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One huge thing to consider is that both London and Japan have cities with greater population densities. That smart move, they bought a two family has enabled me to live in the second apartment rent free for 13 years since I started working. I am very fortunate for that, without that smart investment my parents made I would be zero dollars left without a doubt. Without my rent free situation I would have to cut out the monthly gift, pay rent, and do it again and again the next month with no hope.

What are you spending your money on and what is your estimated net worth now? I think I have to agree with Dan But again, it is lifestyle choices. From reading your other posts. Anything less is a large downgrade in lifestyle IMO. If he was in his 20s, not at all. The trick is to lower your expectations and keep things in perspective. Our grandparents could raise 4 children in square feet. Hey Sam, I think most of your numbers look reasonable. The 45 minute trip is definitely worth it. ABC Kitchen is another spot worth hitting. Ah, that makes sense.

Could he live somewhere else and still have the hospital subsidize it or does he have to stay in that particular complex? I agree with your assessment of living in NYC. We live in a studio, eat all but a couple of meals per month at home, and opt for free activities in the parks instead of events that cost.

Groceries in the city are more expensive than in other parts of the country so even eating at home is not as cheap as other places. Enjoy the fun for as long as possible! I had a blast for two years and decided to pack my bags West in I wish I owned a one bedroom pied de terre though. Manhattan is great and if one can take care of their living expenses everything else is pretty manageable. I lived in Manhattan for 3 years. And they seem to get along fine. What percent did you save of your salary if you think his As a percentage of income, we saved less than what your friend does.

But we also supported two people on half of what your friend makes: It all comes down to tradeoffs. I firmly believe people should own the personal finance decisions they make. Your friend has decided to only save through k contributions and spend the rest. The albatross here is the apartment on the Upper East Side. As others have pointed out, it is out-of-range for his income, even factoring in NYC rents. So yes, your friend is living in an expensive place relative even to other people on the Upper East Side, let alone the rest of Manhattan and for non-New Yorkers reading this, UES is definitely not the economical part of Manhattan.

New York is an amazing city to experience living in at least once. I was dirt poor when I lived there and loved every minute of it. The drivers here are terrible and you have to hold on for dear life! Newman was a mere United States Postal Worker. The median income in NYC all boroughs is approx. In my case, I have a few advantages. I own my apartment. I also own a car, but in NYC it is generally not necessary to have one. I may sell the car as I rarely use it to go anywhere, but for now I keep it for regional travel and day trips outside the city. This means I have to move the car twice a week during official street cleaning times.

This is not a big deal as I usually just sit in my parked car drinking coffee until the cleaning vehicle comes and then move back into place after it passes. One makes quirky trade-offs no matter where they live.


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Of course, if I were still working, I would need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes which would make my budgeting more difficult. Of course, lower income and payroll tax rates are a big benefit for an early retiree. I think your estimates of effective income tax rate in NYC is much too low. I hear you on city taxes. I kind of prefer it to the bigger places I have lived, less cleaning, less furniture to buy and maintain.

When I feel stir-crazy I just go for a walk in Central Park or around the neighborhood. Of course, I cannot host friends and family outside of a couple of nights at a time on the sofa, and when my girlfriend comes over we live in close quarters. But all things considered it is a good value for a single person. Again, I consider myself fortunate to have made a high income to have had to pay such a high income tax rate. Getting back to the original theme of your post, one of the considerations folks rarely think about when moving to a big city are the higher tax rates.

And, of course, many cities have high property tax rates which jack up rents as well as ownership costs. People need to know what they are getting into. Sorry for the confusion,Sam! What a great post! Nearly all of my college classmates eventually moved away and settled down somewhere else. You really only need a few years in NYC to: Also my secret to making NYC affordable with no real decrease in quality of life is living just outside the Manhattan.

Here in Jersey City sales tax is only 3. Its just so expensive. Could save a few bucks on food and buy more groceries going out 1 per week is a minimum. The answer to your second question is Bank of Mom and Dad. Everybody who I know bought in their 20s in Manhattan go the money from their parents.

And now they are much more wealthy because of it! I have a friend who just finished up med school in NYC. He and a classmate shared an apartment on the edge of Harlem and got by just fine. Did I miss something, or did you leave out pre-tax health insurance? Man, NY City is crazy expensive! Basically all necessary expenses get lumped in there. The total is probably. I used to live in NYC. I still wouldn;t mind living like this except that now I can go to bars — yeah! With a paid off car, relatively cheap housing, small student loan payments, lower cost of groceries, we lead a rather pleasant lifestyle.

Any thoughts on leaving Cleveland for a nicer area of America? Or is your salary only able to be made there or certain places? My one friend lives in Washington DC and had me and my gf over last year. His apartment was slightly bigger than the size of my bedroom, and paid around 1. Redic… I personally like my space and not having to parallel park. No city for me: Once our son starts school in September, we are going to resist lifestyle inflation and bank that money each month in order to build up our emergency fund to 6 months living expenses and then add to our mutual funds in order to someday leave the city, buy a house in the country rural CT, MA or VT and semi-retire.

Our friends are diverse, we go to inexpensive concerts and plays, love trying new restaurants and bars albeit sparingly and enjoy Central Park and our museum memberships. It will be hard to someday leave, but it will be a different potentially well-funded chapter. Either way, thanks for sharing. Do you think you can earn a similar amount working elsewhere?

We also have an amazing schooling option for our son. One nice thing, if you can swing it in these large expensive cities, is to work in a field where you are on the giving or receiving end of customer entertainment. I do miss my corporate card sometimes! Nice to see shows and do other entertainment things. There is still some room for improvement in your friends budget if he wanted to prioritize saving a larger chunk of his income.

