It will have to be fairly soon as I've already reached 60, although as she is still earning well she would rather wait a couple of years.
The initial plan was to sell our house and apartment, buy a larger apartment or a smaller house in an area that we will be happy to retire to, bank the remainder and use this to live on while travelling around for 5 years or more.
We have had some negative responses from people we have mentioned this to.
The older ones can't understand it and come up with all sorts of reasons not to:
The younger ones can't believe that decrepit oldies like us could get on a plane unaided let alone backpack around foreign countries:
|"You want to do what! Stay there and I'll get your medication"|
I've done the sums and checked out the options and am pleased to say that it all seems feasible.
If we were to go the whole hog and sell up though we would need to live on rental income from the apartment, interest on savings and the pension.
Now I'm an old bugger but not that old so I have another 5 years to wait for the pension (double that if some arsehole politicians had their way) so this pushes the plan out a bit.
The Old Girl and I have lived in blissful harmony for 24 years. We have a great relationship built on sharing, trust, mutual interests, love and the very essential component of each doing their own thing when they want or need to. Space in other words. If we were cooped up together for years living out of suitcases (backpacks) we might murder each other.
We discussed this on a walk today around the bay and came up with a three stage plan.
Look to do some extended holidays in far away places.
We have travelled a lot but, because we have always been employed have been limited to short (2 or 3 or 4 week holidays).
We have been looking at 'house swapping' where we pair up with people on the other side of the world and swap houses for a month or two. The beauty of this is that no money changes hands (normally the most expensive element of travel is accommodation) and you have a solid base to operate from.
Normal daily expenses are no different than if you are at home (food, insurances, mortgage etc).
If we choose wisely and find a place that is a hub we will be able to EuroPass our way around cheaply.
We have decided that if we swap our two residences (a place in the country and a city apartment 2 hours away) this will enable us to get something pretty reasonable in France, Italy or Spain.
This is the first big step.
This involves renting (not selling) or house and to take the plunge and travel for a year.
If it doesn't work out we can come back and resume life as normal.
If it does work out then we can consider ....
The 'full monty'
Selling up (but keeping a nice bolt-hole or retirement place) to come back to and taking off into the wild blue yonder (more likely grey, polluted other) for 5 or more years.
It won't be without risks, hassles and potential disasters even but hey, you only live once.
If we were doing either Stage Two or Stage Three we would want to travel as cheaply as possible.
While it would be nice to stay here:
We will probably end up staying here:
We'll have to get over the privilege we have experienced in the past with corporate travel largely picking up the costs and cut our cloth accordingly.
We have visited and loved the big cities of Europe but now its time to go to the out-of-the-way (and cheaper) places.
As long as we ensure that rental income or savings interest covers the monthly basics (mortgage, insurances, health insurance etc) then this could work.
International air travel is so affordable nowadays that it is hardly part of the equation. As long as we find cheap (or free) accommodation and spend sensibly then we should easily be able to do the one year plan and maybe the five year one.
We are experienced travellers but there are risks.
Crime/ theft/ robbery:
|oops, sorry, wrong image|
|I meant this sort of crime|
This sort of crime is more of a worry:
|If we are short of cash The Old Girl might need to supplement our income like this young lady is doing|
There are ways around this happening though and this one appeals to me most: