As you ponder, daydream, or make serious plans about living a semi-retired life, give serious thought to this one piece first. Keep in mind, if your initial choices don’t work, you can always change them.
Are you planning a mobile, traveling, different-places life? Or, do you want to have an anchor-in-place approach and build all your opportunities around, from, and in that place?
- Do you live now where you want to be when you semi-retire?
- What kind of housing do you want to have or have now?
- Are you going to need something bigger or smaller, or is what you have just right?
- Is your housing also part of your income source?
- Is renting your home, or doing home exchange an option during your “off” time periods?
- Is commuting to/from work an issue?
- Costs – can you live this life with your current housing and expenses?
- Is there employment where you are anchored? Particularly seasonal, temporary, or contract so that you can take a few weeks or months break when you want.
- Or, will you need to start a business of some kind? If so, I highly recommend Barbara Winter’s book Making a Living without a Job.
Traveling Life Considerations
- Well, where ARE you going to live? Keep in mind that many seasonal tourism jobs provide housing.
- That said, what are you going to do with your belongings that aren’t traveling with you?
- Can you afford multiple residences?
- Are you going to keep a primary residence somewhere as a base of operations? If so, where? (Think about tax implications)
- If not, what are you going to use for a permanent legal address?
- Is portable something that would work for you – RV, camper, tiny house?
- How are you going to get around? (If you have an RV, you won’t want to take it to the store for a loaf of bread…)
- What work are you going to do – same type job just floating with the seasons to different locations? Or, a different job every season? For example, I have a recurring summer position where I live now, but plan to travel or live in other places during the Fall and Winter once I get my youngest child launched.
- You will need to figure out your banking (MUCH easier than it used to be), and bill-paying. Where will your bills be delivered?
- Communications services – cell phone, satellite, etc?
Note that these questions are appropriate and may affect your choices whether you are an individual going his or her own way, a couple who plan on doing this together, or even a couple where only one of you wants this type of employment.
Everything is negotiable when you are calling the shots. That’s the point.