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Best 20 options ~ The Plan cont.

Paradise found…times 20. Adventure. Family. Exploration. Living. http://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/kits/how-to-retire-overseas-kit-2/


The Plan continued….

Costa Rica: A Tropical Paradise You Can Call Home http://internationalliving.com/2012/09/costa-rica-a-tropical-paradise-you-can-call-home/


MAUI.  Nuff said.

Ginny and I have spent two fantastic getaways there. First one thanks to Kim and her frequent flyer miles and my b&b savvy search. Free airfare and $59 per night on our honeymoon….hold your applause, please. Blessed were these two. Five years later, still blessed, but able to fly, stay, and play in style. Loved both getaways. But, the first came with all 1st’s, including blowing our 1st night budget at Momma’s Fish House, the stinky cheese incident, amazing drives, beach discoveries, the timeshare tour during the week’s only rain, and the free luau @ the Marriott for our time…where I pretended to be Austrailian for the dining crowd….rum is a funny thing. But, I really digress.

Hawaii is wonderful. And worth the trip. And…it’s expensive too.

As of today, my long gone plan to live there is really long gone.  An old chap who lived there over the last 30 years just sealed this deal. As passed on by http://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com email to thier followers, this fellow is now living for a small fraction of what his Hawaiian life cost before the move. 

Belize. Panama. Ecuador. All are very attractive, proven safe in ex-pats havens, and offer a remarkable quality of life for families and couples after the coop is empty.  Why wait until your too old, responsible, safe, or settled to try something out of the American box?  Answer: We won’t.

It’s no fun watching most of your parents waste away. It’s no fun watching healthy friends waste away in consumption of material goods, spoiling thier children in oblivious ways, and planning “thier number” for retiring someday. Ick. And, btw, the social security trust fund is officially projected to be bankrupt 5 years before my IOU comes due. Hmmm. How about living lean, having fun, and staying so active that retiring is never a thought…just living.  Really living.

Fun facilitator (uber-concierge), Realtor networker, SCUBA shop marketer, even a bartender….all chatty challenges that beat any desk job or corporate ladder. And I plan to do them all…maybe some at the same time. Wherever we land will be packaged, marketed, and sold to a worldwide market of GenX and Baby Boomers, then comes GenY too, who are stumped about thier future life…one to enjoy much sooner than America allows over the next few decades.

This America is led by fiscal fools. It’s time to look, research, plan, and go where today’s real “hope and change” really exists.

Think about an ideal place to live, the ideal budget, and what you REALLY need. Get out of the American box mindset and take control of what lies ahead. It’s liberating even before we ever get started.

THE PLAN continues…..

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2012/07/31/how-to-choose-where-to-retire-overseas ….timely info via #KathleenPeddicord of #InternationalLiving



Paradise in Panama…

htt http://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/panama/los-islotes.html?sc=ool-8-1-12


The Plan

Forget the old “best laid plans…” adage.  We need a plan. 

My most original plan, as a kid, was to be an airline pilot or FBI agent. Neither happened and life was good. Next plan, get our family’s 1st college degree and live it up. Got the degree but married way too young, in that process. Life was good, thanks to two little girls.  Planned to marry once and live happily….blah, blah, blah….never happened. Wife #2 makes me feel like #1 never existed sometimes. Unconditional love will do that. Planned to have the normal 2.3 kids, as demographics forecast.  Nope. We have 4 and all are good-looking and smart. Go figure. Career “plans” are a moving target. Took chances that paid off big and others flopped miserably. Best laid plans, you know. Really. We need a plan. 

We need a plan for the next big thing. Here goes….but, a little backstory, please…  

The next four years are a time that our two young ladies enjoy & complete their undergraduate experience, where each have earned full scholarships to a great, private university, and each will be off to do whatever they dream to do someday.  Why should their parents be any different?  The same years see our little guys heading fast towards the most challenging, awkward, and dysfunctional time of life (okay, not including middle-age years)…their middle-school years. Isn’t a real adventure just perfect for these years?  I digress. We need a plan. 

Weeks of googling, reading, linking, and a little networking tell me one thing….there are much more adventurous and positive places for these two parents to raise two future, interesting, and considerate men.  Too much technology, toys, and Jones-ing influences here for us to battle. We need simple, much like our downtown life…but even better. Simple. Beautiful. Cheap. And the easiest pleasures are opportunities right out the door at a nice beach, the little school house, that ancient church, and the food pantry we can help make happen.  I digress. We need a plan. 

Belize. Panama. Costa Rica. Uruguay. Even Mexico’s NW coast!  All are open and welcome ex-pats, in different ways. It’s just a proper formula of quality-of-life, cost of living, business opportunities, and security that will create our “plan” sooner than later. Belize looks great with no language barrier and an extraordinarily diverse offering of vast places to disappear and small spaces to congregate with Canadians and other North Americans…including our GenX and Boomer friends in need of a temporary or permanent getaway.  We all need that plan. 

Most informative resources to plan a plan around a plan are….





http://www.VRBO.com (for long-term rental info)

And let’s not forget Mexico Edd, who prompted me into this next-life realm about 9 months ago. You can find him and his adopted village school kids on facebook.  Very purpose-driven mission and fun fellow, indeed. He has a plan.  

Like the old infomercial mantra says, “facts tell, but stories sell”. So fitting for this plan. “live in paradise for $600 a month!”. Really?  “Modest living for only $1,000 a month”.  Getting warmer.  “live a life you always dreamed of for $2,000 or less per month”. Much better. Truth of the ex-pat life is that you can live in beautiful places for much less than here, Florida, California, and almost anywhere in America that’s worth living. It’s just a fact. We need a plan. 

How do we get there?  We slash and save. Gin was serious or joked about living like college kids. Fine.  Bring it on. I know the figure we need and we can have it ready in four years. Slash and save is the challenge now.  Plus, we sell everything we cannot take in material goods and give away anything that’s left. 4-5 years of new life expenses are what we need to save.  Creating new business ventures, connecting with local entrepreneurs, and/or finding partner businesses stretch our budgeted savings even farther.  Two smart sales pros & marketers like these two parents can figure out how to generate $1,000 or more month and make that savings go farther, up to 10-15 years!  Then, if the U.S. government still exists…we’ll have our pre-funded, taxpayer retirement every month, as promised…..maybe.  (Truth be told…the collapse of our federal government is possible, if we run up $20t to $25trillion in debt with $1trillion+ interest due every year.  Makes a 3rd world country look strong).  We need this plan. 

The plan is so simple. