Gary Scott and his wife Merri have journeyed to the Dominican Republic, where they ran property tours. In Ecuador they owned a hotel for a spell in the cool-weather mountain town of Cotacachi. They spent another year living in Ecuador, while studying with Andean shamans, and they still own a hacienda there.
Gary celebrates his 70th birthday this year, but his seniority hasn’t stopped him grabbing the opportunities presented in the uber economy. He and Merri currently own a 250-acre farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains with five cabins that they rent out to vacationers using Airbnb.
Gary and Merri have become “superhosts” on Airbnb, with a five-star rating. They enjoy the company of interesting vacationers while they’re on the farm between June and October.
“We love being in nature out here,” says Gary, describing their North Carolina home. “I get up around 5 a.m. and write. Then I get the tractor out and bush-hog a field. I like living where there’s not a big crowd. I have a pond stocked with trout and every year I shoot a deer for meat. We have a water supply and wood for heating.”
After that, they head south for some sun on their 16-acre orange grove on the shores of Lake Dora near the 100-year-old village of Mount Dora in Central Florida. “It’s an old, rambling place,” says Gary, who has a team growing oranges there.
In addition to their rental income, Gary and Merri run a successful publishing business that’s completely portable.
“Technology allows us do it,” says Gary. “Ashe County, where we live in North Carolina, has one of the highest percentages of fiber optic cable in the country. I can be more effective as a publisher here than in a city. Being online has been liberating for us.”
With 50 years of global investment experience, Gary shares what he knows through his website, daily email, reports, seminars, webinars, and other digital information products. From time to time, he hosts events at the farm.
Freedom and independence are important to Gary, who recently celebrated what he describes as 50 years of “business adventure.” That adventure has taken him from Hong Kong, to London, to Ecuador, and back to the U.S.
“There are three basic elements of real freedom,” he says. “Good health, the ability to earn through service, and good investment based on financial information. You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the high cost of U.S. healthcare.”
Instead, he and Merri have chosen to pay close attention to their diet, exercise, and sleep patterns.
Their life today is self-directed. They do what they love…and only as much of it as they want. They use the resources of new technology and the new economy to live in beautiful, natural surroundings. Their search for a simpler, more independent life has been fruitful.
“Our emphasis now is on lifestyle decisions rather than income decisions,” says Gary.
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