Live A Good Life AND Save for Retirement

Now that we’re in our 50’s, retirement is becoming more top-of-mind every day.

Well, maybe not “retirement” in the conventional sense because we never plan to stop working completely, but being able to afford a high quality of life in our “golden years” is a priority.

However, we don’t want to sacrifice today’s happiness for a future that may never come. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed” may be a cliche, but it guides our decision-making every day.

Almost dying has a way of changing your perspective of daily life.

That’s why this article from Entrepreneur seriously angered me: “What Would You Choose as a Consumer: Living a Good Life or Saving for Retirement.”

The Societal Ponzi Scheme

We’re taught that we should sacrifice “the good life” by working hard, scraping by, and saving every last penny so we won’t be destitute in our old age.

In other words, sell our precious time for money, and then give that money to the government in the form of taxes, banks in the form of interest, and corporations in the form of overpriced products and services (e.g. health insurance and health care).

It’s a society-level Ponzi Scheme!

Look at the number of people who delayed retirement or went back to work after the 2008 financial crisis, and it’s happening again after the 2022 reboot.

So much for “the golden years!” To quote my mom, “It’s more like the rusted years!”

When the Game Is Rigged, Change the Rules

It took a near-death experience to wake us up, as it does a lot of people. The “year of hell” as we now refer to 2015, was horrible, but it was also life-changing for us in a good way.

It made us realize that we didn’t want to keep playing a rigged game. We wanted to be able to relish and embrace every single day like it was our last!

But the only way we could realize that dream was to leave the United States and move to someplace where the necessities of life, mainly housing, food, and health care, were affordable on a middle-class income. Something that can’t be said about the United States anymore, especially health care.

We chose Ecuador for a variety of reasons that we’ve discussed before, but it’s not the only place to live a high quality of life for a lower cost of living.

Taking Your Income With You

Unfortunately, there is a fundamental requirement to achieve this dream: you need to take your income with you.

If you have a pension or social security that barely covers (or doesn’t cover) your expenses in the United States, it may be more than enough to live a high quality of life elsewhere.

However, the picture is a bit different for those of us who aren’t old enough to have a pension or social security.

Countries like Ecuador that offer a low cost of living, also pay low wages to employees. If you expect to get a job abroad, the loss of income may offset the lower cost of living and put you in the same low quality of life you’re fleeing.

Thankfully, it’s never been easier to earn a middle-class income from the United States, while living in a far more affordable country where that income is actually able to fund a middle-class lifestyle.

The key is either working remotely for a company in the United States (like Amelia has been doing) or working online for yourself (like I’ve been doing) or a combination of both.

That’s why we spent half of 2022 creating our Online Income eCourse. We realized that if we wanted to help you live an Unconventional Life abroad, we also needed to help you discover the financial means to do it.

Final Thoughts…

We believe that you should NOT have to choose between living a good life OR saving for retirement. It’s a decision that either makes you miserable now (you spend all your time working and scraping by) or in the future (you have nothing saved for retirement).

Instead, you can do BOTH. You can live a good life now AND save for retirement, but you’ll need to change your mindset, and maybe learn some new skills.

I’m going to end this rant with a quote from Captain James Tiberius Kirk:

“When forced to choose between two equally undesirable options, the only thing to do was to change the rules.”

When the game is rigged, changing the rules is really the only option.

If you’re interested in learning how to fund a higher quality of life abroad, check out our Online Income eCourse.

You might actually be able to retire early or work online so you can live in a low-cost-of-living country and still have enough left over to save for your retirement while living a higher quality of life.



Get the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Toolkit, which we created to help jumpstart your dream of living in another country.

Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

4 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    Great article. Thank you. Many of us truly are tied down due to family obligations. We want to experience living abroad but are torn and half because of our need to stay near to our family. We are considering options such as long trips with a return to the united states.. but the economics of that are challenging. In an our case we worry about our dogs too, since traveling with dogs is potentially problematic, especially if they are not small. So frequent back and forth between ecuador and the u s seems challenging. It may be that by the time we are able to fully retire by u s standards, our personal situation changes and we can consider moving abroad. But I fear that earlier retirement is not feasible as we are stuck with US cost of living.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *