Tag Archives: ride-sharing

Could you become car-free?

Billy and Akaisha on a Jak-a-Ran in Thailand

By Akaisha Kaderli, RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

It wasn’t a decision we took lightly.

In fact, Billy and I discussed the idea of becoming car-free for several years. There were good reasons to do it: no more maintenance and repair costs; no more fees for insurance, license plate renewal, or registration; no more fuel expense; and no more worry about storing the vehicle here in the States when we are traveling overseas for months or years at a time.

But there were also some obvious downsides. We wouldn’t have the freedom to come and go at a whim. And because we live in the American Southwest, where temperatures reach triple digits in the summer, we wondered how we’d manage to get around during the sun season.

Silly idea or feasible plan?

Most people we know couldn’t fathom the idea of giving up their vehicle and saw this new lifestyle choice as a hardship. Americans love their automobiles, and owning one is packaged as part of the American Dream. A look at the automobile and truck commercials today describe how we will be sexier, more popular, physically stronger, and obviously smarter if we purchase their brand of car.

As we’ve described on our Retire Early Lifestyle website, Billy and I live in an active adult community where we are within walking distance to stores, restaurants, and several different entertainment options. Most of what we need is near to us, and we appreciate the slower pace of life with all the rewards it brings. Many of our neighbors use a small scooter, golf cart, or bicycle to get around within a reasonable range. When we need to go somewhere farther, we trade services or pay cash to a neighbor or friend for their time. This is much cheaper than a taxi, more sociable, and we aren’t bogged down with worries about maintaining a vehicle. Both sides appreciate the trade, and our lives are enriched.

After almost two decades of world travel, we realized that the only place where we need to drive is in the States. Elsewhere, we take public transportation or hire a private driver. For the amount of time we live in the States, and for the amount of money that owning our own transport required, we finalized our decision to sell our vehicle.

The year was 2009.

What about you? 

Retirement takes many expressions and even if you could never see yourself as becoming completely free of car ownership, maybe you have toyed with the idea of keeping only one vehicle instead of two.

The following sites may help you with this transition: Continue Reading…