Extreme Retirement in Multiple Countries Overseas

Retirement abroad can be one adventure after another.

By SHARE

Wendy Justice didn’t just retire, she reinvented her life. Since she retired at age 50 in 2005, Justice has been traveling almost continually.

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"For the past six years, I’ve been retired overseas, but nowhere in particular,” Justice says. “I have found a sense of freedom, living this life that I have adopted, that is so fulfilling.”

She is also free to linger in places that interest her. “I've settled down for extended stays a few times along the way, with a year back in the United States, almost two years in Kuala Lumpur, and several months in both Chiang Mai and Hanoi.” These breaks have helped her to stave off traveler's burn-out.

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Justice is currently in Hanoi, Vietnam. “Somehow, here in Hanoi and in other places around the world like this, my senses seem more acute, more engaged,” she says. “Every day here is a challenge, everything is new, and every turn leads to the unexpected, unlike back home where, for me, familiarity seemed to breed dullness.”

Justice didn’t have the retirement funds to allow her to stop working altogether, so she changed careers to something that was more portable. Justice switched from a career as a registered hospice nurse on the east coast of the United States to travel writing. "If I'd stayed home, stuck with my nursing career, and lived frugally, I'd probably have a bigger nest egg accumulated by now than I do,” she says. “On the other hand, not a day goes by when I don't appreciate the life I'm living.”

[See 10 Tips for Retirement Overseas.]

Justice maintains a house in the U.S. that she and her husband return to at least once every year or two to see friends and relatives. They spend the rest of their time traveling. “At one time in my life, most of my friends lived within an hour or so of my home,” she says. “Now my friends live all over the world. My home is wherever my husband and I happen to be at the time.”

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.