Some people choose to earn an income in a country overseas to support or supplement the cost of retirement there. Finding a job in a foreign country is possible, but not always easy. Here are some realistic employment options overseas:
1. Arrange a post overseas through your current employer. This is how David Stubbs and his wife organized their move to Costa Rica. They both worked for Dell in other countries, and requested the chance to continue working for Dell in San Jose. Obviously, this works only if you’re working for an international organization with an office in the place where you want to relocate.
2. Set yourself up as a local consultant. What business do you know? Where in the world might your experience and expertise have value? Rod Taylor had been in the pool business in Miami his entire career. His search for the ideal retirement haven took him to Roatan, in the Bay Islands of Honduras, where a lot of people are interested in building pools, but the local talent for building U.S.-standard pools is limited. Taylor was able to parlay his decades of experience into a retirement income.
3. Become an international consultant. If you’re an accountant, attorney or money advisor, you could make a great living helping expats and retirees abroad structure and then manage their financial lives in Paradise. One advantage of this consulting approach is that you may not need to be formally registered or licensed locally (unlike a doctor, for example, who would).
4. Cultivate a trade you could practice anywhere. A job that is highly portable is often your best option to work overseas. I’m a laptop-carrying, daily content-producing poster girl for the best mobile trade I know: travel writing. I have at least a dozen good friends who are currently paying for or supplementing the costs of their lives overseas as professional travel writers, and I have communicated with at least a dozen other writers on the road who are eager to file their stories.
To make a go of this, you don’t need formal training as a writer. You need an open mind, open eyes, a curiosity about the world around you and a penchant for telling stories. If those things describe you, you could earn an income as a travel writer, even if you’ve never done it before. One of the most successful and prolific travel writers I know started her professional life as a barmaid. Others have been housewives, engineers, investment advisors and accountants.
One of the many benefits of cultivating a portable profession is that it means the resulting income is on an international scale. If you take a job or set yourself up as a local consultant in a foreign country, you’ll be paid like a local in the local currency, which could be a plus or a minus. Before you choose that route, investigate the typical local salary for whatever kind of position you’re considering. A professional who might earn $60,000 in the United States, for example, might earn one-third as much in Panama or Colombia and be considered well-paid. Remember that the local cost of living will be less, as well.
5. Teach English as a foreign language. This is one of the most commonly sought and easily arranged jobs overseas. People around the world are eager to learn or practice their English-language skills. And many of these jobs come with flexible schedules and a chance to become part of a new community.