Saturday, 23 October 2010

Downsizing

Following on from our holiday in Devon DH and I have rented a house for 6 months in South Wales.

We decided that we really do need a base, we were tired of living out of a suitcase. It turns out that we might just have needed a good 3 week holiday to get our "fix" of sun, sea and good R&R. You see that was quite a novelty for DH and I. The last time we had a holiday of anything more than a week was FIVE YEARS AGO. The last two week holiday DH and I had was in 2005 when we went to South West Florida.

For now, we do not want to live abroad. I realise that part of the theme for this blog was to escape Britain. But escape to where, well that horse has been discussed and flogged to death by me on this blog. We have discovered that for now we want to live somewhere in an English speaking country with a temperate climate where there are no immigration issues. With that said living in Britain is the most obvious choice.

The other thing we have come to realise is that we all have to be somewhere, and that it costs something to be anywhere. Wherever you are you "gotta pay". I used to rant on and on about the evils of rent/mortgages/bills etc but the reality is that it costs money to live anywhere, and travel is not cheap. Before people start telling me that travel is not expensive let me say that DH and I are not interested in roughing it or backpacking (ive done that before) or trying to live in SE Asia on 2p per day. Dont get me wrong, DH and I love camping holidays, and have often stayed in hostels in this country and Spain, but doing this as a long term lifestyle choice is not for us.

I always wanted to live between the mountains and the sea and that is now exactly where we are. There is a 2 minute drive to a lovely beach and I can see the mountains from my window. Now this is not a place to live if you want to be amongst progressive forward thinking people, it is certainly not sophisticated and there probably isn't a cocktail to be seen for about 12 miles. But I have "done" all that. I would much rather be around "real" people, in a place where people have lived all their lives.

Let me tell you that the house is a small two bedroom modern semi detached and we are only paying £470.00 for rent. That's right £470.00! This seems like a bargain to me. We can afford this. The last time I paid so little rent was 12 years ago! My tip for early or semi retirement or escaping the rat race or whatever you want to call it is to move to an area with a lower cost of living.

For now this feels right. I say for now because we do not know how we will feel in 6 months time. For me I have found that I have wanted and needed different things at different stages of my life. 5 - 10 years ago living where we are now would not have suited me because for one thing the location does not offer what I wanted at that time, for example there is little opportunity for professional well paid jobs in this area etc.

But I dont need a well paid job now.

7 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

Ahhhhh. The pendulum swings back and forth. I think you are making a wise decision at this time to stay in Britain. Explore what she has to offer. Find a nice wintering area and a nice summer area. Roots don't have to be longer than 6 months.

Alice Griffin said...

I so relate to everything you say... sometimes when I read it is like reading my own words!!! As I have said before the great thing is, is that THERE ARE NO RULES. You should explore and follow your heart. You are in a great time of your life where you can, so do :-) And I have to say that finding our place in England has been the most surprising part of our journey. I also relate to the 'wherever you live you have to earn money' elements of your post - everyone is so eager to 'escape' the big bad country that is England, but if you simply change your way of living - it don't seem that bad at all, actually. In fact, I happen to think England has some of the most amazing scenery and people on offer - it's a shame that more don't see it. Enjoy your time in Wales you lucky lucky things! x

Anna said...

Yes, Britain has some of the most (if not the most) beautiful countryside in the world and I defintely understand the point about moving to a different part (easy because you don't need a well-paid position) and living well. It's great that you've found what's good for you. I yearn to live in different cultures - that's what's exciting to me. I do worry a bit about the expense of moving around though...

Tony said...

Agree with a lot of what you say, but I don't think you have exhausted the options for low-cost retirement locations. I realized that, for me, keeping a base in the UK, but taking extended "retreats" to foreign climes, was the way to go.

Yes, where ever you go costs money, and Asia is not cheap these days - development there and a severe trashing of the pound have seen locations like Thailand almost double the required monthly allowance. There was a time when you could live like a king there for less than $1000 a month. I think now $2,000 a month is more realistic. I'm off to the Philippines in Jan, and it's going to be interesting to see how things compare...

Good article though, keep 'em coming!

Laura said...

Your blog is highlighting to me what a big and difficult decision all this moving abroad is; I'm trying to stop thinking about it for a while :-)

PS. Have you thought about Canada? We've just been to Vancouver, water, mountains and cocktails ;-), all in one place...and quite possibly the nicest, politest people ever!

Dreamer said...

Jerry, thanks you always give me very wise advice and it is always really appreciated

Alice, I think that when you dont have to work the 9 - 5 grind you are then free to base yourself in a different area of the country because you are not constrained to living in a high cost of living area near a large commercial centre.

Anna, for me the expensive of perma travel was not worth it, you see I feel that I would rather live at or below my means rather than spend a bucket load of money on travel and then oh the horrors of having to return to the grind etc because we spent too much money. I would rather scale back the travel and have enough money to simply live with peace of mind.

Tony I too want a base in Britain with the option to travel or take extended retreats abroad if we wish. I have been reading a lot about how the COL has gone up in places like Thailand etc. Im not sure what other options abroad could be considered, maybe portugal?

Laura, yes I have considered Canada, would love to be able to live there, but the immigration rules are just as mean as the USA, so no chance i'm afraid. We could go on a tourist visa for a maximum 6 month stay though.

Anna said...

Isn't it exciting when we could go anywhere!!! But, I feel paralysed sometimes and don't know where to start.