The idea of becoming a digital nomad is an attractive one. With the right approach, the remote work lifestyle can be a fulfilling mix of traveling the world, building a business, creating new memories and earning good money.
Plus, there’s some even better news — you can become a digital nomad at any stage of your life. Although you might think digital nomads are all Generation Z, the reality is that you can become a digital nomad at any age, in your 30s, 40s or beyond.
Even better, you have some big advantages that younger people don’t enjoy — and that can get your remote working lifestyle off to a great start. Here’s our collection of digital nomad hacks specifically aimed at Millennial and Generation X entrepreneurs.
How to Become a Digital Nomad in Your 30s and 40s
Understand Your Strengths, Skills and Experience and Turn Them Into a Remote Business
If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you have at least a decade or two of real-world working experience and strengths. You probably have a good idea of what you enjoy doing and the skills that others will pay for. This reduces the amount of time and effort you need to spend figuring out the type of digital nomad business you can run. It’s time to take that previous working experience and leverage it into a remote working lifestyle.
We’ve got some great guides to get you started with a location-independent career. There’s our main digital nomad guide, together with instructions on creating an online, side hustle or micro business.
If you want to specialize further, you can start by working from home before transitioning to a digital nomad, then make the most of yourself as a consultant or a coach. Whatever route you choose, our complete start a business guide will set you up for digital nomad success.
We also have a complete list of helpful digital nomad resources.
Get the Right Tools So You Can Do Your Best Work on the Move
This digital nomad hack goes hand-in-hand with the previous one — and it’s about using the best tools and services for your remote business needs. You probably already have apps and other tools that you love from your previous career, so use those to decide how you want to work.
There are thousands of mobile and web-based apps out there, so test them out when you’re away from your home base. Do they help you work faster, better or more efficiently? Do they enhance customer communication and ensure you can maintain trust and run your business?
A couple of services that could be particularly helpful:
- A Virtual Address service lets you give out a physical address, receive mail there and have it scanned. Then, you can log in to a secure web portal and read your correspondence from anywhere in the world.
- A Registered Agent service can receive official documentation on behalf of your LLC, which can be very helpful if you’re not there to receive correspondence yourself. Registered Agents are slightly different from virtual addresses, and if you’re a digital nomad with an LLC, we recommend you have both.
Use Your Existing Connections and Networks to Create a Strong Digital Nomad Foundation
Together with your career experience, you also have friends, peers and colleagues who can provide helpful advice and networking opportunities as you go remote. Reach out to your connections and strengthen those relationships. Update and enhance your LinkedIn profile, and build your presence there as a digital nomad. It might also be worth investing in a Customer Relationship Management tool so that you can start tracking those connections.
Maintaining and building these relationships will help your independent work to thrive. This is doubly true if you know people who are living overseas and you decide to work from those countries, as they may have local knowledge that will be very helpful in running your business.
Build on Your Age and Reputation by Forming a Digital Nomad LLC
Many digital nomads are knowledge workers, and experience in the field will build your reputation and help you win more customers. You can enhance that credibility further by starting a Limited Liability Company. An LLC tells your clients that you take your business seriously and provides extra reassurance. That can make a big difference, especially if you’re providing business-to-business services.
LLCs also provide you with liability protection and flexibility. They’re quick and easy to set up and maintain and have minimal overheads when it comes to tax and compliance. An LLC is a perfect vehicle for your digital nomad services.
You can use your LLC from anywhere — although there are rules for setting up foreign LLCs in U.S. states outside your home state, and there may be rules about how you do business in other countries as well. We recommend speaking to a lawyer with expertise in this area, as these rules can be complex and it’s important to follow them.
Form Trusted Remote Relationships Based on Clear Agreements and Contracts
Life often teaches us that it’s best to get some promises in writing, and that certainly applies to business. Building on our digital nomad theme of trust and responsibility, business contracts and agreements mean that everyone’s on the same page. A contract is a powerful way to honor a business relationship, and that’s doubly true when you’re working remotely.
We have a collection of contracts, agreements and other business documents that are ideal for your digital nomad business. Documents like a consulting agreement, NDA or Terms of Service make a clear statement about what your clients can expect, wherever you are in the world.
Meet Your International Legal and Tax Responsibilities
Your tax and legal requirements will change depending on where you are in the world. On the legal side, this may include a visa and your right to work in a specific country. It’s also important to understand required business arrangements, depending on if you’re in a different U.S. state or overseas. There may also be licensing implications if you’re in a formal role that requires certain certifications.
International tax can also be complex for digital nomads. The IRS, in particular, will tax U.S. citizens and residents wherever they are in the world, and the rules here can be complex. We strongly recommend speaking to an attorney or accountant with international expertise about your legal and tax responsibilities.
Top Digital Nomad Jobs in Your 30s and 40s
Your unique combination of age and experience can really open up the world of digital nomad careers. Here are some you might want to consider:
Niche Writer or Blogger
While there’s lots of advice on “becoming a writer or blogger,” what we’re talking about here is a little more focused. Essentially, this is about diving in deep on your previous work and using that to illuminate your writing or blogging. Your real-world experience will help you connect with others in a similar situation.
Consultants rely on leveraging their approach, skill set and track record to provide highly targeted, relevant advice. You can use the knowledge you’ve earned in your previous career to launch a successful consulting business.
Digital Marketing Expert
The great thing about digital marketing for older digital nomads is that there are plenty of specialist niches you can get into. Whether it’s content marketing, design, social media, SEO, content strategy or something else, there’s a rich variety of jobs where you can show your value.
Developer and Coder
Being a great coder takes some experience, and building apps requires good business knowledge, together with an engineering background. This makes development an ideal career choice for older digital nomads, as you combine your real-world experience with the latest coding techniques to create best-in-class apps.
How to Become a Digital Nomad FAQs
Still not sure if being a digital nomad in your 30s or 40s is right for you? Here are our answers to a couple of your questions.
What is the average age of a digital nomad?
According to Project Untethered, the average age of a digital nomad is 32 years old. This makes sense — it’s a time in life when people are becoming more financially independent and looking for new lifestyle experiences and career changes.
Is 30 too old to be a digital nomad?
Absolutely not. MBO Partners reports that 44 percent of digital nomads are Millenials, 23 percent are Gen X and 12 percent are Baby Boomers. In fact, digital nomads under the age of 30 are in the minority, with only 21 percent from Gen Z.
There’s nothing stopping you from turning your experience and expertise into a location-independent lifestyle. Use these digital nomad hacks to get off to the right start and build new memories and a new business at the same time. Kick things off with our Start a Business guide.