Retire now and be a digital nomad

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Earlier in our retirement income blog, we suggested immigrating to a place with lower living cost for a more relax and enjoyable retirement lifestyle.


In this article, I will share on a recent vacation I spent in Bali, Indonesia, where I truly admire their lifestyle and hopefully inspire you to start thinking of retirement life.


What I have learned from the trip?

In my trip to Bali, I have the opportunity to meet a few local people, tried local foods, learned their culture, and observed their way of living.


People in Bali are basically living at a much slower pace and simpler life, they do not chase time, they spend more time with family, they like to share their experiences, open for new opportunities, embrace uncertainties in life, easily adapt to changes, and they appreciate life.

Bali paddy field

Through speaking with them, I realise some of them are actually running multiple big and small businesses which give them various sources of income. This reminds me of the story of a Mexican fisherman where an investment banker met a fisherman, trying to convince him to grow his business and wealth. Little did he know that the fisherman is actually rich and living a comfortable life.


What is your current lifestyle?

Like many people living in the fast-pace cities, your daily life is like a hamster wheel. You wake up early, scarfing down breakfast, commuting to work, doing work you don’t enjoy, going through the motion everyday, attending back-to-back meetings, rushing home late, preparing dinner, cleaning up, preparing for tomorrow, etc. By the time you finish everything and have time to take a break at your comfy couch, it is already late night. Before you knew it, your entire day has just ended and sure enough, you are going to repeat the same cycle tomorrow.


I know, you may be earning good salary, but are you trading your limited time and quality of life in exchange with more money? If you are lucky, you get to keep a good health till old age; Otherwise, the daily stresses and unhealthy lifestyle can slowly develop into chronic diseases, such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and so forth. In the end, your illnesses eat up your hard-earned savings, and you end up living miserably.


Introducing the lifestyle of digital nomad 

During the Bali trip, I also get to see a booming industry, i.e. digital nomad. Digital nomad refers to people who bring only a laptop or mobile phone to work remotely anywhere in the world with full flexibility. For example:

  • Blogger
  • e-Commerce business owner
  • Copywriter
  • Trader
  • Graphic and web designer
  • Translator
  • Online course developer
  • Freelance photographer
  • and many more
Digital nomad lifestyle

Would you like to change your lifestyle?

If you continue living in the hamster wheel, assuming in a developed country, you are likely to join the queue of a rapidly growing ageing population one day. Don’t get me wrong, living in countries with low living cost doesn’t mean you will not age, but the ageing population in those countries are relatively low. 


Being a digital nomad, you could live a less stressful life with lots of freedom and opportunities. You are basically opening doors to the whole world, connecting with people and opportunities. Of course, to live a digital nomad lifestyle is not as wonderful and perfect as you may think. As the saying goes, “You gain some; you lose some.” You must be prepared to take some risks. For example:

  • Healthcare standard in a low living cost country may not be so advanced.
  • If you are immigrating with children, you really have to consider the education system.
  • Low living cost also means you may have to live a lower standard of living, possibly with poor sanitation systems, no clean water, pollution, etc.

Many countries are now offering digital nomad visas to encourage short-term stay for nomads and freelancers who want to travel and work remotely. You can find out more information here.


Requirements to be a digital nomad

To be qualified as a digital nomad, first of all, you must have minimal commitments:

  • Few or no dependents to look after.
  • Very little loans for your housing, education, vehicle, etc.
  • No major illnesses that require advanced medical care.
  • No legal obligations such as alimony, bonds and curfew.

Aside commitments, you should also have some amount of money to sustain the living cost. Most importantly, you need to have an exit plan in case it doesn’t work out your way.


If you are curious about digital nomad, check out this link here, it gives you a glimpse of different places around the world where you can travel and work at the same time.



The initial learning curve may be steep, but you can start small, once you have set your foundation right and are on track, you can start reaping the benefits in no time. Ultimately, it is your choice, whether to work soullessly and relax later at old age with lots of money (hopefully), or work and live a simple life at the same time with healthy mental well-being.


If you are not yet ready and have other commitments, you can also consider taking short breaks to live and experience the digital nomad lifestyle.


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