Have you considered moving overseas but just can’t pull the trigger?
Maybe you are thinking about retiring but can’t imagine doing nothing…
Or maybe you aren’t anywhere near retirement age but longing to try a different kind of lifestyle.
Either way, a cash-producing endeavor can be the answer… either to filling your days in retirement while supplementing your retirement nest egg… or to funding your new adventure overseas altogether.
Depending on the country and your budget, you might only need what I think of as buffer income to get you by.
No matter how much income you decide you want to bankroll or supercharge the new life you imagine for yourself overseas, you might be amazed at the level of income you can begin generating in just a few short months.
To start, I suggest you make a list.
What do you like to do? After all, this will be your new life. Don’t back yourself into a situation where you end up doing work you don’t love.
Here’s a secret. Most people are good at the things they like to do. For me, it’s photography, taking care of animals, and organizational type duties like planning travel and meetings. My career was in insurance, which I loved, but finding remote insurance work proved a challenge.
Online resources are plentiful but choosing one to help you figure out your earn-money-overseas plan can seem complicated. Let me help. I’d say that Upwork is probably the leading website to help you find remote work.
You pay a small fee to join, but it’s free to take a look at the available jobs. You’ll find a lot of computer-related techy jobs at first, but don’t be frustrated if that’s not your thing. Just type in a couple of key words—administrative assistant, telemarketing, bookkeeping, etc.—and see what comes up. You can set your own hourly or per-job rate and work as little or as much as you like.
I once did a project that paid US$5 for every review of a particular dog type I wrote about. Eventually I found a job helping people find personal auto, home, and life insurance, meaning I was able to earn an income using my former career skills and doing something I love. The owner of the agency was so happy with my work that he referred me to other clients. One needed an administrative assistant. Now I set up international meetings and help organize travel schedules.
Photography is another interest of mine. When I found out I could make money taking pictures, I was really interested in learning more. Of course, if you are a real professional you can set up a website to sell your photos, create framed images, or display at a local coffee shop, for example.
Me, I’m just a girl with a Nikon. No fancy equipment, just a keen eye for a great shot. So I was excited to find out about stock photography.
Most of the photos you see in magazines, online articles, and blogs have come from an online stock photo company. Even companies creating new websites and brochures need photos. After researching what seemed like a million online photo stock companies, I became a member of Shutterstock.
Shutterstock is a great technology company making it easy for contributors to earn a little, or a lot, depending on your passion for photography. I submitted my first 10 photos as a test to see if they were interested in my work. To my amazement, I was accepted to become a contributor.
Since then I’ve had 190 photos downloaded, and my work is displayed on websites, brochures, and blogs internationally. Some of my photos are from my iPhone… so special equipment is not a requirement. And the Shutterstock app for smartphones makes it easy to see your status and submit photos online.
This type of work is not going to pay your bills, but it can provide some fun money for you in your new home. I’ve been a stock photographer for about a year now and have made around US$100. Currently I’m allotting only a couple of hours a month for this. If I really wanted to build my portfolio and make more money, I could spend a few hours a week and substantially increase my income. The more photos you add, the more possibilities for downloads.
Here’s another “job” my husband and I do together. This one doesn’t bring in cash flow, but we find that the benefits can be big.
I’m talking about house-sitting.
House-sitting is a way to live in an area where you think you want to live without purchasing a home or paying rent. Most house-sits include some pet-sitting responsibilities. For us, that is the main attraction. We no longer have pets of our own, but we love to share our love and affection for other pets, especially when their family goes away on holiday. It’s typically a huge relief for home and pet owners to have someone stay in their homes, keeping the lights on and activity around the house for security while their pets are able to stay in their usual routines.
House-sitting responsibilities also include watering plants and taking in the mail. That is, this isn’t hard work. And, again, you’re not earning an income, but the financial rewards can be big. A typical housing budget many places you might want to spend time can be US$1,100 a month. House-sitting is free.
Many house-sits are one to three months in length. If you are considering living permanently in an area, this can be a great way to scope it out first.
Keep in mind, you might need to get a few house-sits under your belt before you are accepted for these longer sits. It can be a competitive “job,” and house-sits in touristy or sought-after areas are in high demand.
If you are interested in trying this, I would suggest taking a look at Trusted Housesitters. Although we are registered on a few house-sitting sites, this one is our favorite because of how it’s organized as well as the number of house-sits available. Take a look.
The idea of living or retiring overseas can seem scary at first. It can help to understand that you are hardly alone in these ideas. More people of all ages are doing this today than ever before in history… and more people of all ages are doing this all the time.
Realizing you can make a little income along the way should help you in the decision-making process. The ideas I’m suggesting can be pursued starting in your home country, making the transition even more seamless.
Knowing that many, many others (like me!) have made this kind of move and are willing to share their stories, income-making strategies, and travel tips is encouraging, too.