Retire Earlier Than You’ve Planned

Retire Early (Even If You’re Not Wealthy)

I retired when I was 49… 13 years before I’d planned.

And it wasn’t because I’d struck it rich; quite the opposite. I had an average income and moderate savings… less than most of my co-workers who stayed behind to continue working.

I was able to retire at that age for two reasons: I retired abroad, and I chose my country wisely. Financially, there’s no way I could have pulled it off otherwise.

If you think the retirement that you’ve always dreamed of is slipping away, I can guarantee you that there’s a solution.

In the end, I was shocked at how financially easy it was. For most of my adult life, I thought that retiring overseas was for the very wealthy, not for an average person like me. I first got the idea to retire abroad when I was browsing in a bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. I found a book written by a guy who had retired early and was living comfortably abroad for about US$650 per month. He was an honest writer… and a regular guy like me.

His book changed my thinking entirely.

Instead of working until I’d earned a pension large enough to live well in the United States, I realized that I could retire earlier… and still have plenty of money to live well abroad.

Instead of working until 62 as planned, I found I’d have enough to live overseas comfortably prior to age 50.

Instead of hoping for good health in my old age, I could retire when I was relatively young, fit, and able to enjoy the good life.

But it was critical that I choose the right country.

Very few countries offered a cost of living low enough to meet my needs. And of those that did, most were places I didn’t want to live… places that were cheap enough, but didn’t offer the comfortable, convenient, and exciting lifestyle that I was hoping for.

But one country fit the bill… with room to spare:


In fact, it exceeded my expectations in every way.

I had hoped to find a decent house at a reasonable price. But instead, the proceeds from my small A-frame in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, bought me a beautiful home of over 5,100 square feet… in the best neighborhood of Ecuador’s most beautiful city.

I expected low property taxes on that home… but was amazed to find that they were less than US$200 per year.

I wanted to save on utilities… but was taken aback by the huge savings that come with a climate that doesn’t require heat or air conditioning.

I had hoped for a country with abundant natural beauty and diversity. And again, Ecuador exceeded my expectations, with staggering Andean peaks… magnificent colonial cities… hundreds of miles of Pacific coastline… the Amazon rainforest… the Galapagos Islands.

And most critically of all, I needed a low cost of living. I had a small nest egg and a small pension that needed to stretch more than 30 years.

Here, again, Ecuador exceeded my expectations. I had allowed for what seemed like a small budget… but ended up spending even less. In fact, I even managed to add to my savings, which was the biggest surprise of all.

In Ecuador, I found that there’s a rich lifestyle available for every income level. A couple settling in a small town in this country can live on around US$700 per month. In a rural setting, two of my close friends are living on less than US$600 per month.

If you’d be happier in Ecuador’s most beautiful colonial city–with its theater, orchestra, art shows, restaurants, and cafes–you can do that starting at US$1,100 per month.

To put this in perspective, over 36 million retired Americans over 65 are receiving Social Security. Their average payment is US$1,233 per month.
So who can live in Ecuador on a Social Security check? Almost everyone.

And what’s amazing is that you’ll do more than just live. You’ll live well… a wealthy and enriching lifestyle that just wouldn’t be possible back home.

But best of all, you’ll have the experience and adventure of a lifetime.

When I retired to Ecuador, things were different. It was a lot of work back then. I covered the country from top to bottom in a rental car–with very limited Spanish–exploring unknown regions via poorly marked roads.

Working with the Ecuadorian officials, I had to figure out how to get a residency visa from scratch.

I wanted to learn Spanish but had no idea which language schools were any good, among hundreds that were marketing their programs.

After picking my city, I had to find an honest real estate agent, and navigate a disorganized market with no Multiple Listing Service. It was every agent for himself, with me at their mercy.

After selecting a home, I didn’t know an English-speaking attorney. I had to go to the U.S. embassy to try to find one.

And hardest of all, I didn’t know anyone who lived in Ecuador… no one who had already done this, who I could ask for help.

In other words, I didn’t just drop into a paradise, like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz.”

But you can.

You can land in Ecuador and hit the ground running with your new life in front of you.

That’s the clear-cut objective of the new Live and Invest in Ecuador Conference program that I’ve worked to put together. Over three days in Ecuador this October, I’m going to condense and share all my months of effort and years of experience in this country… along with that of dozens of our top local contacts, resources, experts, and expats.

You’ll come away knowing everything and everyone you need to know to realize your own adventure in Ecuador.

Here’s my personal promise: Whatever you decide to do in Ecuador, it will be the adventure of your lifetime. And I am not exaggerating when I tell you that you can seize this adventure even if your retirement budget is very small. Even if it’s no more than a monthly Social Security check.

Complete details of the Live and Invest in Ecuador program will be released very soon. I very much hope to meet you there.

Lee Harrison


Continue Reading: Overseas In 52 Days

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