What Does Your Dream Retirement Look Like?
“I think you’re just back from Argentina?” I asked my friend when we met for lunch in Baltimore recently.
“Yes, I was there two months,” Bill replied. “And, I have to tell you…I have to admit…I was tempted not to come back.
“Down in Argentina, I was doing real work. I was out each day, all day, moving earth and building houses. I decided I was going to work right along with the ranch hands. But some of those guys, the young guys, they’re picking up boulders all day, mixing cement, putting in fence posts. That’s hard work. After my first day at it, I was afraid I might not make it back to the house. I didn’t think I’d survive. But I stuck it out. And, after a week or so, my body grew accustomed to the labor. Plus, I learned to leave the boulders to the younger guys.
“And I realized something. That’s not only hard work…it’s real work. At the end of the day…the end of the week…you have something to show for your effort.
“I discovered that, in the local school in the region where our ranch is located, they’ve been operating without heat or running water. They’ve just never had it. And it gets cold down there.
“You know, I’ve been building houses and things, setting up solar heating systems and digging irrigation ditches, for a long time. I have ideas about how to do these things. So I went over to the school, and I made a few suggestions. And then I worked with them…and, within a couple of weeks, the school had heat and running water. For the first time ever. Now that was something worth doing.
“Then I came back here, back to Baltimore, back to the business,” my friend continued, “and I looked around and I wondered. What’s the point of any of this? You know, it’s all just blah, blah, blah, blah. Nothing I’m doing here means anything. None of it amounts to anything…”
My friend isn’t in the construction business. That’s just been an interest since he was a young man. My friend is a very successful businessman, a publisher. He’s built a big and still growing global publishing operation that employs thousands of people. He’s traveled all over, seen most of what there is to see. He’s raised a family. Now he’s looking around the world with a revised perspective. And he’s seeing his place in it a little differently.
I don’t think he’s going to walk away just yet from the responsibilities of his post. But, after a lifetime of focused and disciplined effort and long hours behind a desk, my friend is recognizing the appeals of a very different way of life.
“I’ll never ‘retire,'” he explained, “but, boy, I sure did enjoy my time down there in Argentina…”
Your new life overseas, in retirement or otherwise, can be whatever you’d like it to be. It can be familiar and comfortable. Options for that exist, established expatriate communities where the folks who migrate there import their lifestyle with them, down to the bridge clubs and the televised weekend sporting events.
Or it can be a dramatic reinvention, the chance to embrace a lifestyle or an adventure you’ve rarely dared allow yourself to daydream about.
What would you like your retirement overseas to look like?
Imagine it. Then go find it.
This will be the starting point for the discussions we’ll host with readers joining us for this year’s Retire Overseas Conference. In Nashville this August, we’ll spend three days with those assembled helping them to imagine their new lives overseas…and then showing them where and how to make their retire overseas dreams come true.
Already, more than 150 readers are registered for this once-a-year, one-of-a-kind event. We expect a sellout crowd. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.
Continue reading: Dividing Your Time Between Cuenca, Ecuador, And Medellin, Colombia