start.  :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: terran on December 11, 2016, 09:05:16 PM
Thanks so much! At this point it's a little more in the "someday"/daydream category for me, but great info that I'll enjoy looking into. Great tip on the travel insurance for visiting the home country -- makes sense since people visiting here (US in my case) need travel insurance too.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 11, 2016, 09:50:43 PM
Thanks arebelspy. Especially I didn't know about Google Fi. Sounds like a good deal!

Re storage, I already have almost 0 possession, literally worth less than $1000 in my studio.

The thing that bugs me is, I just got a green card (I'm a Canadian citizen) which I'd like to hold onto in case I'd like to work in the US in the future (wages are better here in software). So, I'm basically chained to the US for 5 years, after which I could pursue US citizenship. I could travel a total of 2.5 years of those 5, but not be out too long at a time, something like 6 months maximum (no hard rule). But, I'm starting to wonder if I really want to keep jumping through USCIS/IRS hoops.

Another issue specific to my case is the complicated Canada/US tax treatment, and FATCA reporting requirements, especially if you have investments. I've dealt with it myself until now and learned a lot, but this is a huge hassle (coming from someone who doesn't mind hard problems). My investments are now in the US, which is a lot simpler, esp. with a 401k and Roth IRA. US brokers also charge lower fees than Canadian ones, AFAICT. Plus probably couldn't do the slow Trad IRA -> Roth IRA conversion ladder by moving to Canada, since Vangard freezes Canadian resident accounts.

So, I could probably do half-assed international travel in the next 5 years with the green card, or go all out right now by moving my "base" to Canada and surrendering the green card (which must have cost upwards of $15k to my employer so I kinda feel bad about that, but hey).
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 11, 2016, 10:41:12 PM
Depends on how much you want the US citizenship, but traveling 6 mo/yr or whatever for the next 5 years seems pretty good to me.

You won't get FEIE or ACA exemption for being an expat, but probably worth giving that up for a bit.

Or, like you said, you could just give up on the green card if you don't need it. If you'll eventually settle in Canada, and mostly travel internationally, and up to 6 mo. in the States, may not need it.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 12, 2016, 03:30:39 AM
I've got a friend who's doing this. 20-some years old, works 4-6 months every 3-4 years (though he'll likely be able to longer stretches without working as time goes on) and travels the rest of the time with his partner. His few possessions are stored at his parents place (not sure of his partners, don't know her very well, they're always travelling!) and he travels light. A different life to be sure, but one he fully enjoys.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 12, 2016, 06:24:55 AM
The big downside of US citizenship is tax reporting and how they tax worldwide income.  Also, since the ACA is toast that is another thing to consider.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 12, 2016, 06:47:08 AM
The big downside of US citizenship is tax reporting and how they tax worldwide income.  Also, since the ACA is toast that is another thing to consider.

Yeah, not sure if it's an overall positive or negative, but I do know of people that are specifically staying out of the US due to the current ACA...
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa on December 12, 2016, 07:19:20 AM
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident.  ARS then posted it is not an issue.  I am confused about what really happens.  Do you just hide your residency status from Vanguard by officially having a US address, such as with a family member?  Plus use VPN to hide your IP address?  If they "freeze" your account, what exactly does that mean?  Can you no longer add funds, can no longer trade, can not withdraw,...?  Has anyone actually have that happen to them?

ARS, I have read about TravelingMailbox.com.  They sound very good.  Can you use them as your address of residency, or are they on some sort of black list for investment firms, banks, etc.?  I have read somewhere that the traditional mailbox places (UPS Store etc) are listed and you cannot use them as an official address.  But I am not sure about a service like TravelingMailbox.

Thanks to all the posters.  You are a wealth of great information.  You can probably guess that I am looking at a nomadic lifestyle after quitting my job.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 12, 2016, 04:05:20 PM
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident.  ARS then posted it is not an issue.  I am confused about what really happens.  Do you just hide your residency status from Vanguard by officially having a US address, such as with a family member?  Plus use VPN to hide your IP address?  If they "freeze" your account, what exactly does that mean?  Can you no longer add funds, can no longer trade, can not withdraw,...?  Has anyone actually have that happen to them?

There's no need to hide anything. We'd explain we're traveling, if Vanguard cared.

You're talking about a special case of moving to a different country and becoming a resident there.  This thread isn't about that, it's about being a permanent traveler.

Here's the weird thing: Because of the physical presence test, we're foreign residents.  We're out of the US 330+ days/yr, so we can use the FEIE, and have an exclusion from the ACA.  So we are foreign residents.  But we are residents of Nevada.

There are two tests to see if you qualify: The Bona Fide Residence Test or Physical Presence Test.  We don't pass the first one, because we haven't established residency elsewhere.  We do pass the Physical Presence Test, by not being in the US > 35 days per 365 day period.  So we are exempt, even though we aren't a resident of anywhere else, and still have a US residence.

Confusing, no?  :)

Bottom line: Unless you take active establish residency elsewhere in a single place you're living in, you'll still be a US resident, even if you never visit.

If Vanguard asks, I can honestly tell them I'm a US resident who is traveling.  If they insist otherwise, I can ask them where they think I'm a resident of, as above.  The US government considers me a resident, excluded from certain things because of the Physical Presence test, so I don't know why Vanguard would fight that.

I think it's a bugaboo, personally.

(Unless, of course, you actually do become a resident of elsewhere--something some people do so they can still travel to the US > 330 days and can ignore the physical presence test, so they try to qualify on the Bona Fide Residence Test, but then obviously they ARE a resident of elsewhere--this is not the case for most perpetual travelers.)

Quote
ARS, I have read about TravelingMailbox.com.  They sound very good.  Can you use them as your address of residency, or are they on some sort of black list for investment firms, banks, etc.?  I have read somewhere that the traditional mailbox places (UPS Store etc) are listed and you cannot use them as an official address.  But I am not sure about a service like TravelingMailbox.

I have them as my address for 99% of things.  There was one thing that wouldn't accept it, but I can't recall what it was.  I have it as my address for all banks, investments, with the IRS, etc.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa on December 12, 2016, 04:49:53 PM
Terrific info.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 12, 2016, 05:21:23 PM
Terrific info.  Thanks for sharing.

No problem.  :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 12, 2016, 08:59:30 PM
Depends on how much you want the US citizenship, but traveling 6 mo/yr or whatever for the next 5 years seems pretty good to me.

You won't get FEIE or ACA exemption for being an expat, but probably worth giving that up for a bit.

Or, like you said, you could just give up on the green card if you don't need it. If you'll eventually settle in Canada, and mostly travel internationally, and up to 6 mo. in the States, may not need it.

Yep, I'm basically trading 5 years of bending over for the DHS for better potential employment prospects in the future, simplified finances and taxation, and ability to cruise the US freely. Sounds fair, especially since an ease-in period for permanent traveling is preferable.

Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.


The big downside of US citizenship is tax reporting and how they tax worldwide income.  Also, since the ACA is toast that is another thing to consider.

Being Canadian, this is almost an advantage because I can put my tax base in the US and benefit from lower taxes, due to the US/Canada treaty (Canada would otherwise claim me as a resident if I was hopping around from country to country). Plus, my investments are in the US (which is better IMO) so the tax treatment is simpler as a Canadian non-resident. The only downside is if I want to settle permanently elsewhere and would have liked to avoid both Canada and US taxes in favor of the new country. Or settle in Canada and avoid US taxes. But since I plan to have low income in retirement and keep investments in the US, that's probably not a big disadvantage.


About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident.  ARS then posted it is not an issue.  I am confused about what really happens.  Do you just hide your residency status from Vanguard by officially having a US address, such as with a family member?  Plus use VPN to hide your IP address?  If they "freeze" your account, what exactly does that mean?  Can you no longer add funds, can no longer trade, can not withdraw,...?  Has anyone actually have that happen to them?

It depends on the country you're establishing residence to. At Vanguard, if you change your address to a Canadian address, they freeze your account: you can keep all accounts (IRA, Roth, taxable) only do partial withdrawals and automatic dividend reinvestments. You can't rebalance, buy new funds, convert from IRAs, etc. At Schwab, it's even more restrictive. They convert you to Schwab International and your taxable account is closed (sold, capital gains) right away!

You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe. So in theory, you could use that as a mailing address before moving, and just not update your residence address upon moving. But that could be construed by the IRS or state as you being a resident there, so they could potentially go after your account for taxes. If you change your residency correctly (say to Canada), you'll file a W8BEN form with them and they'll start withholding 30% tax (or 15% for Canada due to the tax treaty) of all your dividends automatically as a non-resident, which you could get back by filing a tax return at the end of the year.

So, the best strategy is probably to stay a resident of a US state with no state tax and not establish residence in any other country. Then use travelingmailbox as your mailing address.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 12, 2016, 09:18:35 PM
Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.

PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: C40 on December 12, 2016, 10:04:21 PM
Some companies, especially for investing or whatever other things the government may control tightly, do a check of your address to confirm that it is a Residence. I ran into trouble with my investing company. Their check showed that my address (a postal mail box at a mail forwarding company) is not a residence. I explained that I'm traveling but they said it's the government that requires them to have a residence address. My account was frozen from buying any new stocks, so I eventually used a family member's address.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 13, 2016, 12:10:01 AM
Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes. Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence, it seems safer to use a real address for the street address and the remote mailbox only as the mailing address, because if your main residence were ever put into question (due to being known as a remote mail service), Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it. By keeping a real address as your street address, those checks wouldn't apply and you'd keep receiving your mail at your remote mailbox. But, that's probably bordering paranoia at this point. And, a relative address or a previous address is probably not 100% safe either, if it becomes known you don't live there anymore.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 13, 2016, 12:14:35 AM
I think sometimes Vanguard is overly picky about things.  Maybe another broker would care less about things like that.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 13, 2016, 12:43:56 AM


Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes.

That address is my residence for tax purposes. 

As above, where else would be my residence?  The longest I've been anywhere in the last year is Istanbul, at 3 months. Is that my residence? I haven't been there for 9 months and have no plans to go back.

The place I currently am, Manila, I'm only here for another week. Is this my residence?

As far as the IRS is concerned, my residence for tax purposes is Nevada. That is my only address is Nevada. Ergo, it is my residence for tax purposes.

Quote
Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence

Not just the same state, the same address.

Quote
Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it.

Guess I'd provide that, then.

My Google Fi phone bill has that address.  Utility bill.

My paychecks from selling trade lines have that address. Pay stubs.

I think I can put up a pretty good argument.

Of course, they could still leave it frozen, but I'm not super worried about it, as you can tell. :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 13, 2016, 12:55:36 AM
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 13, 2016, 04:33:44 AM
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident. 

Why would you become a resident of another country?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 13, 2016, 04:55:15 AM
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident. 

Why would you become a resident of another country?

As I stated above, if you want to take advantage of the FEIE and be excluded from the ACA, but don't want to do the physical presence test, because you want to be in the US > 35 days/yr, you could become a resident of somewhere else, and then qualify for those benefits under the Bona Fide Residence Test.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 13, 2016, 05:04:36 AM
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Has this happened to you? It seems like you might be making a bigger deal of the issue than it is. I never had any of these problems while travelling for years at a time, and I lived off my Vanguard investments.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: C40 on December 13, 2016, 09:14:51 AM
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Has this happened to you? It seems like you might be making a bigger deal of the issue than it is. I never had any of these problems while travelling for years at a time, and I lived off my Vanguard investments.

It happened to me. But not at Vanguard, at a different broker.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 13, 2016, 11:39:08 AM
It happened to me with a Canadian broker, and similarly with Paypal Canada. I couldn't even withdraw my money balance without sending "utility bills" from where I didn't live anymore.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 14, 2016, 09:46:11 PM
Another question for permanent travelers: How do you usually go about securing a place to live in? Say you move country every 3 months, do you rent a cheap hotel for the first few days you get there, then look on craigslist? Or try to find something before arriving?

That could get grueling after a while... of course, you rent furnished so the move is easier :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 14, 2016, 10:50:13 PM
I've seen rental ads in some LCOL places, they seem easy to find. Just wondering about the logistics of the first 1-2 nights out of the plane. Hostels are fine but otherwise it could get expensive quickly. From experience there's always a delay between finding a rental and moving in, like a week or 2 to time with previous tenants / vacancies.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on December 14, 2016, 11:18:59 PM
I've seen rental ads in some LCOL places, they seem easy to find. Just wondering about the logistics of the first 1-2 nights out of the plane. Hostels are fine but otherwise it could get expensive quickly. From experience there's always a delay between finding a rental and moving in, like a week or 2 to time with previous tenants / vacancies.

Maybe in the western world. But everywhere outside of North America, we've been able to move in the next day if there's no current tenants.

The trick to finding cheap accommodations is to cut out the middle man. Even sites like AirBnB charges a commission to both the renter and the owner which add up over a long period. Search Craigslist for short-term furnished rentals and avoid the property management companies that advertise on there, instead try to rent from the owner directly.

Facebook also has great real-estate groups you can join. Target "Digital Nomads"-type groups. ie. "Chiang Mai Digital Nomads" or "Gran Canaria Digital Nomads". Plenty of places up for let or sublet in those groups and they cater to short-term renters like you and I.

Another trick is to go through AirBnB and book a place for 1 night. If you like it, negotiate with the owner in person for a long-term rate. That way both of you don't have to pay the AirBnB commissions.

It really isn't that much of a hassle as you think it might be.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: rob in cal on December 14, 2016, 11:36:03 PM
   I wonder about those Craigslist adds for apartment rentals in the Europe section.  A lot of them look too good to be true in terms of price.  Anyone have experience using Craigslist in Europe?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 15, 2016, 01:36:11 AM
AirBnB is a godsend for the PT.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Eric on December 15, 2016, 03:18:04 PM
Does the international insurance typically cover you in high healthcare cost countries (like the US) or are you self insuring during short visits to your home country?

You can get US coverage, but it adds a lot to the cost (and it still won't be ACA compliant, so you'll either need an ACA plan, or to be exempt anyways), because you'll need to have that extra expensive rider on the whole year.

The better route, IMO, is to get only international coverage, excluding the U.S., and then getting travel insurance just for the periods when you're in the US.  The most common one for US based people is World Nomads, but if you're a UK/EU citizen, I've heard good things about True Traveller.