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The last time I had six drinks in one night was in college. But at the end of the day, if he is saving a sufficient amount for his needs, why bother trying to cut corners in his budget? Gets expensive hanging out with folks in drinking establishments! But to be social is to progress in much of business. She lives in upper Manhattan around th — th street…this is actually closer to her jobs yes multiple jobs…contract work. Ahhh, NYC is only for front-office traders, lawyers and doctors.. Good luck finding those k jobs in finance now. Wall Street has moved to slim operations and contractors fill the void.

I worked for years at banks supporting accounting and IT change. I am 40 and there are hundreds of thousands in the same boat. Prepare for the coming harm. Without proper salaries, your NYC life is not sustainable period. Making big money in finance is very difficult now.

I lived in Astoria for 3 years and finally bit the bullet and moved to Manhattan I think i deserve it now: I work in health care not a nurse or Dr. Jobs out of the city in other states are also very hard to come by. Hoping for a miracle. Thanks for the article by the way. Hey Sam, yes I sure do: I do have plans to move out of state so that I can have a big house and little ones running around in the back yard. I will be able to make the same if not more as a starting salary in a new state because of my experience here.

So the plan is to get more bang for my buck in one of the southern states originally from the south , at the expense of missing all the great things NYC has to offer. These budgets are completely real almost everyone I know lives like that and completely crazy. Feeling that you deserve to eat out all the time, live without roommates, and take cabs everywhere is self defeating when you have nothing in the bank.

Most people respect it and wish they had the discipline to do it themselves. Do your roommates know you make so much? I use citibike to save on metro cards now so my transit expenses are less than ever. The hardest thing about new york for me is the temptation to go out. I guess at what age does one decide roomies is no longer an option. I actually lived in San Francisco right out of college. My best friend and I moved out there and split the rent. None the less, they do have a flourishing arts district, so I suppose people are surviving there.

I imagine it mostly takes cramming 8 people in a two bedroom apartment and living off Ramen noodles, but who know. Granted, I never reach your maxing out the k plan, but I have been managing to max out my IRA and I always contribute to my k up to the match.

Surely not Manhattan right? For the year that I worked, I made a little under 50k a year, and managed to save nearly 10k. No one knows how to cook anymore! The idea of cooking something terrifies so many friends of mine and their parents have utterly failed them without teaching them how to make a few simple meals that can literally save them thousands of dollars a year instead of eating out all the time. Oh it takes too long to cook? I went out to eat probably once a week, ordered in from time to time, and I cooked extremely elaborate meals for groups of people but I never EVER spent more than dollars a month on food.

Now if you like to drink even just once or twice a week, yes I can see spending that dollars a month on yourself. Furthermore, 3, dollars a month for a one bedroom is retarded. Are you kidding me? I live in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in Long Island City that is 3k a month!

We are in a doorman building with a gym, rooftop patio, and have an amazing view of the city from a high floor. It is MORE than possible to find an acceptable 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan for dollars a month! Where does this guy save for healthcare? Insurance is freaking expensive! This article does have validity that you need to make a lot of money to be comfortable in NYC but some of the expenses are unnecessarily high.

Not sure if that really makes a difference. What is your net worth now? If love to hear your perspective after you graduate from med school and start working post residency. My husband makes about k including his yearly bonus. I make about 30k. We are in our early forties. We live in Jersy City. I know a couple ,a wife makes k and a husband, 60k. I know two women whose husbands make 7 figures and they leave off of it.

Are they particularly intelligent or pretty? They were at the right place at the right time.. Why are New Yorkers depressed? Because the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey! My neighbor living on the pent house of my apt is very well known big shot in media. I think the NJ image is tainted because of this general perception of how NJ being sort of an arm pit state including this Jersey shore people without class but what about Harlem and some remote parts of Brooklyn? There are ghettos everywhere within NY. I only work hours a day. Thanks for your reply, Financial Samurai.

Good post you linked to… I can relate to alot of it! While I was living in Copenhagen I lived 20min outside the centre, and I got laid like 6 times in , although I had a girlfriend the first 3 months…. Money was my 1 pririoty, 2 gym, and then 3 girls…. A very significant effect… so had I lived in centrally located apartment I would have gotten attractive women instead of 6…. Even in Brazil it seems…. Alternatively I could get a 2nd sales job from home, and try to make I burned out after 13 years. I thought I was going to be able to work on Wall Street until 40, but called it quits at Sam, You are NOT joking at all when you wrote this!

I live now in a 6 bedroom house on the lake in Michigan. My brother has been telling me for 7 years how great it is in NYC. I went to see… and he is right. I loved every second of NYC while I was there and fell in love hook line and sinker.

How Do People Live A Comfortable Life Making Less Than Six Figures In Expensive Cities?

However, even selling this house here in Michigan its appraised at k will get me nowhere in NYC. I have been racking my brain on what on earth I would have to do to actually buy something in the city. This article you wrote was very enlightening to me. One option I have been seeing a lot of is co op buying. It was a little confusing to me, but it was an option. After I checked it out you are not buying the property, but shares in the company that owns the property.

WTHeck that even means. So yeah, Move to NJ and commute in and get killed with tolls and traffic or bite the bullet and just get by to live in the greatest city ever. I agree with this post percent. Additionally, this post took into account the expense for a single person. Imagine being a family with an income of k. We have one child and easily our grocery bill a month is upwards of Without rehashing each item on the budget, I personally believe that living on anything less than in a city like DC is nearly impossible if you want to live fiscally sound and not rack of debt.

