As the Baby Boomer generation heads into retirement, they are doing things their own way just as they always have. For many retirees, the sedentary life they remember their grandparents living is not for them. Instead, they are volunteering, starting businesses and going back to school.
Many of them are also traveling full time, some sailing and others heading out and exploring on an RV. This is an exciting lifestyle, but it can also present some practical obstacles. Below are a few tips for those nearing retirement and considering this lifestyle change.
Paying for It
Many retirees move to places like Costa Rica or Mexico or hit the road (or the high seas) because they have a better quality of life on their savings and Social Security than they could if they stayed home. All the same, you may be looking at ways to stretch your money a little further. Some older people who no longer have dependents sell their life insurance policies.
This is one way to get cash, but you may want to hang onto it and consider a viatical settlement in the future. A viatical settlement is for people who are terminally ill and who have a life expectancy of two years or less. This can provide you with money to live in comfort. You may also want to consider whether you wish to sell your home and use the proceeds or if you want to keep it as a home base.
Whether you’re planning to sail, drive or see the world in some other way, there is a forum or social media group out there for you. This is an excellent way to connect with people who are already living these lifestyles and get advice.
It’s also a good way to start building a community. This can be particularly important when you are on the move because you won’t be able to rely on the kind of local connections that you did back in your hometown.
What if you sell everything, hit the road and decide you can’t stand it? There’s absolutely no rush, and you can try out this lifestyle before you commit to it full time. Can you live in an RV or onboard a ship 24/7, alone or with your spouse? You might decide that you don’t want to do it at all, or you may decide that you just want to travel part time.
Deal with Logistics
If you are going to be traveling full time, you will need to think about how you will maintain a home address. This is important for maintaining a driver’s license, tax purposes and voting. Laws vary from state to state. Some people may want to keep a residence and use this as their permanent address.
Keep in mind that you might be obligated to serve on a jury although some jurisdictions will excuse older adults. Some people prefer to maintain an address in a state that has minimal residency requirements and low- or no-income tax. If you choose this option, you can sign up with a service to handle your mail. There are pros and cons to each of these approaches based on your personal situation.