Kelly Hayes-Raitt traded Los Angeles for a small lakeside town in Mexico and life out of a suitcase — and she's planning on retiring that way.
"I love my house in Santa Monica, but I don't see myself living there again," the 56-year-old writer said. "I'm not sure I can afford it."
She house sits for an expatriate couple, spending half the year in Ajijic, Mexico, just south of Guadalajara.
Hayes-Raitt, author of "How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva," splits the remainder of her time looking after others' homes in southeast Asia and Europe.
She is among the 9 million American citizens who reside overseas, according to the State Department. Nearly half a million receive Social Security benefits while residing in foreign countries.