“Who should be thinking about retiring to a new country?” wondered the Money magazine editor who interviewed me recently.
“That is,” she continued, “who, really, should consider this idea? Surely it’s not for everyone…”
Selling everything you own… packing up or giving away every possession… buying a plane ticket for some foreign country… and then showing up and trying to build a whole new life there…
Leaving your family, your friends, your home, everything comfortable and familiar… and dropping yourself inside a new city or a new community where people probably speak a different language and where everything else will be different, as well?
Who would do that? Why would anyone do that?
You know the big-picture reasons to consider this big idea. My team and I do our best to remind you of them every day. Plus, you have your own, personal reasons, I’m sure, for considering taking this leap and launching a new life in a new country.
But is this adventure really for you?
I’d say the fact that you’re considering the notion of retiring to another country gives you part of the answer to that question. Because considering the idea means you possess at least one of the two qualities you need to make a success of this…
That is: open-mindedness.
This world is a big, interesting place full of opportunities and options, but it’s not all rainbows and roses. Bad things happen… are happening… will continue to happen. Maybe worse things are on the way.
We aren’t ostriches. We recognize all that. But, here at Live and Invest Overseas, we choose to focus on the potential and the promise all around us, rather than the problems and the trouble.
We choose to recognize that, no matter what experiences we’ve enjoyed to date, we don’t know everything… and we’re always curious to know more. We have our ideas… now we’d like to be introduced to some other ideas, from other folks in other parts of the world. How do they do things? In what activities and pursuits do they invest their time? How do they invest their money? What can we learn from them?
If you share that way of looking at the world (and I’d bet you do, as you’ve taken the step to sign yourself up to read these dispatches each day), then I’d say that, yes, a new life overseas could be everything you’re imagining it might be.
What’s the second quality you need to make a go of this?
A sense of humor.
Your open mind will lead you to new and interesting places and experiences. It will allow you to reinvent your life completely (if that’s what you’d like to do) and to make discoveries that, today, you probably can’t imagine.
Some will amount to the greatest, grandest adventures and the most fun of your lifetime.
Others will frustrate you, intimidate you, concern you, confound you, even conspire to drive you out of your mind. Some days, enjoying the new life in paradise you dreamt about for so long, your patience will be tried and your fuse will be short.
Those days, when nothing makes sense and no one is around to help, what will you do?
You’ll make a choice. Either you’ll moan and groan, rant and rave, and wonder what’s wrong with all these so-and-so’s you’re now living among… why don’t they understand that they’re doing things, approaching things, and living life all wrong?!
Or you’ll smile. You’ll chuckle. You’ll remember that rainbows require rain and that nowhere is perfect. You’ll remind yourself of the big-picture reasons why you made this leap in the first place, of all the advantages you’re enjoying living where you’re now living.
And you’ll laugh.
It’s that decision, which you’ll face again and again and again, maybe every day, that will determine the ultimate outcome of your personal retire overseas adventures.
If you can choose to find the absurdities and the chaos around you interesting and charming, rather than maddening and blood-pressure elevating, you’re golden.
This article was originally published in August 2018, and has been recently updated