Tim and Lynne Martin, Wanderers
The decision: Three years ago, at the ages of 70 and 65, the veteran travelers were on vacation in Mexico when they decided to sell their home, all their belongings and make traveling a full-time way of life. "We told ourselves, if we're going to do this and be home-free, let's take the time and really be home-free," Lynne says.
The plan: In the past three years, the Martins have lived in nine countries. They plan to keep going until they are unable or unwilling to continue their nomadic lifestyle. Eventually, they say, they'll return to California, where their children live, and buy a small house.
The finances: The sale of their California home helped finance the costs of their peripatetic lifestyle. Now, as they travel around the world, they rent apartments and keep only what will fit in two suitcases.
Lynne has written a book about their retirement choice, "Home Sweet Anywhere," which has brought in extra income. Otherwise, they live off a fixed monthly budget of $6,000 -- a combination of investment earnings and Social Security.
"Part of what makes this work is that we live in rented apartments," says Lynne.
The Martins save money by booking repositioning cruises to travel from the U.S. to Europe, for example; they dine in a lot and they spend up to three months in one place, which gets them a better rental rate.
"It's a question of averaging it out," says Lynne. "If we stay in London or Paris at the beginning of the year, we might stay in less expensive places like Istanbul or Mexico later." There's always the option to rent a studio instead of a two-bedroom apartment to further cut down on costs, she adds.
Benefits and challenges: The Martins miss their family, but they frequently communicate electronically. The benefits so far outweigh any minor challenges of moving around, Lynne says. They enjoy the flexibility of their new lives and meeting new people. "It's astounding how many people are out there and living all over the world," she adds. "Our motto is: Postpone nothing."