No Right Reason, No Best Time…
“We’d been talking about moving to Panama for a couple of years. I decided the time was right. Our kids were off at college. I was ready to leave my marketing and PR position in California. I wanted to start the adventure we’d been dreaming about for so long.
“I approached my husband to say, ‘It’s time. Let’s go for it!’
“He told me that he’d decided he didn’t want to move to Panama. Instead, he wanted to get a divorce.
“So we got a divorce. And I was faced with figuring out what to do on my own.
“I came to Panama anyway,” explained my new friend Friday evening. “I haven’t looked back, and I’m having the time of my life.”
Our Intrepid Correspondent Paul Terhorst took early retirement and began his overseas adventures more than 20 years ago because the accounting firm he was working for decided to pull him out of Argentina. He and his wife had grown to like Buenos Aires, where Paul’s firm had assigned him a couple of years earlier. When his superiors told him the BA posting was over, he told them his retirement had begun.
Another friend took early retirement about seven years ago, when the engineering firm he was working for was bought out by a larger one. He saw the corporate restructuring as a chance for a bigger change. Instead of moving up the company ladder, he and his wife moved down south, to Cuenca, Ecuador.
Why did we settle in Waterford, Ireland, a dozen years ago? I was relocated to Ireland by the company I was working for at the time. But why Waterford specifically?
Because my then brand-new husband was considering investing in a real estate development just outside that city. That project didn’t pan out, but, meantime, the choice had been made and Waterford became our home.
Why, seven years later, did we begin spending time in Paris? Because our daughter suggested it. She was interested in studying in France, so we took the opportunity for a family sojourn on the Continent.
Why now Panama? Because it’s perhaps the best jurisdiction in the world right now for starting a new business.
There are no right or wrong reasons for picking yourself up and heading off into the great unknown of a new life in a new country. And your reasons don’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
Sometimes life takes you by the collar and pulls you along. Sometimes it waits for you to create your own momentum.
I say again, there is no best place and there is no right time.
So here’s what you do: You do something right now.
If your life’s circumstances aren’t conspiring to pull you in the direction of new horizons, get yourself up to start chasing them.
“But…but…but,” you may be thinking.
What’s holding you back? You’re worried you can’t afford it? I’ll show you in these pages that you could retire and live well in Cuenca, Ecuador, on as little as US$660 per month or in Salto, Uruguay, on as little as US$1,100 per month.
Worried it’ll be a lot of hassle and work? You’re right. It will be. It’s easier to stay put and to do nothing. But where would that leave you at the end of the day? What stories would you have to tell? What adventures to remember?
Don’t like the idea of moving far from your children or grandchildren? Don’t. Try Panama or Mexico. A new life in either of these countries would put you no farther from your loved ones than would a move to Oregon, say, or southern California. You (and they) could even drive to Mexico for visits.
Generally scared to death? What are you afraid of? That your new life won’t work out as you hope and expect? So what? You could always return home.
Or move on. Again, there’s no “right” place, and trying different places on for size is part of the fun.
Maybe it is the fun.
On the other hand, maybe you’re not worried your retire overseas plans might fail. Maybe you’re worried they’ll succeed.
Where would that leave you?
I can’t imagine. But you can.