Two truths and a lie about life on the road.
It’s common to consider downsizing as you approach retirement, but maybe not to the extreme some are now doing. Think: no permanent residence.
There’s a trend of so-called digital nomads, defined as people who choose to live “a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle” that gives them the freedom to travel while they work remotely. According to research by MBO Partners, the population of digital nomads in the U.S. increased by 49% from 2019 to 2020.
Digital nomads are leveraging technology to give them the freedom to work wherever their curiosity and explorations take them. And the disruption of the pandemic has lent itself nicely to this lifestyle as people assess what’s important to them (typically, life experiences and time with family) and have increasingly been granted permission to work remotely. Find out if it’s for you.
Truth: You’ll gain new experiences constantly.
Traveling exposes you to new landscapes, people, cultures and ways of life. Many budget-friendly countries offer hotels or rental homes that provide a few must-have, modern amenities (like a decent bed) and reliable Wi-Fi. Learning new things, setting objectives and staying active top the lists for staying motivated in retirement. Roaming the world certainly ticks all those boxes.
Truth: Visiting far-flung family and friends is easier.
Especially as your children get older and spread out all over the country (or globe, for that matter), this gives you the chance to stay for an extended period of time – without being a guest. It’s a time to stay near the grandkids while they’re out of school for the summer or travel to your kids to celebrate big milestones, like buying a new house or having children.
Lie: Digital nomadism is a way of life everyone should try.
You certainly get a strong sense of freedom being a digital nomad. But all that freedom can be overwhelming. Having a plan of sorts – whether you figure you’ll be staying for a defined period of time somewhere or for a specific purpose – will help.
Something else to consider before you hit the road is how you’ll do health care. Perhaps a telehealth provider or health care concierge could monitor your health all over the map.