I'd double check that travelers insurance will cover you in your country of residence.  I feel like most of them exclude domestic.  Because of this:

If Vanguard asks, I can honestly tell them I'm a US resident who is traveling.  If they insist otherwise, I can ask them where they think I'm a resident of, as above.  The US government considers me a resident, excluded from certain things because of the Physical Presence test, so I don't know why Vanguard would fight that.

You're actually still a US resident, so travel insurance may not be the best thing.  I think an even better solution when traveling back to the US is to sign up for a non-ACA compliant high deductible health insurance plan.  This way you know you're covered in case of catastrophe, and you still get the cheap rate on your international health insurance.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 15, 2016, 03:38:37 PM
There are ones that cover you even in the US.

I.e. you could get them on a trip from CA to NY.

Definitely check that what you're getting to cover you actually does, that's a good point. :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: MgoSam on December 16, 2016, 05:04:50 PM
This is something I would love to do post-FIRE for a time. I have plenty of family nearby so could downsize and store items in their houses. I don't know if I would do this permanently as always moving seems like it would be too exhausting, but would love to see the rest of the world.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa on December 16, 2016, 09:21:45 PM


Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes.

That address is my residence for tax purposes. 

As above, where else would be my residence?  The longest I've been anywhere in the last year is Istanbul, at 3 months. Is that my residence? I haven't been there for 9 months and have no plans to go back.

The place I currently am, Manila, I'm only here for another week. Is this my residence?

As far as the IRS is concerned, my residence for tax purposes is Nevada. That is my only address is Nevada. Ergo, it is my residence for tax purposes.

Quote
Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence

Not just the same state, the same address.

Quote
Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it.

Guess I'd provide that, then.

My Google Fi phone bill has that address.  Utility bill.

My paychecks from selling trade lines have that address. Pay stubs.

I think I can put up a pretty good argument.

Of course, they could still leave it frozen, but I'm not super worried about it, as you can tell. :)

What if, for asset protection and to avoid estate taxes, your spouse owns the family home and has the utilities in his/her name?  You wouldn't be able to prove you actually live there.  Or you live in an Earthship home without utilities.  Our post 9/11 world is more complicated and less free.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 16, 2016, 11:04:00 PM
What if, for asset protection and to avoid estate taxes, your spouse owns the family home and has the utilities in his/her name?  You wouldn't be able to prove you actually live there.  Or you live in an Earthship home without utilities.

I'm sure Vanguard has more than a few clients with asset protection strategies in place.

Quote
Our post 9/11 world is more complicated and less free.

No doubt. But we deal with the world we live in, while trying to change it for the better. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 17, 2016, 06:54:37 AM
I travelled solo so just stayed at a hostel until I decided I wanted to stay in an area longer and found a place. In my case it was often finding a place by happenstance that lead me to stay somewhere longer when I initially  had no plans to stay there. Sometimes opportunities arise (or you meet people you want to spend more time with) that are so great that you decide to stay somewhere, or stay longer than planned, just to take advantage of them. Travelling full time allows for that.

ETA and no its not grueling. Especially since AirBNB and the like exist. Very easy to find rentals or roommate situations.

Right? Half the fun was exploring a new city in person, finding others in the travelling community, and letting them guide me where the best place to spend the night was. Being open to the possibility of changing plans at a moment's notice was one of the best things about travelling mostly solo.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa on December 17, 2016, 06:58:33 AM
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Has this happened to you? It seems like you might be making a bigger deal of the issue than it is. I never had any of these problems while travelling for years at a time, and I lived off my Vanguard investments.

It happened to me. But not at Vanguard, at a different broker.

How did you manage to unfreeze your account?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 18, 2016, 01:11:30 PM
Generally to unfreeze you'll have to provide paystubs and/or utility bills with your address on it. That's what Vanguard representative told me (I asked preemptively).

Arebelspy, since you figured out a lot of things already, what laptop do you recommend for travel? :D

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 18, 2016, 02:45:09 PM
Arebelspy, since you figured out a lot of things already, what laptop do you recommend for travel? :D

Hah. Ive actually gone through three this year trying to find the best fit.

It depends a lot on your preferences/needs.

I have three or four different recommendations, depending on how much power you need, if you want a touch screen (I do, wife does not), and how much you're willing to spend.

(OS preferences will obviously limit you as well, as will a few other things.)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 18, 2016, 04:20:36 PM
I like Windows/Linux dual boots (any PC equipped with Windows is fine), around 14-16 inches, which is suitable for development IME.

 I don't need much power (cpu, ram, disk...) or touch screen. Just as light and as cheap as possible for travel :)

I'd usually pay $400-500, possibly more if it can last a long time.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: malacca on December 27, 2016, 12:00:23 AM
Go for it! I did it once when I was younger - and as a family sort of do it now. Once my youngest turns 7 we may hit the road for a year.

I know a dozen people / family / couples living the vagabond lifestyle.

1. Don't focus on moving around. Staying in one place for a while can be more rewarding. You actually get to know the place and people - and make friends. That said, if a place becomes a burden / boring, move on.

2. Don't worry about the 330 rule or ACA. You can - and should - get an international insurance policy. You will be shocked at the cost. For my family of 4, we paid $2300 with $1000 deducible. That is for a year - not a month. Plan works anywhere in the world EXCEPT the USA (hints at how bad our medical is). A 55 year old male will be $1000 to $1500 a year.

All of which is mute as you will probably qualify for Medicaid (if your state has expanded Medicaid and the new administration doesn't cut it). If you have Medicaid, then get the cheaper global policy for basic needs and return to the USA for major stuff. PMM me if you need more info. If your state doesn't have expanded Medicaid, move to one that does. Get a DL and apply. Cost is $50 a month or less!

3. Moving around too much is hard on your health. Food is one issue. Having a kitchen is essential. Stress, even good stress, over long periods is hard.

4. Buy one rental if possible. A place you can live in one day if necessary. Make it one story. You never know the future. Hire someone to manage it for you. Doesn't have to be a nice place. Hopefully it will give off some cash even with paying someone to manage it. Shit happens  - to even smart, hard working people. Nothing worse than being homeless. I have seen it before. I will see it again - successful people who end up homeless.

5. Homesickness? I quickly got sick of home, if anything. Many world travelers confuse homesickness with loneliness. To combat this, stay in one place longer. Make friends. Expat friends are best. Locals are fine but the are not living your lifestyle.

6. Airfare is cheaper than you think. Especially once you leave the USA. Even in the USA, you can get tickets to Europe for $99 one way from major airports (NY, Boston, LA, etc.). Just plan ahead.

7. Taxes. Don't worry, you will be tax free. Any income you earn overseas will be tax free up to around $82,000 a year. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.

8. Work if possible. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but working in foreign countries can be very rewarding. It is less stressful as you are not tied down by the income and can quit at anytime. You get to meet people and having some income relieves the savings drain stress. I knew a guy who worked for 3 months a year in Korea and then lived in the Philippines for 9 months on the earnings.

9. Apply for a fancy credit card that doesn't have foreign transaction fees. Lots to choose from. Pick one without annual fees. Your miles may not be worth much in many parts of the world.

10. Attend a language school upon arrival. once you get the basics down life is easier and you will absorb more of the language.

Other suggestions:
One person I know only does house / pet sitting. He uses a few housesitting websites (membership required). Since he has a good reputation, he easily gets good sits. He might do a month or even three for owners. He pays nothing and stays in some pretty cool places. He has done million dollar places in London and organic farms in Costa Rica. Rarely does he pay for accommodations. Many if the places even let him use their vehicle.

Places like Malaysia and Thailand have a surplus of furnished rentals. You can stay in a great place for $500 a month - all in. $250 will get you a decent place. Shacks can be had for much less.

Sometimes the third world costs more. They are so corrupt anything above the basics gets expensive. Of course if you want to live in a shack the prices are universally low. I had a thatched hut years ago in Thailand that costs me $4 a month - and I probably overpaid. Unlimited mosquitos were included, free of charge!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 27, 2016, 03:37:40 AM

5.  Expat friends are best. Locals are fine but the are not living your lifestyle.

.....

7.. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.



This X1000. It's amazing how easy it is to find expats living the life, how much they know and how willing they are to share their knowledge.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 07:05:01 AM
Thanks for your insight malacca.

4. Buy one rental if possible. A place you can live in one day if necessary. Make it one story. You never know the future. Hire someone to manage it for you. Doesn't have to be a nice place. Hopefully it will give off some cash even with paying someone to manage it. Shit happens  - to even smart, hard working people. Nothing worse than being homeless. I have seen it before. I will see it again - successful people who end up homeless.
Homelessness can be cured with money so I don't see the advantage to owning a place.  Just fly back, hotel it for a while, then get a rental.  Then buy later if settlement seems good.  Owning a place ties up money and you have to worry about tenants, just seems like a hassle.

7. Taxes. Don't worry, you will be tax free. Any income you earn overseas will be tax free up to around $82,000 a year. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.
Unfortunately dividends, interest and capital gains are unearned and have no exclusion.  I was not thinking about working any more.

8. Work if possible. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but working in foreign countries can be very rewarding. It is less stressful as you are not tied down by the income and can quit at anytime. You get to meet people and having some income relieves the savings drain stress. I knew a guy who worked for 3 months a year in Korea and then lived in the Philippines for 9 months on the earnings.
Tourist visas don't permit work.  I guess keeping things on the down low is the answer to that.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 08:48:43 AM
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.



Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cannot Wait! on December 27, 2016, 09:05:00 AM
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 09:07:15 AM
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc.
Someone has to pay, just not me.  Remember I don't legally reside so why should I pay for these things?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 27, 2016, 09:20:54 AM
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc.
Someone has to pay, just not me.  Remember I don't legally reside so why should I pay for these things?

I think the poster meant to say: why would one alter their life so much to avoid paying relatively little in taxes.

If one wants to shift countries every 183 days for the rest of their life, that's great. To do so purely to avoid taxes seems silly.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 27, 2016, 09:36:31 AM
Agree with the above posters.  If I had 10MM, I'd gladly pay taxes on it to not have the restrictions you list.

Your plan sounds like a good one for someone with an anti-tax fetish, of which there are plenty.  Some people hate taxes so much they'd rather make their life WORSE to avoid paying some taxes.  Whatever, if that's your thing, enjoy (or don't, I guess).
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 09:40:42 AM
I guess frugality goes out the window with 10MM.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 27, 2016, 09:49:43 AM
I guess frugality goes out the window with 10MM.

But efficiency and maximizing happiness is good at any networth.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 27, 2016, 10:05:15 AM
I guess frugality goes out the window with 10MM.

Nah.  I can make myself miserable at any income level, or happy at any level.

Frugality has nothing to do with it, happiness does.

I wouldn't make choices that lead to unhappiness if I had $10, or $10MM.

What you described, as I said, may be appealing to some, but not to most of us.

I'm assuming there's a hot water heater in your house.  That doesn't mean "frugality has gone out the window," but rather that you find the expense worth it.

Ditto freedom, for me.  Doing my part for society is a secondary item.

Frugality doesn't mean you have to make yourself unhappy to save a buck.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: malacca on December 27, 2016, 10:24:44 AM
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

This will work if you are NOT a US citizen. There is now big signs on the wall in US embassies stating that you are still liable for US taxes if you renounce your US citizenship for tax reasons. This is another example of why it is so hard to be a US Expat working abroad.

One strategy is to gain citizenship in a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship - then you are required to give up your US citizenship. Singapore is central for this. I met many Americans working in the finance industry that had to pay an additional $100 to $200K a year in US taxes (they were making good dough). Most quickly got Singapore citizenship and rid themselves of their "US taxation without representation" document.

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: malacca on December 27, 2016, 10:31:23 AM
Thanks for your insight malacca.

4. Buy one rental if possible. A place you can live in one day if necessary. Make it one story. You never know the future. Hire someone to manage it for you. Doesn't have to be a nice place. Hopefully it will give off some cash even with paying someone to manage it. Shit happens  - to even smart, hard working people. Nothing worse than being homeless. I have seen it before. I will see it again - successful people who end up homeless.
Homelessness can be cured with money so I don't see the advantage to owning a place.  Just fly back, hotel it for a while, then get a rental.  Then buy later if settlement seems good.  Owning a place ties up money and you have to worry about tenants, just seems like a hassle.

My point here is that things in life change. I know people who retired with a few million but are now near destitute. Stupid shit happens. Your perspective will change when you are abroad. Stupid marriages. Stupid investments.

7. Taxes. Don't worry, you will be tax free. Any income you earn overseas will be tax free up to around $82,000 a year. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.
Unfortunately dividends, interest and capital gains are unearned and have no exclusion.  I was not thinking about working any more.

8. Work if possible. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but working in foreign countries can be very rewarding. It is less stressful as you are not tied down by the income and can quit at anytime. You get to meet people and having some income relieves the savings drain stress. I knew a guy who worked for 3 months a year in Korea and then lived in the Philippines for 9 months on the earnings.
Tourist visas don't permit work.  I guess keeping things on the down low is the answer to that.

You will figure that out. Everywhere is different.

Just don't buy a bar in Thailand! Every idiot thought it would work out.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 10:34:50 AM
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

This will work if you are NOT a US citizen. There is now big signs on the wall in US embassies stating that you are still liable for US taxes if you renounce your US citizenship for tax reasons. This is another example of why it is so hard to be a US Expat working abroad.

One strategy is to gain citizenship in a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship - then you are required to give up your US citizenship. Singapore is central for this. I met many Americans working in the finance industry that had to pay an additional $100 to $200K a year in US taxes (they were making good dough). Most quickly got Singapore citizenship and rid themselves of their "US taxation without representation" document.
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 27, 2016, 10:55:22 AM
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement.

With the IRS, in general, they can decide whatever they want, and you are the one responsible for proving them wrong.

What reason would you give for renouncing, if asked?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 11:00:04 AM
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement.

With the IRS, in general, they can decide whatever they want, and you are the one responsible for proving them wrong.

What reason would you give for renouncing, if asked?
My fancy pants lawyer will give the right answer.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 27, 2016, 11:17:15 AM
My fancy pants lawyer

I guess frugality goes out the window when you're trying to avoid taxes.


;)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cannot Wait! on December 27, 2016, 11:48:48 AM
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc.
Someone has to pay, just not me.  Remember I don't legally reside so why should I pay for these things?

I think the poster meant to say: why would one alter their life so much to avoid paying relatively little in taxes.

If one wants to shift countries every 183 days for the rest of their life, that's great. To do so purely to avoid taxes seems silly.
That, and 10 million is surely ENOUGH to do everything you want in life AND still be able to pay taxes without hardship.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Goldielocks on December 27, 2016, 11:55:23 AM
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement.

With the IRS, in general, they can decide whatever they want, and you are the one responsible for proving them wrong.

What reason would you give for renouncing, if asked?
My fancy pants lawyer will give the right answer.

Fancy pants lawyer

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah on December 27, 2016, 01:22:35 PM
This is one difference between frugality and MEANNESS or CRIMINALITY - Frugality doesn't include screwing other people around by underpaying/not paying for your obligations - including the people who supply you with roads and the basics of living (ie governments - your taxes at work), and people from whom you are getting stuff and services. One thing I object to about some people who plan to live abroad is that they are doing it out of MEANNESS and CRIMINALITY.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 27, 2016, 01:54:19 PM
This is one difference between frugality and MEANNESS or CRIMINALITY - Frugality doesn't include screwing other people around by underpaying/not paying for your obligations - including the people who supply you with roads and the basics of living (ie governments - your taxes at work), and people from whom you are getting stuff and services. One thing I object to about some people who plan to live abroad is that they are doing it out of MEANNESS and CRIMINALITY.
It is a totally LEGAL, if you don't meet the residency requirements of a country (that doesn't tax worldwide income) you do not owe the taxes. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 27, 2016, 02:03:07 PM
This is one difference between frugality and MEANNESS or CRIMINALITY - Frugality doesn't include screwing other people around by underpaying/not paying for your obligations - including the people who supply you with roads and the basics of living (ie governments - your taxes at work), and people from whom you are getting stuff and services. One thing I object to about some people who plan to live abroad is that they are doing it out of MEANNESS and CRIMINALITY.

Those roads that one would not be driving on if they lived outside of the USA?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: JLee on December 27, 2016, 03:10:22 PM


Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes.

That address is my residence for tax purposes. 

As above, where else would be my residence?  The longest I've been anywhere in the last year is Istanbul, at 3 months. Is that my residence? I haven't been there for 9 months and have no plans to go back.

The place I currently am, Manila, I'm only here for another week. Is this my residence?

As far as the IRS is concerned, my residence for tax purposes is Nevada. That is my only address is Nevada. Ergo, it is my residence for tax purposes.

Quote
Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence

Not just the same state, the same address.

Quote
Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it.

Guess I'd provide that, then.

My Google Fi phone bill has that address.  Utility bill.

My paychecks from selling trade lines have that address. Pay stubs.

I think I can put up a pretty good argument.

Of course, they could still leave it frozen, but I'm not super worried about it, as you can tell. :)

Pay stub?  I'd provide a Vanguard statement to Vanguard that shows my address along with a nice letter saying that I'm retired and that's my paycheck. :D
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 27, 2016, 04:12:05 PM
Pay stub?  I'd provide a Vanguard statement to Vanguard that shows my address along with a nice letter saying that I'm retired and that's my paycheck. :D

Hah.  Testing the account representative to know if they are aware of the logical fallacy of begging the question (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question)?

"You have a problem with the address I'm using, and want me to change it, or prove that it's my address?  Okay, my proof for it is this Vanguard previous statement using it."
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: JLee on December 27, 2016, 04:56:16 PM
Pay stub?  I'd provide a Vanguard statement to Vanguard that shows my address along with a nice letter saying that I'm retired and that's my paycheck. :D

Hah.  Testing the account representative to know if they are aware of the logical fallacy of begging the question (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question)?

"You have a problem with the address I'm using, and want me to change it, or prove that it's my address?  Okay, my proof for it is this Vanguard previous statement using it."
:D
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on December 27, 2016, 10:31:56 PM
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

This does not always work. For example, Canada does not tax worldwide income if you are a non-resident. However, if your only passport is Canadian and you're hopping for country to country, Canada might claim you as a resident even if you spend 0 day per year in Canada, on the basis that Canada is the country you have the most ties to (your passport counts) (see http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/cmmn/rsdncy-eng.html (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/cmmn/rsdncy-eng.html)).

For this to work, you would need, in addition to renouncing US citizenship and getting a Canadian citizenship, to establish some form of residency in a third country. Or just pray that Canada doesn't question you. Or just give up.

I'm curious to know whether other countries have a similar policy to deem their citizens as resident if they're not established anywhere.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah on December 27, 2016, 10:49:07 PM
Yes. Australia.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 28, 2016, 08:39:37 AM
Many European countries will give citizenship and a passport if you can prove you are a descendant of a person who was a citizen of their country.  Ireland is probably the best and easiest.  Merely having an Irish passport doesn't make you liable for Irish taxes.  You can get it without ever stepping foot in Ireland.

Since Ireland is part of the EU it give unlimited right of abode in all EU member states.  So all you would have to do is pack your limo an pop from one country to another when the time is up.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Out of the Blue on December 28, 2016, 01:28:32 PM
Quote
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

The bolded part might not work - which overseas exchanges are you talking about, and are you sure that they will not tax your dividends and capital gains based on the "source" principle?  After all, residence is only one of the two (three, if you're American) bases of taxation.

I've been looking at this recently as I plan to leave my current country (New Zealand) after I FIRE.  My investments are currently in Vanguard ETFs through a NZ portfolio investment entity (PIE) - this is pretty much the best way to do it in NZ; direct investments in Vanguard ETFs through a US broker are far more cumbersome and probably less tax advantageous for reasons I won't get into .  Non-residents are taxed at a flat 28% on all their PIE income, whereas residents are taxed at (potentially lower) marginal tax rates. 

I was thinking of travelling around Europe after FIRE, and moving my investments to UK or Irish-domiciled ETFs as I don't fancy paying 28% tax in FIRE.   From my initial research, it looks like Ireland might imposes a 20% dividend withholding tax on dividend payments to non-residents that are not resident in a country with which Ireland has a double tax treaty. There may also be capital gains taxes when you sell your ETF units. Some places also tax unrealised capital gains.

Edited: On closer inspection Irish-domiciled ETFs might be exempt from the 20% DWT, but I wouldn't be confident that that's the end of the matter.  Basically I'd be getting tax advice from a professional before I move my investments.

In summary, even if you're not tax resident anywhere, that doesn't mean you don't have to pay taxes. 
 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on December 28, 2016, 01:43:05 PM
I was thinking about places like Caymen Islands, Bermuda, Isle of Man, Jersey where you can open accounts and they don't really care too much and ask too many questions. 
But I am no expert international tax havens.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Out of the Blue on December 28, 2016, 06:59:30 PM
Yes but even if you have an account in a tax haven, you'd be investing in companies that are resident in the US/UK or other non-tax havens.  Any dividends paid by those companies may well be taxed at source.  I am not familiar with the US/UK tax systems though, and ETFs throw up some special considerations.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Lives to travel on December 29, 2016, 01:44:40 PM
I'm very interested in this lifestyle, at least I think I am.  I've done a bit of hopping around travel (2 RTWs) and don't have a problem adapting to new situations.  Really my only needs are a safe, quiet and somewhat comfortable private place to live (Hostel = No!  Small 1 BR Apt = Fine.)

One thing I can't shake is the idea that I should probably have a fallback place to live in the states, like a cheap condo in a city to fall back into if my plans fall to pieces or I get tired of the lifestyle and need a home while I reevaluate my choices.  I like the idea of a condo-hotel, but most seem to have restrictions on how long you can stay there at any given time.  I wouldn't plan on living there full time, but sometimes life happens.  Any ideas on where one could find a relatively cheap condo (maybe sub $100,000) to either rent short term or keep empty as an insurance policy?  Outside the US is fine too as long as it is a generally stable country with reasonable laws regarding foreigners owning real estate.  Given the added interest I seem to be seeing in the independent, free-wheeling travel lifestyle, it would seem like there would be a market for people who want a cheap, safe, home base condo in an easy to get to city as a backup.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 29, 2016, 05:50:02 PM
Vegas.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: LAGuy on December 29, 2016, 07:28:46 PM
Vegas.

Or to be more precise, I'd suggest Henderson, about 30 mins outside of Vegas. I've toyed with the idea as well, but for now I'm sticking nomad.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: malacca on December 30, 2016, 01:11:57 AM
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

This will work if you are NOT a US citizen. There is now big signs on the wall in US embassies stating that you are still liable for US taxes if you renounce your US citizenship for tax reasons. This is another example of why it is so hard to be a US Expat working abroad.

One strategy is to gain citizenship in a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship - then you are required to give up your US citizenship. Singapore is central for this. I met many Americans working in the finance industry that had to pay an additional $100 to $200K a year in US taxes (they were making good dough). Most quickly got Singapore citizenship and rid themselves of their "US taxation without representation" document.
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement.

Having lived abroad 20+ years and dealt with the US government on many levels, the determination is up to some individual at an embassy. Keep in mind there are few protections from the overreaching US government when you are abroad. Further, there is no one in the government interested in protecting someone who has renounced (or even an expat who hasn't).

If you have a lot of stock options or other untaxed capital gains that they find out about, you will be under the thumb.

Remember when they arrested UK citizens (transferring planes in NYC to another country) because they were executives of totally legal online gaming company? We have our own online gaming in the USA - gambling is (unfortunately) just about everywhere. But someone in the US government decided these overseas gaming companies are illegal since they allowed US citizens to gamble on their websites. Hypocrisy at its finest!

Unfortunately, many people in our government think that if a court doesn't block them from illegal or unethical behavior then it is OK. Look at our legislature - there are some pretty bad people that get elected. Some booger congressman from shitsville would just as soon hang anyone who renounced. They really think the USA is the oDnly good place on earth. Embassy staff is also has a decent amount of these types. They really think America is GOD'S GIFT TO EARTH!

Only Americans are taxed on their worldwide income when living abroad. Taxation without representation (gosh, didn't we study that in middle school history?)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on December 30, 2016, 01:46:30 AM
following
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: JakubH on December 30, 2016, 03:30:59 AM
I left my home country almost 7 years ago... Spent 4 years in Australia, now in SE Asia.

I wouldn't change my decision. I still work, but online.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on December 30, 2016, 03:40:45 AM
Only Americans are taxed on their worldwide income when living abroad. Taxation without representation (gosh, didn't we study that in middle school history?)

Expats are still allowed to vote, so they are represented.  I'm not sure how an expat paying taxes is "taxation without representation."  Perhaps you can explain what you meant?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 30, 2016, 05:03:21 AM
Pay stub?  I'd provide a Vanguard statement to Vanguard that shows my address along with a nice letter saying that I'm retired and that's my paycheck. :D

Nice.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: CanuckExpat on January 02, 2017, 01:38:24 AM
Regarding earlier discussion of travelingmailbox.com and if it would be accepted as residential and mailing address.

We have one of their Florida addresses and use it as our "home" address.
Two problems so far:
Bank of America rejects the address outright online as a home address and won't let me enter it
Ally Bank accepted the address, but a few days later I got a call from them saying the address was flagged by their compliance (or something) department as not a residential address and that I had to provide something else.

I had meant to follow up with Travelingmailbox about those two cases but haven't yet.
No problems with anything else, works with Vanguard.

The service itself is quite nice, but slightly pricey (to cheap me). There were cheaper options, but went with this for range of services. Will re-evaluate sooner or later.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: CanuckExpat on January 12, 2017, 04:47:29 PM
Regarding earlier discussion of travelingmailbox.com and if it would be accepted as residential and mailing address.

We have one of their Florida addresses and use it as our "home" address.
Two problems so far:
Bank of America rejects the address outright online as a home address and won't let me enter it
Ally Bank accepted the address, but a few days later I got a call from them saying the address was flagged by their compliance (or something) department as not a residential address and that I had to provide something else.

Following up on my own query, here is what they told me:

"Since we are listed as a Commercial Mail Receiving Address, the addresses may not always be used for residential purposes but can be used for mailing purposes. Some institutions will only accept residential addresses and that is a policy of theirs that we cannot override. You may contact these institutions directly to see if they are able to override their system to allow the address."

So if I am understanding correctly, their is a list, or some other method that can allow these addresses to be identified as a forward service (etc). It is up to individual banks then whether they accept it as a "home" address or not. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 13, 2017, 10:22:32 AM
There have been some great replies to this post.

I'd echo those sentiments from the Endless Travel couple about 'trying before you buy'.

I quit work in 2011 to travel the world. I used about $20k USD in savings over 12 months aimlessly wandering across about 40 countries. I bought a motorbike in London, and rode around Europe with camping gear. I camped about once very week or so - rough camping for free was a lot more difficult than I'd anticipated, and the drain on your energy of being on the road means it's better to have a roof over your head. I sold the bike and went home with about $3k in my pocket, which was enough to keep me covered until I found work.

So I lived off roughly $300 a week. I spent more in Western Europe and less in Eastern Europe obviously.

Going home what I learnt was that long term travel without a purpose isn't for me. To me, there are only so many things you can see before 'seeing things' can become tedious. Don't get me wrong, I did a lot of things that you might consider great experiences. I helpx'd on a horse ranch, and at a vineyard in Spain and learn to ride horses and make wine. I learnt martial arts in China for a couple of months. There were many things that I had wanted to do, and I got to tick them off my bucket list. However, after 12 months of being on the road, I was definitely ready to throw in this life of hedonism and go home and get back to building something of substance.

When I travel again I'll spend more time in a single country. I want to eventually speak fluent Spanish, and so I see that as a potential goal of long term, and worthy goal of travel in Spanish speaking countries. The other thing I might consider would be a goal of circumnavigating the world by motorbike - not just for the 'bragging rights' but also because forcing yourself into doing something like this puts you on a path with struggles that will lead to personal growth. They will also be more likely to lead to the development of strong bonds with your travel partner/s. Aimless wandering where you just go wherever is comfortable, and take the travel path of least resistance - to me, now, after my past experience, would be pretty fruitless and uninspiring.