Sadly most employers are still benefiting off the tight economy and are continuing the trend of paying their people less than what is needed to really LIVE in the city the employer is located. The only option for a family like ours in DC is to live in the far suburbs where we have to commute upwards of two hours into work each day back and forth. My solution is telecommuting where families can live in other states or less expensive towns while making the city salary.

I am a brand new reader working in a less-than-lucrative industry who is still committed to saving money and eventually building wealth. I aim to put half of into savings. I am still quite content with my current standard of living, and have been able to make it work even in this ridiculous city. One major area where I save is rent: I live in Brooklyn and share a relatively cheap apartment with roommates, making a 35 minute commute to work by train. I take weeks worth of vacation a year.

And, I love my shopping! I may need to change career paths for a better income. Hopefully, I can continue a pattern of both saving and living comfortably. I love your attitude and your commitment to save. What happens as we get older is that we get sick of living a certain lifestyle after a while. My desire for a nicer life started around the age of after four years of work. Looking at the possibility of moving to NY, and stumbled upon this post. Most of the comments are on individual expenses, but does anyone have insight into living with a family?

So schooling, Insurance, activity classes etc. Depending on where you are coming from adjust your expectations. I owed a co-op in Bayside Queens. Thanks for the nice post! I have been working in nyc since but never lived in manhattan. I lived in jersey city which is a very easy commute from manhattan and rents are less and you get more space. Commute is very good.

Groceries are cheap here too and you save on NYC city tax which is roughly about 2. Is it just snobbery by the Manhattanites that give Jersey a not so great name? If you need that much money to feel like you can enjoy your life, I feel pity for you becuase you will always be trapped in a place of unhappiness. And as far as getting laid, I hope your fucking yourself when you are 45 becuase the 25 year old women you are used banging will have found more attractive and younger men than you.

Shame on your disgusting, greedy, wallstreet lifestyle. Step out and take a look at the real world where perfectly itelligent and hardworking people have good lives with little money. I feel pity for you. Faucet water seems so dirty. If you truly feel pity for me and others here, I welcome any donations you have. Lots of greedy rich people are donating so much to charity on top of the taxes they pay.

We must fight the evil empire! Thousands of scientists and professors have gratifying lives? Your elitist opinion minimizes the plight of the working poor which people below k in NYC functionally are in painting them as happy saints. I know researchers, scientists and professors. Asides from work, money is the 1 concern for many grants and living expenses. There are very few academic saints who are happy with their low salary. I know many who are constantly trying to maximize their income in other ways.

For many, to get that low 6 figures means deferring years of pay for education. Then of course, getting jobs that require crazy long work hours. Then finally, having the luxury of having taxes eat a large chunk of your income. If you are really lucky, you get to earn six figures while living in a high cost-of-living area.

Most of us are incredibly frugal and trying to make up for the years of little to no pay. I saw a complain post there, soo so out of context. I am from Panama, central america, and here my wife is every year asking to claim my US pasaport to find a job in NYC and go there for a while, and thats how I got to find this website, I kind of know how much money is burn and how not too much fun.

I can imagine how fun can NYC be with the amounth requiere but less than , is really difficult and consider that with kids, Here in Panama my salary and the cost of the new Panama is pretty close to the same feeling how the money is burn. So until I find my way to earn , or more. I admire how forthright it is as well as your ability to deal with the naysayers. I do sometimes feel myself siding with them, but I also understand the value of money, and more importantly, of saving well.

Pull in about 76k. Moved here from another major city only making 60ish, but I had a second job in the nightlife industry that paid cash all my fellow bartenders, waiters etc know the value of cash amirite?! I got a small bump when I moved here but decided to only work my day job for the first time in my life. I worked 2 jobs and never had time to go out anyway. Bought a decent condo which is finally building equity.

My first year in NY, I wanted the Manhattan experience. So I lived in an awesome doorman building in Murray Hill, one that is literally known for housing a bunch of spoiled rich kids who live off their parents featured in the WSJ haha. Just too large a portion of my income basically half. I live right off the water in Williamsburg yes, hipster central , and it is beautiful, relatively safe, and full of amazing options food and bar wise.

To your larger point, I do agree that comfort boils down to individual taste and choice. An interesting thing happened that first year in Manhattan. Everyone seems to have really figured out how to balance their budgets and lives once they found their life partner. Splitting rent, food etc is just half of it.

Being single was pretty awesome in my 20s and its become a bit of a drag in my 30s lol. I love your comment. Thanks for your perspective! All I really want is to hear from others on how they make it happen. Hope you subscribe to my site email , or RSS and keep in touch! Thanks for your valuable insight here. It is actually helping me out a ton as I figure out my immediate future. Because of her commute to NJ, we will have to live near in midtown west, and neighborhoods such as Chelsea, and west village. My salary is about k, and hers, k. I keep seeing different calculators for how much individuals should be able to afford for rent.

What would be your take on this? We are pretty active and social and would probably prefer to live a little cheaper in order to have more left over for other activities…. I love this post. I have full health care with a prescription plan through my job. I still have to dish out on co-pays on visits and prescriptions. I have a very tiny apartment in Brooklyn, I mean tiny. I pay 1, a month. Its a cute place in a nice neighborhood. I have to pay for electricity and gas that comes out to about a month.

I only eat one large meal a day like the Romans. I do tons of homemade facial and hair masks — Have to look good! This one is difficult to calculate. I stock up on clothes once a year on Black Friday and tend to go with the basics. If you have a nice figure and your hair and makeup is perfect, then you can really get away with wearing form fitting black slacks and 5 different shirts a week.

The key is to maintain the same weight I know, so unrealistic -but not when you eat one meal a day and good quality clothes will last years. And what do I do with it? I save my tax return money too. You, Nadia, are awesome! I appreciate this side to the conversation. I make the same salary and am totally content with my lifestyle as well. City living can get me down because I grew up outside of Chicago, but my career demands it. Happiness has little to do with money. After being pushed to Queens and still not being able to live comfortably.

Not sure how others do it. The media industry in NYC is a racket of fresh faces. I wonder whether you will object to my latest article on this subject: And all in NYC, to boot? How can anyone complain when they can afford three meals a day and eating out thirty times in a single month, while also paying into their k and attending broadway shows? Thanks for sharing your story. Can you share with us more about your income, Family size, occupation, and aspirations? And all the grass I can smoke. I live in a community about 15 miles from Colorado springs.


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City life is claustrophobic and expensive, I was thinking of possibly moving to Denver for the thrills but this made me change my mind and probably saved me money so thank you. I just graduated from massage school, and 40, a year would be the beez kneez for me. I live off less than 10, a year currently. We live in NYC. We live on his salary and save mine.

We both enjoy reading a lot and cooking. We also like to travel and plan to do it more in the near future. We make most of our own meals. Saturday night is often Netflix, wine and a new recipe. I rarely buy anything in a deli and I never buy anything prepared. We do buy organic food. We go to the library. All my gym clothes are from Nike or Lululemon. I sometimes find really nice stuff at NYC consignment shops I wear what I have and try hard not to buy more than I need.

My husband paid for 4 years of college on his credit card with no help from his family. The older I get the less value I find in things. Spending consistently less than I make for well over a decade investing the rest in good Vanguard funds, not having kids, cooking my own food, not shopping for entertainment, these things have all had a huge impact on my finances.

Once your money starts making money it gets exciting. The power of compounding interest is truly life changing. I would have liked to see you account for someone who has student loan debt but other than that a terrific post. I plan to tone that back a bit. Also, I enjoy travelling quite a lot, domestically and internationally which also cuts into savings.

I would try and up your k as much as possible until it is to the max. Your future self will adapt and thank you! I love laying out the monthly budget to put things in perspective, but I disagree with your statement that your friend is frugal. My building is zero frills, so I walk one block to do laundry, walk up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment. I have a projector and 7 foot screen setup in my living room and host movie nights with friends. His bathroom was probably the size of my bedroom, he had high end renovations, a doorman, etc…basically a bunch of stuff that to me adds no value to life.

Or as others pointed out, move to New Jersey. If you want all 3 you will pay. I give up luxury and a little bit of space, but have an awesome location. I have a car that I park on the street yes, a pain, but need it for work and is nice for road trips. So, K is definitely not needed. And when you combine that with beautiful beaches, it seems to be a perfect option for many people looking to live overseas without spending too much. I found it in Panama. For nearly 15 months I house sat in the mountains of western Panama.

Total cost to live in such luxury? A bottle of local Panamanian beer in the market will set you back between 35 cents and a half buck a bottle and at any of the neighborhood bars it will rarely be more than 75 cents. A bus ride from my house to the border with Costa Rica costs me under a buck. Baseball is a BIG sport here in Panama with their own national league.

Hey Richard — Thank you so much for sharing your experiences in Panama! I appreciate you sharing your experience in Panama. However, I thouht you were limited to the amount of time you could spend there being a tourist. How did you spend 15 mos. Then even longer when living near Costa Rica? Tourists, on the other hand, are restricted to visits. Then they simply leave and return. I do know of people who live here as perpetual tourists making runs for the border for years. Two are Americans who have been here for a dozen years and even own businesses.

I am very happy to find your web site. Im 51 years old and live in Canada. I want to start spending 3 months Jan-April a year in mexico starting I will retire at I felt I would have to wait until 60yrs. Also is there places to learn conversersion spanish cheaply. Hey Stewart — Welcome to the site!


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As for Mexico, it really is possible to live well on that amount of money. So there should be nothing stopping you from making it happen. With Spanish lessons, language schools tend to be quite expensive but usually you can find someone who is willing to give you private lessons for much cheaper. All those places are charging same rates as hotels in America and more. Hello Carol — Thank you for taking the time to comment. Hey Bill — Thank you for sharing your situation and sounds like you have quite a deal in Queretaro!

I love that city actually and have a good friend who lives on a ranch about twenty minutes away from the city center. Thanks for some inspiring writing. I am about to leave my job and my partner and I both 50 somethings have been thinking about an adventure. Maybe 2 or 3 months in 3 or 4 places around the world taking a year out from life in the UK. We love the idea but also find it a little daunting and scary so your writing has really helped us see the excitement and opportunity!

One question — do you tend to find your accommodation once you arrive? I normally find accommodation once I arrive, for the very reason that you discovered already…everything you find online ahead of time is geared towards foreigners only and is therefore much more expensive. Your posts are amazing! Thank you for all your articles! Blessings and many more wonderful travels! Earl , hi… My name is Panayiotis forty years old and I live in Greece ,I am very excited from your articles about the bag pack way of living around the world. My profession is interior designer, and I am fed up visiting European countries the last twenty years and having the same dish all the time..

Hey Panayiotis — Thank you for the comment! Most of the time I spent living in that part of the world took place in Mexico. But you should not have much problem at all accomplishing your goal. If you want to travel the region quite a bit and always use transportation and stay at hotels as well, then you might have a harder time sticking to that budget.

Hey Neale — Thanks for sharing that information! And I hope all is well up there in Chiang Rai, which has always been a city I enjoyed exploring once a month or so when I was living in Chiang Mai. I am a young, by young I mean 19, stay at home mom and wife. My husband and I love to travel and I consider myself very cultural and diversified but we are unsatisfied with our current location Houston, Texas.

