Making Money While Retired

Make Money From Your Travelblog PART 1

Make Money From Your Travelblog PART 1 is a travel blog dedicated to helping people find the best countries to retire cheap. It was an idea of mine that started last year when I decided to quit working full time and just start living as a travel blogger. The top 2 questions I get asked are “Do you really make money blogging? And how much?” That is usually followed with, “Can you show me how to do it?”

Here’s how you too can be an impoverished but amazing travel blogger. 

First of all I don’t make a ton of cash blogging. It basically has paid for itself year one. I’m hoping eventually that it’ll eventually pay for itself and pay for my bowl of $1 Pad Thai, but it’s a bit by by process. But if you want to do it, and don’t care about being rich instantly here are the steps I took.

1. Figure out what you are going to write about. If you’re going to have a website or blog that is going to make money you need people to visit it. Give them a reason. I made for people with the same goal as me to find the best country to retire in. What are your readers wanting? It’s super easy to stray into journal/diary/Facebook status type articles. Be wary of what real value a stranger is getting.

2.Name your website. I know this sounds silly, but really take the time to make a good name for your website. It should be memorable, not too clunky and be easy to spell.  Look for words people are searching for in your category. If you want to start a website on best places to eat nachos in Edmonton for example, I suggest “Nacho Quest Edmonton”.  If you are wondering what other words Nacho Lovers are searching for use Keyword search. Bonus tip, I personally hate any website which uses “clever” spellings. Spell it correctly. You’ll be working with people who may not have the best grasp of English or spelling. For example “” (In my head Bob decided to make a travel site with $5 deals, that’s why he made the word site 5ite…..get it? ) The reason I hate “clever” names is because, people are lazy, if they misspell or forget you’ve lost them. They’ll be off doing something else. 

3.Make your website. I like WordPress because it’s relatively easy and has good SEO options. If you don’t know what SEO here is a good site for learning. SEO BLOG. Building a website will take between 47 minutes and forever, depending how picky you are. It took me 40 hours to build originally, but it is a work in progress. I have uncounted hours on it, and right after this article I’m going to be revamping it again.

4.Add your adlinks. Decide how you are going to get paid. If you want click links, this is where you are going to start. Google Adsense. I use Adsense, but there are a lot of options. I’ll get into this more as we go along.

If you like this article, and have finished all the steps on page 1. Head to Part 2 to learn more. I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)

Make Money From Your Travelblog PART 12017-02-24T20:00:11+00:00

OAS, CPP & GIS: Don’t Lose Your Benefits When Retiring Overseas

Like many Canadians planning to retire cheap my benefits are super important to my financial stability. What are the rules? Is it possible to keep ALL of your benefits while retiring cheap? Here’s everything you need to know in a list.

These are the big numbers. 3 months and 6 months.

OAS: According  to the Canadian government website, if you live outside of Canada for more than 6 months AND did not reside for 20 years after you turned 18 it will stop. This means as long as you’re 38 and over and grew up in Canada your OAS (old age security)will never stop.

GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement): This is the real stinker. If you’re planning to retire cheap on $1000 a month you’ll probably be receiving a GIS. How much is it?

Finally your provincial healthcare. It depends from province to province. If you live in Alberta it is 6 months. Other provinces vary from up to 8 months to 9 months in Newfoundland. That’s living there, not just owning a property. That means you can only be gone for 182 days. Any longer you risk losing your residency. To get it back you’ll have to live there for 3 consecutive months.

CPP is going to vary person by person.

If you plan a conservative estimate of $500 a month you should be alright.

Here’s a chart with the maximums.

This means on average you will receive $1300 a month once you hit 65 as a Canadian.

If you’re thinking of retiring early (like I did). Then you’ll have to figure out the gap between what you currently have and the amount of years you have left.

For example if you want to retire at 45, then you’d need 20 years of savings or $240,000. (20 x 12 months x $1000).

As you can see, I’m worth $150,000. My goal is to retire by 60. So I need $180,000.

Being short $30,000 means either using my line of credit (boo), working some random jobs(currently I’m making $2550 in social media for clients).

This means if nothing changes (no extra money from personal training, no portfolio increases) then in 1.3 years I can literally do nothing and sit around.

I consider myself retired now though, because my jobs aren’t tiresome. I love personal training and making content for social media. I think of them more as hobbies than work.

I hope this helps your own personal planning. If you want more articles go here. LINK TO ALL ARTICLES

OAS, CPP & GIS: Don’t Lose Your Benefits When Retiring Overseas2018-06-29T05:50:06+00:00

My favourite thing to eat when jet lagged delivers in Asia!

