Live And Invest Overseas Conferences Make Live And Retire…

How Darren And Wendy Are Making Their Live Overseas Dreams Come True

Five days ago, on Sept. 3, my wife and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. This is the last one we will spend in the United States, for we are on our way to Medellin, Colombia. We consider the launch of this adventure the best anniversary gift we have ever given ourselves.

My wife Wendy is 48 and has practiced law since 1991 when she graduated college. I am 49 and have spent many years as a wine and spirit wholesaler. More recently, I have worked as a financial consultant and have been trading the stock market. This is what I will continue to do to drive income for us in Colombia, while we think about other streams of income.

How do we find ourselves on the eve of launching new lives in a new country at these relatively young ages?

It all started in the fall of 2011 when we attended a Live and Invest Overseas conference in Orlando. Our main motivator for considering a move, frankly, was climate. We had been looking for a better climate than where we were living at the time in northern Illinois. At first, we looked in the United States, but then we realized that to live in a place that had the weather we wanted, we would have to take a cut in our standard of living. So we began looking outside the United States. That was what led us to the Live and Invest Overseas conference.

When we arrived for the event, we were excited about Belize, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, but had wide-open minds and were willing to consider anything, anywhere. Wendy was reluctant to take vacation time to sit in a conference rather than playing in Orlando, but it was a great decision for us. It was at this conference that we got our first taste of Colombia.

Before I continue with our Colombia story, I want to take a minute to say something about the conference itself. And I want you to know that Live and Invest Overseas has not persuaded me to say this. I asked for the chance to say this because I want anyone else out there thinking about making a move like the one we’re making to understand this. The Live and Invest Overseas conferences are simply amazing.

At the event in Orlando, while our heads were spinning with questions, facts, ideas, dreams, and investments, we were also getting a chance to talk to people who already lived and worked in all of the countries we had ever considered. We were focused on Latin America, maybe eight countries, but at the conference we could learn about places all over the globe. Some of the speakers were natives to their countries, others were expats who had been just like us a few years earlier. We asked frank and blunt questions, and we got frank and blunt answers. Every answer led to more questions, of course, but after the conference we knew we had to do some visiting to these countries. Time to get the passports out and get boots on the ground.

We ended up attending conferences and taking extended stays in Belize, Colombia, and Ecuador. We loved all the countries, but Colombia, especially Medellin, just felt like home. We made another two-week trip to visit Medellin so we could see it at a different time of year, and we made sure to stay like we lived there instead of vacationing. We shopped and cooked and located common everyday items so we could feel like we lived there.

We didn’t have time to stay longer, but we knew this was the place for us. We have always lived in small towns and loved them, but 3.5 million people in Medellin was no problem at all. Frankly we were overwhelmed by how friendly the people were. Whether they were expats or Colombians, we met many people who were willing to help us out, answer questions, give advice, and just generally be wonderful. We even had six people give us phone numbers or email addresses to contact them when we finally moved to the city so they could help us out any way that they could.

So it was an easy decision for us to choose Medellin. We got back home to Illinois, suffered through some more brutal winters and stifling, humid summers, and finally got our house sold. We started selling all of this stuff we had accumulated that we had to have at one time but that now was just in the way of our new life.

Medellin inspired us to start our new life right now, not at retirement age. Why wait when there are so many ways to make your dreams come true?

Now we are learning Spanish and buying new computers and a camera. We are still reducing our possessions every day and saving money. We have a place to stay for three months while we look for our more long-term place, and our friends in Illinois are throwing “deportation” parties for us while they make plans to come visit.

We can’t wait to start living our dream in Medellin.

If any Live and Invest Overseas reader reading this would like to get in touch with us directly, we’d welcome that. Live and Invest Overseas—Kathleen, Lief, Lauren, and all of the amazing guest speakers and associates they bring to their conferences—has impacted our lives, and we are grateful.

Now we want to help others make their dreams come true, too.

Darren Howarter

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