Travels With Jim and Rita

Episode 01 - Retirement Rebels: Embracing the Wanderlust Way of Life

January 19, 2024 Jim Santos, travel writer and host of the International Living Podcast Season 1 Episode 1
Episode 01 - Retirement Rebels: Embracing the Wanderlust Way of Life
Travels With Jim and Rita
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Travels With Jim and Rita
Episode 01 - Retirement Rebels: Embracing the Wanderlust Way of Life
Jan 19, 2024 Season 1 Episode 1
Jim Santos, travel writer and host of the International Living Podcast

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Ever fantasized about selling everything to explore the world? That's precisely what we, Jim and Rita, are doing as we turn our golden years into a globetrotting adventure. Buckle up for an episode that peels back the curtain on our daring decision to sell our home, dive into retirement travel, and live life to the fullest abroad. We share the nitty-gritty of our financial blueprint — the foundation of a plan that balances the thrill of new experiences with the poignant goodbye to our cherished home. From the bustling streets of Panama, we recount the meticulous budgeting that could potentially enrich our savings and detail our vigilant watch over the US housing market for the perfect moment to possibly return.

The journey's finale is a tapestry of uncertainty and anticipation, a testament to the unpredictable nature of life and travel. As we ponder our next destination, we invite you to join the caravan of curiosity by subscribing for tales of where the winds of wanderlust may carry us. Through my storytelling, be it in written or spoken form, you have a passenger seat to the world of international living. Engage with us, as your questions and insights fuel our shared exploration. For the dreamers, the travelers, and the retirement rebels, our saga is a clarion call to redefine the later chapters of life with audacity and joy.

Support the Show.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/2292506/supporters/new
https://www.jimsantosbooks.com
http://jimsantos.net
https://www.youtube.com/@jimsantos508
jim@jimsantosbooks.com

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever fantasized about selling everything to explore the world? That's precisely what we, Jim and Rita, are doing as we turn our golden years into a globetrotting adventure. Buckle up for an episode that peels back the curtain on our daring decision to sell our home, dive into retirement travel, and live life to the fullest abroad. We share the nitty-gritty of our financial blueprint — the foundation of a plan that balances the thrill of new experiences with the poignant goodbye to our cherished home. From the bustling streets of Panama, we recount the meticulous budgeting that could potentially enrich our savings and detail our vigilant watch over the US housing market for the perfect moment to possibly return.

The journey's finale is a tapestry of uncertainty and anticipation, a testament to the unpredictable nature of life and travel. As we ponder our next destination, we invite you to join the caravan of curiosity by subscribing for tales of where the winds of wanderlust may carry us. Through my storytelling, be it in written or spoken form, you have a passenger seat to the world of international living. Engage with us, as your questions and insights fuel our shared exploration. For the dreamers, the travelers, and the retirement rebels, our saga is a clarion call to redefine the later chapters of life with audacity and joy.

Support the Show.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/2292506/supporters/new
https://www.jimsantosbooks.com
http://jimsantos.net
https://www.youtube.com/@jimsantos508
jim@jimsantosbooks.com

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Travels with Jim and Rita.

Speaker 1:

I'm your host, jim Santos, and in this podcast series you can follow along as my wife, rita and I work out our crazy plan to outfox the real estate market in the US and actually increase our retirement nest egg by spending the next three years or so living abroad and exploring the world. Are we bold, forward thinking pioneers or just plain nuts? Let's find out together, shall we? Hello, I'm Jim Santos and I appreciate you checking out this first episode of Travels with Jim and Rita. Since we're meeting for the first time. Let me give you a little background of what's going on in our lives right now.

Speaker 1:

My wife and I are both retired, although I still busy myself with writing, podcasting, voiceover work and recording audiobooks. I'll turn 66 this year, rita just turned 73, and we find ourselves facing a situation common to us aging boomers. We've reached the point in our lives where downsizing our home to something easy to maintain and without stairs, whether that be a home in a managed community or a condo, will soon be a part of our lives. The good news is that, in this crazy housing market for our age group, who generally are in the last years of their mortgage or, like us own their home outright, is that we could sell our home for an historically high price, making a tidy little profit. The bad news, of course, is that if we go out and buy our new single-level home or condo, we'll also have to pay an historically high price. Why not rent for a while? Well, have you looked at rental prices lately? Even worse, while saving vehicles or paying relatively high rates if the boomer buyer needs to do any financing, mortgage rates are also high. So what to do? Well, here's where we started to think a bit outside the box.

Speaker 1:

First, understand that Rita and I have done a fair amount of traveling. In fact, I've been a travel writer for the last ten years, with over 200 articles published in several books and audiobooks available on Amazon. Look at JimSantosnet, if I may do a little self-promotion here. In addition to that, we spent almost six years living in Ecuador and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bottom line is, we are comfortable with travel to other countries. So the thought occurred to us what if we sold our home and didn't buy something right away? What if, instead, we lived in various countries around the world for a couple of years? After all, we just spent a month in Greece, istanbul, vienna and Prague, and as I record this podcast, we're in Panama for ten weeks to escape the winter. This spring we've already booked five weeks in Mexico. So why not just stretch that out? After all, we found that the most expense involved in travel is getting there and coming back. As in Europe or Central or South America, moving around there is relatively cheap. We also know from our own experience and from people I've interviewed on the International Living Podcast that we can live cheaper many places overseas than we can in the US.

Speaker 1:

Being a bit of a geek, my next step was naturally to create some spreadsheets. First, I found that if we set a monthly budget of about $3,000, we would still have a comfortable cushion from our regular fixed income leftover. That's two social security checks and a pension, plus any income from my various side hustles. That would more than cover incidentals like storing some of our household goods and furniture. My next spreadsheet looked at what to do with the income from the sale of our home. At current rates we could earn better than 5% by keeping the funds in safe and insured savings vehicles. And let's face it, at our age we can't afford to gamble on the stock market or long-term investments that might earn more. Rather intriguing is also the possibility of banking money outside the US. For example, uruguay has some accounts currently paying a fixed rate of 7 or even 8% for one-year commitments. So, much to our surprise and delight, we were finding that we could potentially travel the world and actually earn money while we do it. Meanwhile, we can keep an eye on the US real estate market and time our future re-entry to coincide with the next downturn in prices, or just keep traveling as long as we're physically able. Our plan would be to spend at least nine months each year abroad and come to the US in the summer to visit our kids and nine grandchildren while they're out of school.

Speaker 1:

In the US, we'll do a combination of house-sitting, airbnbs and staying with family Outside the US, mostly Airbnbs for a month or longer in each location, although we may try house-sitting there as well. We found that it's quite possible to rent a furnished apartment in many places outside the US for less than $1,500 a month, sometimes much less. Now, of course, there are drawbacks. For one thing, we love our home and there's not a darn thing wrong with it. I upgraded our kitchen a few years ago and have it just like I want it, and I have a slew of musical instruments I would have to do without for a while. We're also taking a risk that the housing market does drop at some point and that we can find something in the same area when it does. We're also assuming that some event won't arise that forces us to return early, but still, it's an intriguing thought. Intriguing enough that we've already taken steps towards this goal.

Speaker 1:

Before we left for Panama, we contacted a realtor and prepared our house for showings in our absence. Good news from the start, the realtor suggested listing the house about $25,000 more than we had considered. We left home in the first week of January and they proceeded to put on a lockbox and set out a coming soon sign. In fact, as I record this episode, the listing is now live, but we've had at least one showing. We may soon hear about others and other offers.

Speaker 1:

Meanwhile, here in Panama, we are looking at this as a test case. Can we really stick to that 3,000 a month budget? Will we be okay living without all of our stuff? Naturally, I have a spreadsheet to track our expenses during our 10-week stay. This first month we are in Panama City. Our one bedroom Airbnb cost us $1,165 for one month.

Speaker 1:

That includes all utilities internet, access to a swimming pool. We have a washer and dryer for our clothes, a small but usable kitchen, and we also made our first visits to the Mercado de Mariscos, or Seafood Market that we can see from our apartment window. We've also found a great Mercado for fresh fruits, vegetables and meats right across the street. This greatly reduces our food expenses, as we will need very little from the higher priced grocery stores. I will not need to eat out, unless we want a little treat.

Speaker 1:

To give you an example, I just bought a huge 2lb filet of Corvina of Sea Bass for just $8. That's enough to make two dinners for me and Rita. I also bought 2lbs of fresh shrimp for a total of $7. Again, sauteed shrimp for two one night and a nice shrimp soup should cover another dinner, with leftovers for lunch maybe. All in all, with 26 days left in this location before we move on to six weeks in Playa Coronado, we have just under $1400 left in this month's budget. That's about an average of $53 a day available for the remainder of our time in Panama City. So we should have a pretty good shot at staying under budget.

Speaker 1:

There are still a lot of variables? Will we get a decent offer on our home? Will the rest of our time here go as well? Will we chicken out or at least sober up? I hope you continue listening to our podcast to find out along with us. In future episodes I'll keep you up to date with our progress, or lack thereof, and also incorporate interviews with some experts about the financial management side, folks who are already roaming abroad with no fixed address, some travel tips and whatever else we may find. That's all for now.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Travels with Jim Enrita. So what happens next? Well, honestly, we don't have a clue. Remember, in the immortal words of Spinal Tap, it's such a fine line between stupid and clever. Be sure to like and subscribe so you can find out along with us which side of the line we are on. You can find my books and audiobooks at JimSantosnet, or email me with any comments, questions or suggestions at Jim at JimSantosBookscom. If you're looking for more information about life overseas and travel in general, remember I also host the International Living Podcast, available through the internationallivingcom website and all major podcast platforms. Until next time, don't forget we travel not to escape life, but for life, not to escape us.

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