Need a Mailing Address in the States? Try This!

Full disclosure: There are affiliate links on this page. If you click on them and sign up for this mailing service, we will receive compensation. Hey, it’s not a bad thing!

Billy and I have been traveling the world for almost 3 decades.

We visit family in the States, but much of our travels are overseas. So what do we do about our mail?

We first learned of mail forwarding services through RVers we met on the road. What a great idea! So we signed up for one to handle our mail.

For many years we utilized a mail forwarding service whose prices increased annually for P.O. box rental, we were charged for the envelope they used each week to forward our mail, and we were charged postage. That definitely added up.

Now we use Traveling Mailbox. Maybe you have heard of them. They have the lowest prices in the industry, and they give free scans of our mail every month. They will send us a notice via email when we receive mail, and we can view the envelope online from anywhere in the world we might be.

3 Plans to choose from

At that point we can choose to have them scan it (so we can view the contents of the mail ourselves), forward it to any address we choose including a coffee shop, a hotel or vacation spot or we can tell them to shred it.

Our basic plan allows three recipients to use the address, a certain number of free scans and shreddings, but there are a total of 3 different plans from which to choose depending on your needs.

We decided to have a “Premium address” and paid for our service upfront for the entire year, so we could receive 2 months for free.

We pay $199 a year for Traveling Mailbox, but with our other mail forwarding company, we were over $300 for the box rental alone, plus postage and the weekly envelope.

This gives us an address in the States which is very convenient for things like our brokerage accounts and Social Security checks. Of course our SS checks are direct deposit, but we don’t have to worry about being in a foreign country or on the road and proving an address.

If you plan to do serious travel in your retirement, or if you want to house sit or be footloose for a while, Traveling Mailbox might be a service you would consider.

Other articles on this topic

What to do with mail on long-term travel


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Traveling through Central America – Is It Safe?

Q&A with a Reader

Full disclosure: There is an affiliate link on this page. If you purchase a book from Amazon through this link, we may receive compensation.

Good day,

I just discovered your website yesterday, and I certainly envy your decision to retire so early!

My husband and I will be retiring next year, and we have a bucket list of travel to do. I have always been attracted to travel in Guatemala, and we have seen Tikal and the amazing ruins there. But I always thought that travelling in that country solo was dangerous, mainly because of the drug cartels, not the people. My main concern is being kidnapped or robbed on local buses. I am being crazy in thinking this? Do you feel pretty safe travelling on your own?

We also want to travel further in Central America as well.

And I asked to subscribe to your newsletter as well.



Hi Sylvia,

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Billy and I have been traveling the globe now for almost 3 decades.

There are certain things to keep in mind to maintain one’s safety as best we are able. While nothing is guaranteed, doing the following should help you gain confidence to travel and not be afraid.

Maya children playing in the Plaza fountain, Antigua, Guatemala

Do not flash cash or digital toys, and do not wear expensive jewelry. Doing any of this will make you a target for thieves. We try to blend in as much as possible and not make any waves of any kind. We generally pay for food and hotels in local currency, and we don’t bring out a wad of cash and peel off the bills when doing so.

These days just about everyone has a cell phone, but we still carry our computers and cameras in a day pack. We also lock up everything of value, including our passports, extra cash and digital items with a pacsafe. We do this whenever we leave our hotel room. Also, we don’t wear any expensive jewelry as that would have us stand out from the regular people. There is a large financial discrepancy between the locals in Mexico, Guatemala and Central America and most tourists – and it’s hard for them to imagine owning gold or a diamond ring. Better to keep temptation away.

Do not join in on any demonstration of any kind. Stay out of local political events and leave your own politics at home. Do not make yourselves loud by arguing, shouting, or disagreeing with people in public places.Try to be a diplomat or an ambassador of good will.

Docked boat in Flores, Guatemala

Do not wander around inebriated at 2 or 3 in the morning, and don’t go home with your new best friends you met at the bar. Be aware of your surroundings and your possessions (travel bag, day pack, glasses, passport, etc.)  and if you need to get your bearings duck into a store or restaurant to look at your map. Have a sense of assurance when you walk so you are not pegged to be a hapless mark to those with odious leanings.

Avoid night travel when possible. Overnight buses can appear attractive – you just sleep all night and arrive the next day at your destination. But if something goes wrong (a flat tire, a blockade in the street) you are more vulnerable to trouble.

Do not tell vendors too much about yourself. When street or beach vendors ask politely ‘Where are you from? Where are you staying? Where did you have dinner?” realize that they want to know this information for a reason. Vendors have years of experience sizing up tourists in order to estimate what price they might be able to extract from you for their goods – they are not ‘just being friendly’. When you divulge too much information about yourself, your whereabouts and what kind of money you may be carrying, you are clearly asking for trouble.

Santa Catarina Arch, Antigua, Guatemala

Put Caution into perspective and know the difference between caution and fear. Years ago I read a book by Gavin de Becker called The Gift of Fear. I would recommend this book to you as well.

Mr. De Becker takes the position that violence isn’t just ‘random’ and that clues and access to information which can prevent us from becoming a victim is available to us beforehand. He explains that caution is different than fear, with fear actually being a gift that can save our lives. Gut instinct is much different than an over-active imagination.

The information in this book is good, solid advice to use anywhere, including your own home town.

A very high percentage of victims of violence will admit that they knew ‘something wasn’t right’ or that they felt strangely before violence struck. They shushed themselves up and went ahead into the dangerous situation anyway. In other words, we as human animals ‘know’ but often don’t take our warning signs seriously.

Akaisha and her Maya friend, Panajachel, Guatemala

Learn some survival phrases. World Nomads has free language apps available. Take a look! When you are traveling through foreign countries, knowing some basic phrases puts you more in control. And anyone with nefarious intentions will think twice when they understand that you speak some of their language.

All this being said, we have not experienced any trouble traveling throughout Mexico, Guatemala or parts of Central and South America. We would certainly encourage you to pursue your desire to travel, as it is such a life enhancer and broadens your perspective.

I hope you find this information to be useful. Feel free to write any time.

Best Regards,


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Growing Our Nest Egg in Retirement

Q&A with a Reader

Hello, Akaisha.

My 93-year-old mother lives with my wife and me at our condo which is in Florida.

I am a full-time employment consultant and Joan is a caregiver, plus helps me with my practice. We are positioning ourselves for retirement, once my mother passes on and no longer needs our care. We are in a good position from following key element of your and Billy’s advice and others.  We have a nest-egg touching seven figures.

Our thought is to allow our nest-egg to continue to grow so we have something substantial to hand to our two daughters (and their families) rather than draw it down to a pittance when we are at our end.

In all the REL newsletters and articles, where can we review ideas and stories of other retirees that are income producers with the flexibility and freedom to travel?

Thank you,


Hi Jack!

Thanks for taking the time to write and to share your situation with us.

Here are a couple of recommendations for you if you are interested. By the way, congratulations on your upcoming retirement!!!

We have a page where we list interviews of Successful Retirees and Captivating Characters. You might find their individual stories inspiring, and it could give you some ideas.

You might also want to join any of the free online financial forums listed on our Financial Education Page.  In this way you will be with like-minded people who are dealing with similar futures. And definitely take a look at our Preferred Links Pages — you might enjoy doing something like house sitting or home exchange which can definitely save you money on lodging while you travel the world comfortably.

Another suggestion is to perhaps set aside some money for each of your daughters and allow that to accrue over the years untouched. Then you can see the amount left that you might want to spend on yourselves during your retirement. You can always place your daughters as your TOD (transfer on death) beneficiaries so that the amount of money left when you pass on goes to them. I would assume each of you would have the other spouse be the primary TOD and the surviving spouse could place the daughters on as subsequent TOD beneficiaries.

I hope you find this information to be useful. I’m sorry about your mother… I know how much energy it takes to do End of Life Care

The best to you both, and do keep in touch.

Best Regards,


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Travel Is an Adventure, so Embrace It!



Thank you for visiting the RetireEarlyLifestyle Blog!

This post is no longer live, but if you want to know more about financial independence, world travel and medical tourism, please visit our website.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

Thank you!



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The Wealth Summit – Don’t Miss It!

You may be going back to school (the Wealth Summit “school”, that is!).

But here’s the good news: there are no grades and no real “assignments”, and if you want to lurk in the back row, that’s totally okay by us! However, the best way to get incredible value from the Wealth Summit is to do just what you learned in school:

Show up

Ask questions (live sessions and the Wealth Masters Private Facebook Group)

Implement & follow the session Action Items and Key Takeaways

In the live masterclasses and panels, we’re giving you plenty of opportunities to interact and ask questions.  Since our money gurus are some of the most in-demand experts in the world, you should be taking every opportunity to connect and learn from them.

Other hints:

1) Set a goal.

When you think about building your financial future, what’s your biggest fear or challenge?

Are you worried about having enough money to retire at a desirable age? Then you’ll want to pay attention to the sessions on 401(k)s and Roth IRAs.

Perhaps you’re eager to start investing but burdened by massive student loans. Then the information on eliminating your student loan debt is right up your alley.

Concerned with what type of advisor you should trust to manage your finances? Make sure to tune in to the sessions on the differences between “suitable” and “fiduciary” advisors.

There really is something for everyone, regardless of age or financial means.

Get your FREE Pass here today!

In fact, please take a quick minute to email me directly and let me know what your biggest financial concerns are! I’ll be happy to incorporate strategies to fix your money worries into the Wealth Summit series as much as possible.

2) Block out time on your calendar.

We’ve got incredible financial and wealth experts speaking at this unique online event–over 30 of them! With over 30 hours of content, it might be difficult for you to watch it all right away. We get it.

But each session is only available for 48 hours–a short time when work, family, and life get in the way.

That is why you need to prioritize the sessions you want to watch immediately. Look at the schedule and block out the time RIGHT NOW. Make it a priority, your future “financial self” will thank you!

Get your FREE Pass here today!

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Make Money Without Leaving Campus!

Danielle Ward

Being a full-time college student is difficult.  You are stressed from all the work you have to do, alongside the struggle to find an internship, maintain a social life, keep your grades up, take care of yourself- the list goes on.  One of the biggest concerns that a college student has is paying off student loans after college.  Receiving higher education is expensive, and many students are unable to balance a job and school at the same time- it’s just too much to handle!  Luckily, there is a way to make money without leaving campus.  It may seem fairly obvious, but the benefits to this can help a college student dramatically decrease their student debt, while keeping their grades up.  How can a student do this?  Find an on-campus job.

What are the Benefits of Working On-campus?

I know what you’re thinking, working and being a student is difficult.  Although this is true, on-campus jobs make the impossible feat possible.  The majority of on-campus jobs have flexible hours, meaning that your boss will look at your class schedule, take into account your study time, and place you in shifts that do not conflict with those times.  This is helpful for college students to ensure that they stay on track with their coursework and do not fall behind.  The flexibility of hours makes it great for college students who need extra money, but also want to have enough time to study.

Another great aspect of working on-campus is that you may be eligible for work study.  This means that the money you earn from working goes directly to your tuition and loans, making payment hassle free!  Even if you do not qualify for work study, you also have the option of having your paychecks go directly to tuition.  If you decide against that, you can get your payment as you would if you were working elsewhere.

If you are hired to work on-campus, you are officially a university employee.  There is a certain prestige to that job title, and many benefits that go alongside it.  It means that a large institution found you and your skills to be useful and helpful to the university.  Any future employer would be impressed that a young college student has worked for a college, regardless of what job you held.  Depending on your university, being an employee means that you have perks that regular students are unable to have.  For example, you could get a specialized parking pass that allows you to gain access to more and better parking spots.  You could also get discounts for campus events, food, and more.

One of the best things about working on-campus is that you are able to gain experience in a field related to your major.  Many professors often look for lab assistants, researchers, or even shadows, to help them with their work.  By finding work in a specific department related to your interests, you can earn money, experience, and prestige at the same time!  Working with a professor is like an extra class – you gain so much knowledge, but you don’t get a grade for it.  It is an extremely rewarding job, in terms of experience.

What On-Campus Jobs Are There?

This all depends on your specific college, and what positions are available at the time, but generally speaking many campuses do have the same jobs.

  1. Resident Advisor: As an RA, your duties consist of making a group of college freshman feel welcome, educate them about dormitory rules, enforce said rules, and partake in conflict management. You can usually get this job in your second year of college.  One of the biggest rewards of being a Resident Advisor is that housing can be discounted, or even free for you.  Usually, room and board are waived for university employees that work in the dormitories.  By living and working on-campus, you save time, earn money, and have time to study.
  2. Tutor: If you excel in a certain subject and meet a GPA requirement, you are eligible to apply as a tutor for your college.  Your job would consist of helping students with whatever academic problems that they need assistance on.  Students who work as a tutor can also be able to receive course credit for doing so.  Class credits in addition to earning money from work makes for a happy student.
  3. Food Service: On a college campus, there is a large amount of places where people can go to grab a bite, or a drink.  These places are almost always hiring since they can never have too much help.  One of the benefits of working in a food establishment is that you can get discounted and/or free food.  What college student wouldn’t want that?

Of course, there are many other jobs like doing paid survey, online work from home, data entry etc, besides the three listed above that you can find on-campus.  These are the most common jobs that are almost always hiring.  Obtaining an on-campus job is great for college students who need money, and prefer convenience over struggling to fit everything into their schedule.  Since the job is on-campus, you don’t have to commute any further to get to work.  The benefits from being employed by the university are great- discounts, prestige, less tuition to pay, etc.  Finally, working on-campus allows for flexible scheduling, meaning that your employer will make sure you are not being overworked.  They understand that you are a college student, and have classes to study for.  It is possible for students to make money without leaving campus- it’s easy when your job IS on-campus!

