Hello all! I am new to ERE and this is my first post. I've been reading many of the posts and.....
I am having difficulty identifying with many of the posts on this site. The thing is, that in my mind, there are very few posts that even remotely resemble a truly alternative or ERE approach... Half a million dollars??? A million dollars??? Ahhh! I could never come up with that kind of cash!
I propose a new topic section called: Super-mega-extreme off grid living!
I will "retire" with no savings and no stuff. Young, broke, healthy, and without social security or any other form of retirement scheme. I plan on retiring on less than $200 month.
I intend to burn my social security card and I denounce the existence of a numerical system that links individuals to the U.S. banking system among many other indenturing institutions. Social security is the exact equivalent as a bar code would be across everyone's forehead. I do not support or subscribe to the current status quo of savings equals "retirement". My home is my only asset and if I can make it to 100K in TOTAL net worth I'll be lucky, 150K and I'll be in heaven; but I'm not going to hold my breath or kill myself at some miserable soul sucking job in order to do it. I tried that and it never works out when you have four young kids to feed. My home is my only asset and whatever I can profit from it's sale, even if I have to sell for pennies on the dollar to make it happen will be my retirement fund I am 32 and I intend to "retire" at 45 while taking a fairly lackadaisical approach along the way. I am a once upon a time American working class "professional" who had an epiphany: not only can money not buy happiness, it can't buy true freedom. Money is 100% irrelevant to personal fulfillment or security. As I see it, Money only provides a very false sense of security.
I believe that the word "retire" is implicit of a fantastical concept that almost never really applies to real life. I have know retirees who work and save vast sums of money, only to have their health fail. I have witnessed the bitter realization that people experience when they finally understand that no matter how much wealth or material they have accumulated in their lifetime, they cannot take it or their many possessions with them in the end.
In my mind, retirement means freedom. For me, freedom is not synonymous with meticulously and worriedly managing a nest egg from a young age until death; I believe that such a plan is the same as to submit and lie down at the boot heel of societal control and expectation.
My spouse is a citizen of a south pacific island nation and by said nations naturalization laws, I am also a citizen by marriage. I plan to buy a blue-water sailing vessel and outfit it over the course of 2-3 years while living aboard and working, hopefully in San Diego. The craft will likely cost me at least 1/2 of my net life savings and worth to acquire. I intend to eventually set sail for our home country. Once there I will be claiming citizenship and by default, renouncing U.S. citizenship. No passport, little money and no plans of ever returning to the U.S. I am a skilled technician with a widely varied technical background who can easily perform any and all maintenance independently as well as make a modest living doing the occasional odd job for less inclined liveaboards. The idea is to arrive in her home country and live aboard the boat, possibly partially circumnavigating for about twenty years at which time we will likely sell the boat and use the money to buy or build a modest home in the village she was raised in.
So that's my basic plan in a nutshell. At present, the cost of a protected harbor moorage in her home country is about $7 per month! Electricity is solar and wind generated with 20 year life batteries and almost no expense. A microwave and other amenities will go with us to! No air conditioning but easily the best view on the planet! We will adopt a true island living lifestyle and give up our western diet of burgers and restaurant style foods for things that are readily available locally, either for free, or for a modest price. One can be nearly 100% self sufficient in the tropics; if your resourceful enough, you can't go hungry. The healthcare is free and at equivalent 1980's technology level so it's really not a concern. It will be an adjustment for me in both the pace of life and standard of living but it's a tiny price to pay and,in fact, I's my dream come true.
I anticipate being able to easily live on less than $100 per month with the occasional maintenance expenditure.
If you have read this far you are probably shaking your head in disbelief and/or laughing hysterically at my plight...and that's fine! I expect to be given a hard time to some degree. I can imagine some of you are thinking of my views as being deeply flawed and totally unrealistic. If this is you, then I submit to you that the feeling is mutual!
So in summary, I think it's very possible to take a VERY minimalistic approach and retire comfortably with very little money and very few possessions. Travel can be very inexpensive and even free depending on your approach. I can't think of a more frugal or versatile way of living then living aboard, OUTSIDE the united states.
Does anyone have any other ideas for a super-mega-extreme retirement that would come similarly close in terms of comfort and frugality?