Retire On Less Money Than You Think by going Off the Grid!

A lot of people put off retirement because they think that they need some ridiculous amount of money to live on.

You can retire now with very little money if you go off the grid. The reason I say this is because going off grid cuts way down on your expenditures. It is always better to reduce what you need than to try to get more money to live a lifestyle that you can't afford. That's the wonderful thing about going off grid, it helps you to cut way down on your expenditures while keeping a quality of life that many say is much more rewarding than some former rat race suburban on grid life-style!

Unfortunately, there are still quite a number of people who equate going off grid with some kind of grizzly jones, mountain man life-style. So if you are one of those, have I got good news for you. With very little money you can set yourself up either within the United States or outside of the U.S. off grid and retire at a decent age. If you would take a look at my previous article “How Much Does it Cost to Go Off-Grid” you will see that for a minimum amount of money you can go off the grid and live quite nicely, and this is not even taking into consideration a monthly pension or social security. Also, if you choose to leave the country, you can do this for even less (although you might have to deal with other factors that I would encourage you to research).

Now some people might argue that they are too old to go off the grid. That is not true either. For one thing there are many different organizations that will match you up with other people who don't have the money to go off the grid but have the youth, vigor and know how. This benefits both parties as the older couple would have someone there to help them out and the younger person or persons would be able to go off grid without having to find the money for the basics. I have put a link at the bottom of this article for one such place. Additionally, to go off grid these days does not take a young, strong person. Technology has enabled an off grid lifestyle that many people couldn't dream of just 30 years ago. The use of solar panels, solar pumps, wind turbines and other such inventions allows pretty much anyone the option of an off grid life. Cob cottages can be built by people who are older and there are many inventions and technologies that make going off the grid ideal for retired persons. Going off the grid is not like it was 100 years ago!

So the idea that you have to work your fingers to the bone in order to retire at some ungodly age is ridiculous! If you cut down on your expenditures and work it out so that your monthly costs are practically nil then you might just be able to retire now!

Now I call that good news!

More by this Author

Comments 16 comments

Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

Some really good tips about the finances and logistics of 'off gred' living. What about the emotional and psychological costs for seclusion and separation from family, friends, and other people? Are there any?


Nan 5 years ago

Good hub, but there are no comforts it's a rough style of living, and you might want to keep working for awhile.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, I don't see why you have to be secluded...what would stop a person from doing this with other people, including family members? We all have to start thinking outside the box.

Nan: I think we Americans are just a bunch of pansies...look at people in other countries or the Amish, they live like this, they seem healthier than we are!

Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

Thank you, Brie, for replying with another question. Perhaps I should restate my original inquiry. I have always enjoyed the benefits of having family and extended family around me. How would I implement your shortcut to retirement without having to leave them behind?

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Quilligrapher: I don't know where you live but in many places you could find a place that is 1/2 to an hour away and do what I talk about. For some families they would be interested in doing this together. In fact doing it together would benefit everyone involved.

Christopher 5 years ago

I watched the video of the lady off grid in Canda that burns trees for heat. Whoopie. Burning trees.

My point is that some ancient technologies are appropriate for some people, a distinct minority of people in our society, but lets not pretend that "roughing it" is some magic bullet for future societies.

The majority of world population living by what we would call "crude" stanards yearn for what is available to us in the developed world.

Anyone can lower their standard of living afterall.

I live very comfortably on a 2400 watt electrical service. It is appropriate for me and I don't pay PG&E but I live alone and two people or no freaking way a family could live on the itty bitty power consumption that I get by on... and I don't do it to be "green."

A residential family home has a legal minimum electrical service requirement of 24,000 watts available instantly around the clock 24/7, and an off grid system to do the same will cost you about a quarter million.

Unless you wanna burn whale blubber and trees living in a hole in the ground. The existing technology and infrastructure to delivery energy in our society whether refined oil products, natural gas, coal fueled or nuclear energy produced electricity is INCREDIBLY efficient, which isn't to say that improved methods are not appropriate.

People have no idea how cheap and efficiently distributed our energy products really are; we can't all go-back-to-nature. It's not appropriate in low income urban environments, not at all.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Christopher, going off grid is more than just "not paying an electric bill". Going off-grid means having NO BILLS at all. No mortgage because you built and own your home and land, no food bill because you grow your own, no utility bills because you provide your own. It's about FREEDOM from the rat race. I have no idea where you are getting that figure of a quarter million. It would NOT cost anywhere near that. Of course if you want to spend a lot of money you can.

Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

We came to France to live a simpler life but the reality is that it takes all day to collect enough wood from our woodlands to burn the stove for a couple of days. We have to have a chain saw, pertrol and oil. We pay people a fortune to fix it when it goes wrong. OK we could use a flint tied to a stick with catgut, but we would NEVER get enough wood to keep warm during winter. Then we have to get it from the woodland to the house. OK, you would build the house IN the wood - problem solved. In our case we have to buy a trailer and pay for a connection to the car (CAR!) - cost over 1000 euros, or borrow same from friends. I don't fancy old age living in mud shack in middle of wood. How would the nurse get in? I shan't progress to my poor veg patch. Signed - (rapidly getting old) British pansy! (PS - I love the dream)

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I really can't comment on what things are like in France..but have you ever thought of having some younger people live with you in order to help you out? A community of sorts would help solve some of your problems. In America I think we have more woodlands and it wouldn't be too difficult to combine efforts with a younger person so that they could benefit as well as yourself.

Ken Barton profile image

Ken Barton 5 years ago

Interesting comments on going off grid, some informative, and some not so. My brother and his wife years back talked about going to Northern Canada to Homestead a piece of land. My Dad suggested they first try growing a crop to see if they could manage at least that much. It was a good suggestion because they couldn't grow enough even with all the resources they wanted. After 20 years they had learned enough, but had children and careers and no more desire for the off grid life. Living off grid works for some but a lot depends on where they live and the resources they could tap into initially to get started. Many people around here have gas wells on there property and receive free gas to operate their furnaces and cook stoves. Add to that a good well for water and they're pretty close to being off grid. Now if they added a gas run electric generator for their electricity they'd be all set. All they'd have to do is plant a nice garden, do a lot of fishing and hunting, and they'd just about get by. The real trick to living Off-Grid is the desire, the passion, and the drive to do just that. Once you set your mind to accomplishing something and you don't give up you will achieve success. I wish you all the best and good fortune.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Ken, where do you live? Where are the gas wells?

no body profile image

no body 5 years ago from Rochester, New York

The idea of retiring for me is to not work a job. My arthritis is debilitating for work. I can do specific things and am fit for exercise but very specific movements only. That keeps me from a job. Retiring from what I used to do is hard because what I do was involving people. Now I get lonely. Off the grid seems even more lonely. It seems that I would need full use of my hands and a very bright mind to do such. I barely make it as a retired person. My wife still works but we struggle greatly monitarily. We never are able to do anything extra at all. No movies, trips or anything retired people may wish to do not that I am complaining. God takes real good care of us. I am content. Good hub Brie.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

no body...I don't know your personal situation but you could do it if you did it with a community. There are lots of communities out there and you could also form one yourself.

Thanks for writing

soaps profile image

soaps 5 years ago


SUSANJK profile image

SUSANJK 5 years ago from Florida

I don't think this is for me. After working all my life, I want to retire in some luxury.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Believe it or the near future this might be LUXURY!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article