I’ve participated in Live and Invest Overseas’ annual Belize conferences for years. This year, more than any other, the common theme among attendees was clear and strong.
A couple of weeks ago, people in the room with us in Belize City were there to take back control of their lives.
Again and again, the attendees I spoke with echoed the same concern.
“I feel as though the power to direct my own destiny living in the United States has been drained away over decades,” they all told me in their own ways.
One guy I spent time with was a 69-year-old gold prospector from Alaska. He’d had it, he told me, with government in the United States. He wasn’t anti-Democrat or anti-Republican… he was anti the whole mess.
“Both parties,” he told me, “have left me feeling disenfranchised and resentful. I just don’t believe in my country anymore. I love it… but I don’t believe in it,” he said.
And then he explained that he is thinking about giving up his U.S. citizenship.
I asked him why, at his age, he would go through the formal expatriation process.
“It’s not about the taxes or the money,” he told me.
“I just want to take a stand before I die against the country I’ve loved but that has changed so much I can’t handle being part of it anymore.”
Many of the good folks with us in Belize last week were looking for a place where they could live the kind of lifestyle they remember from decades past in the United States… a life of independence and self-resilience.
Another common theme had to do with adventure.
One lady, a successful attorney just about to retire from her practice, was as excited as a child might be about the idea of heading off into the big unknown with Live and Invest Overseas. She, like many I spoke with at last week’s conference, was ready to clear her slate. She wanted nothing getting in the way of the adventure she was imagining.
“I’m selling everything,” she told me. “I’m kicking out my son. He’s in his late 20s. It’s time for him to make his own life.
“I’m giving away my cat… and I’m heading to Belize.”
Another couple, in their 50s, still working and doing quite well for themselves, told me they were in Belize for the adventure straight up. Where else could they enjoy so much like-minded company and so many outside-the-box investment ideas…
Real estate and agriculture… internet security investments and second passports… alongside so many other interesting opportunities all laid out like a buffet to pick through.
More than one attendee was looking for a bolt hole… a “quiet, secure spot” for vacation, for permanent escape, for their children…
One attendee bought a “tiny house” for his 20-something daughter to use as a studio for her online graphics business. Costing less than US$70,000, this turn-key home filled a need for both his daughter and himself. Now he feels like he has somewhere to go should he decide he’s ready to take the leap.
I seem to connect best with the attendees interested in Cayo, as that’s where I’m based.
The folks heading to Cayo are doers with hobbies and sometimes very unconventional business ideas. One spoke to me about moving to Cayo to open an alcohol distillery; another had an idea to start a free sewing school for local girls.
I met many people who’d been to other Live and Invest Overseas conferences in other locations but also a lot of newbies. These LIOS conference virgins seemed a bit blown away. Reading some online articles and following the free e-letters doesn’t really prepare you for 10-hour marathon meeting days.
I really enjoy speaking with these first-timers. I have to admit that I feel a little personally gratified seeing their recognition grow… watching as they come to appreciate the great big world that has existed right alongside their own world all along but that they’re only now discovering.
It makes me proud to be part of the Live and Invest Overseas community. For me, this is what LIOS conferences are all about.