Financial planning clients and world travelers, Thomas Murphree and Frank Camacho, gave up solitary life in San Diego two years ago and haven’t stopped adventuring since. They have traveled much of the U.S., recently visited New Zealand, and are currently on an extended exploration of Europe. Their success wasn’t by random chance. Frank left his full-time job at Ojai Valley Inn five years ago after they had built up their virtual administrative and website business, Virtual Virgo. Their business is allowing them to explore the world without the inflexibility of having a single place to call the office.
More Americans are recognizing that a house, car, and other belongings are holding them back. By reducing their stuff, Thomas and Frank have also reduced expenses. They don’t have a car, which means no car payment, although they have some items left in storage in the U.S. They admit to the difficulty trying to decide what possessions to keep and what to get rid of.
Their business can easily be operated from anywhere. Skype, and other free, communication services, make their contact with clients easy.
It’s not entirely certain how many Americans are living a nomadic lifestyle. There are estimated to be 1m RV owners^1 in the U.S. and more than 9m expatriates, people who live fulltime overseas. Thomas and Frank do it a little different. With their expanding network of places to stay globally, they can spend a few months at a time in a new city, with no end in sight!
Should they decide to stay out of the U.S. for at least 330 days out of the year, they may qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), which would mean the first $104,100 of income (in 2018) that they earn from their business could be U.S. tax-free.
They have a Blue Shield PPO health insurance plan through Covered California which would indemnify a medical emergency abroad. They also have travelers insurance to help cover incidentals related to travel problems and would cover an emergency evacuation.
Financial planning has helped them continue to set their goals for retirement and work toward them by saving, even while traveling. “I don’t have to worry about my money,” Frank says, “I feel like it’s in good hands.”
Their advice to newbie nomads is to “overcome your own fears” about living abroad. They define their lifestyle as “choosing where you want to be and make it happen and not being afraid to live where you want to live,” according to Thomas. Their plan is to continue to travel and explore, with their dog, Scrappy, and “enjoy our lives. Which is the plan for every year.”
At Eureka Wealth Management, I help my clients think creatively about how to run their business and retire. Through financial planning, retirement can stay on track through continued savings and sound investment advice. I also provide nomads and expats with insurance, tax, and estate strategies. For a free, initial consultation, call (760) 537-0791 or online at eurekawealthmanagement.com.
Thomas and Frank are the owners of Virtual Virgo, website creation and social media administration for small businesses. For more information, visit virtualvirgo.com or email Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.