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An Aspie comes out of the closet – Why I knew early on that I would never be popular

By Garret Mathews

I’m recalling three events from fifth grade that foreshadowed the fact I would never achieve most favored status in high school.

  1. Mustard, peas, mashed potatoes, hominy grits, oh my.

I received no allowance, and Dad made me give back the money Granny pinned in my shirt at the end of every visit. So that left me no choice but to eat disgusting foodstuffs in the lunchroom for financial gain.

Anything the cafeteria ladies dumped on our plates was fair game. I also put no limit on seasonings, sauces and flavorings. I used to allow classmates to bring stuff from home until I was counseled during homeroom by Tommy, the foremost science scholar in the entire school, who said unscrupulous types might smuggle motor oil or carpet cleaner, and the nickels and dimes I might collect weren’t worth having my stomach pumped and maybe dying.

It was agreed that I forfeited all coinage if I threw up. Once I had a few fitful moments with a vinegar-sugar cocktail, but the dry heaves produced nothing more than a few beads of saliva which the judges ruled incidental dribbling.

As the school year wound down, my audience became exclusively male. A few girls watched my warmup exercises — usually a Fudgsicle coated with ketchup — but they were long gone when I progressed to the money rounds and the vinegar.

“You’re gross,” they said when we passed in the hall, even though I always made sure to wipe my mouth and clean my tongue after performances.

I remember asking Jennifer if I could buy her a Coca-Cola on the walk home from school.

“Are you going to use the money you got at the lunch table?” she asked.

Well, yeah.

“Then absolutely not.”

  1. Bringing members of the low-riding animal kingdom to class

I thought it great fun to pocket woolly worms during recess, and plant them inside geography books of unsuspecting classmates while they were on the monkey bars.

A rookie sicko puts the critter anywhere he can and slams the book before he’s caught. The veteran sicko knows the day’s lesson is the Adriatic Sea on page 311, delivers accordingly, and gently places the pages down softly so there’s not a corpus delicti. It never failed. The shrieking was something out of a horror film.

While I was never found out or even accused, I stopped after the teacher said whoever was causing the woolly worm scare was someone, and I still remember the quote, “with very poor social skills,” and if she ever found out who it was, “These incidents will be put in his permanent record until the end of recorded time.”

I couldn’t take that chance. There would be no more wiggling inside geography books.

  1. Ah, Sylvia

Every day I passed her a note saying I loved her and could we run away together some day after the final bell? She was always too polite to reject me out of hand, scribbling back that she liked me a little, but wasn’t ready to settle down.

One day on the playground, David Sutton ran into the swing set and got a black eye. Sylvia fetched a cold compress and held it against his face for the rest of recess. Talk about heaven. When David didn’t immediately get better — which would have taken a complete idiot — Sylvia hugged him.

I wanted Sylvia to nurse me back to health in similar fashion, but I needed a shiner. No problem. I went in the bathroom and proceeded to hit myself under the eye. Ten times, 20 times. Finally, a red welt formed. The next day, helped by some boot black, I had an injury.

Sylvia was playing tetherball with Doris Jean when I presented myself. Ta-da. Major contusion. Cold compress time.

She told me the nurse’s office was the second door down from the principal’s office and went back to her game.

Almost worse than that, the boot black ran down my face and I eventually had to explain how it got there.

At home that afternoon, I prepared my own cold compress and held it against my eye. Sometimes you just have to do things for yourself.

Other stories by this author:

Thank God for Humor – Garret’s Prostate Removal Surgery

Memo to Family – Do Not Hyphenate Me

Want to know sports lingo? An insider’s View

Did you really say “Far Out, Man?”

The Early Years

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How to choose the right manual wheelchair for your elder granny

Thank you for visiting the RetireEarlyLifestyle Blog!

This post is no longer live, but if you want to know more about financial independence, world travel and medical tourism, please visit our website.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

Thank you!



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How Getting My Finances in order Let Me Live the Life I Love

Thank you for visiting Retire Early Lifestyle. The article you are looking for is no longer available.

Look at our Captivating Characters and Early Retirees Interviews for more inspirational stories.


Come back and visit again!

Visit our bookstore for more adventures!


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How to Get Easy Personal Loans at Reasonable Repayment Interest Rates

Thank you for visiting the RetireEarlyLifestyle Blog!

This post is no longer live, but if you want to know more about financial independence, world travel and medical tourism, please visit our website.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

Thank you!


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