We do not fit here at all. We are very liberal, you see.. In Houston, there are no hills, the nearest beach is brown — not blue — and with our newborn, I feel she deserves so much more. Schooling is also extremely important. We also prefer a temperate climate no extreme temps — hot or cold, little to no humidity, and not a lot of sad rainy days.

I we would reallllyy appreciate your advice when I ask you to please help us find the best place for US to live abroad! In advance, thank you so much for your help. I appreciate the comment and can definitely offer a few suggestions, although it might be a little difficult to match all of your requirements. Some ideas that come into mind would be Mexico, Argentina, Thailand and Turkey. Each of those countries offer plenty of nature, good education, low cost of living and decent weather year round. Those would definitely be my first choices if I were looking to live for a lengthy period of time overseas.

These personal experiences are exactly what I needed at this very moment. Your stories are essential and inspirational. Thank you for the encouragement and insights. If you do need help: Consider that you may be trading one kind of crap for another except in another language. Much less crap that way. Hey wandering Earl, Love your very informative website. Your website actually has meaningful info from someone who has done it. No debt and can dump my house for K,plus 20K in savings. Would like to bring my motorcycle or buy one to get around.

Where would you live outside of the USA on this amount thats nice and safe,friendly etc. I am tired of the crap in America. I live in New Mexico. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, Earl, for your comments. Any suggestions of who I might contact to find such a place? Hey Karol — Another good option to try would be Croc Condos. You can find their contact details on their Facebook Fan Page. Hi Earl My name is Jon.

I have always wanted to travel, always being led to believe that I would never be abale to afford it. I am now disabled, limiting my walking and use of my arm greatly. Not sure where one could live on disablility, I have been doing some searching. But most sites are marketed to those without physical limitations.

I guess my questions are where would someone like myself go, where I can get the medications and possible medical care I need. And what are the cost involved for these needs abroad. Also I have children whom I will want to travel back to see a couple times a year. What are the cheapest modes of travel? And are there any tricks for saving money on such expenditures?

If you own your own car is it easier to bring it with or leave it behind? And lastly where are the countries with the best educational programs? First, in most of the world, even in developing countries, you will have no problem finding the medications and medical care that you need.

This is one of the reasons that so many Americans are flocking to places such as Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica, etc. Of course, there is a cost involved as you will not be covered by insurance most likely and these costs can vary. The cheapest mode of travel will depend on where you choose to live. For example, if you live in Mexico, you could take buses back to the US, although often times you can find flights for cheaper than the long-distance bus fares. If you were to live farther away, chances are your only option would be to fly.

And the best way to find low airfares is simply to be flexible. Also, you might find AirNinja. And with a car, you would only take your own car if you are going somewhere such as Mexico or Central America as you can drive from the US quite easily to those destinations. Public transportation is usually quite cheap and extensive in most of the world and having a car would just be an added expense.

In terms of educational programs, are you referring to schools for children or universities? If you can provide a little more information I may be able to offer a little more advice. It can sometimes be difficult even for people without difficulties. Good luck to you. Thanks alot for the reply Earl, I appreciate it. Mexico sounds great too! I have decided to leave the Netherlands, as soon as I have the opportunity. I want to live in a cheap country like other posters here. I think I have a serious opportunity to retire early in Turkey in my fifties. I have to save enough money to be able to go at age 45, which means living 10 years without any income whatsoever!

Anyway, here is my question; perhaps I could live 10 years till I retire in Turkey at around age 55 in a cheaper country than Turkey? How much money would I need to live there for 10 years? Thank you again for all the information and motivation! Hey Ozcan — You definitely have some options but I think the best way to choose is to decide where you would be happy.

There is no point in living in a cheap country for 10 years if you are not interested in that culture or you are not able to enjoy your life there. So once you have an idea of what part of the world you really would like to live in, then it becomes easier to choose a place to live. Some ideas to get you started would be Southeast Asia Thailand, Indonesia, etc. Here is a link to my Syria posts if you want to read some more information about this country. And it definitely is cheap.

But again, make sure you choose a country that excites you! I am from Georgia and i came here to stay with my sister who is in the navy. I will be going home shortly to stay with my mother until the winter is over. It is hard to find a place to start over when I am looking at so many possibilities. I have looked into Colorado, California and Oregon but still feel like I should take an even bigger risk and try overseas living seeing as in I will only be able to do this for six months.

I am a little scared of being mugged or something like that because I will be alone and do not really have impeccable street smarts. I went to Mexico only on a mission trip. My question to you is where do you think would be safe yet fun and cheap yet classy? Hey Melissa — Thanks for the comment and you definitely have some options in terms of finding a place to stay for six months or so. As for being mugged, the most important thing is to use your common sense, the very same common sense you would use at home to avoid such a situation. The world is much less scary than people think!

These are just a handful of possibilities but might be a good place to start your research! I was wondering if you have a way to cut withdrawal cost while you travel. In some countries, we can only withdraw small amounts at ATM machine and the fee for each withdrawal is high. Can you get around that? Do you open an account in each country that you visit? If so, when you open an account in a country, is there a minimum time to keep it open and some cost to open the account in addition to the money transfer?

This bank offers checking accounts that do not have any fees for international transactions. In addition, a couple of their checking accounts also reimburse you for the fees that local banks charge in whatever country you may be traveling in. I know that Charles Schwab also offers similar accounts as well in the US.

Hey Earl i was just wondering how safe most of these places are. Ive been doing a lot of research on living in countries for cheap. Mexico of instance has a huge drug cartel problem. I want to have the nomadic lifestyle but i also dont speak any languages besides englisl. Hey Brian — Thank you for the comment! To be honest, most of the world is incredibly safe, even the places that we think are not safe or that we are told are not safe by the media back at home.

