Geoarbitrage: Moving Closer to Financial Independence

Geoarbitrage: Moving Closer to Financial Independence - Fiology

Geoarbitrage reduced our FI timeline by 9 years!

This proves that if someone is willing to take advantage of geoarbitrage, they can achieve FI much sooner than once expected. Our FI number is a combination of our investment portfolio and our expenses. We can achieve FI quicker either by increasing the size of our portfolio, or by reducing our expenses, preferably both.

Even with good income and the magic of compound interest, increasing your investment portfolio takes time. There is no magic bullet to make it jump overnight. That is unless you hit the lottery, inherit a stack of money, or strike it rich with an IPO, bitcoin, etc.

Geoarbitrage means moving to a lower cost of living area in order to be able to benefit financially and personally.

This can either result in you being able to save and invest faster, reaching your financial independence number earlier than if you lived in a high cost of living area. Or, it could mean how much money you need for financial independence can be reduced if it already provides the income needed to live in the lower cost of living area.

Geoarbitrage allows you to significantly reduce your expenses immediately with one move.

This is not to say it’s an easy strategy or that anyone can do it effectively. You need to be able to find a new location to live (where you will still be happy) that is significantly less expensive than your current location.

Because of the nature of this topic and the many angles that you can consider like domestic vs. international geoarbitrage, this lesson will have an increased number of resources and websites to explore. It is all very interesting and the intent is to leave you with the ability to seriously consider the possibilities of using this method to promote your own Financial Independence.

Fiology thanks Dylin of Retire By 45, a geoarbitrage expert of the FI community, for shaping this lesson.



Take Action:

  1. The most important part of using the Geoarbitrage strategy is finding the right area to relocate.  You want to make sure it’s someplace that will make you happy, feel safe, and provides a good home for you and your family.
  2. As Dylin points out in his blog post, it helps to identify these 3 elements in your search.
      1. Your must-haves (can’t live without)
      2. Your nice-to-haves (ideal scenarios)
      3. What you can live without (there’s always a compromise).
  3. Use the following resources to help you find the best place for your situation:
    • Where To Live?  This is a Google Doc with data on over 45 cities around the world.  It has average costs to rent a one-bedroom apartment (you can use this for reference to compare locations even if you want a bigger place), weather information, and more.
    • Expatistan  compares the cost of living between cities
    • Nomad List  is a crowdsourced database of cities in the world analyzing nearly 200K data points every second to help you choose where to go next.
    • Numbeo  is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. Numbeo provides current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.
    • FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator  is a favorite in the FI community. Explore it using the factors of your situation and discover potential options.

Additional Resources:


“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart

David Baughier

My passion for helping others led to the curation Fiology. Help me spread the message of Financial Independence by clicking a colorful link above and sharing this post on your favorite social platform. Thank you!


  1. […]  Lesson 20: Geoarbitrage: Moving Closer to FI [cue the music: “the closer I am to fiiii-hiiii, yeah… credit to Ruth Berman who sang this at Camp FI] […]

  2. The Physician Philosopher on July 1, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Great resource. Thanks for pulling all of this together! Fortunately, we already live in a really low cost of living area, but this has shown us just exactly how far the money can go if you live in an area that is more affordable.


    • Fiology on July 3, 2018 at 4:17 pm


      Thanks! It really is an eye-opener. Many of us may have never even considered moving. But the numbers don’t lie and it can be a motivator to get out of our comfort zone, try new things and places, and get to FI even faster!

  3. Mr. Groovy on August 17, 2018 at 12:44 am

    This is a great list of resources! Thanks for including my interview on ChooseFI.

    • Fiology on August 17, 2018 at 1:01 am

      Mr. Groovy,

      Absolutely! Our goal is to find and use the best content available for each FI concept and your interview was informative and impressive. Nicely done.

  4. […] to a cheaper cost of living area (geoarbitrage) where I can be outside and grow food […]

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