If you landed on this website, most probably you are dreaming of “happy early retirement extreme”. I am retired for six years and I enjoy my life to the fullest. Retirement and good living are entwined inseparably. Learn how to retire early and read about other grey nomads with successful retirement stories who took the road to retirement early in their lives. Get inspired by this early retirement blog and plan your life after retirement!
Real retirement stories on what to do when you retire and how to achieve financial independence – retire early lifestyle at its best!
What To Do When You Retire – Grey Nomads House Sitting
Linda and Tony
Travel is one of our greatest shared pleasures, so when we learned about the adventure that is full-time house and pet sitting from friends a few years ago, we both knew right away that it was for us. What we didn’t know at the time was how we’d come up with the capital to finance it.
As with many aspects of this unique Grey Nomads House Sitting lifestyle, things seem to fall into place naturally. We owned a home in the Florida Keys that had appreciated enough to make (frugal) early retirement travel viable. We soon discovered that one can travel the world spending far less than living in any one place via pet and house sitting. That knowledge, coupled with the equity in our home, gave us the courage to take a leap of faith.
We sold our house and most of our belongings in early 2018, but not before living through the devastation of Hurricane Irma. There is nothing quite like a natural disaster to prepare a person for letting go of accumulated possessions.
I began applying for sits late in 2017. Our first was three winter months in the English Countryside minding two cats. Since then we’ve been to France, Mexico, Oregon, and all over Northern California. In January we head to Australia and New Zealand. Scotland is looking very likely for next summer.
A wealth of Gray Nomads House Sitting Experiences!
We’ve taken care of multiple dogs, cats, chickens, and fish. We’ve looked after everything from vast country estates with multiple pets to urban apartments with a single cat.
The only downside for us has been the unpredictable quality of our sleeping arrangements. Turns out, the opulence of a home is not in direct proportion to the comfort of the beds. We don’t even mind travel days, it’s all part of the grand adventure to us.
Linda – Happy House Sitters International
How To Retire Early And Travel With Cancer
A cancer diagnosis needn’t mean the end of your Grey Nomad dreams. Only weeks after my husband finished radiotherapy for throat cancer in 2007 we were packing our bags. Having a holiday to look forward to was really important for his recovery and luckily British Airways agreed to transport his liquid food for free (as he was being fed through a pump/tube at the time).
So off we went to the Florida Keys in the USA for three weeks – and lived in a wooden shack overlooking the sea, fishing for our supper under clear blue skies and relaxing. Heaven!
We are lucky, other than needing to be in a country that has good healthcare doesn’t require immunizations and has self-contained accommodation (so we can cook for ourselves). We don’t have any other limitations.
Comprehensive travel insurance was already included with our health cover – but I could see travel insurance being a major problem for others trying to travel with complicated health conditions or a history of health problems.
We make all our holiday bookings ourselves – from flights and cars to self-contained accommodation – rather than booking tours or packages. This way we keep control of the budget and on our very specific requirements.
RV retirement travel in USA
Having traveled to the USA from the UK for 10 years, we’ve now made the decision to travel nearer to home (to lessen the stress and exhaustion of long-haul flights – and to be a bit more spontaneous) and have bought a 4-berth motorhome. We’re already planning our holidays to Europe for 2019, and have traveled to Devon and Somerset in the UK this autumn. The freedom to chuck a load of stuff in the van and just go is really exciting. Long may it continue!
Jane – Jogging Along
Plan Financial Independence – Retire And Travel The World
David and Linda
We have been retired and traveling for over five years. Each year we take longer and more trips. At this time, we are away about six months of the year, often for six to ten weeks at a time. Our home base is still in Toronto, Canada. But every year we assess the need to have a permanent base. And whether it will be Toronto.
Throughout long and successful careers, we both were pretty thrifty and put away money for the future. We downsized from a large house when our kids moved away and put the extra equity into our savings. We love to splurge with luxury experiences when we travel. But we are equally happy shopping at a local market and doing a picnic in a park.
When we are at home, we tend to be homebodies and are not extravagant in our spending. This maximizes what we have to spend on travel and experiences. Travel, after you are retired, can be less expensive. We have the flexibility to travel when rates are lower – whether that is days of the week or times of the year.
Retire and travel the world!
It is great to be able to visit places for longer times and really immerse yourself in the spot. And as we travel for longer periods, I like to think I am amortizing our airfare over a greater number of travel days!
But there are some downsides. It is hard to keep up with friends and family when we are away so much. We have a fixed cost at home, whether we are there or not. And traveling so much makes it hard to keep up with getting all our blog posts published and photos edited!
David and Linda – RetiredAndTravelling on Instagram
How To Retire At 55 – Active Adult Living
I always knew that we would be retired by 55 and traveling the world. We were saving every month, overpaying into our pension plans and taking small holidays with the kids to keep our wanderlust under control.
