Don’t Go Overseas Without These Two Things
“Who should be thinking about retiring to a new country?” wondered the Money magazine editor who was interviewing me.
“That is,” she continued, “who, really, should consider this idea? Surely it’s not for everyone…”
Selling everything you own… packing up or giving away every possession… buying a plane ticket for some foreign country… and then showing up and trying to build a whole new life there?
Leaving your family, your friends, your home, everything comfortable and familiar… and dropping yourself inside a new city or a new community where the people probably speak a different language and where everything else will be different, as well?
Who would do that? Why would anyone do that?
You know the big-picture reasons to consider this big idea. There are many, and my team and I remind you of them every day. Plus, you have your own, personal reasons, I’m sure, for considering taking this leap and launching a new life in a new country.
But is it really for you?
I’d say the very fact that you’re even considering the notion of retiring to another country gives you part of the answer to that question. Because considering the idea means you possess at least one of the two qualities you need to make a big success of this: open-mindedness.
The world is a big, interesting place full of opportunities and options…
It’s not all roses. Bad things happen… are happening… will continue to happen.
Maybe worse things are on the way. We recognize all that. But, here at Live and Invest Overseas, we choose to focus on the potential and the promise all around us, rather than the problems and the trouble.
We choose to recognize that, no matter what experiences we’ve enjoyed to date, we don’t know everything… and we’re always curious to know more.
We have our ideas… now we’d like to be introduced to some other ideas, from other folks in other parts of the world. How do they do things? In what activities and pursuits do they invest their time? What can we learn from them?
If you share that way of looking at the world (and I’d bet you do, as you’ve taken the step to sign yourself up to read these dispatches each day), then I’d say that, yes, a new life overseas could be everything you’re imagining it might be.
What’s the second quality you need to make a go of this?
A sense of humor.
Your open mind will lead you to all kinds of new and interesting places and experiences. It will allow you to reinvent your life completely (if that’s what you’d like to do) and to make discoveries that, today, you probably can’t imagine.
Some will amount to the greatest, grandest adventures and the most fun of your lifetime.
Others will frustrate you, intimidate you, concern you, confound you, even conspire to drive you out of your mind.
Some days, enjoying the new life in paradise you dreamt about for so long, your patience will be tried and your fuse will be short.
Those days, when nothing makes sense and no one is around to help, what will you do?
You’ll make a choice. Either you’ll moan and groan, rant and rave, and wonder what’s wrong with all these so-and-so’s you’re now living among… why don’t they understand that they’re doing things, approaching things, and living life all wrong!?
Or you’ll smile. You’ll chuckle. You’ll remember that nothing was ever going to be all roses and that nowhere is perfect.
You’ll remind yourself of the big-picture reasons why you made this leap in the first place, of all the advantages you’re enjoying living where you’re now living.
And you’ll laugh.
It’s that decision, which you’ll face again and again and again, maybe every day, that will determine the ultimate outcome of your personal retire-overseas adventures.
If you can choose to find the absurdities and the chaos around you interesting and charming, rather than maddening and blood-pressure elevating, you’re golden.
P.S. I painted an extreme picture of launching a new life in retirement in a new country at the start of this letter.
Of course, you don’t have to sell everything and leave everyone behind forever…
That’s one approach to retiring overseas… but there are many others. You could retire somewhere part time… divide your time… keep a place back in the States for regular return visits…
You could move to a country where the people speak English… or to a community where the way of life won’t, in fact, be all that different from what you’re used to. Those options exist.
This idea is infinitely customizable.