Retiring  cheap in Asia doesn’t mean having to give up your favourite comfort foods. It’s not always about noodles and dumplings for me. Is there anything better than McDonald’s when you’re jet lagged? (Actually I love McDonald’s when I’m jet lagged, hung over or just plain lazy.) I can hear you saying , “Oh Samson, why would you eat McDonald’s in Hong Kong? Don’t they have a million other things to eat?” (They do fans, Chinese Dim Sum, Xiao Long Bau and Sweet and Sour pork are all in my to eat list here.) But when you’re lying on the couch just to jet lagged to move? McDonald’s is my go to meal.

And you know what the best thing is? McDonald’s delivers here! That’s right in most places in South East Asia, McDonald’s delivers! You can use your phone, or if you’re not super fluent (what’s a chickens nugget called in Cantonese?) you can use their online delivery service. It’s in English so you don’t have to worry about figuring out deals, languages or price.

There’s a delivery charge of $2 (12 hkd) in Hong Kong, but in my barely alive hung over state it’s a life saver. Speaking of life saver, Future Samson highly recommends setting up your delivery order, and ordering once before you try to make an order when you’re jet lagged or hung over. 

Even though the online system is easy, figuring out what your exact delivery address is or what deals are offered is easier when you aren’t minutes away from dying. (I wish they had a locate me button) There’s no point trying to find the best place to retire cheap if you’re dead from a killer hangover.

How much is it? Its actually a little cheaper than North American prices. So no worries about premium import prices. There’s also no minimum order. Go ahead and order a coffee and apple pie, you lazy afternoon couch bums.

One of the truly best things though, seriously best, is that you can order breakfast items 24-7 as well! That’s right if you want to get up at 11am, roll over in bed and hit the big red reorder button then go back back to bed you can! (And for people who KNOW that they will be many steps closer to being a zombie than a human in 14 hours, you can even preorder your sausage Mcmuffin, 9 nuggets, orange juice and coffee.)

It takes about 30-60 minutes for your lifesaving McDonald’s to arrive, so I’d recommend ordering before you open that second bottle of wine. I love McDonald’s and especially love it in Asia! I hope this quirky article helped you with your quest of finding the best country in Asia to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!) 

My favourite thing to eat when jet lagged delivers in Asia!2016-12-12T00:10:48+00:00

Haggle like a pro! Don’t pay tourist prices PART 1

Retiring cheap means getting great deals, and not getting hit with tourist prices. That means you’ll have to learn to haggle like a pro.

The key to haggling is simple. There will be all sorts of situations where you’re going to haggle. The key is just let them talk themselves down. A canvas duffle bag I was interested in Kuala Lumpur  began at $55 (160 rm) which immediately became $33 (100 rm) after I just looked at him with a “are you serious ?” face. I started to walk away and that low price that he had just quoted me “as a special to you, my friend” dropped to $22 (80 rm). After a few more steps he said ” ok ok how much much you pay?” 

So if you look at this transaction, the price immediately had dropped over 50 percent without me even saying a single word. Most travelers make the mistake of trying to get 50 percent off in an exchange. 

In heavily touristed areas like Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, vendors know this 50 percent trick and will almost always start at OVER 100 percent of what they would take.

What usually happens is

  • They’ll  open with a crazy inflated price let’s say hypothetically $30(300%),
  • You’ll quote half $15 (150%) 
  • They’ll meet you in the middle $22(200%)
  • You’ll usually counter with meeting in the middle again $18(175%). 
  • They’ll take your deal and guess what you’ve ACTUALLY paid over the $10 (100%) that they would have been happy to take in the first place! 


  • Just shake your head no. But smile, indicating interest.
  • Do not counter offer. (You have no idea how much it should be really.)
  • Let them just keep dropping the price. 
  • Then when they stop dropping the price.
  • Walk away. 
  • They’ll shout a final price. 

Then the real haggling begins. Go ahead and get the best price you can for real now.

  • When you’ve come to the best BEST best price you think you’ll get……..

That’s right just keep walking, in heavily touristed places like Chinatown there’s always 6 or 7 stalls selling the exact same merchandise. 

  • Find another stall and when you see the bag you want just start by telling him you’ll pay slightly below what the last guys best price was. 
  • Maybe another 10 or 20 percent off
  • Don’t let the new guy quote his price first. 
  • When he hears your price he’ll know that you know the REAL price and usually take the deal. 
  • In his head he’ll be thinking, “hey a quick sale, I don’t need to make the 100% price every time, I’ll get more from the next guy”
  • And just like that the bag is yours. That $55 (65rm ) bag? Mine for $15(45 4m)

If he doesn’t take your deal? You and him both know there are 4 other guys with the same exact bag around the corner. And worst case scenario you can walk back to the first guy.

Happy haggling is just a game and don’t take it too personally. You’re both playing to win, but it doesn’t have to be a death sport. Sometimes I get caught up in the haggle and realize I’m literally spending 5 minutes haggling over 10 cents. No need to be “that guy.”

I hope this article helped you with your goal of scoring cheap stuff while finding the best country to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!) 

Haggle like a pro! Don’t pay tourist prices PART 12016-12-12T00:11:01+00:00

Staying Fit While Travelling. Important Kuala Lumpur Tips.

I’ve lost 15lbs since I started traveling to find the best countries to retire cheap. That’s 5lbs a month! Every day in the morning when I wake up in Kuala Lumpur I hit the pool. I spend the morning just watching people, catching a few laps when I’m hot and writing these articles when I’m not. 

Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise, but unfortunately while it burns a lot of calories when you’re swimming, it doesn’t really raise your metabolism afterwards. You need to hit those weights for that metabolism bump.

That’s why I like finding condos and hotels with a gym inside. They’re usually on the small side though. After a month though you can grow bored with their selection of equipment. I know some of the best countries to retire cheap readers might say , “But Samson, with enough imagination you don’t need equipment. You could stay in shape with body weight exercises.”

While that’s 100% true, there’s a reason people join gyms, and don’t just do hundreds of Hindu pushups and head stands. Boredom. You can grow bored of the same old same old. If you don’t get bored, I commend you and will admire your ability to do tricep dips off a chair or bed.

If you’re easily bored like I am you’ll start looking for a big gym right away. There’s a gym in Kuala Lumpur called Celebrity fitness claiming to be “The ultimate fitness centre”, it’s within a 13 minute jog from my place in Kuala Lumpur. With that kind of tag line I had to check it out. 

I went in and was duly impressed. I’ve been in gyms all around the world and can’t say I’ve seen better. 

Besides all the things you’d normally expect in a gym, free weights, treadmills etc, they had a ton of other stuff. 

  • TRX 
  • Martial arts area
  • Spin studio
  • Classes of all kinds going on all the time from Zumba to Step. Literally it was class after class.
  • Yoga studio. A real one

  • FUNctional Area, with games based on medicine balls

  • Agility zone
  • Sauna
  • Steam room

There’s 20 Celebrity fitness locations in Kuala Lumpur. This is how much it costs to join.

  • $60 (180 rm) a month for one club access
  • $70 (200 rm) all club access.
  • There’s also a bunch of screw you fees they randomly try to charge like “processing” or “sitting in this chair”
  • And you have to sign up for a year

The best thing though is that you can get a free 1 week pass if you ask so I’d definitely recommend doing that if you’re looking for a gym in Kuala Lumpur. Get the free pass! They ask for id but not a credit card. I’m definitely been working out daily because of the limited time. Monkey bars here I come!

Final tip! Bring your own supplement from home. They are available here, but super expensive in Asia.

I hope this article helps you with your dreams of finding the best countries to retire cheap. If you want more tips and blogs scroll to the bottom of the page. And don’t forget to share if you liked it!

Staying Fit While Travelling. Important Kuala Lumpur Tips.2016-12-12T00:11:04+00:00

Can you afford to be a travel blogger full time?

What are you going to do all day when you’ve found the best country to retire cheap in? Retiring cheap is great, but how are you going to fill your days?You’ll need a plan to keep active or you’ll get super bored.

Filling my days and entertaining you all is part of the reason I’m a travel blogger. Not a super rich one, or a super famous one, or let’s face it not even a super good one. (My next article is going to be about “how to get a good deal on a Dominos pizza in Malaysia…”so yeah not Pulitzer Prize wining material)

How much does it cost me to be a travel blogger and what do I do all day? 

My daily budget is 

  • $10 for accommodation 
  • $5 food
  • $10 everything else

For my quick on the math friends, that adds up to less than the $1000 a month that I’ve budgeted for. The rest of the money sits in my plane fare and emergency fund. It’s not much but you will need it since you’ll likely be flying home for a few months each year.

What do I do all day? I’d love to say that I spend everyday living like you see those people on the travel channel. Luxurious meals, exotic sites and great views. I don’t really have the budget to go randomly exploring around every day but I try to do things that I wouldn’t do at home a few times a week.

