Years ago I’ve read a site that was discussing retirement to various destinations, ranking them on affordability, medical care, quality of life, easy of residency, etc.
I don’t remember the site, but I remember the shock of finding out that there are places where one could retire and live decently, though generally frugally, for as little as $1,200 per month.
The influential Trinity Study laid down the famous “4% rule” as a yardstick for what would be a safe withdrawal rate with the goal of preserving a portfolio for 30 years.
In other words, one would need a wealth of only $360,000 to retire with an income
of $1,200/month (
360,000 * 0.04 = 1,200/month * 12 months).
All of a sudden, I stopped thinking in how much money do I have saved or invested and started thinking in “what country can I retire to now?”
Am I Colombia-level now? Can I be Panama-level next year? etc
I didn’t think there was any scenario in which I could retire in the US. In a way I still don’t, but between a good market run, a partner that can chip in even if they can’t actually retire, step-kids moving out, it all seemed like it would be at least worth investigating.
Eyeing to retire early – thank you FIRE movement – maybe within the next year or two, I owe it to myself to start investigating my opportunities and start preparations for it.
I don’t have a particular goal this year, but rather a vague checklist of questions I would like to, and likely need answered before taking the jump:
- What country can I afford to retire to? What is the current status and ranking of various countries known for retirement-friendly environments?
- How would my investments need to be structured in preparation for retirement?
- What would retirement look like financially?
- What are the tax implications of living off investment incomes?
- What are the taxation regimes in various locales, in particular towards US citizens?
- Would I benefit more from having a EU citizenship if Europe FIRE is a reality?
- What do I do for healthcare?
- Do I buy a house somewhere and use it as a home-base or do I just digital-nomad it?
As a bonus: what if I were to take a one-year sabbatical and slow-travel the US or Europe by motorcycle? What would that cost me and how would I do it?