Live From Scottsdale—Pre-Breakfast Legal Roundtable…Earning A Living Anywhere In The World…Plus Vicki Terhorst Strips Bare
“I thought it’d be just me and him, staring at each other for an hour,” remarked the friendly IT expert here in Scottsdale who has been recording every presentation throughout our Retire Overseas Conference this week. He looked up with a smile to greet me as I came into the room about 7:45 a.m. to prepare for my first session this morning.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he continued, “but, when I arrived at 6:15, there were a couple of dozen people here already, waiting for Joel to start…”
He was referring to Joel Nagel’s sunrise legal roundtable. Joel offered to add the pre-breakfast session to the program because he was concerned that, otherwise, he wouldn’t have time to field all the questions he was getting from conference attendees wanting to know more about banking offshore, managing and mitigating their tax burden as an Americans abroad, and protecting their assets through global diversification. Serious stuff for that time of the morning…
We commenced the formal part of today’s program with a panel made up of Lief Simon, Mike Cobb, and Lucy Culpepper, who led a discussion on options and opportunities for starting a business and earning an income in your new situation overseas. Lief, Mike, and Lucy, each of whom has spent a decade or more running various businesses in various parts of the world, gave the assembled group a couple of dozen business ideas, at least, each an example based on some personal experience.
The most obvious way, in today’s world, to earn an income overseas is via some laptop-based activity. Become a writer, a photographer, or a consultant, and your business is 100% portable. This is also the easiest way to generate an income almost immediately. Very little lead time can be required.
The most turn-key way to go into business in another country is with the help of a franchise. Lief and Lucy spoke about their recent personal experiences building web-based franchise businesses, Lief in Panama, Lucy in Spain.
The most difficult way to start a business in a foreign country is the old-fashioned way. Setting up a bricks-and-mortar operation in another country (a restaurant, a wine store, a messenger service, a spa, a bakery, a pet grooming shop, an auto-repair shop, etc., each of these a business started by an expat we know somewhere in the world) takes time and some start-up capital. On the other hand, starting a local retail business can be a great way to connect with your new community while filling a local market niche.
Next on stage were Lief Simon and Vicki Terhorst, our two international health insurance experts. Lief spoke about choosing between local and international insurance…and Vicki spoke about going naked. In fact, Vicki delighted the audience with a strip tease, showing us all how she and her husband Paul stripped themselves of their health insurance over a matter of years following their retirement overseas. Vicki and Paul figure they’ve saved more than US$250,000 by not paying for medical insurance all these years since. That money they’ve set aside to create a medical emergency fund that, in the parts of the world where they spend their time (primarily, right now, Asia) will go very, very far toward covering any emergency medical expenses.
The final panel of our program–Lief, Lee Harrison, and Paul Terhorst–spent the next hour walking the group through everything they need to know to organize their administrative and financial lives as retirees and investors overseas. Virtual IPs, pay-as-you-go cell phones, VOIP systems, brokerage accounts with debit cards, exchanging currency on the official versus the unofficial (that is, black) markets, accessing cash, transferring money, getting a local driver’s license, choosing local car insurance, shipping a car (don’t), shipping household belongings, setting up a Checkbook IRA, reducing ATM fees, local bank accounts, private bank accounts, corporate bank accounts…
Enough to make your head swim but much more easily addressed with the benefit of the dozens of tips and secrets Lief, Lee, and Paul shared with the group this morning.
This afternoon, expats from Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Ireland will showcase current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing in their respective countries. I’m looking forward to it.
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