My normal “glamorous” day looks like this

  • Waking up whenever, eating either some eggs (which are delicious here in Asia) or a pastry bun $1 (3rm)
  • Then check my social media 
  • Head to the gym.(I’m now in much better shape then before I started this)
  • Go to the pool
  • Write an article (I love writing poolside, it makes me feel super writery)
  • Read my Kindle
  • Have lunch (usually Texas Fried chicken and rice in Kuala Lumpur)$2(6rm)
  • Read some more, play some more 
  • Do some SEO on my website
  • Have dinner (In Cebu this was BBQ) $2(6rm)
  • Do a little research on what my next article will be
  • Watch a show of two on Iflix or Netflix.
  • About 2 times a week I’ll go get a cheap massage or see a movie or go exploring
  • Play some more online games.

The online games are fun. They give me a kind of everywhere is home feeling. My online teammates (Hi, all you Foxy Council members!) are always there regardless of if I’m in Chiang Mai or Singapore. I’m currently playing a Free to play game called Walking Dead: Road to survival. Again it’s free to play, but like most freemium games there’s all these micro transactions you can buy. I spend $13 a month on this “free” game. I really don’t mind because it entertains me as much or more than my Netlix $10 subscription or my Kindle Unlimited subscription $10.

Remember how I told you I plan about $1000 a month for my life as a travel blogger? That’s roughly $12,000 a year or $24,000 for 2 years. 

How would you feel if I told you there’s somebody in my “Free”to play game has spent $24,0000 this year on it?

Does it make you kind of sick to your stomach like it made me when I found this out? Did you think, “OMG what an idiot!”?

I’m not guilty of spending $24,000 on a video game, but when I think about how much I spent on other things in the past I’m definitely kicking myself.

  • Home theatre $10k. 
  • Bedroom set $3k
  • Comic Books , Boardgames and Nerd toys $2k
  • Motorcycle $5k

Everything on that list and lots more is now all sold to pay for travel blogger lifestyle. (And I didn’t get anything close to what it cost to buy it.)

All it costs to live a pretty good life once you’ve found where you want retire cheap is $25 a day. I kind of wish now I hadn’t bought so many pairs of black ankle boots, because all I wear now are sandals or my gym shoes. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and hopefully it inspired you on your own hunt for the best countries to retire cheap. Happy travels!

Can you afford to be a travel blogger full time?2016-12-12T00:11:12+00:00

I’m Back! Adsense suspension over

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Being suspended by Google Adsense for a month was no fun. I had gotten busted for inappropriate ad clicks by the algorithm. They never release where the clicks that got me booted came from or what the algorithm checks. I’m sure one of the qualifications is IP address and the other is time spent on the advertisers site after clicking. If somebody is clicking an ad, then going back and immediately clicking another it probably sets off one of its flags. This suspension was a huge setback for Best Countries To Retire Cheap.

How did I feel being suspended? I was kind of bummed because the Adsense network was how I was justifying running and paying for this blog. I haven’t gotten any other advertisers organically yet. I did have some people I talked to about buying a permanent ad, but my main one was Airbnb and the $30 per referral link.

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I’d love a permanent sponsor or two, but this blog is still relatively new. My main hope would be a hotel, financial site or a travel agency.

Instead of just moping around I spent this month writing 20 more unique pieces of content and working on my SEO.

What were the results? It was dramatic! I’m now top of page 3 on Google for my main search term, “best countries to retire cheap.” That was a bump from page 3 place 4th. It’s a constant battle on Google. One more spot I’m on page two!

On Bing “best countries to retire cheap” is now page 1 , number 1! That’s right number one! I’m hoping this will drive traffic even more.

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On the third major search engine Yahoo, “best countries to retire cheap” is page 1 number 3!

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I know some of you who are search engine masters are thinking “of course you’re number 1 that’s the name of your blog”. My response is that obviously that the name of my blog. I didn’t choose “best countries to retire cheap” as a blog name by accident. I didn’t think I’d achieve my goal of driving traffic with “Samson is travelling the world and eating tasty food” although that is what I’m doing.

How can you my faithful readers, help me achieve my lofty goals of being first on Google? Share my articles, please share them! Social signals are also important, my Facebook is “best countries to retire cheap” and my Twitter “Edmontonsem”

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My Twitter is growing tremendously, I’ve now gotten over 500 followers. It’s not much relatively, but it has doubled since I’ve started.

I’ve got a lot of work to do still but I really appreciate you all who read, share and support my crazy dream of being a self employed travel blogger. Keep on reading, and I’ll keep on writing!

I’m Back! Adsense suspension over2016-12-12T00:11:21+00:00

Ow! My ads suspended for a month.

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Ow! After a great month where I was getting 3-4 clicks a day, I woke up to my website with all these blank ads. I thought it was just an error till I went to check my Adsense account.

