There is more than one way to retire early and travel the world. This is how we did it, but the road map for your path might look way different.
Retire early and travel the world
We lived below our means and we didn’t waste money on needless things.
We saved, we invested. Tedly started years before Ellen, and the magic of compounding and a long bull market multiplied his holdings.
Tedly always found the best deals from groceries to gifts because he is a talented, shrewd shopper. He still finds the best prices in town – only now he’s shopping in foreign countries.
We continue to own a modest home in the USA. It is a comfortable, efficient, rehabbed property in Cleveland, Ohio. It was paid off years ago, and is now rented long term, netting us about $700 a month in passive income.
We chose not to have children.
We didn’t buy or lease new cars every few years. Today, we don’t own any cars.
We didn’t buy expensive jewelry, clothing, or home decor. We minimized credit card balance finance charges, and always avoided late fees.
That’s how we were able to retire early and travel the world.
There are many more examples of how we made intentional choices that led to early retirement. We could write a book. Maybe one day we will.
We are not financial advisors, and we don’t give investment advice. But we encourage everyone to truly understand their spending, saving, and investment decisions.
Our travel budget
What we spend each month varies on where we are in the world. Places like Mexico and Vietnam are less costly than Italy or Montenegro.
Our budget goal is to keep monthly expenses under $2,000. Accounting for the $700 monthly rental income, that means we need less than $1,500 per month from our savings.
Some months we exceed the budget. Thankfully, we have that flexibility. But $2,000 outflow is the goal.
We were able to retire early and travel the world —
BUT– that doesn’t mean we stay at five-star resorts and eat at white-tablecloth restaurants. Comfortable living accommodations in exotic places, delicious food in foreign countries, experiencing incredible sites on Earth all are possible because we live within our means.
This lifestyle would not have been possible if we had stayed in the U.S.
We are open about our expenses:
We break it down even more:
- How to travel cheap 1 month in Southeast Asia
- Slow travel budget breakdown for 1 month in Penang, Malaysia
- Cheap month-long stay in Bali: $1.5k for 2 people
- 3 months in Europe: what it cost
- 1 month in Lisbon: what it cost
- What it cost to live in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 1 month
- Life in Kotor, Montenegro: what 1 month cost
- Price check: Groceries in Mexico compared to Guatemala
- Health care in Malaysia: a CT scan example
- Mammogram in Mexico: what it cost, what it was like
- Blood tests, X-ray and more in Cebu, Philippines
And speaking of health care…
We really should write a book. But at this point, that feels like too much work. After all — we’re retired!
We pay out of pocket for routine medical care, and we currently have an inexpensive year-long travel insurance policy, which provides emergency medical and evacuation coverage.
We also write about money-related topics in addition to health care and budget breakdowns.
- What phone service should you chose?
- What’s the best way to pack to avoid airline fees?
- How do you cross borders on visa runs?
- How can you find good – and cheap – street food?
- Which sites are best to find apartments?
- Is it tough to buy prescription drugs overseas?
- How can I connect with other people in this lifestyle?
With some planning and determination, it’s possible to retire early and travel the world without spending a ton of money.
We hope this website will give you ideas.
An expat travel lifestyle in retirement is possible – and it’s fun!
Earth Vagabonds newsletter
More info on how to retire early and travel the world
We share additional information about our adventures in our newsletter. We include destinations around the world, financial breakdowns, our experiences with health care overseas, and more.
We also share what we learn about the fascinating countries and cultures we visit, as well as updates on our travel plans, travel news regarding the pandemic, and more.