Where I live, it is as safe as can be. The drug cartel problem exists in tiny pockets of the country and along the border of the US. The rest of the country is not affected. I saw a recent statistic that showed how Mexico City, a city of 25 million people that most people in the US think is dangerous, has a murder rate that is the same as Madison, Wisconsin.

Your info is very helpful in terms of finding a suitable home in another country.. How would that work in another country. What about medication I take now. I now live in the United states. Hey David — I appreciate the comment and your question is quite a valid one. As for medication, depending on what it is, you might very well be able to find the same thing overseas but again, it depends on where you choose to live.

If it is hard to find medications or medications that are simply not available overseas, you might have to plan a trip home once or twice per year in order to stock up. Any places you would recommend? And what are reasonable prices if you know about purchases. Sorry, it was 2: It also depends on whether or not you prefer the beach, mountains, big cities, small towns, etc but everywhere from Panama to Nicaragua and both coasts of Mexico offer great places to have a condo. So the good news is that if you chose a place that was less touristy, that number would drop significantly! If you were looking to go farther away from the US, perhaps places such as Bali, Turkey or Thailand might be worth a look.

Each country has their own rules as to whether or not foreigners can purchase property so in some places it can be tricky while in others it can be relatively straightforward. This post just assures what I read when I picked up 4hourworkweek a few years ago. Really enjoyed this post! Is there a place you would recommend if you are working is just want to buy something to be able to visit 1 or 2 at a time?

It really is all about prioritizing our spending. If we spend our money on what we want most in life, we discover that it is often much more affordable than we originally thought. I live in Ecuador. Here is a breakdown of our cost of living. Cost of Living in Ecuador: Haines Family in Cuenca.

Might be useful to your readers. This post is from a couple months back but still accurate. Hey Bryan — Thank you for sharing that link. I have no doubt that it will be helpful to anyone heading to the region, including myself whenever I decide to head down that way! Before I discovered this site, I thought Playa del Carmen was going to be too expensive for us. Wandering Earl helped us out with a lot of great information. We walked on the shady side of the streets in the morning and returned home along the beach early evening.

And it was fun travelling cheap 5 pesos in collectivos. Many of the drivers have great taste in music. Lots of smiles and friendly people. So many people are eager to learn English, so I helped them and they helped me with Spanish. Earl, thanks again for all your help. If you are ever travelling around our area, Bellingham Wa, let us know, you have a free place to stay.

And I certainly appreciate your offer of a place to stay as well. If you ever make it back down to Playa, the spare bedroom in my apartment is all yours. I actually arrived back in Mexico just a few days after you left! Just wanted to say that your generous offer to Seth made me cry!

I have books, tapes, etc. You give me hope and inspiration with your ideas and research. Hey Seth — Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment! With your earnings you definitely have options. It is much, much cheaper here than on most of the islands and you still have that laid-back, Caribbean atmosphere.

The islands tend to be a bit more expensive because everything has to be shipped in from other places, so even basic groceries cost much more than you would pay at home. If any other questions come to mind, please feel free to send me an email at earl wanderingearl. Hey Roy — Agreed. Basic necessities food, housing, transportation depending on mostly how lucky you are finding a good place to live.

I cook my own food so going out to eat would obviously cost quite a bit more. Transportation here is relatively expensive. Hey Joe — Thanks for sharing that info about Bogota. I honestly had a […]. It almost makes you cry to realise how you are living compared to how you could be living. I doubt it is easy however given the choice between living the rest of my life in the rat race or sitting on a beach reading a good book and seeing the world I know where I would rather be.

Hey Tom — I think the most important thing is simply making the realization that you have options. A little bit of knowledge provides you with a great amount of freedom, something that many people are unfortunately living without! Thanks for the comment! Do most of these countries require some type of fee to move to them for retirement? Ive always wondered if I could do that in the States. Do you which states are the least expensive to live and travel in? Im visiting New Orleans and New York a few times this year, and would love to find affordable accomodation while vacationing.

I worked as an English teacher in Mexico for three years. My monthly expenses for rent, utilities, basic groceries, etc. I would also go out for a cheap lunch every day, go to the local beaches, rent DVDs, watch movies in the local cinema, and have enough money to go out of town on long weekends and holidays. It can be done… if you stay away from the areas where tourists and gringos hang out, and live more like a local. It most certainly can be done as you said! Life as a real estate agent is just not what it was and my equity in my house has evaporated! I also wonder what life would be life in many of the countries you mention for a single woman, thanks for all the inspiration.

Sure, internet business or web design skill certainly would come in handy if you wanted to earn more but you could always teach a little English to provide you with some extra income as well. As for being a single woman, there really are few places that would be a challenge. Even during my recent trip to the Middle East I met quite a few single foreign women living in places such as Lebanon and Syria, living good lives without any problems at all. I hope this information helps a little but please feel free to send me an email through the Contact Me page on my site if you have any further questions at all.

As for me, I earn money from working on the internet, mostly through the sales of some eBooks I have written. Thank you for all the great information. My wife and I are waiting to hear back from a dentist in Playa Del Carmen. And will they be furnished and available for just one month? Thanks for your help. Here email address is: As for an apartment in Playa del Carmen, you will definitely see signs everywhere for places to rent, but none of them have the prices on them.

Most will be furnished but finding something available for just one month is a little more challenging. Like others in my profession, real estate, the market changes have hit us hard, I am losing my house so am getting a forced move! However i think when one door closes another opens and this is having me rethink my priorities and envision getting to those places i have always wanted to live. I am widowed and NOT looking to get married again.