For that reason, I couldn't see long term wandering as a life I would want to lead.

 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: FIRE4Science on January 13, 2017, 10:32:28 AM
These is what engineers call "World Class".
Businessmen understand that all corporations try to achieve this also. Being able to freely go around the world without calling home any country and invest everywhere to always have cash/needs.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 13, 2017, 05:03:30 PM
Going home what I learnt was that long term travel without a purpose isn't for me. To me, there are only so many things you can see before 'seeing things' can become tedious. Don't get me wrong, I did a lot of things that you might consider great experiences. I helpx'd on a horse ranch, and at a vineyard in Spain and learn to ride horses and make wine. I learnt martial arts in China for a couple of months. There were many things that I had wanted to do, and I got to tick them off my bucket list. However, after 12 months of being on the road, I was definitely ready to throw in this life of hedonism and go home and get back to building something of substance.

Can I ask how you define this, and what this was that you went back to that counted as "substance"?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 13, 2017, 06:11:53 PM
When you wander, looking at things during casual travel, you tend to be just observing, rather than contributing to society in any meaningful way. I don't think that's a huge issue to do for a year or so, but to wander aimlessly for 5+ years, I mean, you're essentially just bumming around taking instagram photos. My point is that 'travel', and just seeing things, won't be enough for most people that have been motivated enough to become FI.

Substance - starting a family, supporting the family I do have, building my career so I can set myself up to be FI in the medium to long term, being a contributing member to a community.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 13, 2017, 07:02:04 PM
When you wander, looking at things during casual travel, you tend to be just observing, rather than contributing to society in any meaningful way.

Yeah, I'm just not sure what this means.  :)

Quote
Substance - starting a family, supporting the family I do have

Okay, family is one.  What about someone that has no desire for a partner and/or kids?

What if they have their family with them while traveling?

Quote
building my career so I can set myself up to be FI in the medium to long term

Okay.  What if one is already FI?  What if their work allows them to travel (as they're location independent)?

Quote
being a contributing member to a community.

Sort of circular, defining "contributing" something of substance as being a "contributing" member of society.

I'm just curious what you mean by "contributing" that one can't do while traveling.

So far "contributing" seems to include family and/or a job, but if one doesn't want either, can they not contribute? Or if they can have that with them while traveling, is that not contributing?

I'm not trying to nitpick or quibble over semantics, I'm just genuinely trying to understand your definition and what you mean, because I don't see what travel would have to do with someone "contributing" (whatever that means, it'll depend on the definition one is using, obviously, which is why I asked) or not.

Thanks for taking the time to think out your definitions and reply.  :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 13, 2017, 11:03:38 PM
When you wander, looking at things during casual travel, you tend to be just observing, rather than contributing to society in any meaningful way.

Yeah, I'm just not sure what this means.  :)

Okay

Quote
Substance - starting a family, supporting the family I do have

Okay, family is one.  What about someone that has no desire for a partner and/or kids? I'm assuming they have parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends etc - for me, I want to be around at least some of the time to support them

What if they have their family with them while traveling?

 Traveling with a family non-stop for 5+ years is going to be tough - kids need to go to school - I guess you could home school them, but I mean, that has it's limits.

Quote
building my career so I can set myself up to be FI in the medium to long term

Okay.  What if one is already FI?  What if their work allows them to travel (as they're location independent)? Cool by them, still, aforementioned reasons would still come into play for me, even if I was FI.

Quote
being a contributing member to a community.

Sort of circular, defining "contributing" something of substance as being a "contributing" member of society.

I'm just curious what you mean by "contributing" that one can't do while traveling.

So far "contributing" seems to include family and/or a job, but if one doesn't want either, can they not contribute? Or if they can have that with them while traveling, is that not contributing?

I'm not trying to nitpick or quibble over semantics, I'm just genuinely trying to understand your definition and what you mean, because I don't see what travel would have to do with someone "contributing" (whatever that means, it'll depend on the definition one is using, obviously, which is why I asked) or not.

Thanks for taking the time to think out your definitions and reply.  :)

No probs, that was my experience, I think that you take yourself out of society while your traveling in that fashion. It's fine for a time, but I wouldn't want to do that, and live like that, permanently.


I think it's worth clarifying here - I'm talking about becoming a permanent traveller here - not a 1 or 2 year stint.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on January 13, 2017, 11:12:02 PM
Many European countries will give citizenship and a passport if you can prove you are a descendant of a person who was a citizen of their country.  Ireland is probably the best and easiest.  Merely having an Irish passport doesn't make you liable for Irish taxes.  You can get it without ever stepping foot in Ireland.

Since Ireland is part of the EU it give unlimited right of abode in all EU member states.  So all you would have to do is pack your limo an pop from one country to another when the time is up.

This is a pretty great idea. Not that I'd like to live in any of the other countries I've visited, especially in the EU, but the option might be nice.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 13, 2017, 11:49:47 PM
Many European countries will give citizenship and a passport if you can prove you are a descendant of a person who was a citizen of their country.  Ireland is probably the best and easiest.  Merely having an Irish passport doesn't make you liable for Irish taxes.  You can get it without ever stepping foot in Ireland.

Since Ireland is part of the EU it give unlimited right of abode in all EU member states.  So all you would have to do is pack your limo an pop from one country to another when the time is up.

This is a pretty great idea. Not that I'd like to live in any of the other countries I've visited, especially in the EU, but the option might be nice.

You have to be a pretty close descendent;

Citizenship through descent from Irish grandparents
If one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register – see below.

Other Irish ancestors
Unless at least one parent or an Irish-born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis of extended previous ancestry (that is, ancestors other than your parents or grandparents). In addition, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis that a relation such as a cousin, aunt or uncle was an Irish citizen if none of your parents or grandparents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.


I've got a British passport through my mother, but that will be pretty useless once they leave the EU.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on January 13, 2017, 11:51:35 PM
Many European countries will give citizenship and a passport if you can prove you are a descendant of a person who was a citizen of their country.  Ireland is probably the best and easiest.  Merely having an Irish passport doesn't make you liable for Irish taxes.  You can get it without ever stepping foot in Ireland.

Since Ireland is part of the EU it give unlimited right of abode in all EU member states.  So all you would have to do is pack your limo an pop from one country to another when the time is up.

This is a pretty great idea. Not that I'd like to live in any of the other countries I've visited, especially in the EU, but the option might be nice.

You have to be a pretty close descendent;

Citizenship through descent from Irish grandparents
If one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register – see below.

Other Irish ancestors
Unless at least one parent or an Irish-born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis of extended previous ancestry (that is, ancestors other than your parents or grandparents). In addition, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis that a relation such as a cousin, aunt or uncle was an Irish citizen if none of your parents or grandparents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.


I've got a British passport through my mother, but that will be pretty useless once they leave the EU.

Ahh. Yeah, I'm further removed than that. Guess I'm stuck with the USA, for better or worse. Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on January 14, 2017, 11:26:31 AM
Does a PT need a VPN?  I was thinking my bank or broker might react if they see my connecting from a foreign county and freeze the account.  Is that a common problem?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 14, 2017, 11:59:57 AM
Does a PT need a VPN?  I was thinking my bank or broker might react if they see my connecting from a foreign county and freeze the account.  Is that a common problem?
I occasionally use a VPN, but a free one has been sufficient. I may subscribe to a good one eventually, but haven't needed it yet. They're cheap, even if you do decide to pay for one.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 14, 2017, 05:26:52 PM
Does a PT need a VPN?  I was thinking my bank or broker might react if they see my connecting from a foreign county and freeze the account.  Is that a common problem?

Just tell them you're in that country. At least with BOA you can just go on the site and select the dates and countries you will be traveling in.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Lives to travel on January 14, 2017, 08:00:41 PM
I saw a meme the other day that really spoke to me:

"Some people need to spread their wings; others need to spread their roots".

Neither is right, wrong, or better than the other.  We all have different ways of contributing to society, and the only wrong way is to be dishonest with yourself.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on January 14, 2017, 09:06:30 PM
I saw a meme the other day that really spoke to me:

"Some people need to spread their wings; others need to spread their roots".

Neither is right, wrong, or better than the other.  We all have different ways of contributing to society, and the only wrong way is to be dishonest with yourself.

I like that quote.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on January 16, 2017, 06:54:06 AM
I saw a meme the other day that really spoke to me:

"Some people need to spread their wings; others need to spread their roots".

Neither is right, wrong, or better than the other.  We all have different ways of contributing to society, and the only wrong way is to be dishonest with yourself.

I like that quote.

But I'd add that most people need to spread their wings as opposed to deepening their roots.  There are plenty of 'rooted families'.  I guess that's what makes it nice for the 'wing spreaders'.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 16, 2017, 02:13:41 PM
I saw a meme the other day that really spoke to me:

"Some people need to spread their wings; others need to spread their roots".

Neither is right, wrong, or better than the other.  We all have different ways of contributing to society, and the only wrong way is to be dishonest with yourself.

I like that quote.

But I'd add that most people need to spread their wings as opposed to deepening their roots.  There are plenty of 'rooted families'.  I guess that's what makes it nice for the 'wing spreaders'.

If your premise is that we should have a 50/50 ratio, then yes, I think it's likely we have more root spreaders, so more "should" spread their wings.  I'd venture to guess it's better for society to have more root spreaders overall though, but I couldn't venture to guess at what ratio.

I do agree that more people should be willing to spread their wings a little, even if rooted (i.e. long trips), or before being rooted, to get some perspective about the world.

As Mark Twain said:
Quote
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 16, 2017, 02:49:36 PM
Agree with most of those sentiments. As I mentioned, I've done long term travel - 13 months on the road. I met many people with grandiose ideas of how they were going to spend multiple years travelling. A lot of people who had plans to ride a bicycle around the world - that was a big one. I met very few however, that had been on the road >12 months.

I see myself doing multiple 6-18 months world trips in my life, with 3-5 year stints in single locations in between. That's more my style. Each to their own.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on January 16, 2017, 05:07:18 PM
Actionjackson, could it be that traveling from country to country all the time is simply tiring in itself? I.e. you waste a lot of energy planning logistics, accomodation, finding where the grocery store is (:D), and you have less time for the rest. So after a while, you want to stay put and automate your lifestyle so you can focus on less trivial matters. You can still do that in a foreign country though. I could see relocation "costs" being worth it yearly or so.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 16, 2017, 07:17:27 PM
Yeah, that pretty much hits the nail on the head. When you're constantly on the road - i.e. sleeping in a new place every 3-5 days, it get's tiring, you get pushed down Maslows hierarchy of needs, your day becomes consumed by things like, where will you sleep, where will you eat, where will you buy food etc. etc.

Your diet is going to fall by the wayside, it's really difficult to eat healthy while you're on the road.

Of course, you could move to a new place every 6-12 months and base yourself out of one location and do smaller trips to explore the area. In my mind, that's not really 'traveling' in the traditional sense though.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: itchyfeet on January 16, 2017, 08:16:28 PM
I used to think living in a new place every 3-6 months sounded great. That was until I became an expat. It really takes more than a year to feel a part of a community, and then moving after making good friends seems rather sad.

We will definitely be opting for a home base with trips < 1 year long in FIRE so we can maintain our sense of belonging.

The amount of need to belong is of course different for everyone. I guess I have found that I am rather needy:-)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: JLee on January 16, 2017, 08:39:03 PM
I used to think living in a new place every 3-6 months sounded great. That was until I became an expat. It really takes more than a year to feel a part of a community, and then moving after making good friends seems rather sad.

We will definitely be opting for a home base with trips < 1 year long in FIRE so we can maintain our sense of belonging.

The amount of need to belong is of course different for everyone. I guess I have found that I am rather needy:-)

I was just thinking about that yesterday. I've been here for a little over a year now and finally have reached the point where I feel like I belong.  My dream used to be to travel constantly, but...I started having second thoughts.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: CanuckExpat on January 16, 2017, 08:49:35 PM
I don't disagree with anything either of you are saying, about needing time to settle in a place and really explore it. I particularly feel that way to get to know a city.

Does it really matter whether you call it travel or not? It's just semantics.

Stay 3 - 5 days, stay 3 - 5 months, stay 3 - 5 years. Do what you need to do :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 16, 2017, 09:42:43 PM
I don't disagree with anything either of you are saying, about needing time to settle in a place and really explore it. I particularly feel that way to get to know a city.

Does it really matter whether you call it travel or not? It's just semantics.

Stay 3 - 5 days, stay 3 - 5 months, stay 3 - 5 years. Do what you need to do :)
+1.

And I'll add: Don't say that others choosing to do it differently are doing it wrong, or that their way is bad because X, Y, and Z.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: itchyfeet on January 17, 2017, 12:25:46 PM
I don't disagree with anything either of you are saying, about needing time to settle in a place and really explore it. I particularly feel that way to get to know a city.

Does it really matter whether you call it travel or not? It's just semantics.

Stay 3 - 5 days, stay 3 - 5 months, stay 3 - 5 years. Do what you need to do :)
+1.

And I'll add: Don't say that others choosing to do it differently are doing it wrong, or that their way is bad because X, Y, and Z.

Neither JLee nor I said anyone was wrong. And neither of our comments were a matter of semantics.

We were both merely commenting that after living abroad we (not you and not the OP) no longer envisaged that a life of permanent travel was what we (not you) now aspired to.

Absolutely each to ones own! Walk your own walk.

I already acknowledged that my needing to belong was bound to be more than others felt. I am sure there are plenty that feel that as long as they are with their one SO they have no need to maintain any regular face to face contact with others, particularly when maintaining relationships electronically is pretty effective.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 17, 2017, 11:00:51 PM
I can't see where I insinuated everyone will have my experience.... my comments were pretty limited to my experience, and the experiences of people I've met on my travels.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: limeandpepper on January 17, 2017, 11:16:44 PM
I can't see where I insinuated everyone will have my experience.... my comments were pretty limited to my experience, and the experiences of people I've met on my travels.

This part does sound particularly disparaging to me, and doesn't come across as if you're just talking about yourself. Perhaps you were, in which case phrasing it differently would have conveyed your meaning more accurately, but as it stands:

When you wander, looking at things during casual travel, you tend to be just observing, rather than contributing to society in any meaningful way. I don't think that's a huge issue to do for a year or so, but to wander aimlessly for 5+ years, I mean, you're essentially just bumming around taking instagram photos.