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The worst was on my IPad I couldn’t log in and see why it was suspended. I had to borrow my friends laptop to get into my account and see why. At first I thought it might have been my racy post about porn and liquor laws in Thailand. It was not. As you can see on the pictures it was the algorithm that busted me. Multiple invalid clicks.

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There’s a computer check based on how many clicks are coming from what addresses, and how long they stay after a clicking. The length of time somebody spends after clicking an ad is partially how they determine if it’s click fraud.

They never release the full algorithm or even which IP it is that was clicking multiple times fraudulently. That’s kind of annoying, because I’m sure I have people who are clicking real ads they are interested in.

I also found out that I had been sent a postcard from Google asking for a pin verification on May 28. Thankfully my renter and friend at home can grab that PIN for me.  It’s annoying they didn’t send me an email about it.

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So, all I can say is I’ll still be writing the blog and helping you all find the best countries to retire cheap, but it’ll be ad free till July 9th when they lift my ban. Im now officially the bad boy of blogs!

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PS: I’ll also be looking other ways to make money off this website , so if anybody knows somebody who wants to buy some ads let me know. 😉

Ow! My ads suspended for a month.2016-12-12T00:11:51+00:00

Should You Buy a Condo in Cebu?

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You’ll need a place to live wherever you decide is the best country to retire cheap. Foreigners cannot buy a house in the Philippines. You can put it in the name of a Philippino wife to get around that, but that just seems insane to me. With a divorce rate of 50 percent, that means you have a 50 percent chance of losing your house completely. One option to buy a home in the Philippines is to buy a condo. Many real estate companies will tell you that condos are a great deal, and that you can even rent them out.

I looked at some, and a 700 square foot condo was roughly $77000 (2,695,000). These are right in the heart of the city and near transit.

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Tiny but cute places, some came with kitchens others did not. If you’re used to something bigger you’ll want to look more on the outskirts of the cities. These condos are $600 a month to rent ($20 000), and a management company will take of them for you if you want to pay them. They charge the first months rent out of a 12 month lease.

I asked a real estate agent that I met whether or not condos were a good investment. She told me definitely not.  They are building way too many condos and too quickly. The market for condos as an investment definitely wasn’t going to look good. She told me that even expats are figuring this out and staying clear of them.

From what I saw, if you are looking to buy a place to live, you get more for your money buying than renting. That being said, if you do buy a condo in Cebu you are stuck in one city. So I wouldn’t recommend buying a condo, let the renting keep going and invest your money elsewhere.

Should You Buy a Condo in Cebu?2016-12-12T00:12:02+00:00

I’m Now a PAID Travel Blogger

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“What do you do at home?” That’s a question that always comes up when you meet another traveller in Asia. I like to say that I’m a travel blogger who is looking for the best country to retire cheap. That is of course a wee bit of an exaggeration. As you can see I’ve made $2.22. Still it counts right?

I always want more readers, and this post is really a thank you to all my faithful readers who are supporting my travelling retirement. Thank you, thank you, thank you. On average I’m getting about 50 page visits a day. That’s pretty good for a website that I made less than a month ago. I’m still working on my SEO (search engine optimization), I started up unranked like every other website, and the first time it actually appeared on page 5 of Google for the term “best countries to retire cheap” I was ecstatic, “Look look mom ! I did it! I was so happy”

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Then my next goal was to actually optimize the website and now I’m page 3! Watch out CBS, Forbes & International Living, I’m coming for you……(cue Rocky soundtrack). You and I both know, dear readers, that the best place to bury a dead body is on page 3 of Google because nobody REALLY looks past page 1, but it’s me climbing up the ranks of articles, websites and blogs.( Levelling up and scoring points that’s a me, Mario!)

And it’s all thanks to you my dear loyal readers, all 50 of you that are helping keep me focused on this crazy adventure. I think I would be having a much more solitary trip without you guys keeping me focused. And much more of a mind numbing time if I didn’t know that you were all reading and supporting me. So, again thank you, thank you, thank you ! Who are these crazy 50 people who come to my website? According to Google analytics , it’s a 50/50 split male to female. You like sports, travelling, and food.

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I love the fact that because of all of your interest I have made enough to to buy a bowl of Pad Thai and a cappuccino! My goal to get to $1 a day. Once I get there I’ll be doing another another happy dance.

As you can see below my current click through rates and rpm are looking great.

I’ll update you all again next month, until then thank you again for helping me travel the world looking for the best countries to retire cheap!

I’m Now a PAID Travel Blogger2016-12-12T00:12:12+00:00

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