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Making Retirement Work Tip #3: Get Outta Dodge!

Let’s face it, most of the ”Developed, Western” world is a pretty expensive place to live. Sure, it’s balanced out by some of the highest wage rates in the world, but what if you’re not taking in the wages anymore? Are you still living in a place that requires you to pay out the heightened expenses?

I’ve had the opportunity to experience and take advantage of this first hand. As an aspiring poker pro, I make money every month, but not nearly enough to live on. (Hence the word “aspiring”.) But since that doesn’t actually require me to live anywhere in particular, I decided to move somewhere a lot warmer and a lot cheaper, so I moved to Mexico.

So I put my small town house up for rent and used the income to rent a 800 sqft apartment in a gated community. My expenses are only somewhere around $1100 a month. I have friends here that aren’t quite as rambuncious as I am (read: cheap drunks) that live fulfilling lives on half that.

Not to say that you can follow my lead if you’re like most people and working a job that requires your physical prescence… but when you stop? Think about it. And if you’re not tied down to one place already…. what are you waiting for?

Imagine this. You’re 65. You want out of the rat race, but you only have 300k in the bank. For all you know, you might live another 30 years, and assuming you spend 20k a year (which is a pittance in most parts of America), that’s only 15 years worth of living. Before inflation. But living in Mexico or someplace else that only requires 7-10k a year? Now things are looking up!

But aren’t developing nations dangerous?   Well, it depends on what you view as dangerous.  New Orleans averages a murder a day for a little over a million people.   The town where I live that’s 1/10th the size?  3 last year, I believe.  And that’s in “the drug war”.  Plus, because public transit is so cheap, (a bus is 40 cents, a taxi ride 3 dollars) I don’t even need a car, and the speed limit in town is less than 30 mph.  Which virtually eliminates my odds of getting in a deadly car accident, which statistically speaking is waaaaaaay more likely than getting killed in an act of violence.

There are sizeable ex-patriate communities all over the world.  And since ex-pats pick where they live, as opposed to most locals that just grow up where they were born, they tend not to pick places where street crime (the only kind that effects you unless you plan on joining a gang or something) is rampant.

So go ahead, do a little research. Take a trip or two, check it out.  Explore.  Not only will you save some cash, you’ll broaden your mind.

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