Pro Tips for Becoming a Silver Nomad

Alex Smart

People decide to retire early for all sorts of reasons, from wanting to spend more time with their families to just getting to the point where there they realize they have better things to do than go to work every day. And if you have the means not to work, why not?

One of the most common reasons for ditching the day job at the first possibility is to pursue lifelong dreams of travelling the world. It’s no wonder that the numbers of so-called ‘silver nomads’ – people who take up long-term travel seriously in retirement, or even become ‘location independent’ – are growing rapidly. Retirement is the perfect time of life to explore the world.

Put it this way – once free of the ties of a career and raising children, what else are you going to do?

For those feeling the tug of wanderlust strongest, waiting until statutory retirement age is just too long. They want to swap the day job for the highways and byways of the world as quickly as they can. But what do you really need to know to turn your traveling dreams into a reality?

Here are some pro tips experienced older travelers use to get their long-held travel plans off the ground.

Rent out your home

The slightly romanticized stereotype is to just sell up and set off when you decide to take up a more nomadic lifestyle. But it can actually make more sense to keep your old home and rent it out while you are away. This serves two purposes. One, you always have a base to return to in between adventures, which to many people is a lot more reassuring than just cutting all ties. Two, renting out your home provides a valuable source of income to fund your travels.

Be careful, however – in many countries, you need permission from your mortgage provider to be able to rent out your home. It is likely they will want to switch you to a buy-to-let mortgage, which will prove more expensive, eating up any profit you get from letting out your home. This is therefore an option that works best when you have paid off your mortgage.

Go to a specialist travel insurance provider

What they don’t tell you about traveling in later life is that insurance can start to get expensive. This is because most general providers start to add a premium at around age 60 to cover what they see as the heightened risk of older travelers making claims, especially for medical care. These premiums tend to increase incrementally by age, quickly becoming prohibitively costly.

A bespoke provider which specializes in travel insurance for over 60s will do things differently. They will offer much greater control to include the things in your policy that matter most to you, including cover for specific medical conditions. Not only does this end up providing much better value, it gives more reassurance that you are covered for the things you actually need.

Work as you travel

If you really want to travel long term, you will have to think about how you will fund it. If you have built up enough of a nest egg during your career to finance many years of happy traveling, all well and good. If not, no need to worry. Cinderella can still go to her ball. She might just have to do an odd job here and there on the way.

Working as you travel doesn’t have to take the fun out of things. There are plenty of ways to make money linked to traveling itself – such as taking a job as a tour guide or local travel agent, for example. Or you could have a go at getting into the world of travel blogging, turning your experiences into travel guides and advice, or sharing photos of your adventures. The bottom line is earning that extra bit of cash you need to keep you on the road.

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired two decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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