Structured Nomad — The Pandemic Robbed Us Our Freedom

Home, is it just a word? Or is it something that you carry within you?

So, I was getting close to sixty-two, and I went online to look at my social security benefit. It said five hundred and fifty dollars. Fern, I had worked my whole life. I’d worked since I was twelve years-old, raised two daughters. I couldn’t believe it. So I’m online, and I find Bob Wells Cheap RV Living. I could live in an RV, travel, and not have to work for the rest of my life.

Angela, Nomadland

Last week I watched Nomadland.

The movie follows Fern, played by Frances McDormand. Fern has lived most of her life in a small town in Nevada. But when the largest employer in town closes down and the town literally disappears, she takes off in her van.

Her van is her mode of transport, but also serves as her home. Fern travels around the country working on temporary jobs and living as a nomad.

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It’s not the happiest of movies. We follow Fern as she struggles to find work, deals with financial problems, discomforts from her unconventional life and plenty moments of solitude.

But there is also something very uplifting about living life on your own terms, living in the present, connecting with people from different backgrounds and opening your mind through travelling.

Travelling is something that’s been part of my life since I was very young. My family moved cities every 4–6 years. It’s a lifestyle I also somewhat chose as an adult. I’ve always found that travelling and getting out of your own routine puts things in perspective. It moves you forward.

We’ve gone from one of the most open and free periods in the world, a time of globalisation, of unlimited cheap travel, to a time where our world has shrunk. The pandemic has robbed us of many of the freedoms we had before.

But the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of something.

Apart from of course, having first of all your health, it’s clear financial freedom has never been more important.

That is, being able to make life decisions without being concerned about how it will affect your finances. Taking control of finances and not relying on anyone else to do this for us.

It’s always been important but it’s one of the things that’s hit home during the pandemic and all its uncertainty. In these times, financial freedom is what allows us to make choices. And to be prepared for anything that may come our way.

We’ve seen people make life-changing choices during the pandemic. They’ve moved out of the city into the countryside, to different cities, countries or back home.

Others are choosing to move into Australia. From Business Insider:

There has never been a better time for rich foreign investors to buy residency in Australia, after the federal government quietly pushed ultra-wealthy applicants to the front of the line.

An internal document released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveals that in August last year, then-Immigration Minister Alan Tudge directed the Department of Home Affairs to prioritise investor visas over nearly every other type of visa applicant.

The direction, which became effective on September 1, ordered that foreigners willing to invest $5 million or more in Australia be conferred number one status, granting them a fast-track to permanent residency (PR).’

They’ll be bringing money and investment to create more jobs. It is also likely we’ll see upper end home prices move faster than other pockets. Something similar happened in Spain after 2008 too with a similar policy.

But I digress.

It’s not surprising more are choosing Australia. Among the pandemic, Australia has managed to achieve some sort of normality. I talk to family and friends abroad and they are very restricted. It’s worse if you are older, I know people who haven’t really left their home in a year!

Obviously, not everyone is ultra-wealthy, but the point is that financial freedom gives more options to live life how we want to. And there are many steps we can take in this direction.

Things like investing in yourself, in education, living on less than what you earn, saving, and investing in income-generating assets.

Financial freedom gives us more choice and control over the life we want to live.


Selva Freigedo Signature

Selva Freigedo,
For The Rum Rebellion

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Selva Freigedo is a research analyst for The Rum Rebellion.

Born in Argentina, her passion for economic analysis started at a young age. Her father was an economist for the Argentinean governments and the family used to discuss politics and economics at the dinner table.

Argentina is a country with an unusual economic history. Growing up there gave Selva first-hand experience on different economic phenomena such as hyperinflation, devaluation and debt default.

Selva has also lived in Brazil, Spain and the USA.

Back in 2000 she was living in the US as the dot com bubble popped…
And in 2008 she was in Spain as the property market exploded and then collapsed…

She has seen first-hand what happens when bubbles burst.

Selva joined Fat Tail Investment Research’s team in 2016, as an analyst. She now writes from her vantage point in Australia, where she settled in 2015.

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