What are you guys doing for health insurance?

Q&A with a Reader 


My husband and I were listening to the Mad Fientist podcast and enjoyed your story.

We are in the process of planning our early retirement. Our retirement date is Jan 2025.  We plan on selling everything and traveling the world, indefinitely.  The plan is to live in various countries for about 1-3 months at a time.

I have been doing a lot of research regarding Worldwide Health Insurance and was curious what you guys were doing.

Both my husband and I are healthy and we will be 50 in 2025. We would appreciate any insight that you may have.

Thank you,


Hi Anna,

Thank you for taking the time to write, and Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

When we first left the working world in 1991, it was inconceivable to us to live without health insurance. We always had it in one form or another either employer sponsored, or when we were self-employed, we purchased our  own policy.

When we retired, we did Cobra for a while, then we continued our own high deductible US-based health insurance policy for a long time — maybe a decade or more. Since we were world travelers (we were called perpetual travelers at that time) we seemed to always find ourselves in another country when we needed service (emergencies, stitches, colonoscopy, executive physicals, eye exams, MRIs, annual check ups, x-rays, dental work, new glasses, etc.).

At some point, we decided that instead of spending thousands of dollars a year for an insurance policy we weren’t using, we’d bank that money (like our own HSA account) and pull from it whenever we needed it.

This has worked great for us.

We now qualify for medicare so that is our back up emergency plan. When we visit the States we have medicare – but before that we took out a traveler’s health insurance policy and that is what worked for us.

We continue to utilize Medical Tourism wherever we go, and instead of paying for a policy that medi-vacs us back to the States, we simply get local service.

This works in most places unless you are traveling off the grid for a length of time. A temporary policy might be best at that time to get you where you want to go.

A couple of things — You might want to take a look at our Health Insurance Page, our Medical Tourism Page and read the following few articles which explain in depth what our position is — or what has worked for us.

We realize that health care is a very personal matter and everyone must choose for themselves what they feel comfortable with. I wanted to also mention, that Billy and  I do alternative care often (acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, yoga, TENS unit, juicing, supplements, etc.) and our health policy did not cover anything of this sort.

That being said, when I almost lost my finger, of course I utilized Western care, and the same with Billy here. We paid out of pocket each time. Costs are listed on the previous linked articles.

Let us know if you have any other questions… Thanks for writing and the articles I recommend to you are below.

Sending our best regards, and again, Congratulations!

Akaisha and Billy

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About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three 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 (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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