How do you plan for retirement as a full-time or long-term traveler? Is it responsible to make that leap of faith into a new life without taking the full picture into account?
I addressed this question once by outlining my own strategies for retirement planning, as shown here:
I believe that the principles of (and necessity for) retirement planning are sound, regardless of who you are and what your lifestyle is. We need to cover off eventualities (that may hit us both prior to and within our “retirement” years); eventualities that could affect our ability to earn money to cover expenses.
You can do this in a number of ways – regardless of whether you travel:
- Earn more than you spend, and save/invest the difference.
- Invest in health insurance so a medical emergency doesn’t bankrupt you – now or later.
- Consider other forms of insurance (like Critical Illness or Life Insurance) to cover off personal or family needs in times of medical crisis. (Remember with these kinds of insurance, when you realize you need it you’ll be too late; get it while you’re young and healthy for low guaranteed premiums).
What is Retirement, Anyway?
Then again, the very definition of “retirement” is changing. Each emerging generation is generally living longer, with energy and resources to do more at “retirement age” than our parents or grandparents were generally able to.
What do retired people do, anyway?
Or rather, what will you do when you’re retired?
The act of retiring or the state of being retired; removal or withdrawal from service, office, or business.
I keep putting “retirement” in “quotations”, because I believe it is something of an antiquated term, since so many “retired” people actually still work – but more in the realm of their passions, and for desire as opposed to necessity.
You might even refer to the new retirement as “re-engagement”.
By this new definition, I “retired” at the age of 30; or rather I “re-engaged” by pursuing my dreams of full-time travel and parlayed my expertise into a new career as a writer to financially sustain my dreams.
Do I still need to plan for a future when I might not be able or willing to work – regardless of whether it’s for desire or necessity?
Of course. And I have.
But as I also recently realized when my life changed in a second, life happens while you’re busy making plans, and even if you do everything right, sometimes an early “retirement” (by its old definition) could be thrust upon you.
What does all this mean?
After all this waffling, you might be a little confused about retirement.
Join the club. So am I.
What I want to challenge, is the very definition of retirement, and how we responsibly plan for the future while paying attention to the quality of our lives in the here and now.
Some food for thought: