Retirees Hit the Road: But Is Something Missing?

Retirees Hit the Road: But Is Something Missing? 

We all have retirement fantasies: Exotic places, sun all year round, and relaxation, relaxation, relaxation. It may not be a fantasy. Many retirees are now living the life of leisure … on the road.

U.S. Department of Commerce statistics reported in a recent article in the New York Times show that from 1993 to 2012, the number of traveling retirees grew from 9.7 to 13 percent. And Social Security Benefits to more than 350,000 Americans were sent to foreign addresses in 2013 – almost 50 percent more than in 2003.

Call them senior gypsies or the new explorers, many retirees are selling their homes and belongings, and taking to the road unencumbered by stuff.

Right now, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) make up almost 25 percent of the population; many in this group are hitting retirement age in ways many experts didn’t envision: By fleeing the good life they worked so hard to build.

Take Lynne and Tim Martin, for example. As highlighted in the New York Times article and others, this couple (ages 73 and 68, respectively) have been traveling the world since 2010, living in rentals and chronicling their adventures on their website, Home Free Adventures.

As Lynne told Yahoo Finance writer Mandi Woodruff: “We looked very carefully at what our overhead was living in California, and what it cost us to wake up every morning in our house. We added everything together, and it was staggering.”

The result was a nomadic lifestyle that seems to suit the Martins perfectly. But it’s not for everyone.

From time immemorial, man has sought that place called home. For most of us, a sailboat or RV doesn’t qualify.

So consider whether you’ll miss those family Christmases, your garden, or the grand kids’ school plays. And when you find yourself craving a change, try tapping into the equity in your home, downsizing, and earmarking “Big Money” for travel and relaxation.

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Til next time… May all your deals be easy ones!
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Clint Hanks                                   707-391-6000