So many countries I live and was born in the US consider women second class citizens. I just want to dance through the rest of the years I have left…lol…and be happy. All of your comments are most interesting and informative. I hope this information helps but if you have any further questions, please feel free to send me an email.

I think much of Latin America fits that description. My wife has gone to immersion schools alone in several areas of Mexico, usually walks to school, gets out on her own, etc. She has had no problem speaking with men in stores, etc, but has never had a problem with harassment of any kind. A cab driver tried to cheat her once, but that was because she was anglo and not because she was female.

Or maybe he tried to cheat everybody. Earl suggested Queretaro and Oaxaca. If you need a larger English speaking population, try around Lake Chapala and the town of San Miguel de Allende be prepared to spend much more, though. The more English you hear, the more it costs. Hope you make the plunge. Definitely worth a visit, at least. Beautiful area, tranquil city and wonderful people.

Many people simply believe that you need more money than you spend at home in order to live overseas when it is often the opposite. Do you have a posting on your expenses in Mexico? It would be helpful for us to see a breakdown of your living expenses there. Thanks Earl for this great post! The only problem is that I want to be a mom next year.

Have you seen moms carrying a baby around while exploring? I know I want to have it all, being a mom and still not missing out! The world out there is fascinating. I speak a few different languages and love to learn more. I now live in the U. I look forward to your advices. And I can honestly say that I have seen plenty of moms traveling around with their children.

You should check out http: The author, Christine, is currently traveling with Drew and Cole, her husband and young baby! My wife and I want to relocate our family of 8 to a small village in Mexico. We are not real familiar with the areas and was wondering if you had any places in an agricultural area that we could move to as well as being far away from civilization and the cartel wars.

We are looking for solitude with a small village near by. A couple of general regions to try would be the area between Valladolid and Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula or even the person village of Chacala, in the state of Nayarit on the west coast. This is a quiet, gorgeous village with only a trickle of foreigners that visit. In fact, anywhere in Nayarit would be ideal. Those would be two regions I would look at if you wanted to get away from it all while still being somewhat close to civilization.

I have been building websites and doing photography and making it work. Thank man…Chacala says hello. Seems like you have a solid plan in place and I must say that the website is a brilliant idea. Info on Chacala is not so easy to find! Keep me posted as your stay in Mexico and website progresses. I definitely want to hear more about where it all leads…. Emilia and Arturo of Chac Mool are very good friends of mine. They are very well connected within the secret that is Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico. It has been fantastic here and I have ben housesitting a place I found on craigslist.

My tasks…water the garden and let the cleaning lady in. Awwww yeah, I can do that. That will be my next home in my Digital Nomadica…. I want to get a new lightweight and thin laptop for travel and was wondering what laptop you use for all your travels? I have lived in Thailand for 7 years. Thailand is great if you want to live cheap, eat well and be in a safe country. Hey Tracy — Thank you so much! As you can see, the cost of travel really is much less than many people think and as a result, rewarding experiences await those who make that realization!

Hey Natalie — Thank you for the info on Turkey. And apparently my search box is missing! I just upgraded my theme a couple of weeks ago and it seems to have disappeared so thank you for pointing that out…. Yeah, I am permanently based in Altinkum and use that as my base to travel from. Great that you are heading back here.

No worries about search box. Signed up to your newsletter and following you on twitter so will get to read your posts. Where abouts in Turkey are you headed? If you have time, would love to do an interview with you before you go? If not, then perhaps we can do one when you return. Hey Earl, thanks for alot of your info!!!

I have my fight booked and the apt rented for OCt. It is all good…. Thinking of doing what I always wanted to do and live abroad for a few years. Thanks for all the suggestions. Any other seniors out there considering this? So I say go for it! You might want to have a read of the following post as well as it might give you some ideas for finding cheaper accommodation in an otherwise more expensive place. I just completed a semester abroad in France and needed to be on a budget. What do you recommend for finding cheap flights? Thanks for the article! Hey Rach — Thanks for visiting the site!

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And it is amazing that one can live down here in this part of Mexico for so cheap. Other than that I normally check as many different airfare sites as possible to find the best fares, but I also have a ton of frequent flyer miles at this point and so I usually use those for longer flights! Earl shares some of the great […]. Thanks so much for this post! Hi Earl, interesting, especially the Australia one! It was about 10 years, ago, so I can expect that price to be doubled or so now. They exploded once or twice. There were only 3 bathroom so we had to wake up early if we wanted to shower before we left for school.

Hey Dina — That sounds like one interesting place to live. I can only imagine the challenges involved with living with more than 20 other people in such conditions. Hopefully you and Ryan are living more comfortably these days…. Hey Earl, I am interested in going to Koh Mak. How did you find the place you rented, and what is your rick to find accommodation? Do you stay in a hostel or hotel until you find the right pad?

I stayed on Ao Soun Yai which is an amazing stretch of beach. I stayed at Suchanaree. When I travel to places that are not as isolated as Koh Mak, I do usually stay in a hostel for a few nights until I find a place. Thanks alot Earl, Big Help. I am planning out my looonnnggg trip for departure in OCT. How do you support yourself? I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this.

I love reading posts like this! When I was sitting in my cubicle these types of posts got me excited and motivated for the future. Now, as I prepare for my upcoming journey I get a surge of excitement in anticipation of finding my own way as I travel through the world. There is this stereotype that you need an incredible amount of money for long term travel. Finally, we were able to save enough and bought our first home. Now we are down to zero reserves and catching up on our budget attack plan to save. One day at a time. Once again, amazing story. God bless your family. Thank you for sharing Patricia.

