Why not turn your dream of moving abroad into reality? Many people I know have done just that. Some of my clients have retired overseas. And this is a very popular choice for people who don’t have enough money to retire in their current location.
Other people I know pick up and go while they are still working. When my wife and I were first married, we moved overseas for a few years and it was pretty cool. Regardless of your situation, you can relocate overseas if you really want to. You don’t have to let anything stand in your way.
The Overall Plan
The very first thing to do is set down a plan and make sure everyone in your family is on the same page. Is this a permanent or temporary move? How will this impact each person in your family emotionally and/or financially? Air it all out together. Talk about what you want to do, why you want to do it, when you want to go and for how long.
Once you open up the discussion you’ll hear different viewpoints and considerations that you may not have thought about before. Be open and listen. Be willing to amend your plan.
Lots of places seem very alluring when you are 10,000 miles away. But when you are standing in line in the sweltering heat to get on an overcrowded bus, it may be less appealing than you dreamed. Check out International Living Magazine. They track locations all over the world and rank them in terms of affordability and desirability. One of the editors of the magazine lives in Ecuador and claims to live very well on less than $1300 a month. That’s spicy tamale if you ask me. Of course he has to deal with beautiful coastlines and magnificent mountains but I suppose it’s a decent tradeoff.
If you live in the United States, there are plenty of other countries you can move to which are much less expensive. Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Nicaragua are popular destinations for Americans mainly because of the super cheap housing prices. But what good is cheap housing if you have to live with desperados all the time?
The best way to confirm your intended new home does provide a safe location for you and your family is to check State Department travel warnings. Have there been any alerts at the locations you are most interested in? Also check the crime statistics in the town you are considering moving to.
A good friend of ours moved to Santa Domingo a few years ago. My family and I went to visit his family – don’t ask me why. Although the beaches were indeed beautiful and the real estate was dirt cheap, I personally felt unsafe most of the time. The people were very nice but there was so much disparity between the rich and poor that I just didn’t feel comfortable. Overtime, my friend came to feel the same way. He left the island after living there for a few years.
And beyond personal safety, you have to consider the safety of any investment you make if you are planning on buying property. Not all countries or governments have the same respect for private property as we do in the ”Ustados Unidos”.
It’s hard to know what changes may occur with respect to landowner rights. Just the same, look for political stability before you hand over a pile of cash for your dream casa. I strongly recommend that you rent for an extended period first.
I may be a big scared-y-cat but I see people buy overseas property way too quickly. Slow down amigo.
Of course having a financial plan is always number one in my book. When it comes to moving abroad, the need for an income plan becomes even more important. The first requirement is to get a strong sense of what your expenses are going to be. The only way to really know is to live there for 3 or 4 months before you make the big move for your extended stay. This is another reason why I strongly encourage you to rent property first.
Once you get a sense of your expenses it will be very easy to know if you can afford the move or not. Conversely, if you have no idea as to how much it will cost you to live overseas, it is silly to undertake this change.
Living abroad can be a wonderful experience if you take the time to investigate the more mundane elements of this endeavor. Have you lived overseas for an extended period of time? Are you planning on doing so? What was your process like?