“Hello, Kathleen! I have been reading your letters for like forever. In fact, I was able to talk my husband into going to your Orlando seminar last year. Definitely an eye opener, loved every minute of it. We learned all the steps that we need to take to make the move and feel like we understand them completely.
“So here is my question. We are only in our early 50s so don’t have Social Security yet, maybe we will never see it. : ( We have only around US$200,000 in a 401K, and we will roll it over to self-directed as soon as I decide to leave my current job of 25 years.
“We have a couple of single-family rental houses here in the States. Total profit around US$500/month, which would not be enough to live on. So where do I go from here? Online business I don’t believe would be for me. We are ready and able to leave, but I’m not sure what we can do about an income.
“If I purchase, with IRA, some type of business, I know all the in’s and out’s with that, so if it doesn’t work out, I have no nest egg for later. Any help/insight would be greatly appreciated.
“By the way, I see you all are doing a seminar in Mexico this year. This would of great interest to us. We narrowed down to Costa Rica (I know not one of your favs now) and Mexico.
“Also not sure if you remember, but we were the ones who asked about Bocas Del Toro. We visited this year in February. Although we liked it, it is more like living on a big lake. I need the ocean.
“Property prices were a big benefit, really low. If I could have made the real estate agent listen to me… I only want titled property, not ROP. The agent we were working with insisted, as you have warned they do, that nothing was wrong with ROP and only showed us ROP properties!
“We may still consider the area, just need a different agent.
“Sorry so lengthy. Hope to hear from you.”
–Terri E., United States
Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic-bullet response to offer.
However, I do know, from both personal experience and that of many, many readers over all these years, that, wherever you decide to base yourself for your new life overseas, you’ll notice market gaps… opportunities for starting small businesses that allow you to leverage your real-world experience, education, and expertise.
Over the years, I’ve known readers who have funded their new lives overseas by starting messenger services, swimming pool construction or consulting businesses, appliance or auto-repair shops, open-air fitness centers (on the beach), mail-forwarding services, storage facilities (this requires investing in the storage units that you then rent out monthly), woodworking shops, and on and on… including the more typical beach bar, restaurant, or dive shop.
All of these options require at least a little capital to get started (though sometimes very little capital) and effort. But choose a business model based on a hobby or interest, and running the small business that generates the cash flow to fund your new life overseas can be more fun than work.