Four black women on what it took to retire early and travel full-time
Purple shares on her blog that she has all of her investment money in low-cost index funds and is 100 percent owned in US stocks, which she finds ideal for funding her retirement because of the opportunity for better returns. Since she doesn’t own a house, a car, and has no children, she can ride out stock market fluctuations by lowering her cost of living or finding a job when needed. For those who want to start investing, she suggests looking at the books Your money or your life, The easy way to riches and the millionaire next door.
Purple, who is currently in Thailand, plans to spend a few months in Mexico and Argentina later this year and says a big benefit of her retirement is having the energy to actually participate in life. “The best part [of retirement] Being in control of my time and using it to see the people I love, help others and pursue my passions,” she says. “When I had my demanding marketing career, I was either working, commuting, or too tired from these activities to actually pursue my hobbies that I was so interested in.”
This is a strong trend among early retirees. Danielle Linares, 48, recently joined their ranks and left her job after serving 22 years as an Associate Court Clerk for New York State. In the years leading up to her retirement, Linares paid off her debts and got her finances in order. While she may be forgoing a state pension, she says the decision was because she no longer wanted to put her “real life” on hold.
“As a civil servant, it’s very rare for someone to retire early from public service, less so for black women,” she says. “For me, early retirement meant being able to live the life I wanted to live. I want to see the whole world while I’m young enough to experience and enjoy every station. What I knew the day I made that decision, and what I still know today, is that I couldn’t put off my real life one minute more for the sake of a pension.”
Years before her retirement, Lineras founded Absolutely Cuba, a travel company offering immersive travel to Cuba through an Afro-Cuban lens. Now she can do what she loves — travel and plan trips — on her own terms. For anyone who wants to do the same, she suggests making a plan early on and taking responsibility for creating the life you desire. “I’ve been planning my retirement since the beginning of my career,” she says. “I knew what life was destined for me and I took the first opportunity I had to achieve that goal. If I have any advice for other women, especially black women, it’s this: follow your heart. follow your spirit Don’t let other people’s fears affect your life. You have a life to live; live it on your terms Bet on yourself.”