Regardless of your age, it could be possible for you to quit your day job and head off overseas. Though it may sound like a fantasy, there are some indicators that would suggest you could be enjoying this lifestyle right now. You don’t have to meet every criteria below, but if you already meet some of them, then there’s potential you could make it happen. Here’s what you need to make semiretirement a reality.
Consumer debt is one of the biggest enemies of semiretirement. If you’ve got outstanding balances left, right, and center, a large chunk of your income will likely be going toward paying off the interest on these debts. Paying off credit card debt is the first thing to address before you can make this big lifestyle change.
However, if you’re not lining the pockets of American financial institutions month after month, then this is the perfect starting point to planning your new life. You’re already in a position of financial independence that allows you far more control over what you do with your finances.
Willingness to strip down your lifestyle
One of the keys to making your money stretch further is being able to strip down your lifestyle and live within your means. Though it might seem daunting at first, it will become easier with a proper plan in place and an appreciation for the goals you’ve set.
The idea behind semiretirement is not to make you live on the breadline, but unless you have a huge stash of dollars saved up, you will probably need to make adjustments to your budget. These should be offset by the benefits of living in a country you love with potentially better weather than home. The extra time that you have to do things you’re passionate about helps as well.
A portable, good-paying job
The term semiretirement suggests that you’re still going to have to work for a living, but it also points toward working fewer hours. There are plenty of jobs that you can do from anywhere in the world, and if you already have one of these, then you’re a step ahead. (See Also: 8 $100K Jobs You Can Do Online)
But even if you do currently clock in to your cubicle every day, don’t worry, there’s still hope. It’s never too late to become location independent, and moving abroad could actually open up opportunities for you rather than close them down. Teaching English, freelance writing, editing, translating, travel blogging, and working as a divemaster are just a few of the many jobs you can choose from. (See also: 4 Creative Remote Jobs That Can Supplement Your Retirement Income)
Some passive income
Pocketing some passive income is the perfect way to supplement a life of semiretirement as it essentially allows you to earn while you’re not actually working. Though keeping the dollars coming in even while you sleep sounds too good to be true, earning a passive income is actually well within reach for lots of people. (See also: 5 Ways to Make Passive Income Online)
Starting a blog, selling an ebook, and creating an online course are just a few ways it’s possible to begin earning passive income. The money could then be used to supplement your other earnings, or it could even work to become your only source of income. Though it’s a lot of effort upfront, once established it only requires a small amount of upkeep, so it will allow you far more free time.
A cheap country
By moving to a cheaper country, you can drastically reduce your living costs overnight without making drastic changes to your quality of life. Because the U.S. is relatively expensive compared to the majority of the rest of the world, you’re not short on options to find somewhere you can live for less.
There are plenty of countries where you can have an extremely comfortable existence for less than $1,000 per month, which fits virtually any semiretirement budget. Another option is to travel between cheap countries rather than staying in one place, and if you’re a travel lover, this may be even more appealing. (See also: 5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month)
Savings for a rainy day
Having savings in place is the most important part of any kind of early retirement, but it’s particularly important if you’re living abroad. It’s absolutely essential that you have the funds to cover emergencies as it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fall back on any kind of state aid.
These savings should be on top of your regular retirement fund, as you don’t want your retirement account to take a big hit if something does go wrong. It doesn’t need to be a fortune, but you need enough extra to get you back to the U.S. on short notice if necessary.
Possessions you can sell
If you have possessions that you no longer need and can sell before you leave, this could boost your semiretirement fund quite significantly. Things like a vehicle, furniture, or even old clothes can bring in an extra injection of dollars and make the transition easier.
Doing this might speed up the time frame you’ve put in place for moving abroad, and selling off a few unwanted belongings is also a great way to build your rainy day fund. Depending on the value of the stuff you’re selling, it might even be enough to create one straight away.
A house you could rent out
Owning property can be a great bonus if you’re able to rent it out for a profit when you move abroad. If you own the property outright, or the rental income is enough to cover your mortgage and maintenance, plus provide you with extra income on top of that, then you’ve got another form of passive income.
Though you could feasibly sell the property to give you a chunk of cash, in many cases, it makes more sense to hold onto the income-generating asset. The more sources of income that you have, the easier it will be to make the move into semiretirement.