If you live for 79 years you'll have 6.8 years of free time
That’s about 2,482 days. On one hand that appears to be a long time. But 79 years is 28,835 days.
What falls into this bucket?
Falling in love
Going to concerts
Time with friends/family
Giving back to the community
Only 8.6% of our lives!
How your life graphs out:
Courtesy of Joe Portsmouth
My personal take:
If you minimized your chores by hiring someone (if you are rich, or live in Bali or another developing country), you can add maybe another 2.5% of free time.
As you get older you can groom yourself less. Really, who’s looking that hard in the mirror these days. Let’s add 1%.
Social media. Get 1% of your life back.
TV. Well, these are the golden days of streaming so let’s only recover 1.5%.
Working of course depends on your financial situation. But obviously relocating to a place where the cost of living is 25% of your current lifestyle allows you to recoup several percentage points. Lets’ think big and recover 5% of our lives.
Commuting: let’s go digital as much as possible and get 1% back.
Trying to sleep: Tossing and turning in bed is related to stress and financial worries. Let’s relax more and recoup 2.5%.
So where are we? I get 23.1% or 18.25 years!
Now we’re talking! I assume you’re not a youngster anymore. You’ve either saved money or are willing to prioritize your life to maximize your free time.
To start, let’s look at how the fancy people live, because its not called the leisure class for nothing.
Growing Old in High Style
The first stage of growing old is called Independent Living. Then there’s Assisted Living, and then several other stages before you arrive at either Hospice, or a hole in the ground lol. Our focus is on getting as much of our 18.25 years within the Independent Living category.
At the top of the heap we have places such as The Watermark in Brooklyn Heights, New York and Inspĩr in Manhattan:
Monthly fees at the Watermark range from $8,295 for studio apartments, to $20,295 for a two-bedroom. That does not include a one-time membership fee ($50,000 for independent living, $20,000 for assisted living and memory care).
Fees at Inspīr start at $13,500 a month and include room and board, a concierge and special events and programs. Medical care is extra. A penthouse starts at $29,750 a month.
By contrast, the median cost for assisted living in the United States is about $4,000 a month, according to a recent report by Genworth Financial, an insurance firm. And Medicare isn’t footing the bill at these “private pay” facilities. See more here.
Simple math for 18.25 years results in $1,816,605 for a studio apartment at the Watermark (and let's not forget the $50,000 one-time membership fee). But the good news is you do get the pleasure of home-grown figs:
Our chefs take full advantage of our rooftop garden, which provide star ingredients such as figs from our fig tree, transformed into fig jam and served on handmade flatbread at Gustoso, our Mediterranean-style restaurant.
Yummy! But the nearly $2m bill for 18.25 years has permanently deleted my appetite.
To be fair, you do get access to many stimulating classes:
You’ll love having unlimited access to over 90 different classes just steps from your door. Choose from Yoga to Creative Cuisine, The Artist Within and everything in between. These programs and classes are beneficial, engaging and most of all, fun. Plus, they aren’t just for residents.
It’s not at all clear from the website if the classes are free, however. While it does appear that Watermark tries to think out of the box a bit, the effort is focused on 1% of the population.
For a more affordable option let’s visit Portugal, an up and coming retirement destination in southern Europe.
Monte da Palhagueira sits:
in the tranquil hills of Gorjões, near Faro in the Algarve, the village has been exclusively designed for the over-55s, with 33 properties in 22 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, an ornamental lake, fine dining restaurant, swimming pool and clubhouse, and the region’s only consecrated Anglican church.
Residents enjoy an engaging calendar of activities including book club, art, fitness and language classes, coffee mornings and social evenings in both the village hall and St Luke’s church, which also holds regular services, concerts and fundraising events.
The village has 33 whitewashed villas, townhouses and apartments with traditional terracotta tiles.
Properties range from £95,000 for a stylish one-bedroom apartment to £350,000 for a stunning three double-bedroom detached villa with private gardens.
The quarterly service charge of €2,600 + IVA (currently 6%) covers:
twice weekly domestic help and white linen laundry service
provision and maintenance of an emergency aid call system
buildings insurance, water, sewerage
external property and garden maintenance
the servicing, maintenance and replacement if necessary of up to three nominated items of white goods (typically fridge freezer / washing machine/ oven), and up to two air conditioning units per property
the upkeep of the village grounds and all communal facilities
The charge also covers the use of the swimming pool, tennis court and gardens, and discounted meals at the village restaurant.
This looks like an appealing option, although in terms of overall costs it is unclear what the monthly expenses are. Meals do not appear to be included. And perhaps electricity and internet are extra as well.
For the residence, when you are finished with your lifetime ownership, or want to sell, the company buys it back minus a “retention charge”:
When the time comes for you to leave your Monte da Palhagueira home, whatever the reason, you don’t need to worry about selling the property; it simply reverts to the company, and your investment is returned to you less a standard retention charge.
They do have a try before you buy policy starting at £600 a week ($792 USD).
Let’s switch gears and move to an even more exotic location, Care Resort Chiang Mai in Thailand.
Our award-winning care facility has 2 key philosophies:
(i) That there will always be sufficient high quality care
(ii) That independence, choice and dignity of the individual remain key requirements.
Our prices vary depending upon the type of room chosen, occupancy and the amount of care required. .We have a number of different room types with different prices. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Assuming guests are able to bathe and dress themselves the prices are as follows:
All prices include VAT. Meals are included. They are also essentially free choice of time to eat, location to eat and from the entire menu. Internet (which is usually strong) and electricity are included.
SINGLE ROOM VILLAS
Garden Suite Villas
The most popular units are the Garden Suites (36 sq. metres + 8 sq. metre terrace or 38 sq metres plus 15 sq. metre terrace) and the cost is 50,500 Baht ($1,512 USD) single occupancy; 71,200 Baht ($2,132 USD) double occupancy per month.
We also have the Lakeside Villa (35 sq. metres plus 10 sq. metre terrace) which has a wonderful lakeside terrace and costs 62,000 Baht ($1,856 USD) single occupancy, 82,700 Baht ($2,475 USD) double occupancy per month.
What is nice about this place is that it appears all-inclusive in terms of pricing.
And then there’s the idea of a permanent “staycation,” where you focus on optimizing your free time in the comfort of surroundings that are familiar and already pleasing. Nothing wrong with that.
There may be some who make the case that too much free time can lead to overindulgence or other bad habits. Seems a bit too puritanical for me but I guess anything is possible. It is my opinion that once you move into Independent Living status new doors continually open. You have time to contemplate your options before you move in a new direction. You don’t worry about not doing well when undertaking a new pursuit. You are unencumbered by directives from others.
Let me know your thoughts regarding how you plan to deal with 6.8, 18.25 or whatever amount of years of Independent Living you can carve out for yourself.
I was profiled in next for me, an organization dedicated to help people make smooth career changes in their later years.
Samara Residences Bali update:
The website is getting some traffic and so far we’ve had four inquiries. However, we still have 7 units available. I’ve engaged a boutique investment broker to bring investors on board. I would love to offer financing for the units, as it would be a lot easier for people with limited capital. And btw, what are your thoughts on fractional ownership? Perhaps $30,000 for 6 weeks in Bali plus income from renters when you’re not using the place?