Anyway, I personally think I am also more interested in a mix of a home base with longer-term travel, rather than the extreme ends of either spectrum, but I don't agree with stereotyping people who never travel, or those who continuously travel.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 18, 2017, 10:21:43 AM

This part does sound particularly disparaging to me, and doesn't come across as if you're just talking about yourself. Perhaps you were, in which case phrasing it differently would have conveyed your meaning more accurately, but as it stands:

Anyway, I personally think I am also more interested in a mix of a home base with longer-term travel, rather than the extreme ends of either spectrum, but I don't agree with stereotyping people who never travel, or those who continuously travel.

Gotcha. That was a response to Arebelspys question, and more of a hypothetical musing based on my experience, if you did x, then y. It could have been worded better to convey my meaning, but I think it needs to be read in context with my original comment where I was speaking in the 1st;

"When I travel again I'll spend more time in a single country. I want to eventually speak fluent Spanish, and so I see that as a potential goal of long term, and worthy goal of travel in Spanish speaking countries. The other thing I might consider would be a goal of circumnavigating the world by motorbike - not just for the 'bragging rights' but also because forcing yourself into doing something like this puts you on a path with struggles that will lead to personal growth. They will also be more likely to lead to the development of strong bonds with your travel partner/s. Aimless wandering where you just go wherever is comfortable, and take the travel path of least resistance - to me, now, after my past experience, would be pretty fruitless and uninspiring."

Many of us have had yotally different experiences on all fronts. But sorry if I misinterpreted what you were saying.

This is my experience, and the experience of others who I have met in person, and through overland travel forums like Horizons Unlimited and Advrider. If you go back to page one, others who have done long term travel make similar observations to my own.

StetsTerhune - "For example, costs: the novelty of travel makes it easier to stay cheaper, crappier places, but there's a limit to that, I'm not a 23 year old backpacker (anymore), and long term super cheap is not sustainable. "

FiFoFum - "Most of what is driving you seems more geared toward expat living in a lower cost of living area, not a real desire to travel or be nomadic.

Cons for nomadic living -

Culture shock
Loneliness
Instability from always having to be in "planning" mode or thinking of the next step/place
Limitations in where you actually can go to based on visa/residency rules (there are good places to land, but there are entire countries and regions that are not doable indefinitely)
Hard to build meaningful friendships or relationships
Hedonic adaptation in travel

There are easily dozens of blogs of people doing this (and additionally there are forums/posters devoted to various types of nomadic living). Start searching and reading. See what people like, see what they don't, see why they choose to STOP living nomadic lives and at what stage. Some people feel like 6 months is "enough," some at 6 years. Some keep going and couldn't imagine any other way of being.

Then start somewhere knowing that it may or may not be what you want to do long term."


I haven't seen any other posts in this thread that starkly counter these observations, but I'm more than open to hearing them.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 18, 2017, 10:42:10 AM
Also, while I don't have kids myself, I think raising a child(ren) while travelling would be a fantastic educational opportunity. Living in and learning new cultures and languages in multiple countries,  seeing various parts of the world rather than reading about them, attending international schools possibly and gaining a larger perspective of worldwide issues, and being able to spend time with parents and sibs rather than everyone running hither and fro in daily life while the kids have their noses stuck in front of screens and their butts planted on the couch. I envy the current lives of kids like Ababyspy (world travelling daughter of Arebelspy) and the Canuck expat kids who's educational opportunities and lives will be much fuller for their PT experiences IMHO.

I definitely agree. I went and read arebelspys profile - it seems like he would be in a really good position to do that. My wifes parents took them out of school for a year when she was younger, and they did home exchanges in North America, living in Denver, and in Vancouver with trips around in between. Her mother is a teacher, and so she homeschooled them.

We don't have children, but we will have them at some stage over the coming years. We're hoping to be FIRE 6-8 years from now and would probably spend a year or two traveling again with our children, and home-school them. From discussing with others who have done it, they say it's easiest to move around with children in those years - 3-4 YO up to early teens - once they start getting into the teens, they have stronger minds about staying in the one place with friends and boy/girlfriends etc.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on January 18, 2017, 11:01:53 AM
Many European countries will give citizenship and a passport if you can prove you are a descendant of a person who was a citizen of their country.  Ireland is probably the best and easiest.  Merely having an Irish passport doesn't make you liable for Irish taxes.  You can get it without ever stepping foot in Ireland.

Since Ireland is part of the EU it give unlimited right of abode in all EU member states.  So all you would have to do is pack your limo an pop from one country to another when the time is up.

This is a pretty great idea. Not that I'd like to live in any of the other countries I've visited, especially in the EU, but the option might be nice.

You have to be a pretty close descendent;

Citizenship through descent from Irish grandparents
If one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register – see below.

Other Irish ancestors
Unless at least one parent or an Irish-born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis of extended previous ancestry (that is, ancestors other than your parents or grandparents). In addition, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis that a relation such as a cousin, aunt or uncle was an Irish citizen if none of your parents or grandparents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.


I've got a British passport through my mother, but that will be pretty useless once they leave the EU.

With Italy it's as many generations back as you can document with a few caveats. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 18, 2017, 11:38:17 AM
"Transmission of citizenship through maternal lineage is possible only for persons born after January 1st 1948."

Ahhh! I have Italian ancestry on my grandmothers side, who was born <1948. Looks like I wouldn't qualify.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on January 18, 2017, 12:37:41 PM
"Transmission of citizenship through maternal lineage is possible only for persons born after January 1st 1948."

Ahhh! I have Italian ancestry on my grandmothers side, who was born <1948. Looks like I wouldn't qualify.
Doesn't that mean the applicant born after 1948?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 18, 2017, 01:17:40 PM
Oh, maybe I need to do a bit more research. Thanks!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on January 19, 2017, 11:28:39 AM
"Transmission of citizenship through maternal lineage is possible only for persons born after January 1st 1948."

Ahhh! I have Italian ancestry on my grandmothers side, who was born <1948. Looks like I wouldn't qualify.
Doesn't that mean the applicant born after 1948?

Yes, I mentioned caveats, and that's the biggest one. 

It means Italian citizenship wouldn't pass from mother to child before 1948.  Say your Mother's Mother's Father came from Italy (and was never naturalized), then your grandmother was an Italian citizen no matter when she was born because her father is Italian.  Your mother is a different story, though, since she is going off of her mother's citizenship.  If your mother was born in 1947, then she's not an Italian citizen and neither are you.  If she was born in 1949, then she is a citizen and therefore so are you.  You could even have older aunts and uncles that aren't, but your parents and you are. 

The other big caveat is that your Italian ancestor can't have been naturalized before the next generation was born. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 19, 2017, 12:21:25 PM
Yeah, you know I'd go through the trouble of proving all of that only for Italy to pull out of the EU a year later anyway.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 19, 2017, 03:09:55 PM
All good. Yeah, I think slow travel is a little different to what I was thinking about when I made those posts.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on January 19, 2017, 10:25:17 PM
Yeah, you know I'd go through the trouble of proving all of that only for Italy to pull out of the EU a year later anyway.

Yeah probably, but Italy is interesting in and of itself.  And I don't know if there really is a huge threat of Italy pulling out of the EU.  The UK England never really went all in on the EU in the first place.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 19, 2017, 11:06:56 PM
True, I could live in Italy. The UK on the other hand... :s
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on January 19, 2017, 11:25:54 PM
"Transmission of citizenship through maternal lineage is possible only for persons born after January 1st 1948."

Ahhh! I have Italian ancestry on my grandmothers side, who was born <1948. Looks like I wouldn't qualify.
Doesn't that mean the applicant born after 1948?

Yes, I mentioned caveats, and that's the biggest one. 

It means Italian citizenship wouldn't pass from mother to child before 1948.  Say your Mother's Mother's Father came from Italy (and was never naturalized), then your grandmother was an Italian citizen no matter when she was born because her father is Italian.  Your mother is a different story, though, since she is going off of her mother's citizenship.  If your mother was born in 1947, then she's not an Italian citizen and neither are you.  If she was born in 1949, then she is a citizen and therefore so are you.  You could even have older aunts and uncles that aren't, but your parents and you are. 

The other big caveat is that your Italian ancestor can't have been naturalized before the next generation was born.

What's their immigration policy on spouses/significant others? I could totally find me a partner who meets those critera, but wouldn't go through the trouble if it wouldn't help moi.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Out of the Blue on January 20, 2017, 05:22:25 AM
I understand and agree with many of the views here about how being a permanent, unrooted traveller can get a bit old after a while.  In 2013, I took a little over a year off to go to China.  I lived in a few different places around China for 3-5 months at a time, and did a variety of things - went to a language school for a bit, worked as an outdoor guide for a bit, did English tutoring for a bit, wrote news articles for an Asian-based website for a bit, and travelled around China and other parts of Asia for a bit.  I was 26, and it was fantastic - my Chinese improved drastically, I met some great people, I had some wonderful experiences, and I grew a lot as a person.  I think that going to China was one of the best decisions I ever made and don't regret it for a second. 

I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have.  I had also gotten sick of putting a lot of time and emotional investment into friendships/relationships only to know I would have to say goodbye soon (I am not naturally extroverted, and towards the latter part of my time there I put much less effort into making new friends).  I gave up any hope of developing a serious long-term relationship.  I had seen all my friends making progress in their careers, getting engaged, buying houses, etc and felt like I'd been stuck in a limbo.  And I absolutely identify with what actionjackson said about doing something of more substance - for me, that was putting my hard-earned degree to use and developing my career.  My first few months at my new (government) job after I got back were great - I was learning tons, and was getting great feedback on my work.  I felt like I was making a useful contribution to society, and that people appreciated what I was doing.  In terms of doing something "of substance" - in my field of law, it's difficult if not impossible to climb the ladder and gain meaningful work experience if you're always hopping around all over the place.  There are some interesting internship-type opportunities but these are often unpaid or very poorly paid, so I wouldn't do more than one or two of them if I haven't FIRE'd yet.   

That being said, I'm looking forward to going abroad again in the not-too-distant future after I FIRE in about 4-5 years.  I'm now in a long-term serious relationship so hopefully that will ease some of the loneliness while abroad.  I've given my career a decent go, have some good work experience, and find my current job frustrating. The plan after FIRE is to go to Portugal for 6 months, Thailand for 6 months, and then maybe settle down in Portugal for a while and do small trips around Europe, with a trip further overseas once every year or 2.  Maybe after a few years in Portugal we'll decide to move elsewhere for a few years.  Maybe we'll stay put in Portugal.  Maybe we'll come back to NZ.  Who knows?  The world is such a large place, the possibilities are endless.  But I also understand the downsides to long-term travel, and realise that I'll probably want some roots somewhere eventually.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on January 20, 2017, 10:47:16 AM
True, I could live in Italy. The UK on the other hand... :s

Two words - British Food. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 20, 2017, 11:00:55 AM
True, I could live in Italy. The UK on the other hand... :s

Two words - British Food.

I can get a pie and mushy peas in Australia ;)

Seriously though, I've spent a fair bit of time in the UK and in Italy. Sure Italy does Italian well, but London as a global city obviously has amazing food. I'm just not a huge fan of the weather in the UK. Plus, I'm a rock climber and motorbike rider - Italy is awesome on those fronts.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on January 20, 2017, 11:20:43 AM
The takeaway I'm getting from all of this is that becoming a permanent traveler could possibly be difficult and make you feel disconnected.  Being a permanent traveler doesn't have to be permanent, though, right?  If you start feeling tired and isolated you can stop at any time and go home, wherever you have decided that home is. 


"Transmission of citizenship through maternal lineage is possible only for persons born after January 1st 1948."

Ahhh! I have Italian ancestry on my grandmothers side, who was born <1948. Looks like I wouldn't qualify.
Doesn't that mean the applicant born after 1948?

Yes, I mentioned caveats, and that's the biggest one. 

It means Italian citizenship wouldn't pass from mother to child before 1948.  Say your Mother's Mother's Father came from Italy (and was never naturalized), then your grandmother was an Italian citizen no matter when she was born because her father is Italian.  Your mother is a different story, though, since she is going off of her mother's citizenship.  If your mother was born in 1947, then she's not an Italian citizen and neither are you.  If she was born in 1949, then she is a citizen and therefore so are you.  You could even have older aunts and uncles that aren't, but your parents and you are. 

The other big caveat is that your Italian ancestor can't have been naturalized before the next generation was born.

What's their immigration policy on spouses/significant others? I could totally find me a partner who meets those critera, but wouldn't go through the trouble if it wouldn't help moi.

Not sure, but it shouldn't be any different than if you met an Italian while traveling through Italy and then married him/her.  Are you going to start limiting your dating life to folks with last names like Gallo and Matessi now?


True, I could live in Italy. The UK on the other hand... :s

Two words - British Food.

I can get a pie and mushy peas in Australia ;)

Seriously though, I've spent a fair bit of time in the UK and in Italy. Sure Italy does Italian well, but London as a global city obviously has amazing food. I'm just not a huge fan of the weather in the UK. Plus, I'm a rock climber and motorbike rider - Italy is awesome on those fronts.

Mmmm, meat pies and mushy peas. 

Immigrants have been the salvation of food in the Anglosphere.  Britain literally conquered the world for better food.  Remember the spice islands? 

As much as I roll my eyes at food in the US, it's easy to take for granted that I can buy taro root, tortillas, papayas, mozzarella, fresh water chestnuts, Jordanian olives, Korean radishes, German mustard, and fresh curry leaves all within a bike ride of the house.  And I'm not even in that big a city. 

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Eric on January 20, 2017, 11:38:04 AM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Eric on January 20, 2017, 12:14:40 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
You can have all that as a poor vagabond too. Just rent a shared space or room or tiny apt. In some places (even expensive countries) you can rent a room in a nice apt for a few hundred bucks a month and have all those luxuries. Cheaper than hostels and you can move on easily after a month or 2. When I did my 2 year trip I ended up doing apt shares for several months in several different countries MUCH cheaper than hostels or even paid campgrounds.  Or you can do like Arebelspy and housesit and live for free.