Little did I realize that by the age of 39 I would be widowed and all those plans would go out of the window. Meningitis hit from nowhere and I was left with two small children and our dreams shattered.
Over the last six years, I have picked myself up from the rubble of my life and piece by piece rebuilt our lives. I retired after two years of trying to run a house, manage a grieving family and continue my career as a university lecturer.
Travel after retirement with kids
Travelling has been a big part in this journey and I am now traveling with my two teen boys and doing everything I planned all on our small pension from my husbands work. It isn’t what I wanted, the locations are not far-flung or luxury, but I am traveling. I fit my travels around the boys.
We have big adventures in the holidays and to keep my sanity I try and get a long weekend away somewhere every few months. I have discovered a love for wide open places and the realization that I have to do things now before it is too late.
Early Retirement Extreme – I Enjoy My Life!
After years of frugal living and investing in low-cost index funds, I retired at 43 from software engineering to devote myself to travel, language learning, writing, and photography.
The first three years of my retirement have been dedicated to visiting many bucket-list destinations. Each year, I’ve spent about 20 weeks on the road, with three international trips and several shorter domestic ones.
I’m grateful to be able to travel while still relatively young and healthy. As an American who had limited vacation time while working, I appreciate the luxury of slow travel. I prefer spending a significant chunk of time in one place, building relationships, and really getting to know the culture and language.
Combining language learning and travel has been the best way for me to forge a meaningful connection to the places I visit. My goal is to learn a new language to at least a conversational level every two years. Since retiring, my focus has been Spanish, and I’ve studied at schools in Madrid and Guanajuato, Puebla, and Merida in Mexico. I really enjoy Brazilian culture, so in 2019 I’ll be learning Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro.
Retirement travel on a budget
I keep travel expenses down by choosing mainly low-cost travel destinations like Latin America or Eastern Europe. I often plan my trips to leverage local currency drops. For example, the weak ruble made my visit to Russia this year much less expensive than it would have been a few years ago.
When I retired, I started a blog about travel and language learning. Recently, I monetized my site with ads and affiliate links, and it now earns enough to fund my trips. Since I run the blog as a business, I can also deduct many of my travel and language education expenses.
Ingrid – Second-Half Travels on Facebook
Life After Retirement – Older And Bolder
I’ve been traveling for forty years, ever since middle school when I ditched the family road trip and started taking school trips to cool places like New York City. My itch to travel kept growing until 2014, I decided to give it a huge scratch. I left my 9-5 job and went on a head-clearing pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
When I returned home, I hung a shingle for consulting and started my travel blog Wayfaring Views. I’m not sure you can call consulting and blogging “retired”, but I certainly don’t work forty hours a week. I own my schedule and there is a LOT of room in it for taking to the road.
Active life after retirement
My husband is fully retired and we fund our lives (and our travels) through a combination of retirement savings and my consulting/blogging work. We often travel together but I sometimes go solo. One of the benefits of being a grey nomad is that, as a boomer woman, I experience far less sexual harassment on the road than younger women. That it occurs at all is problematic but my grey hair cuts down on the volume of it.
One of the challenges of boomer travel is simply that the world is large and the clock is ticking. I felt this very acutely after my mother’s death. As a result, I’ve put together a bucket list of 60 travel experiences that I want to have by the time I’m 60 and I’m steadily working my way through the list. Next up: Colombia!
Carol – Wayfaring Views on Facebook
Digital Nomad Lifestyle – Early Retirement Blog
Jacqueline & Glenn
My wife Jacqueline and I are in our 50’s and started our nomadic travels in late 2015. We wanted to retire early and were looking at options of moving from Australia to South East Asia where the cost of living was substantially cheaper.
We decided to take a ‘gap’ year and check out three locations – Chiang Mai in Thailand, Penang in Malaysia and Da Nang in Vietnam. We only got as far as Chiang Mai and stayed for five months as we absolutely loved it.
It was during this time that we came across house sitting and ended up sitting in Thailand, Hong Kong, Spain, France, and the UK for the next seven months. This proved to be our ‘golden ticket’ as it saved us so much money in free accommodation. We ended up spending way less than we had budgeted for and even spent less than if we were living at home.
Our decision to sell everything (except our house) and embark on a nomadic retirement was a no-brainer. We now travel the world staying in beautiful houses and exploring ‘local’ areas that are off the tourist trail. We enjoy a much more authentic experience and see places that we never would have normally thought of visiting. This year we have visited 17 countries and will be spending Christmas and New Year in Mexico.
How to retire early with rental properties
We fund our lifestyle with rental income from our house and two other rental properties plus some share dividends. This provides more than enough for us to enjoy a comfortable nomadic retirement. Of course, there are things we miss from our old life – friends and family, our favorite eateries and drinking holes and the comfort of everything being familiar.
However, these are more than offset by the adventure of experiencing new places and cultures and meeting new and interesting people. We have made many new friends and it’s wonderful meeting up in different countries. If ever we need or want, to go ‘home’ it’s as easy as jumping on a plane!
