May 27, 2024


Inspired By Travel

Four Black Women on What It Took to Retire Early and Travel Full Time


Purple shares on her blog that she moved all of her investment money to low-cost index funds and owns 100 percent U.S. stocks, which she finds ideal for funding her retirement lifestyle because of the opportunity for better returns. Since she does not own a home or a car and does not have children, she can ride out any stock market fluctuations by decreasing her cost of living or picking up work if she needs to. For those looking to get started with investing, she suggests checking out the books Your Money or Your Life, The Simple Path to Wealth, and The Millionaire Next Door.

The Tainan Confucius Temple in Taiwan, one of the places retiree Rachel Hill plans to visit next

Charissa Fay

Currently in Thailand, Purple has plans to spend a few months in Mexico and Argentina later this year, and says a big advantage of her retirement is having the energy to actually participate in life. “The best part [of retirement] is having control of my time and using it to see the people I love, to help others, and to pursue my passions,” she says. “When I had my demanding marketing career, I was either working, commuting, or too tired from those activities to actually do the hobbies I was so interested in.”

This is a strong trend among early retirees. Forty-eight-year-old Danielle Linares recently joined their ranks, leaving her job after 22 years working as an Associate Court Clerk for the State of New York. In the years leading up to her retirement, Linares paid down her debts and got her finances in order. While she may be sacrificing a government pension, she says the decision was a result of her not wanting to put her “real life” on hold any longer. 

“As a civil servant, it’s very rare for anyone to leave public service early, less so for Black women,” she says. “In my case, retiring early meant being able to live the life I was meant to have. I want to see the whole world while I’m young enough to experience and enjoy every stop. What I knew the day I made this decision and what I still know now is that I could not delay my real life for even one more minute for the sake of a pension.”

Years before she retired, Linares created Absolutely Cuba, a tour company that provides immersive trips to Cuba through an Afro-Cuban lens. Now she gets to do what she loves—travel and plan trips—on her own terms. For anyone wanting to do the same, she suggests making a plan early on and taking charge in creating the life you want. “I’ve been planning my retirement since I started my career,” she says. “I knew what kind of life was meant for me and I took the first chance I had to make that goal a reality. If I have any advice for other women, specifically Black women, it’s this: Follow your heart. Follow your spirit. Do not let other people’s fears impact how you live your life. You have one life to live; live it on your terms. Bet on yourself.”


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