With just four days remaining until New Year 2019, I challenge you to get up and get going. It’s time.
If you’ve been considering the idea of launching a new life in a new country, today is the day to get started making that dream come true.
Here’s what you do:
You take out a piece of paper and a pen.
Go on. I’ll wait.
Now, find a comfortable chair, settle in, and make a list.
Write down everything that’s important to you. Consider all aspects of your life, big and small. What do you enjoy? What would you miss if it were gone from your life? What makes you crazy? And what would you like never to have to deal with again?
Write it all down on your piece of paper.
Here… I’ll make some suggestions to get you going…
Think about the weather. What do you prefer? Year-round sunshine? Four seasons? Low humidity? Minimal rainfall?
Consider things related to infrastructure. How important to you are high-speed, reliable internet and cable TV?
Think about health care. Would you be comfortable being examined by a doctor who didn’t speak English? Do you have an existing health concern that could require emergency medical attention? In that case, it’s important to you to be within a, say, 20-minute drive of a First World hospital.
How do you like to spend your free time? Do you like to surf? Boat? Fish, dive, play golf…
Or are you more interested in gallery openings, live theater, foreign flicks, fine dining, and pleasure shopping?
Do you like to move around? That is, would your ideal life include lots of travel? In that case, you want to be within easy commuting distance of an international airport. We weren’t when we were living in Ireland, for example, and we regretted it every time we made the long drive from Waterford to Dublin.
How do you like to eat? In restaurants three or four nights a week? Or do you prefer to cook? If cooking is a passion and a pastime, a big and fully equipped kitchen is a priority.
Do you enjoy specialty cheeses and French butter when you bake? I do… and these things are not available everywhere on Earth.
Do you intend to invest in a place to live in your new home overseas? Then restrictions on foreign-ownership of property (if there are any… in most countries we report on and recommend, there are not) as well as the costs of buying and selling it are important to you (these can vary from a few percentage points to as much as 20% all in).
Do you want to own a car in your new home overseas? Usually, you’re better off if you don’t. But if you aren’t going to have a car of your own, the walkability of your locale and local public transportation become important.
Will you want to be able to return to the States to see your grandkids often? Then the cost of a round-trip ticket from where you’ll be living to where you want to visit is important.
Do you intend to live full-time in your new country? Then the available options for establishing legal residency are important.
Do you need or want to generate an income to help support your new adventure overseas? In this case, your best option can be to start a business, which is easier to do today than ever before in history. Maybe you could earn all you need from a laptop biz… meaning all you need is a reliable internet connection…
Or maybe you’re up for building something bigger. In that case, you care about things like the quality, diversity, and cost of the available local pool of labor and the country’s general doing-business climate.
Will it bother you to have to pay attention to a fluctuating exchange rate between the currency of the place where you’re living and the currency your income or savings are denominated in? If so, maybe focus on places where they use the U.S. dollar (assuming that’s your home-base currency)… say, Panama or Ecuador, for example… or perhaps Belize, which pegs its dollar to the Greenback.
Would you be uncomfortable living among the locals? Would you prefer to minimize culture shock and avoid learning a new language if possible?
Or maybe that’s why you’re considering making a move in the first place—to add some exotic to your life.
What would you like to see from your bedroom window every morning when you wake up? The beach? A wildflower-covered hillside? A cityscape?
And what would you like to hear outside your bedroom window each night as you fall asleep?
That’s how you get started at this. You make a list.