Excellent job doing what it took to get out of a rough place and into a very stable financial position. And yes, it sounds like you guys were exactly the kind of people that WIC and food stamps should be helping. My husband talks about him and his mom being on WIC when he was little and she was still in her teens. But only because i was lucky enough to know someone, who needed a person to inhabit their two bedroom mobile home while they were trying to sell it. Praise the Lord for His provision for you, and your frugal mind!

Thank you for sharing and encouraging others! Saying hi from Thrifty Thursday. Your story is very interesting and I would like to know more about how you make money off of getting stuff for free. I am more motivated to look at my budget and see where I can cut unnecessary expenses. I apologize for my bad english, because its not my language.

I think you are very corageous and you did it perfect. You are now independent and can live with your kids with no state help, you are a very good example for everybody. Congratulations and good luck. I have a 3 month old daughter and my boyfriend and I both live with my parents so I constantly hear my dad talking about the millions of bills he has to pay He was doing that before I got pregnant Sometimes I cry about it because he seems so stress and stresses everyone else out.

He does it to himself doe. We pay so much on Internet, cable, car insurance, and more. I just wish he understood that there are alternatives. My brother has a great paying job but my father still decides to pay his car bills every month. First I want to applaud you for the strength and courage to tell your story. I really hope you received no negative posts because you are a warrior, my friend. I have so much respect for you being the truthful soul that you are and for not being fake and ashamed to tell it like it was.

I respect you so much for valuing and appreciating the joy of being able to. Anyone can tell you busy your behind to make a good life for your children. You tell your story girl and I hope it brings even more income to you because I can tell that you would not forget where you started.

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in Style | Money Talks News

You sound like a very true kind person and I appreciate that you keep it real and are not fake on your blog. I would much rather read your blog than someone who is well off and faking how they have a fairyland life. Assistance is there for people like you who are trying to make a better life. You are an inspiration to SAHM and working moms who wish they could be at home with their babies. Keep going, my friend. You have a lot of people in your corner: God bless you and your children! I truly treasure your words. As for not being able to make income, there are a myriad of ways to make income from home, you just have to find one that works best for you and your skills.

I wish there were more articles from people that lived in populated areas of the country. Is there no way you can move somewhere cheaper? I lived in Cali and it was so expensive there. When my husband was around, we moved first thing. Loved reading your article. And would love to hear more details. I just currently finished paying off my debts but I still have hunger for knoweledge on how to save money and be frugal. Sarah, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your website, all the articles you write, especially this one. While I was never homeless, I left my husband and moved miles away and worked at a job making barely over minimum wage only part time-was all I could find at the time in a small town.

I actually had to go to the food shelf for the first time in my life as I had barely any food. That has been over 20 years ago. I have just started a new job this week. My car has been paid off for years. No payments of any kind of debt. That makes you real! I wish I had friends like you Sarah!!!!!

You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing Bonnie. Said it was the best experience of his life. I went to a dealership today because my Ford Escape has a recall on it and they were all talking about the best cars out there and all the features. Thank you for encouraging ME! I guess that makes me weird…. What a great story! I stumbled across your blog when searching for information about essential oils.

What an amazing opportunity for us all and our customers, but I want to learn more. I love your story! I truly think you do this! May I ask where you live? Between this and the what to stock up on in June list… The costs are extremely different from where I live now and where I was looking at moving to from here. It definitely depends on where you live. I actually moved states at that time to get things a lot cheaper and have never regretted it.

Ultimately, where a person lives is a choice. Counseling is also available and I encourage all who are open to it, to accept the offer and participate. At the time, I still qualified for government assistance, but had worked myself off of it. Hopefully that makes a little more sense. If you want the full story and how I went from homeless to well off with great detail, I wrote a book that is going to be on paperback very soon. You can find it here. I am so glad to see the result of someone able to get out of m situation. I have been out of shelters for about 9 months now and I have just recently opened my own travel agency here out of my home.

I am trying to give my children everything I can for their future. We do not have cable, but do have internet. I pay electric and water since I rent a house. I am currently on government assistance, but am in school and run my own business. I do not have any help though and am starting to see how hard it is to not have support, especially when you have two babies and try to run a business.

I would love to learn how to sell things as well because I need to get the extra income. I am made fun of all the time for my choices to live without, but I do not need others to tell me how to spend my money. That is great that rent is so cheap where you live for a safe neighborhood. I applaud your effort. Your sacrifices will be rewarded. Love love love what you are providing for people. Glad you are taking hold of your financial situation.

That is the first step. Too expensive, too crowded, and too smoggy. This post was very helpful and inspiring!

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I might have to start blogging it seems like a good way to make extra cash: I love your idea of living off one paycheck and putting the other on debt. What a wonderful idea Ryley!!! Your life experiences are an inspiration to me. As a disabled widow on a fixed income, I plan to implement your tools of success in my life. All the best in your endeavor!

This has given me so much motivation, hope, and inspiration to know what to do with money instead of running around like a chicken with its head caught off. I pulled out student loans in hopes of a better future, but realized that college was not for me. I just need to put these things in action! Thanks so much for this article!

But God was faithful and helped me out of it all, set me on a rock, and made me the person I am today. If I can do it, anyone can! I live on a month too and sometimes less than that. I have a garden too. I am a BIG coupon user. I recently purchased a 2 bedroom with yard. Its a fixer-upper, but I can do almost all the work. And have improved the value already. My monthly costs are very simple. Just power, water, sewer, phone that comes with internet. And homer owners ins and car ins, no car payment I have a I love the less stress and can save a lot.

I even have 2 kitten. We live very good I think, and less stress. My friend thinks I should start a blog, hmmm. I was a single mother and I know first hand how hard it can be to raise children on your own.