The Who, What, And Where Of Our 2012 Overseas Conference

Real Expats…Real Help

I’ve been hosting conferences on living, retiring, investing, and doing business overseas for more than two decades. This one is different.

This event, our second Retire Overseas Conference, just added to our events calendar for 2012, will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 30-May 2. And it will cover the whole world…the Americas, Europe, Asia…

We’re targeting 20 countries in particular, but we’ll be discussing many others of interest, as well…all the world’s top retirement havens.

Two important things make this different from any other conference I’ve hosted in more than 20 years of putting on these kinds of events and very different from any similar conference put on by anyone else, as well.

First, the panel of experts we’ve invited to join us on stage over the three days of this event isn’t made up of editors and travel writers. These experts are expats. The countries we’re featuring on this program will be represented by expats who have spent time living in them. What good to hear from a travel writer passing through on a two-week tour…or an editor who spends most of his or her time sitting behind a desk? What can a Stateside editor tell you about life overseas?

Very little.

Nothing wrong with being an editor or a travel writer (that’s how I started out). But those aren’t the folks you want to hear from when making a decision as to where in the world to relocate for your retirement. When the rubber meets the road, and you’re deliberating among your best options for where to go and what to do when you get there, you need advice and intelligence from others who’ve been there and done that.

The experience of passing through a place for a research trip is nothing like the experience of living there. And living in a place is not the same as starting a business in that place. Etc.

So, for this one-of-a-kind event we’re planning now in Scottsdale late April, we’ll introduce you to folks with firsthand experience in each of the places we’ll be discussing, firsthand experience living there, opening bank accounts, establishing residency, seeking medical care, making friends, renting apartments, buying property, renovation and furnishing houses, sending their children to school, running businesses, making a living…

Lief and me you know. Lief had lived in Argentina, Kazakhstan, and Chad before his path crossed mine (no, those last two won’t be on the agenda in Scottsdale). Together, Lief and I have been living, running businesses, and raising children overseas for more than 14 years, in Ireland, Paris, and now Panama City.

In other words, we’ve got a fair amount of experience in this arena. But we know others with more.

Joining us in Scottsdale, for example, I’m very pleased to be able to report, will be Paul and Vicki Terhorst. Paul and Vicki are longtime friends. They’re also an expat duo that’s been “retired” overseas for three decades (since the very early retirement age of 35) and that SmartMoney magazine called the “George and Martha Washington of cashing out.” Paul and Vicki are the first ones Lief and I go to with our own live- and retire-overseas questions. They’ve lived in Paris, Mexico, Argentina, and Thailand, and they’ve enjoyed extended stays in dozens of other countries all over the world. Paul and Vicki have agreed to defer their next adventure a little so that they can be in Scottsdale with us late April. Following our Retire Overseas event, they’ll be heading off to China with the intention of spending the next couple of years on that side of the world.

Also in Scottsdale with us, again, I’m really delighted to be able to say, will be Lee Harrison. About a decade ago, Lee also took early retirement (at the age of 49). Rather than continuing his climb up the corporate ladder, Lee decided it was time to move down south. He and his wife Julie relocated from New York initially to Cuenca, Ecuador. With that move, a new world of opportunity opened up for Lee and Julia, and they have since launched further “retirement” adventures on the coasts of Brazil and Uruguay and, most recently, in Medellin, Colombia (where they’ll be Lief and my part-time neighbors).

Lucy Culpepper is a British expat who has lived, with her husband and two school-aged children, briefly, in Merida, Mexico; San Jose, Costa Rica; and El Valle, Panama. This wandering clan has made longer-term homes in Spain and France, because, as they finally realized, developing-world living wasn’t for them. They much prefer Continental life, and Lucy will be in Scottsdale with us to tell you why.

Italy will be well-represented, as well, by another British expat, Nikki Di Girolamo, resident in Abruzzo for the past 15 years.

Helping Paul and Vicki to present current top options in Asia will be another husband-and-wife expat team Wendy and David Justice, who have spent the past seven years in Asia, especially Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Other expats who will join us for these three days of panel discussions, workshops, Q&A, and feature presentations include Mike Cobb, eight years resident in Managua, Nicaragua, with his young family…

Phil Hahn, part-time resident and full-time property developer in Belize

Jay Snyder, part-time resident and full-time business-owner in Granada, Nicaragua

Andrew Goodman, British expat currently living in Brazil with his family…

Marc Talon from Mexico…


The bunch of us will take turns taking the stage to introduce you to the current best options and opportunities for living better, retiring well, raising a family, making a living, maybe making your fortune…all around the world.

And we’ll all, you have my word on it (and this is the second way that this event is unique), take the stage sans rose-colored glasses. Those of us who own them will leave them at home.

Sure, we’ll show you (with the help of photo galleries, videos, and other presentations) just how beautiful, delightful, welcoming, interesting, charming, historic, and adventure-filled every one of the countries we’ll be featuring can be.

But we’ll spend at least as much time helping you to see and understand the challenges involved with making a move to any one of them, as well. No, it’s not easy to retire overseas. I’d say that anyone who tells you otherwise has probably never attempted it.

It’s not always easy, but it’s way easier when you’re prepared for the hurdles and hassles ahead.

Pluses and minuses. Advantages and downsides. Warts and all. That’s our motto.

If you’re considering making a move overseas, to launch a new life, to realize the retirement you’ve dreamt of for decades, to raise a family, to start a business, to make some money, you want to be in Scottsdale with us late April.

Kathleen Peddicord

Retire Overseas Conference Banner