Why Retire Overseas?
Lief, the kids, and I have been traveling in the States for the holiday season this year. We enjoyed Christmas with my family in Baltimore and now we’re in San Diego to ring in the New Year with friends.
Standing in line in Target the weekend before Christmas in Baltimore, our cart overflowing with super-discounted stuff we’d decided we couldn’t live without and had to buy to lug back to Panama with us, Lief asked me the question that we can’t help but return to from time to time:
“Why do we choose to continue living overseas? Wouldn’t it be easier and maybe even cheaper to move back to the United States?” he wondered.
Some things would be more affordable, yes. (Thus the annual Target shopping spree.) Important items in our budget, though, would become more costly–health care and health insurance, for example. And, returned Stateside, we wouldn’t be able to afford little luxuries like full-time help around the house or a full-time driver.
The real point, though, is that, after more than 16 years living outside the States, we’ve learned not only that we can control our cost of living, within parameters, anywhere we decide we want to live…but also, more important, that cost of living isn’t the best reason to think about moving to another country in the first place.
Here in the States where we’re enjoying the holidays this year, cocktail party conversation and the ever-present news are all about the Obamacare experiment, Congress’ approval rating, Obama’s approval rating, exploding medical care costs, the NSA scandal…
These are important issues, sure, but they don’t have to rule your life. This is a great big world bursting with opportunity. I’ve been making that claim to readers for coming up on 30 years (yikes), but I think I’ve come to appreciate it fully only recently.
You can see the world as a struggle against increased health insurance expense and worry over what misadventures some government group is currently up to. Or you can shift your perspective.
CNN, et al., give you one view of the world, all about exploding debt ratios, spiraling health-care costs, and government agencies gone rogue.
Beyond the media view of our world, though, is another one, where every turn brings not worry and fear but discovery and adventure. That’s the world Lief and I have chosen to become part of. And this other world is way more fun.