Oh yeah, you definitely have options.  But what's a frying pan cost?  $10?  Maybe $20?  If you're fretting over $20, you're doing it wrong.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on January 20, 2017, 12:25:29 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
You can have all that as a poor vagabond too. Just rent a shared space or room or tiny apt. In some places (even expensive countries) you can rent a room in a nice apt for a few hundred bucks a month and have all those luxuries. Cheaper than hostels and you can move on easily after a month or 2. When I did my 2 year trip I ended up doing apt shares for several months in several different countries MUCH cheaper than hostels or even paid campgrounds.  Or you can do like Arebelspy and housesit and live for free.

Oh yeah, you definitely have options.  But what's a frying pan cost?  $10?  Maybe $20?  If you're fretting over $20, you're doing it wrong.

You don't have to cook many times before basic cookware pays for itself, even in a LCOL country.  Eating out isn't free. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 20, 2017, 12:47:29 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.

Yeah, we're really getting into semantics now. When does it stop being 'travel' and just become moving to another country. If you live a year in 10 different countries over a decade, I don't know if I'd call that 'travel'.

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Eric on January 20, 2017, 01:12:00 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.

Yeah, we're really getting into semantics now. When does it stop being 'travel' and just become moving to another country. If you live a year in 10 different countries over a decade, I don't know if I'd call that 'travel'.

I'm not talking about setting up an apartment for a year.  Even if you're staying somewhere for a week, you should be able to purchase any items you need or want and leave them behind if you so choose.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 20, 2017, 01:32:39 PM
Economies of scale improve over time due to lower rent on longer leases, efficiency in local purchasing in the area, and the amortization of once off moving and acquisition costs.

If you FIRE at a SWR that is equivalent to your expenses in a single location in your home country - you're not going to be able to afford to travel and move between locations every week. Sure, if you perhaps FIRE at a SWR of 2-2.5x your expenses, then moving around that much might be feasible with the higher income - otherwise you're just going to end up having to sacrifice lifestyle like the 26YO on a budget.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Eric on January 20, 2017, 02:30:19 PM
If you FIRE at a SWR that is equivalent to your expenses in a single location in your home country - you're not going to be able to afford to travel and move between locations every week. Sure, if you perhaps FIRE at a SWR of 2-2.5x your expenses, then moving around that much might be feasible with the higher income - otherwise you're just going to end up having to sacrifice lifestyle like the 26YO on a budget.

Why would you do that if you're planning to travel?  If that's how you would go about determining your expenses, then I'd re-think that plan.

All sorts of FIRE people plan for different spending levels when retired as opposed to working.  That's not a travel issue.  That's a life issue.  It shouldn't be that hard.

Here's how you'd do it for travel.  Determine your projected expenses while traveling and multiply that number by 25.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: actionjackson on January 20, 2017, 03:23:49 PM
Agreed. My point is that the faster you travel, the more expensive it will be. It's like, pick two of the following;

Travel Fast
Travel Cheap
Be comfortable
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Lives to travel on January 20, 2017, 03:31:51 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
You can have all that as a poor vagabond too. Just rent a shared space or room or tiny apt. In some places (even expensive countries) you can rent a room in a nice apt for a few hundred bucks a month and have all those luxuries. Cheaper than hostels and you can move on easily after a month or 2. When I did my 2 year trip I ended up doing apt shares for several months in several different countries MUCH cheaper than hostels or even paid campgrounds.  Or you can do like Arebelspy and housesit and live for free.

Any good websites to share, or pretty much just Airbnb?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 20, 2017, 04:46:37 PM
Agreed. My point is that the faster you travel, the more expensive it will be. It's like, pick two of the following;

Travel Fast
Travel Cheap
Be comfortable

Right.  And we're saying skip the first one.  Slow travel is better anyways.

Then you get the cheap and comfortable, and enjoy yourself a lot more and really get to know a place.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Out of the Blue on January 20, 2017, 04:54:52 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
You can have all that as a poor vagabond too. Just rent a shared space or room or tiny apt. In some places (even expensive countries) you can rent a room in a nice apt for a few hundred bucks a month and have all those luxuries. Cheaper than hostels and you can move on easily after a month or 2. When I did my 2 year trip I ended up doing apt shares for several months in several different countries MUCH cheaper than hostels or even paid campgrounds.  Or you can do like Arebelspy and housesit and live for free.

Oh yeah, you definitely have options.  But what's a frying pan cost?  $10?  Maybe $20?  If you're fretting over $20, you're doing it wrong.

You don't have to cook many times before basic cookware pays for itself, even in a LCOL country.  Eating out isn't free.

Like I said, I did cook some very basic meals when I was there.  But it was so cheap and easy to eat out in China, so I ate out a lot too.  I had a place with a pot or two and a frypan when I was living in Shanghai for about 3 months towards the end of my time there.  It was a crappy frypan, not nearly as good as the one I have now.  I could've bought a better one - I wasn't really poor at the time, but just living off savings and I didn't want to run them down too much.  I think what stopped me was the idea of having to throw it away afterwards rather than the cost - I really hate throwing things out.

It can also be a little difficult cooking in a country with pretty different foods than what you're used to - my cooking repertoire was a lot more limited when I was 26, and things that I was used to  (e.g. pasta, bread) were quite expensive in expat supermarkets.  I think it would be different now, as I enjoy cooking more and cook a lot more from scratch. 

But yes, I think there is a world of difference doing long-term travel when you're 26, single and relatively poor vs. long-term travel when you're comfortable and secure.   

Quote
My point is that the faster you travel, the more expensive it will be. It's like, pick two of the following;

Travel Fast
Travel Cheap
Be comfortable

Pretty much.  In my experience, if you stay somewhere for a month instead of a week, your housing costs drop significantly because many AirBnB places offer monthly discounts and you can maybe do some cooking with the stuff they already have in the kitchen.  If you stay somewhere 3-6 months instead of a month, your housing costs can drop a lot again because you can rent a place directly in the local market (with perhaps a premium for a short term lease), instead of AirBnB.  But then you might need to spend a bit of money furnishing it.     

My planned FIRE budget should comfortably allow for these moving costs every 3-6 months, but only in reasonably LCOL places. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Out of the Blue on January 20, 2017, 05:05:51 PM
Economies of scale improve over time due to lower rent on longer leases, efficiency in local purchasing in the area, and the amortization of once off moving and acquisition costs.

If you FIRE at a SWR that is equivalent to your expenses in a single location in your home country - you're not going to be able to afford to travel and move between locations every week. Sure, if you perhaps FIRE at a SWR of 2-2.5x your expenses, then moving around that much might be feasible with the higher income - otherwise you're just going to end up having to sacrifice lifestyle like the 26YO on a budget.
This doesn't have to be the case. In general you'll just be transferring your at home living expenses to your travel expenses once you give up your home, insurances, prop tax, mortgage or rent, car, utilities, entertainment,  and vacation expenses (and maybe even healthcare expenses). And in many cases those "at home" expenses may be much higher than your "permanent travel" expenses. You just stay within your budget whatever that is and travel in a way your FIRE budget allows. Obviously some people like me who have lower FIRE expense may chose to budget travel while others with higher expenses could be staying at the Ritz every night. Longer term slower travel and staying at hostels or camping or renting inexpensive shared apts for awhile allows for lower expenses than does motel hopping every night or constant moving.

Agreed but if, like most Mustachians (who aren't living in NY or the Bay area), your "at home" expenses are not very high, then you have to make sure your "permanent travel" expenses can't be too high either.  So I might be able to FIRE quite comfortably in, Wellington NZ if I stayed put but if I were to permanently slow travel around the rest of NZ I'd have to plan for a bigger stache.  That's why I'm planning to go to Portugal and Thailand/SEA for at least the first year or two after I FIRE - both LCOL areas.  If the markets do well and I end up earning some money in FIRE (which I probably will), then the stash may allow me to slow travel around higher COL areas. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah on January 20, 2017, 06:59:59 PM
Economies of scale improve over time due to lower rent on longer leases, efficiency in local purchasing in the area, and the amortization of once off moving and acquisition costs.

If you FIRE at a SWR that is equivalent to your expenses in a single location in your home country - you're not going to be able to afford to travel and move between locations every week. Sure, if you perhaps FIRE at a SWR of 2-2.5x your expenses, then moving around that much might be feasible with the higher income - otherwise you're just going to end up having to sacrifice lifestyle like the 26YO on a budget.
This doesn't have to be the case. In general you'll just be transferring your at home living expenses to your travel expenses once you give up your home, insurances, prop tax, mortgage or rent, car, utilities, entertainment,  and vacation expenses (and maybe even healthcare expenses). And in many cases those "at home" expenses may be much higher than your "permanent travel" expenses. You just stay within your budget whatever that is and travel in a way your FIRE budget allows. Obviously some people like me who have lower FIRE expense may chose to budget travel while others with higher expenses could be staying at the Ritz every night. Longer term slower travel and staying at hostels or camping or renting inexpensive shared apts for awhile allows for lower expenses than does motel hopping every night or constant moving.

Agreed but if, like most Mustachians (who aren't living in NY or the Bay area), your "at home" expenses are not very high, then you have to make sure your "permanent travel" expenses can't be too high either.  So I might be able to FIRE quite comfortably in, Wellington NZ if I stayed put but if I were to permanently slow travel around the rest of NZ I'd have to plan for a bigger stache.  That's why I'm planning to go to Portugal and Thailand/SEA for at least the first year or two after I FIRE - both LCOL areas.  If the markets do well and I end up earning some money in FIRE (which I probably will), then the stash may allow me to slow travel around higher COL areas.
I agree that could be the case. So in that case people would have to budget for a higher FIRE $$# if they plan to spend more on anything beyond their "at home" expenses once FIREd.. That's true even if someone wants to keep the home base and take occasional short vacations or have more expensive hobbies or interests. Gotta add that stuff into the FIRE budget.

My personal at home expenses are super low and no way I'd be able to travel anywhere on that amount full time. But since there were going to be some things I knew I'd want beyond a barebones FIRE budget (like budget travel) I knew I'd want a bit extra to attain those things even though its still a low budget by most peoples view. So now my at home barebones budget plus some extra beyond that allows me to do some shorter term travel and some fun stuff. And that amount is equivilant to what I think I could live on full time if permanent budget travelling if not having a home base. Of course its gonna depend on the person and how they travel and their personal situation a lot.
You need to think through your retirement to really budget for it properly. For instance, people may spend many years traveling, but they often want to stop when they get elderly - and they want to go "home". I've even seen many migrants, who have given up their ties to the motherland, who just want to be in the land of their youth when they get  quite old. One of the interesting things is that people I've known who have had dementia have reverted to their mother tongue - which makes it even more difficult if you are in a land that speaks a different language. The elderly tend to find every move stressful, and it is much easier to fit into a new community when you are a parent of school aged children than at other times of your life. So planning what you could eventually do when you stop traveling (especially if it will increase your budget dramatically) should be part of your budgeting for retirement.

That said, everyone I know who has retired, has found that their expenses were less than they budgeted, so worrying about extra expenses if you don't travel is probably ridiculous.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: CanuckExpat on January 20, 2017, 08:39:46 PM
Any good websites to share, or pretty much just Airbnb?

Air BnB is nice, and convenient, but I haven't been impressed especially for affordable long term stays: Air BnB fees add up too much, and for us there hasn't been great long term inventory, especially if you start looking for non shared, pet friendly, etc.

We have had better luck with Craigslist. It takes more work, more weeding out, and more due diligence, but can pay off better. This is my experience in english speaking north america, where I am familiar with the culture, language, etc and able to weed through the worst of Craigslist :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 20, 2017, 08:48:02 PM
Agreed. My point is that the faster you travel, the more expensive it will be. It's like, pick two of the following;

Travel Fast
Travel Cheap
Be comfortable

Right.  And we're saying skip the first one.  Slow travel is better anyways.

Then you get the cheap and comfortable, and enjoy yourself a lot more and really get to know a place.
Unless you're camping or boondocking and doing it by bicycle or feetsies ;-). Then its probably all the same whether you stay put a day, a weekor a month. Probably even by other types of transportation too if you'd be going to those other places anyways but why rush unless you have time limits or are doing something to challenge yourself like, oh I don't know, maybe hike the Camino ;-).

Lots of people on this forum do or have done long distance bike touring very cheaply and often move on everyday to somewhere new. Or RV boondocking or motorcycle camping or sailing, etc... More roughing it but still "travel" in my opinion and on  very little money. So fast can be cheap and even comfortable too.

Those examples typically nail the cheap and fast, but lose out on comfort.  Certainly you can be somewhat comfortable, especially if your bar is low, but less comfortable compared to the other options--that's clearly the one of the three options that suffers in the "bicycle boondocking motorcycle camping" type travel, IMO.  :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 21, 2017, 01:11:00 AM
Deborah I totally agree peoplr should have a back up plan and/or the money to make any changes if they want to be able to settle down somewhere or go back "home". Especially if home is in a HCOL that you may be priced out of after years away.

Agreed.

As I've posted before:
We also liked the concept of ERing overseas, in a cheaper COL country, but having seen people do this and get "stuck" when they don't want to live there anymore, but don't have enough to live back at home, we decided to wait to ER until we could support the lifestyle where we wanted to live in the States.

Once we hit that, we started traveling full time, and may settle in a low COL area, but we won't ever be "stuck" there if we decide we don't like it.

(It does come with the tradeoff of having to work longer--had we wanted to ER on a budget like she was talking, we could have done it at least 5 years sooner, I'm sure, but we enjoyed our jobs at the time.)

(I've posted similar sentiments elsewhere, too, that was the first one pulled up by a search.)

It's 100% something to consider.  If you go in with enough money to go back OR with the mindset that if you enjoy a few years overseas, then decide you want a higher COL and decide to go back to work, that's not the end of the world, then it's all good.  Just don't expect a new situation to be perfect, and have flexibility in being able to change it (via money or life-hours).
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on January 21, 2017, 05:45:29 AM
Any good websites to share, or pretty much just Airbnb?

Air BnB is nice, and convenient, but I haven't been impressed especially for affordable long term stays: Air BnB fees add up too much, and for us there hasn't been great long term inventory, especially if you start looking for non shared, pet friendly, etc.

