I read your article about living car free, and about two years ago after living in Costa Rica for 9 years decided to move to Chile, and sold my car there in CR. I have lived now in Central, South, and North America, Europe in a number of countries, Vietnam, and in two months am heading to Thailand to live permanently.
I find that what you have discovered is easily proven by anyone who loves to travel such as us, and anyone who wants to be real about being retired on less money.
I looked at the overall expense of owning a vehicle and decided that even using a taxi when I needed to get around was far less expensive than ownership of a car for the very reason of all the expenses involved with ownership. You can even find some really good rental deals on a short time basis if needed, and it is still far less than annual expenses of ownership.
It has been interesting to read your site and compare my notes with your experiences. We do not always agree on places good to live but the general concept is great.
My research indicates that Chiang Mai, Thailand is one of the least expensive places in the world to live a high quality life, and I would recommend it to any of your readers for quality of life, great medical treatment for 20-55% less than the USA, and security and a great place to experience another culture while still having a strong expat community to support you. And who can complain about the Thai food? Right?
So anyway, I just wanted to reinforce your ideas about living car free…it is a challenge at first figuring out what to do about transportation wherever you live, but once that perception is overcome, then the rest if smooth sailing.
By the way, the figure of about $2000-$2500 resonates with me well because I have found that I can live for around $12-$1500 nearly everywhere I go now, and have some left over for the travel that I love…some areas are little more and some are a little less but what a great life!
I teach English classes online for a little supplemental income and can do that from anywhere in the world on my own schedule, so that is another suggestion for your readers to consider…It brings me from $400-$1500 per month working only a few hours per week from home or anywhere I have high speed internet access, even living in Thailand in a hotel for less than $500 per month total….
Thank you for your thoughtful email with all your observations about car ownership or the lack thereof. We are all on the same page on this topic! And your spending figures seem right on target also.
Your idea of teaching English online is an excellent one – We have recommended this option to people before, and the fact that you are doing it and it is supplementing your income so well just shows how great it works.
Thank you so much again for taking the time to write and we hope you stay in touch.