As reported in a recent New York Times article (“Increasingly, Retirees Dump Their Possessions and Hit the Road,” August 2014), a growing number of retirees are selling their homes, ditching their possessions and exploring the world.
And why not? Many of today’s retirees are young in spirit and healthy enough to travel. Retirement is losing its stigma as a time to be confined to your home.
In addition to the adventure and excitement of life as a “senior gypsy,” there may be financial benefits, as well. Divesting yourself of material possessions may enable you to pay off debts and reduce your cost of living, especially with the help of room-and-board websites such as homeaway.com and couchsurfing.org.
If you think a nomadic lifestyle is unrealistic for retirees, you might want to think again: In 2013, approximately 48% more Americans were receiving their Social Security benefits at foreign addresses than did in 2003; additionally, coachsurfing.org counts its 50+ year-old members at a quarter of a million.
There might also be psychological benefits to embarking upon retirement by traveling far and wide. The sense of liberation that can be achieved through a retirement on the road can reveal new outlooks on life.
If this lifestyle intrigues you, take a look at your fellow community members' travels and adventures and be sure to ask them all about it!