We have had better luck with Craigslist. It takes more work, more weeding out, and more due diligence, but can pay off better. This is my experience in english speaking north america, where I am familiar with the culture, language, etc and able to weed through the worst of Craigslist :)

Interesting tip. I've never gone through Craigslist for lodging; may have to look into it if I am ever in need of slashing a trip budget.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Lives to travel on January 21, 2017, 06:30:07 AM
Any good websites to share, or pretty much just Airbnb?

Air BnB is nice, and convenient, but I haven't been impressed especially for affordable long term stays: Air BnB fees add up too much, and for us there hasn't been great long term inventory, especially if you start looking for non shared, pet friendly, etc.

We have had better luck with Craigslist. It takes more work, more weeding out, and more due diligence, but can pay off better. This is my experience in english speaking north america, where I am familiar with the culture, language, etc and able to weed through the worst of Craigslist :)

I'm glad you've had luck with Craigslist.  I imagine just doing due diligence on some of those listings can be a full time job!  I guess as long as you aren't sending money beforehand, you can weed out some of the more obvious scammers.  Airbnb does look a little more expensive in some places, and the automatic cancellations messages bother me, but it seems like there is a little more protection against easy fraud.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: financialfreedomsloth on January 22, 2017, 11:09:19 AM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
You can have all that as a poor vagabond too. Just rent a shared space or room or tiny apt. In some places (even expensive countries) you can rent a room in a nice apt for a few hundred bucks a month and have all those luxuries. Cheaper than hostels and you can move on easily after a month or 2. When I did my 2 year trip I ended up doing apt shares for several months in several different countries MUCH cheaper than hostels or even paid campgrounds.  Or you can do like Arebelspy and housesit and live for free.

Any good websites to share, or pretty much just Airbnb?
workaway and helpX are sites that get you free lodging and food in exchange for about 20 hours of working/week for your host.
House sitting is also a possibility: https://www.nomador.com/
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on January 22, 2017, 12:46:19 PM
workaway and helpX are sites that get you free lodging and food in exchange for about 20 hours of working/week for your host.
House sitting is also a possibility: https://www.nomador.com/

Sounds like a terrible deal. That's even lower than minimum wage.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: financialfreedomsloth on January 23, 2017, 02:19:11 AM
It depends how you look at it.
It is mostly young people using it so they look at it more as a summer job, but while traveling. Then I think hourly wages wise you are more or less in the same category.
However, I think Pete himself went to Hawaii to help a remodeling in exchange for free lodging. His hourly wage was probably pretty low on that project also, if you would calculate it but it is more about living with locals and sharing their life for a brief period. Skilled carpenters definitely have their pick of projects to choose from.
I do not think this kind of thing is about the best hourly wage but stretching the travel budget a bit further and having experiences along the way. Some travelers have had the opportunity to ‘work’ some really cool gigs. And if I would slow travel for a few months I would definitely see if there are any offerings that I find interesting (like working in a brewery). Once I achieve financial freedom I will still want to do stuff. Interesting will become a lot more important than hourly wage at that moment.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on January 23, 2017, 04:09:18 AM
Technically working on a tourist visa is not allowed.  Keep things quiet if you do this.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on January 23, 2017, 04:24:36 AM
Technically working on a tourist visa is not allowed.  Keep things quiet if you do this.

Yeah, you'd definitely want to look into visas where you can work.  Much more of a hassle, but obviously then you can legally work, plus they're usually for longer than a tourist visa.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: financialfreedomsloth on January 23, 2017, 06:48:05 AM
Since no money is changing hands and a lot of times it is only for 1 or 2 weeks this is often in a legal gray area. It is more like having friends over who will help you with a task. We have been hosts on workaway for two years (mainly help in the garden, as it is a big garden). Last was an American couple to help us out with a big BBQ we have for about 35 people. We finally wanted to have a change to actually spend time with our guests! They off course joined in on the barbeque and mingled with our friends.
So cleaning up the garden beforehand and then during the BBQ manning the grill and getting salads done. Many times, it is stuff like this. We have one or two big items we really like to have finished and then a few smaller ones that would be nice to have done. We could find a handyman to pay under the table and probably spend about the same amount of money as we are not exactly cheap on the food (or beers, we Belgians do have a reputation to uphold) we provide. We often plan visits to Gent and such while we have guests (so they have a free lift to visit that city) and then take them with us to a restaurant. So money wise it probably is not even the most frugal approach for us. However, we like having people from other countries visiting and I appreciate the help in the garden (everything is done so much faster with a bit of help!). We are selective in the guests we accept in our home and as a worker you should be selective in the hosts as well as one of our guests had one stay where she definitely was treated as cheap labour and did not enjoy her time there. But for young people without a stash it is most definitely a way to travel for longer on a small budget. And some stuff is just fun to do (on story is of a traveler who had the chance to work with pinguins!).
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cookie78 on January 23, 2017, 01:19:28 PM
Since no money is changing hands and a lot of times it is only for 1 or 2 weeks this is often in a legal gray area. It is more like having friends over who will help you with a task. We have been hosts on workaway for two years (mainly help in the garden, as it is a big garden). Last was an American couple to help us out with a big BBQ we have for about 35 people. We finally wanted to have a change to actually spend time with our guests! They off course joined in on the barbeque and mingled with our friends.
So cleaning up the garden beforehand and then during the BBQ manning the grill and getting salads done. Many times, it is stuff like this. We have one or two big items we really like to have finished and then a few smaller ones that would be nice to have done. We could find a handyman to pay under the table and probably spend about the same amount of money as we are not exactly cheap on the food (or beers, we Belgians do have a reputation to uphold) we provide. We often plan visits to Gent and such while we have guests (so they have a free lift to visit that city) and then take them with us to a restaurant. So money wise it probably is not even the most frugal approach for us. However, we like having people from other countries visiting and I appreciate the help in the garden (everything is done so much faster with a bit of help!). We are selective in the guests we accept in our home and as a worker you should be selective in the hosts as well as one of our guests had one stay where she definitely was treated as cheap labour and did not enjoy her time there. But for young people without a stash it is most definitely a way to travel for longer on a small budget. And some stuff is just fun to do (on story is of a traveler who had the chance to work with pinguins!).

Ah! Maybe I should host a couple workers and get someone to help paint my house/fence!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cookie78 on January 23, 2017, 01:21:44 PM
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.

Yeah, we're really getting into semantics now. When does it stop being 'travel' and just become moving to another country. If you live a year in 10 different countries over a decade, I don't know if I'd call that 'travel'.

I think I would. I'd call it slow travel.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cassie on January 23, 2017, 03:35:47 PM
I have 3 kids and when one was in HS and one in junior high we needed to move for a job. The other one was in college so it didn't affect him. It really hurt my other 2, they did not adjust well, etc.  I have a friend whose Dad decided after he got out of the military that he wanted to move a lot. So they moved all over the US from 2nd grade until 10th. Usually a new school every year but some years twice. Even though she had a very loving family it negatively affected her too.  She was always the new kid, would get bullied, sometimes she was the only blue eyed blonde kid in a sea of kids with dark hair/complexions, etc.  Now in her 50's she has issues that still stem from that experience. She is not mad at her parents but growing up was not a good experience due to all the moving. I think traveling before your kids are in school would be a much better option as they are not rooted yet to friends, school, etc.  Now I know that some kids would adjust fine to traveling when older but I just wanted to throw out the other side of the issue for consideration.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: CanuckExpat on January 24, 2017, 10:04:26 PM
I'm glad you've had luck with Craigslist.  I imagine just doing due diligence on some of those listings can be a full time job!  I guess as long as you aren't sending money beforehand, you can weed out some of the more obvious scammers.  Airbnb does look a little more expensive in some places, and the automatic cancellations messages bother me, but it seems like there is a little more protection against easy fraud.

Thankfully, so far we've had no bad experiences, and it hasn't too hard to root out obvious scams.
For a place from Craigslist, we never send money until we've seen it in person and met the person renting it. That eliminates almost all the scams.

I think we've only done this for short/medium term rentals twice so far (once for two weeks, currently for six weeks), and it's worked out well. It's helped that we've been flexible: We had another kind of accommodation for the few days/weeks when we first arrived (be that AirBnB, hotels, RV park, etc). Check out places we might like to stay longer if available. If nothing works out, keep moving on. We are flexible.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on January 24, 2017, 11:28:45 PM
I think I would. I'd call it slow travel.

Very slow...
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: nara on February 17, 2017, 07:31:54 PM
This is part of our future plans as well. A few years ago though we worked as English teachers in Korea so we could travel. Our airfare and housing was paid for and we financed our travels through Asia with the money we made from our teaching job. We traveled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, and Nepal.

Traveling was so exciting but after a few months we experienced a lot of travel fatigue. If you are traveling in poorer countries, you will be haggled relentlessly and people will always be looking to scam you. It became exhausting trying to connect with locals when they all had a "my sick uncle" type of sob story.. Plus not to mention the sicknesses we experienced: sickness from the bacteria in the food, sickness from malaria pills, altitude sickness, heat stroke, etc. We were sick for weeks at a time. Traveling is not that glamorous. But if you can afford to live in a wealthier country, with a large westerner community, and can stay put there for a long time and really allow it to feel like home--that is a much better experience than moving around constantly. We came home from teaching and our travels still with extra money in our pockets!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on February 18, 2017, 04:59:13 PM
If you are traveling in poorer countries, you will be haggled relentlessly and people will always be looking to scam you. It became exhausting trying to connect with locals when they all had a "my sick uncle" type of sob story..

Plus not to mention the sicknesses we experienced: sickness from the bacteria in the food, sickness from malaria pills, altitude sickness, heat stroke, etc. We were sick for weeks at a time.

What unfortunate experiences.  =/

We have yet to experience either of these two things.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on February 18, 2017, 08:24:36 PM
Traveling was so exciting but after a few months we experienced a lot of travel fatigue. If you are traveling in poorer countries, you will be haggled relentlessly and people will always be looking to scam you. It became exhausting trying to connect with locals when they all had a "my sick uncle" type of sob story..

It depends on where you are meeting these locals. If they're just approaching you on the street, then yes, I can see that most would be panhandlers.

We've recovered from our Travel Fatigue in many places around the world. We typically travel for 6-9 months straight and then pause for a break for 1-3 months. In each place we've stopped, we've managed to hook up with locals from our own socio-economic background. The trick is to join clubs or events that you have something in common with.

One of our first experiences was with a Spanish immersion homestay in La Paz, Mexico. Our hosts were well-to-do people, very well-traveled and lots in common to talk about, but they were a bit older. I spent all my time with their grandson playing guitar and hanging out with him and his girlfriend at their K-Pop dance studio (Korean Pop is huge in Mexico!)

In Costa Rica, a fellow motorcyclist invited us to stay with him and his family. It turned out he was in the same profession as I was, so we talked shop alot. One evening, we were watching football on TV. When CR beat Mexico in one of the games (pretty much all the countries in Latin America hate Mexico because they're so good in football), we spilled out into the streets honking our horns and celebrating with everyone.

Then on another break, we spent two months in Medellin, Colombia, so my wife joined an AcroYoga club that met in the local park several times a week. There we were able to meet a lot of locals that we hung around with after, had them over for dinner at our apartment, etc.

We've stayed in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a couple of seasons now (over six months in total) and whenever we're there we've joined hiking clubs, photography clubs, yoga. Thai is a difficult language to learn, but professional people that have the income and free time to pursue these interests most often speak English as well.

Just because a country may be poor as a whole doesn't mean that there aren't people of similar backgrounds as you living there. You just have to go to the right places to meet them.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on February 18, 2017, 08:57:29 PM
As for getting sick from the food, I think that's just a part of traveling and moving constantly. You're forced to eat in restaurants or stalls that you have no control over the food prep. We've learned certain things you can do to mitigate food poisoning, things like:

- always eat where there are a lot of locals dining. They must know something, and also the turnover is frequent so the food/ingredients don't sit out as long
- expensive western-style restaurants don't always mean safer
- avoid anything fresh, always cooked. Deep fried is better. Also tastier... :)

Our worst stories come from India and Mexico. There's a reason why they call it Delhi Belly, the Aztec Two-Step and Montezuma's Revenge...

However, if you are staying for longer periods and have your own apartment or access to a kitchen, you can be a bit more diligent about cleaning the ingredients and properly cooking them. There's an anti-bacterial spray you can get for fruits and vegetables. We also cook with bottled water. We rarely get sick when we eat in.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on February 19, 2017, 07:54:39 PM
I noticed in some countries that the meat section in the grocery store wasn't really what I would call up to USA standards.

The employees did not wear any gloves while handing out the cuts of meat and the cases where the meat was kept were not that cold (possibly below 40 F though).   

We bought some steaks and I cooked the hell out of them, well well done.   Seemed ok.

Can't go too wrong with rice and beans in those type places.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dixonge on February 20, 2017, 04:24:10 AM
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

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Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on February 20, 2017, 05:09:45 AM
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

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Three months sounds about 12x slower than most people go.  :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on February 20, 2017, 05:14:14 AM
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

There are other types of visas besides a tourist visa.

Some countries have retirement visas or business visas. Sometimes the only requirements are minimum age and financial solvency. In Thailand, if you're 50+ and have 20K in the bank, you can apply for a 1-year retirement visa. In Russia, the 1-year Multiple Entry business visa is just more expensive than the Single Entry Tourist Visa. They don't do any rigorous checking over and above the tourist visa about the nature of your business.

Having said that, we've met a lot of ex-pats who have lived in their new country for years doing visa runs on a Tourist Visa. In Panama, we met a family of four who had to drive to the Costa Rican border every 60 or 90 days depending on whether their tourist visa or vehicle permit was expiring. They've been doing that for 15 years!

In Thailand, the visa run is a time-honoured tradition amongst ex-pats. There are whole industries dedicated to getting farangs (foreigners) out and back into the country in as little time and fuss as possible.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: LAGuy on February 20, 2017, 07:04:24 AM
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

There are other types of visas besides a tourist visa.

Some countries have retirement visas or business visas. Sometimes the only requirements are minimum age and financial solvency. In Thailand, if you're 50+ and have 20K in the bank, you can apply for a 1-year retirement visa. In Russia, the 1-year Multiple Entry business visa is just more expensive than the Single Entry Tourist Visa. They don't do any rigorous checking over and above the tourist visa about the nature of your business.

