By: Nick Callos
Want to retire early and travel the world?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone. You should live life to the fullest while you can.
Yet you may have financial concerns. How could you afford the FIRE lifestyle?
Okay, it’s not as catchy as FIRE. But it’s a good compromise, right? You can still enjoy the FIRE lifestyle, but you’ll stay on top of your finances.
The key is this: Maintaining positive cash flow. If you want to quit your day job and jump around the globe, do something you enjoy that makes money. It’s really that simple.
In this article, we’ll cover the best semi-retirement jobs that give you the freedom to travel and enjoy life.
1. Freelance Writing
Want to travel the world but need money? If you can write well, freelance writing offers you a way to earn money anytime, anywhere. Considering that the content marketing industry will generate $412 billion in annual revenue by 2021, you can write articles and earn money as a content writer. And you can work from your computer—from anywhere in the world.
For the traveler, know writing jobs abroad abound, from local travel writing gigs to remote copywriting work. Apply to jobs, find some good clients, and you’ll be set.
2. Hospitality and Tourism
Hospitality and tourism generates more than 10% of all global economic activity. If you’re looking for the best semi-retirement jobs in wonderful destinations, chances are you can find positions at local hotels, restaurants, and tourist sites.
For instance, if you want to live in Spain, you can find a number of good semi-retirement jobs in tourism and hospitality. Since Spain has high levels of inbound tourism, they have a need for English-speaking workers. Just look at all the opportunities listed on Glassdoor during any given week.
3. ESL Teacher
1.5 billion people are studying English as a second language (ESL), according to the British Council. That has created a massive need for native English language teachers. ESL teaching positions aren’t just for fresh college grads either. Whether you retire at 40, 50, or 60, you can find ESL jobs where your experience will be valued. You could even teach English online on sites like VIPKid.
Looking to travel and teach English? Countries with the most English teaching jobs include China, South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Colombia, and Mexico. I taught English for a few years in China, and plan to do it again when I semi-retire (which will hopefully be sooner rather than later).
4. Online Tutor
Are you a math whiz? Or are you more of a science nerd? Whether you specialize in literature, Spanish, or Algebra, you can find online tutoring jobs and make between $20-$60+ per hour. And you can do this work from your beachside home (or wherever paradise is for you!).
Sounds pretty nice, right? Some reputable sites where you can work as an online tutor include:
- TutorMe: Teach computer science, engineering, history, and more.
- Tutor.com: Teach elementary, high school, or college students. You can also offer continuing education in your area of expertise to adults.
- Wyzant: Set your own rates and customize classes for students.
Computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow by 12% through 2028. Additionally, these jobs pay more than double the national average in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means you can work part-time (or less), and still have enough for travel and enjoyment. Now that’s the digital nomad lifestyle!
Note: we’re using developer as a blanket term here. You could find location-independent jobs in fields like:
- Software engineering
- App development
- Web development
- Operations infrastructure
- Software testing
6. Digital Marketing
Why is digital marketing one of the best semi-retirement jobs?
First, digital marketing is a booming industry, with global spend expected to reach $123 billion by 2023 (Forrester). You have ample opportunity to find work. And that work can give you the freedom to enjoy hobbies and do bucket list things (that’s why you semi-retire!).
Second, while you may have to continually learn (as the industry changes rapidly), a variety of jobs exist. You can snag jobs that match your skills and interests:
- Convincing with words? Become a copywriter.
- Good with numbers? Get into marketing analytics, SEO, etc.
- Like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? Manage social media campaigns.
7. Customer Support
You may not think customer support is as lucrative as some of the other best semi-retirement jobs on this list. But if you like interacting with people, customer support jobs can be rewarding and fun as a digital nomad. You can earn $15+ per hour and most positions offer plenty of flexibility.
Moreover, some positions, such as those with large companies like U-Haul and BCD Travel, may even come with benefits. That’s something you may not get with other semi-retirement jobs. No wonder customer service is the 5th most popular remote job (FlexJobs data).
8. E-Commerce Shop Owner
It seems like the e-commerce industry has been experiencing nonstop double-digit growth. By 2023, global e-commerce sales will exceed $6 trillion annually (Statista). Wow! How can you get a piece of that pie?
Start your own online store on Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, and other sites. Read expert guides on launching an ecommerce site, such as this one from Shopify. This will teach you about everything from pricing to logistics to marketing. Ultimately, the key to success lies in identifying opportunities in the market, executing your business plan well, and making sure your customers are happy.
If you do well, you’ll have the ability to automate the business and enjoy the FIRE lifestyle. Does that mean margaritas on the beach?
9. Creative Jobs
Have expertise in photography, videography, graphic design, fashion design, etc? Then join countless other creative professionals who enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle. Thanks to platforms like Upwork and 99Designs, you can showcase your portfolio, find clients, and earn consistent freelance income.
If you’d like to unleash your creative potential, then a creative gig in your area of expertise is one of the best semi-retirement jobs you can have. Imagine this: Making money as you illustrate books from the Andes Mountains in Peru, paint the landscapes of Mongolia, or create company logos at a cafe in Prague. That sounds like quite the life.
Know a second language? Or third? Then put freelance translation at the top of your list of semi-retirement jobs. Because once you meet reputable clients, you can earn good money consistently. Some places to start finding clients or work include Proz.com and translation agencies in your hometown (contact them!).
No matter where you live and your language pair, you can get remote jobs in translation. As the world becomes increasingly connected, companies and people have a need to translate and localize content. The language industry continues to grow and you should put your skills to use if you can.
Landing the Best Semi-Retirement Jobs—and Enjoying Semi-Retirement
If you don’t feel you can retire with 200K, 300K, or 500K, but want to ditch your 9-5 grind, rejoice! You have a way out. You can semi-retire and snag one of these great semi-retirement jobs.
Of course, if you like what you do but don’t want to get burnt out, you can simply cut back and work remotely as you globe-trot. The best semi-retirement jobs offer flexibility and consistent income while combining your skills and passion.
So, why wait any longer? Think about what the best semi-retirement jobs are for you, and begin making plans (even if you’re at work right now!).
Have any other ideas for how to semi-retire and travel the world? Join the community and start the conversation.
About the Author
Nick Callos has always had a passion for reading, writing, and discovering the new and unknown. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Boston College. He currently splits his time between his hometown, Chengdu, China, and the open road. A full-time travel writer, Nick hopes his work can inspire others to explore the world more deeply and enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle.