One way to live in retirement for at least a few years is to sell your home and most of your possessions and spend your time traveling, staying in one place for an extended period. The Wall Street Journal today has an article by a woman who’s living that way with her husband. They rent a furnished place for a few weeks to a few months and get to know an area well. The article gives an overview of how they arranged their finances, the benefits and disadvantages of the lifestyle, and why they choose to retire this way.
Although we have used airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, cars and ferries, our favorite means of transportation is now trans-Atlantic repositioning voyages.
When cruise lines move their ships seasonally, they offer big discounts. Not many people can spare several weeks in the off-season to cross the ocean. But it’s perfect for us because we not only reach our destination, but we also are housed, fed and pampered for more than two weeks each time. Traveling by ship, we arrive in sync with local time and get a quick peek at interesting places that we probably wouldn’t choose for an extended visit.
We are not married to any particular cruise line. Tim shops for the best deal he can find that fits into our schedule, although we sometimes schedule around the cruises. Prices vary. In May, our Atlantic crossing—16 nights with an ocean-view room—cost about $2,500 for the two of us. That included all of our food, and a wine package for me. Our return trip in November from Barcelona to Miami with the same cruise line will cost about the same.
Our repositioning bookings extend into 2014 and form the base from which the rest of our travels plans will grow. At the moment, we have reservations for next year to live in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia. We are already confirmed for a Paris apartment for June/July 2014.