Having said that, we've met a lot of ex-pats who have lived in their new country for years doing visa runs on a Tourist Visa. In Panama, we met a family of four who had to drive to the Costa Rican border every 60 or 90 days depending on whether their tourist visa or vehicle permit was expiring. They've been doing that for 15 years!

In Thailand, the visa run is a time-honoured tradition amongst ex-pats. There are whole industries dedicated to getting farangs (foreigners) out and back into the country in as little time and fuss as possible.

Even the retirement visa in Thailand is a PITA. You still have to present yourself to immigration every 90 days (though you can do so through via mail or an agent, but it's just one more cost). If you want to leave the country on a trip, you need to go down to immigration to apply for a reentry permit or they'll cancel your retirement visa. Plus the ongoing costs with yearly renewals, etc. Visa issues are no doubt one of the biggest headaches to deal with for slow travel. It's not so bad when you're starting off...you probably want to make visa runs to visit other countries anyways. But I could see where eventually you just get sick of it and want to go back home at some point. I can see myself waking up in a cold sweat thinking about my immigration issues the same way I do now wondering if my car is parked in a street sweeping zone (I don't own a car any longer). The easiest country by far is probably the Philippines where I think you can stay like 3 years on 6 month tourist visa extensions at which point a visa run to reset the clock is required. After that, some Central and South American countries (Belize, Panama, Ecuador) are specifically geared towards US retirees and you can even apply for citizenship after a time. But for all the retirement visas, I think you need to be at least 50 (35 in the Philippines) which makes it a bit of a ways off for early retirees.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on February 24, 2017, 06:20:34 PM
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining.
Ugh. Me too. I feel the same way. Still haven't recharged from my last slow travel trip through some of these parts of the world. While it has greatly broadened my perspective on what is 'enough' to live on, I strongly feel the drain you speak of. It has lead me to focus on making my own small part of the world better in the ways I can; doesn't help many people, or even maybe those most in need, but I have decided to focus on my sphere of control.

I very much appreciate the fact that I had to resources to leave those areas at anytime I wished. So greatful for everything I have.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on February 25, 2017, 06:53:37 AM
Based on the latest ACA proposals it looks like three years then Medicaid is gone.  For me it is just before I turn 55.  I need to sell my place and go into travel mode from 55-65, then I can come back to get Medicare.  It is something I have been pondering for a while anyway.  So summers in England and winters in Thailand?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah on February 25, 2017, 12:45:23 PM
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: pudding on February 25, 2017, 01:42:55 PM
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining.

It got to me the same way too.

At first it was all a novelty and a tendency to see it as exotic and even to look down on my home country and its 'uptight' ways and laws.

Next I started to notice that some of the things seemed irritating.. like why don't the local people do something about the broken in half cast iron drain cover  on the sidewalk that anyone could fall through?  and a month later still nothing done, actually there was 'something' someone had put a tree branch in it as a 'warning'  and why leave the condiments out in the full sun and ants crawling all over them? and the towel in the restaurant restroom, why does it smell like shit.. literally.

Then it just became like that I didn't really like my own thoughts....  gangs of 9 and 10 year old kids with no clothes or maybe a pair of ancient filthy shorts on covered in dirt and sniffing glue at 2am in the street in full view of everyone.... and no one doing anything about it, not the cops not anyone...   and I'd find myself thinking the people here are retarded and get what they actually create themselves...

And then I came back to my home country and heard sjw's saying that x% of the children in my country live in child poverty... and thought to myself nahhh... sorry but they don't, you got to get out more often.

Then someone saying "well you know they don't have money there, so they smash their children's ankle's so that they can make money begging" like it's a quaint local custom that you'd better not question for fear of being called a racist.

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on February 25, 2017, 02:12:28 PM
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

I would 100% agree, normally.

I've often argued that people who plan a FIRE budget for overseas can go there, find they don't like it, yet are "stuck" because they can't support a budget back home.  I was wary of this, and built our ER budget so we could go home, even though we like to travel.

The only tiny part where I disagree (and now am disagreeing with my past self) is the nature of why he may not be able to come back.

It either shows he didn't save enough OR it shows how * the US healthcare system is.

Here was his comment:
Quote
Based on the latest ACA proposals it looks like three years then Medicaid is gone.  For me it is just before I turn 55.  I need to sell my place and go into travel mode from 55-65, then I can come back to get Medicare.  It is something I have been pondering for a while anyway.

If he has enough right now to live in the US, pay for some healthcare, and all his other expenses, then we revert to no-ACA, and he can't afford it for a few years, but then can afford it again as medicare kicks in, well, maybe he didn't save enough, or maybe our backwards healthcare system is to blame.  =/
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cassie on February 25, 2017, 02:21:06 PM
WE were in Thailand in Nov and it was 90 with a ton of humidity.  Maybe other parts of it are cooler?  I find the countries in Central America to get depressing so would not want to live there even for a short time. They are fun to visit but the poverty is so sad. I knew a few people that did what ARS was talking about and got stuck due to LCOL and they wanted to come home.  One woman had to do a go fund me for the plane ticket and then stay with a friend when she got here and she was 70. Repealing the ACA would be a terrible injustice but the current admin does not care about the American people at all. Ugh!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dixonge on February 25, 2017, 02:55:19 PM
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.
Sure you do. It's correct for your target country.

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Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on February 25, 2017, 04:16:57 PM
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

Sorry, but that's just stupid. What if you want to live abroad? That's like saying "your stash is insufficient if it can't sustain you in a HCOL area". Maybe you don't want to live in a HCOL area.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy on February 25, 2017, 04:40:36 PM
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

Sorry, but that's just stupid. What if you want to live abroad? That's like saying "your stash is insufficient if it can't sustain you in a HCOL area". Maybe you don't want to live in a HCOL area.
Foreign countries are just such a different paradigm.

If you've spent significant time there, cool.

If not, I'd go try it out and/or have backup plans.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on February 25, 2017, 05:02:56 PM
I could start my pension at 55 which would cover the health insurance.  Don't want to take it so early, taking it at 62-65 would be much better.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah on February 25, 2017, 05:28:35 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dixonge on February 25, 2017, 07:12:01 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.
But I do have the correct stash *there*. And *there* could be another country, or just another state, or another region, or another city.

Also, I *need* SS and my pension to not decline or go under. And I *need* inflation to stay under 5%. Do all of these other *needs* mean that I don't have the correct stash? Or maybe all of them are just variables to be accounted for as best I can. Maybe?

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Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on February 26, 2017, 07:18:38 PM
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining.

It got to me the same way too.

At first it was all a novelty and a tendency to see it as exotic and even to look down on my home country and its 'uptight' ways and laws.

Next I started to notice that some of the things seemed irritating.. like why don't the local people do something about the broken in half cast iron drain cover  on the sidewalk that anyone could fall through?  and a month later still nothing done, actually there was 'something' someone had put a tree branch in it as a 'warning'  and why leave the condiments out in the full sun and ants crawling all over them? and the towel in the restaurant restroom, why does it smell like shit.. literally.

Then it just became like that I didn't really like my own thoughts....  gangs of 9 and 10 year old kids with no clothes or maybe a pair of ancient filthy shorts on covered in dirt and sniffing glue at 2am in the street in full view of everyone.... and no one doing anything about it, not the cops not anyone...   and I'd find myself thinking the people here are retarded and get what they actually create themselves...

And then I came back to my home country and heard sjw's saying that x% of the children in my country live in child poverty... and thought to myself nahhh... sorry but they don't, you got to get out more often.

Then someone saying "well you know they don't have money there, so they smash their children's ankle's so that they can make money begging" like it's a quaint local custom that you'd better not question for fear of being called a racist.
Ugh. Depressing, but so true.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on February 27, 2017, 10:28:38 AM
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

Sorry, but that's just stupid. What if you want to live abroad? That's like saying "your stash is insufficient if it can't sustain you in a HCOL area". Maybe you don't want to live in a HCOL area.
Foreign countries are just such a different paradigm.

If you've spent significant time there, cool.

If not, I'd go try it out and/or have backup plans.

True, although I'd say you could also say the same for different regions.  My husband is from PA, and he still has occasional culture shock with how people think a little differently in AL.  Yes it's more when you cross a border, but anybody that moves even within their own country should make sure they're going to be happy in their new location or have the means to go back. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on February 27, 2017, 07:13:49 PM
And everyone who reduces expenses by trading their truck for a bicycle or filet mignon for rice & beans should make sure they have a big enough stash, in case they want to go back. Oh wait...
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney on February 28, 2017, 03:28:23 AM
And everyone who reduces expenses by trading their truck for a bicycle or filet mignon for rice & beans should make sure they have a big enough stash, in case they want to go back. Oh wait...

Keep looking for that "like" button... where is it...?!?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on February 28, 2017, 07:46:24 AM
I see a lot of concern about coming back if it doesn't work out.  As long as you have some money it shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Just fly into state X and do AirBnB for a month till you can get a rental.  From there buy a car and a place, if you want.  Expensive mistake but not FIRE ending.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules on February 28, 2017, 10:51:59 AM
I see a lot of concern about coming back if it doesn't work out.  As long as you have some money it shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Just fly into state X and do AirBnB for a month till you can get a rental.  From there buy a car and a place, if you want.  Expensive mistake but not FIRE ending.
I think the issue isn't the logistics of coming back but the income needed to live in a HCOL country or area if your FIRE income doesn't support it.

  If you can only fund a retirement plan to live in a LCOL country or area (or in a van down by the river) and end up hating it you might not be able to live at that same $$ level back in your home country without it eating into too much of your stash. If I retire with enough to live in a very low cost area of Mexico (or a van down by the river) where I have enough money to live there but not enough to live in the US - especially in a HCOL place like I do now - I wouldn't be able to remain retired if I ever wanted to come back here. Not a problem if you are OK going back to work (and are still young and healthy enough) but a big problem if you want to remain retired.

While I agree thats not enough reason to NOT retire asap if you're flexible or pretty sure you won't ever change your mind about where or how you live, I do think its a good reason to have a back up plan and income (or getting a job if needed) if you aren't sure it'll work out for you. .

+1

Location can have a lot bigger impact on your happiness than things.

Also, location isn't really something a lot of people can test out before they FIRE.  Truck for bicycle or filet mignon for rice & beans are something easy to figure out before you hit the big red eject button. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on February 28, 2017, 10:56:34 AM
I am in a HCOL now.  I was planning on going to a LCOL area eventually anyway.  I see your point.  The great thing about FIREing is location is no longer that important since income is not related to a job.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Cassie on February 28, 2017, 03:17:09 PM
Spartana, I completely agree. Also sometimes location is really important for happiness. I have moved a lot but absolutely love where we are at now. Even though where we live is not as expensive as where you live 2 of my boys live in Wichita, KS and I am always amazed at how cheap everything there is. In fact I will be flying there twice in a few months time for dental work because it is about a fourth of the cost and I need some expensive work done.  Now if we moved there with our 65k income we would be much better off financially then we are now. But we have such great friends here and I love the beauty of the area and the weather. Life is a trade-off.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: LAGuy on February 28, 2017, 05:07:24 PM
I think deborah's point,while perhaps a bit harshly stated, does have merit. As somebody who plans to live abroad for a significant portion of FIRE, I think the allure of living overseas is more so you can live like a baller on what's otherwise a modest sum here in the US. Secondarily the fact that you could significantly cut expenses in an emergency is also an attractive factor. What you really don't want to be doing is living poor in a 3rd world country...there is a certain argument to be made that you threw away the silver spoon you were born with here in the West. And you really do need to be able to come back to the West at some point...there's a good chance you don't want to spend your doddering years overseas. Places like Thailand are full of bitter old pensioners who can barely survive in Chang Mai.

For me, the solution has to been to target what I think a moderate FIRE income in a low cost of living area here in the US looks like. I plan to live large on that same income overseas.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dixonge on February 28, 2017, 05:31:13 PM
I think deborah's point,while perhaps a bit harshly stated, does have merit. As somebody who plans to live abroad for a significant portion of FIRE, I think the allure of living overseas is more so you can live like a baller on what's otherwise a modest sum here in the US. Secondarily the fact that you could significantly cut expenses in an emergency is also an attractive factor. What you really don't want to be doing is living poor in a 3rd world country...there is a certain argument to be made that you threw away the silver spoon you were born with here in the West. And you really do need to be able to come back to the West at some point...there's a good chance you don't want to spend your doddering years overseas. Places like Thailand are full of bitter old pensioners who can barely survive in Chang Mai.

For me, the solution has to been to target what I think a moderate FIRE income in a low cost of living area here in the US looks like. I plan to live large on that same income overseas.
Yeah, our plan involves saving 50% of pension/SS income. Eventually we will have a nest egg capable of replacing the SS, or pension, if needed. Plus we *love* expat life. The LCOL aspect is just icing.

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Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: gerardc on February 28, 2017, 08:44:47 PM
LCOL country for a few years makes a lot of sense:
- Culture fun as hell
- Live big for half the price
- Withdraw < 4% so your stash likely still grows

Then you come back in later years with more (real) money than when you started. Agreed that leaving for Mexico with $300k fully retired is kinda dumb...
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 on February 28, 2017, 08:55:26 PM
You see a lot of guys going to Thailand without a proper stasche, don't budget right, and getting stuck.  You never want to go to a place like that without proper funding.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Mr Mark on March 01, 2017, 07:41:43 AM
You see a lot of guys going to Thailand without a proper stasche, don't budget right, and getting stuck.  You never want to go to a place like that without proper funding.

You see quite a bit of that in Hawaii too!
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse on March 04, 2017, 07:32:47 PM
You see a lot of guys going to Thailand without a proper stasche, don't budget right, and getting stuck.  You never want to go to a place like that without proper funding.

You see quite a bit of that in Hawaii too!
What a terrible place to be stuck... :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy 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.  :)
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Mr Mark 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.

Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Metric Mouse 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dougules 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. 
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: Eric 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: secondcor521 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: dixonge 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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Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: pbkmaine 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?
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: fa 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: LAGuy 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: jim555 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.
Title: Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
Post by: EndlessJourney 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.