Is The Question How Much – Or What?
My wife, Paulette and I retired at the end of 2015, and we have learned a lot about retirement. In the first couple of months, I met an older gentleman who asked me how long I had been retired. After I told him, his response was “You’re not retired, you’re just practicing”. He was right. I had no idea what the next 3 years would be like. For this post, I came up with the title, “What Do You Need in Retirement?” Then I searched Google for this title. I quit looking after 11 search pages. Not one article talked about “What”. They all talked about “How Much”. “How much do you need to retire” was the favorite keyword phrase.
Your Plans Control How Much You Need
But it seems to me that how much you need depends on what you plan to do! Any retirement plan should start with “what do you want to do in retirement?” Then you determine what you need and how much it will cost. Your basic needs are:
- A place to live;
- Enough money for groceries and other necessities;
- Transportation (private or public)
- Perhaps a little entertainment, but that doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot.
- Something interesting to do with your time.
Ask yourselves these questions.
- Where should you live? Do you want to stay where you are or is there someplace better for you? This is an important issue, and you might want to “think outside the box” and consider choices that may not have occurred to you before. Do you think the best answer is to stay in your current house? Why did you choose to live there? Do those reasons still apply in retirement?
- How will you get from place to place? Depending on where you live, you may not need a car. Where we live now, we don’t need a car and we don’t miss it!
- What do you plan to do with all that extra time? That was a real issue for Paulette and me. Retirement gave us almost 12 hours a day we had never had before. Fortunately for us, God took an active interest in how we were going to use that time. And we have spent the last 3 1/2 years using part of our time in Christian ministries and service. Currently, we are part of an effort to start the first Christian Church for English-speakers in Medellin, Colombia.
We decided to leave the USA
After almost a year of research, we made the first decision. We were leaving the USA and heading to Central America. Why? Because the cost of living there is 1/3 to 1/4 the cost to live in the US. Also, all our research said it was a beautiful place to live, and many retirees had chosen to relocate there. Just to make sure, we took a 10-day trip to Panama before we retired, to check out what we had been told in our research. It was just as good, if not better than the stories we had read.
In that search, we also looked at many places to retire in the US. We were very fond of a retirement community called Hot Springs Village in Arkansas. After living outside the USA for over 2 years, we tried to come back. But by the time we added up all the costs, we were well over what we receive in Social Security. For us that difference was unsustainable. We didn’t have the savings to cover that. At that point, it was an easy decision for us to permanently retire outside the USA.
In addition to the cost, we looked at what our lifestyle would be like. It was pretty obvious that if we were in Arkansas, I would spend many hours per week playing bridge and golf. Since Paulette wasn’t interested in either of those, our relationship would have suffered. So that wasn’t acceptable either. As a result of the decisions we made, our relationship with each other is the best it has ever been. Retirement is awesome, and I highly recommend it!
In the last 3 1/2 years, we have lived in 4 countries (Honduras, Panama, Ecuador, and Colombia). We also visited two others (Peru, and Costa Rica) for at least a month. All of them were beautiful and unique in their own way and we were always busy and involved with the community. One of the nicest things about being retired is that you can spend months instead of weeks exploring a travel destination. That makes a difference in your ability to evaluate a place to live.
In our research, we were continually advised to live in a location 6-12 months before making any major decisions or commitments. In my other blog, I write about our experiences living in other countries. We lived in Boquete, Panama the longest – 17 months, and in Roatan, Honduras and Cuenca, Ecuador for 3 months each. Although we loved them all, none of them was the right choice for us long term. If you like, you can read my posts on those and other places by clicking on the above links.
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Then We Found A New Home
After leaving Panama, we traveled for 7 months. During that time, we had visited Colombia. Through God’s design and the help of friends, we decided our next long-term stop would be Medellin, Colombia. We love it here for many reasons. Not only can we live comfortably on our Social Security, but we also have a ministry here that makes our lives fulfilling.
The weather is terrific – Medellin is called the “City of Eternal Spring”. Every day, 365 days per year, the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees. Occasionally during the middle of the day, it might climb a few degrees higher, but I can’t think of any place in the US that would compare to this. We are at an altitude of 5,000 feet, and there are no bugs. We can leave our balcony door and windows open most of the time. It is an amazing place to live and I can’t imagine we will ever leave.
I hope you found the first part of this article helpful. And I strongly recommend that you consider moving South for retirement. You will spend less and enjoy life more. That is the tagline for my other site – Retire Outside the USA. If you would like to read more about this, please Click Here.
How to Get What You Need In Retirement
Even though you take the necessary steps to control living expenses. you may need to increase your income, at least a little. Even if you do what we did and dramatically reduce your living expenses, you will still want additional money for extras. And as an added benefit, you might just save on your U.S. Income Tax.
If you’ve done any research into doing business online, you probably already know about many ways to create income. Since there are millions of people making money online, there are many ways to do it. For us, the way that made the most sense was to create a website, learn everything we could about “Search Engine Optimization” (“SEO”), and then create interesting and compelling content. All of this was necessary so that we could grow our business organically (free) rather than through some sort of paid advertising program. We are “Affiliate Marketers” and have created two money-making sites. Right now, we’re spending as much time as possible writing blog posts.
We Searched and Chose the Best!
There were several sites we considered to help us learn the business and build professional-looking sites. We chose Wealthy Affiliate as the company to help us achieve this goal. Why Wealthy Affiliate? For the following 5 reasons:
- A wealth of training in all aspects of creating an online business;
- State of the art tools for creating and hosting beautiful, professional-looking websites which are necessary to create the additional income we want and need;
- 24-hour support with technical issues, we knew nothing about;
- Special tools, such as the best keyword research tool and others that make it easy to create a business online;
- Awesome Affiliate Community that is always ready and willing to answer questions and provide much-needed encouragement.
The rest of this article will tell you a lot about what Wealthy Affiliate does to help us grow our business. But if you want to skip the rest of this article and go check out Wealthy Affiliate for yourself, it’s okay with me for you to click the next banner to open your free starter membership.
What’s So Great About An Online Business?
The first answer is that there are about 500 million blogs on the web. Certainly, not all of them are to make money, but many of them do. We have a lot of company! Second, as I’m sure you already know, billions of searches are posted on Google every day. Many of them are researching products or services they want to buy. The internet economy has exploded and is expanding rapidly. So why not join the party and see what you can do?
My third reason is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to get started. In fact, you probably have all the equipment you need such as a smartphone and laptop. And you probably already have high-speed internet. For retirees, the fourth reason is that you certainly have plenty of time. Why not use some of it to increase your income? I’m sure an extra $1,000 – 2,000 per month would help a lot. My fifth reason is that this type of income is sustainable. That means once you reach a certain point, it doesn’t take that much to maintain that income stream. And this means it might be a valuable asset to pass to your heirs, or you could sell your website for a multiple of your cash flow.
And What’s So Great About Wealthy Affiliate?
So for those of you who are still with me, I’d like to share more about this great company. The first thing you need to know is you can start for free – no credit card required. And there is no time limit. You can check out and participate in the training, build two free websites and see what you think. When you decide, you can join as a Premium Member with all of the benefits offered. And just so you know, more than 1 million people have become premium members during the past 14 years. The following table shows all of the benefits of each type of membership. One point – the cost of the premium membership is quoted for those who choose to pay monthly. However, there are significant savings available for annual or semiannual members.
The Value of Wealthy Affiliate
Up above, I gave you 5 reasons why we chose Wealthy Affiliate. In my honest opinion, each of those benefits is worth more than the cost of the membership. Taken together, the cost is very small compared to the value of all those benefits. You will see what I mean as you build your online business.
I have gone from knowing nothing about online business to building 2 professional-looking websites with almost 50,000 words of content in only 8 months. In this business, you don’t just “learn something new every day”. I learn many new things every day. And there is still plenty more to go. This business is challenging and exciting!
There are text-based courses, video courses, and live training sessions. Wealthy Affiliate offers two comprehensive training courses. Both are designed to take a person who knows nothing about making money online to the point of managing a money-making website-based business. Also, there are many separate training sessions on all aspects of this business, and more are added every week.
Website Building Is Easier Than You think
Today, building a website is quick and easy thanks to all the tools and processes developed over the last 10 years. I mean, if 500 million blogs have been created all over the world, I am confident that you will have no trouble creating yours. Most of it is very automatic. Once you select your niche and target market, then you are ready to choose your free domain name. After that, the website building process involves a few clicks and you have a new shiny website, ready for your fantastic content.
Meet the Co-owners and Your Fellow Affiliates
Kyle and Carson created Wealthy Affiliate in 2005 after already achieving online success with their respective businesses. They have grown this into a huge community of 1.4 million members in 193 countries. Those fellow affiliates are all working and learning about online business. The great thing is that the community includes some of the most successful online entrepreneurs in the world. At any time during the day or night, many people are present and will lend you the benefit of their experience. This feature has come to be one of the most valuable benefits of my membership.
Content Creation, SEO, and Jaaxy
As I briefly mentioned earlier, the key to creating a sustainable online business is SEO. Search Engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo decide the value of your content. They are all about their users. If your content provides what their users are looking for, your articles and website will receive higher rankings. That will result in many more people visiting your website and seeing your posts. They will also see your links to products and services, and that will generate income for you.
It is important to create excellent content, but it is even more important for that content to be targeted to as many readers as possible. Do you want an audience of 10 or 400? How do you know what people in your niche and target market are seeking? That is where Jaaxy shines. Jaaxy was developed by Kyle and Carson and is acknowledged by the online community as the best keyword research tool on the planet.
But it is even more than that. It is also the best tool for ranking websites. And a third benefit is helping to identify the best affiliate programs. Every one of those benefits is necessary for making money online. When you have to compete against the world, it’s nice to have the best tools/weapons at your side.
Help with Technical Issues
I am a former CPA, and Paulette is a retired RN. We know nothing about the technical aspects of creating and managing money-making websites. But Carson and his team of technical wizards in our 24/7 support group know everything about all those issues. And anytime we have a problem, we notify our support team and they fix the problem. I have used them many times, and they always come through!
Closing Thoughts and Recommendation
The Wealthy Affiliate Website has much more information about all of the benefits and costs of membership. Each of the benefits I mentioned above is thoroughly discussed and explained in that website. I encourage every one of you to take a few minutes and check out all the benefits of Wealthy Affiliate. It may be one of the best decisions you have made in a long time. Please click on the following banner.
Thanks for your visit and for reading my post. Please add a comment below, and let me know what you think. And if you decide to join, I look forward to helping any way I can.