Glenn & Jacqueline – Lambies Travels on Facebook
How To Become A Nomad At Early Retirement Age 50
At the tender age of 50 (I’m now 51), I took a decision to stop working, put my house contents into storage, and with my partner, relocate to a cheaper part of the world to live, Vietnam.
I’m not sure whether this is called retirement, semi-retirement, or just foolhardy.
The background to my story is that travel has always been part of my life. I’ve taken “gap years” throughout my working career and used those to travel, as well as using most of my yearly annual leave allocation to travel as well.
However, I became increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t allocate more time to this passion.
Living abroad in retirement
Wanting to live abroad, and travel as much as we could, we needed to be sure that financially we could manage. Paying off the home loan, having access to some savings, and renting out the house for a monthly income, ensured that with some care taken with our expenses, we could achieve our goals.
There are certainly pros for traveling over the age of 50, including being able to have more flexibility with travel due to less financial constraints, being able to move at a slower pace, and an appreciation that travel is a highly personal experience, as may be missed when you’re younger.
Of course, there are a few cons to older traveling as well, including not having the physicality to take part in some activities, not being able to fit as much into a day anymore, as well as sometimes needing to spend a little extra on accommodation as it is harder to go without some of life’s little creature comforts.
The road ahead is full of unknowns, and this is very exciting.
Markus – The Roaming Fork on Facebook
How To Retire Happy Wild And Free
Nigel and Sarah
At the age of 43, I left my role as General Manager of a successful Silicon Valley company and the corporate IT world behind. I’d moved to the USA four years previously to take up an executive role and we’d spent all our free time exploring the USA. My husband and I have spoken about traveling together for years. On the eve of my work visa renewal, we decided now was the time. Go traveling or stop talking about it.
And so we did. We sold the contents of the house, the car, our yacht. And we set off with a 40-liter Osprey backpack each. That was coming up to five years ago. We travel cheap, but we don’t skimp if there’s something that we specifically want to do, like stay in a US$250 a night ryokan in Japan with haute cuisine, or hike to Everest Base Camp.
We’re never happier than when we’re on a train or a local bus, oh sure we had the van that we bought in New Zealand, which was great, but such a relief to get rid of all that STUFF when we left. We’ve slowed down as our travels have continued and my desire to have things booked days and weeks in advance has completely disappeared, flexibility is much better and I’m much more laid back now that I don’t have to be on conference calls at all hours of the day, night and weekend.
We pay for this from savings and income from property, we don’t have children and both had well-paid jobs in IT before we left work, there is, of course, also an income from affiliate marketing from ASocialNomad that contributes too.
Sarah – ASocialNomad on Facebook
Chasing The Sun – Enjoy Your Retirement!
Betsy and Pete
Our story is non-traditional, even for non-traditional retirement stories. When we were married in 2006, we quickly realized that we would never be able to traditionally retire, for a variety of reasons. We decided then that we needed to develop a side hustle to supplement our income. Our hope was this would eventually replace our day jobs so that we would have more time and the money to travel.
In 2008, we began our blog, PassingThru, in which we documented our journey. I quickly sold my business and landed some consulting gigs. We achieved full location independence in 2011, and Pete was able to quit his stressful marketing job. Since then, we sold everything and moved to Kauai, sold everything again and traveled full time for four years, and most recently have re-established a home base.
When you reduce or eliminate a traditional North American lifestyle, the money to travel magically appears – you’re no longer paying an astronomical mortgage, car, and insurance payments. The cost of living is so much less expensive in many countries. We saved on accommodations by using a combination of housesitting, hotel points and timeshare redemptions.
When we traveled full time, we chased the sun around the world – we didn’t need expensive cold weather gear, and we got by with a checked bag and a carry-on. Those minimalist tendencies have transitioned with us back to having a home base. We’re grateful for the time we spent vagabonding, and encourage others to take the leap!
Betsy – PassingThru on Facebook
At What Age Can You Retire?
Hopefully, you enjoyed the read and you can’t wait to plan the leap into financial independence. Retire early needs courage – talk to others who took the plunge for reassurance. Maybe you’d like to take a timeout first, to see if early retirement travel is something you’d like to try for longer.
I was able to retire at 45 and so are many others. After six nomadic years traveling Southern Africa, Europe, South, and North America we enjoy our home base in Burgundy, France. Read how to retire early with rental properties and where you can find the best place to retire in France.
At what age can you retire? How to know when to retire? Some people retired at 55 and loving it. Others retire at 58. When should you retire? The answer you have to find yourself depending on if you want to live frugally.
Retire early with real estate. It allows an active adult living, and you can grow older and bolder without having to join the rat race for longer. You will find out at what age you can retire with this early retirement calculator and plan your financial independence. Retire early and travel the world!
Retirement Travel Books
Our recommendations for retirement travel books: