Is it just us, or is the transition to location independence a little more complicated than a lot of people make it sound? Well, I know one thing. For many people desiring to transition into the remote working nomadic life, or at least a relatively nomadic life, it is not going to be as easy as simply quitting your day job and hitting the road. It’s going to take strategy and hard work to earn that freedom. But it’s possible.
LOCATION INDEPENDENCE: that life where you get to live wherever you want to because you can work from wherever you want
It might be easiest in your early twenties, straight out of college (or skipping college altogether.) No kids, no mortgage, no big responsibilities beyond putting a roof over your own head and food in your own belly.
But what about going nomadic later in life? What about a couple of forty-somethings, like us, with kids that have grown and launched (or pretty nearly anyway… It’s never too early to start working your strategy).
I mean, you must admit, at this point in life we’ve become accustomed to a certain standard of living. Minimal wages that inspire visions of crowded hostels with the risk of bed bug infestations and dirty showers do not appeal to us. And we like good food. It’s one of the best things about traveling to different places! This means that maintaining a certain level of income is going to be necessary to make our version of a location independent lifestyle dream a reality.
So let’s strategize.
11 Strategies to Make Your Dream of Location Independence a Reality
01 | Make a Plan and stay focused
The One Thing by Gary Keller? If not, and if you feel like you could use some coaching to be a little more focused (and who doesn’t?), then this book would most definitely be worth a read. Yeah, we all make plans but when it comes to execution that’s where many of us get hung up. Just get your copy… You can thank me later.
But seriously, whether you decide to read this book or not, make yourself a plan. It may not come together overnight. But you know where, or at least in what kind of situation, you want to be. Break your vision down into manageable and executable steps and make it happen.
02 | Reduce your expenses (do this now!)
The easiest way to save more is by spending less. If you plan on going ‘digital nomad’, why not start downsizing your lifestyle and expenses now? Take the money you save and invest it toward your financial independence.
03 | Start Downsizing
If you have been in one place for any length of time, chances are you are like the rest of us and have accumulated more junk than you even know what to do with. Why not start the process of shedding all that extra baggage now?
Here’s a good book to get you started, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Not exactly tailored toward those going nomadic, but it is a great book to get you started in decluttering your life. It will help you let go… maybe too well. Handle with care as even the most staunchly minimalistic person like myself can be lured into parting with a little too much too soon with this book.
Besides, by downsizing now you can sell your excess (that is worth selling) and invest the money toward passive income to fund your future. Or maybe be able to get a smaller living situation and therefore stash even more savings for next steps.
Our most recent downsize involved moving from a 4 story townhouse condo to a one bedroom basement apartment for a savings of over a thousand dollars a month! But… that is a whole nother story.
04 | Work out a remote working situation with your current employer
Do you earn a living from the kind of work that can be done from your computer with a good internet connection? If you have an established relationship and trust, you may be able to work something out with your current employer, especially if you’ve been doing a great job and they don’t want to lose you. It may look a little different than your current job description, but with a little convincing and negotiation, you may be able to convince them of the benefits of continuing to work together in this next chapter of your life.
05 | Take on more travel for work
If you have no kids, or your kids are grown, traveling more for your current job (or switching jobs to something that requires more travel) may be one route to a more nomadic life. Are you in the nursing field? Traveling nurses make good money.
This is one strategy we’ve used to travel more frequently as our kids got older and more independent. Jim is frequently asked to travel for work but for many years he avoided these kinds of assignments. Because my work allows me to work from anywhere with a computer I now go along with him on his business trips. Maybe an arrangement like this could work for you.
READ NEXT: Business Travel Tips: 14 Hacks to get the most from your next trip
06 | Do like Mr. Money Mustache… Get Rich!
Mr Money Mustache is another great resource for those seeking location independence or just financial freedom. If you have not yet devoured the Mr. Money Mustache website then go there now and get started. This guy doesn’t live a nomadic life and isn’t the epitome of the wanderluster, but he could if he wanted to. Take his principles, learn from them, gain financial independence, and then use it to go see the world. You’ll learn a lot about getting rich and passive income while you’re there. Speaking of passive income, that’s our next strategy.
07 | Build Passive Income
Whether it’s from real estate, long-term investments, or online assets like affiliate marketing or drop shipping, the awesome thing about passive income is that it earns money for you even while you’re playing. In addition to a couple of blogs we run, a primary way we’re building passive income is through rental houses.
08 | Earn income through excellent real estate investments
There are a lot of people that know a lot more about real estate investing than I do, but to me, the math is pretty simple. Find a good deal + fix it up to where you can rent it to a quality tenant with enough of a margin to cover all the expenses including maintenance and management fees = a profit that can be used for living or for further investments. Obviously, there’s more to it than that but if this is something that interests you then do some research and see if it’s something you want to make work.
We started with the house we were living in. It took some courage but we rented it out. Now we’re in another state for a little while and just finished the rehab and refinance on our first rental property bought purely for investment.
I’ve been learning a lot on the topic of converting earned income to passive income. Have you heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki? If you haven’t read this book yet, read it now. Good stuff. I wish I would have read it when I first heard of it in the early 2000’s, but better later than never. Now I tell everyone I meet about this book. I’ve become an RDPD evangelist. 😉
Ok, moving on…
09 | Expand your skills to include online work
Does your current job not lend itself well to online work? You may need to work to fill some skill gaps. It is not uncommon for people to change careers, sometimes even more than once, in a lifetime. Look into jobs that can be done online, see what looks good to you, and then make it happen.
If you are in the IT field, you may just be a certification away from being qualified for more remote type work. It is all about discovering your options and taking action.
10 | Take on Freelancing or Consulting
With sites like Upwork and Freelancer, this is now easier than ever. Check these sites out and see if your skills are something people are looking for. Beef up your portfolio with a few low paying or pro bono jobs and then start submitting proposals. You may not make much at first, but with a few jobs under your belt and good reviews, you’ll eventually be able to charge a higher rate. Some people have done very well for themselves this way.
11 | Diversify
I’ve saved this strategy for last because it is crucial. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Markets go up and down, work has its slumps, Google changes their algorithms… things happen. Generating multiple income streams to enable your location independent nomadic life will be your safety net. When one revenue stream is not doing so well, the others will help to make up for it.
These are just some of the strategies we and others are using to transition into a location independent lifestyle. Between the two of us, we have been able to diversify our income streams pretty well.
Our next big milestone is reaching the goal of taking the bulk of the income stream, Jim’s work, remote. He is in IT and has been working to shape his career trajectory toward the IT security side of things because there are plenty of opportunities, many of them remote.
Because progress seems to come so slowly, it can seem like we are only taking baby steps toward our goal of location independence. But changing career trajectories, building real estate and investment portfolios as well as online income assets, these are huge steps, and they take time. Just keep moving forward!
We are still in the process of making it happen to the point that we can make the leap, but we are getting so close!
What about you? Where are you at in the journey?
Join the conversation
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Are you going after the location independent nomadic life? How are you taking steps to get there? Or if you are already living the good life… tell us how you got there and how the rest of us can get there faster!
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