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August 14, 2008


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You also have to calculate the falling value of the dollar and the exchange rate if you travel abroad.

I had earmarked $5000 a year to travel to Italy annually. After all, that's what worked before: 2 weeks in Italy for around $5000.

Know where in Italy I can go today for $5000? I can ask the pilot of the plane to fly low over the Vatican and the hills of Tuscany and then head straight back home for five grand.

I've worked the numbers, reduced the days, even thought of staying in youth hostels, for pete's sake. Yuck! I'd have to pay the equivalent of approx $960USD per person per night just to get a room in Venice. Even thought of a cruise. No thanks.

I'm staying home for now but visiting more Little Italy type areas in some local vicinities instead. Hey! They're all Italian anyway and came from the motherland, right?

Granted yes, I could take that $5k and go to a less expensive spot that hasn't affected the US dollar, like Costa Rica but are there any Italians there? I didn't think so.

I'm sorry Syd. I've been retired for over 7 years now and I don't see my future getting any better. Not my fault, of course, but I have to keep doing with less and less, look for different alternatives, be creative. It's enough to make me look jealously at some geezers who work at Wal-Mart. LOL.

Retired Syd

Yes, the weak dollar sure adds insult to injury. But in my case, there are so many places I haven't even been to here in the U.S. I may respond next year by seeing a few of those places.

I was talking to my husband tonight about perhaps exploring a bit of Canada--about half my readers and many of the blogs I read are Canadian. This has made me very interested. But I guess the dollar is weak against the the Canadian currency as well, eh?


Like most people, I got caught up in those commericals and magazines portraying retirees as owning vacation homes, traveling the world, and frolicking on beaches. I dreamed up this idea that we would exist like nomads and live in different locations every 3-6 months, immersing ourselves in the local culture. Unfortunately, the math isn't working and our nest egg is shrinking from negative returns and inflation.

I'm willing to let go of that expensive dream if we can retire by 50 with enough to be comfortable. Since no one can predict the future, I'd rather maximize those years by spending time with family as much as possible. If we can only travel 0-2 times per year, I'd definitely mix my day up a bit to fend off that restless, cabin-fever type of feeling that I get during snowstorms.

There are probably some good non-peak, last-minute travel deals out there for people who have ample time. Personally, I find our vacations really stressful. For example, we're going to Maui next month for a little over a week. We used our points and are going during an inconvenient time at work. We'll try to squeeze in as many activities as possible after the 11-hour, red-eye plane ride and the 6-hour time differential. The return trip is going to be the pits, especially knowing that we have to return to work tired.

Next year, rather than vacations, we'll do stay-cations and pretend to be retired.

Retired Syd

I actually had a similar fantasy where we would sell our house and go buy a little pied-a-terre, say in London, stay for awhile, sell it, buy a place somewhere else and keep going. My husband did not share that dream, however.

But so far, I'm content to hang around the house and just enjoy the local culture (while everyone else is working, by the way.)


So, it's not like you're not traveling at all. You're traveling even more than you did when you worked. That's great. And you're not having to ask someone for permission to take those 3 weeks off all at once. Extra bonus.

I'm truly looking forward to every day being a vacation. Sometimes I just take the day off work just to be at home and do other things. Like going to the art museum during the week when everyone else is at work, just like you said.


I think the great thing about retiring early (in the future for me), is that it doesn't necessarily have to mean never earning money again, the way it might if I had worked so long that I no longer had any energy. What about little side projects that earn small amounts of money that fund these extras--the egg money that funds the holiday? That is my plan...(hopefully!) :)

Retired Syd

@Rosie-That's so funny--Tim at Canadian Dream (on my blogroll), just posted about that very idea today. A retired friend of his is bored a couple months out of the year and is thinking about picking up a little side job in something he likes during those months. I could see getting involved in something I like that might earn me a little money as well (for me it would be something in dogs--perhaps a fancy kennel, playing with "vacationing" doggies.)

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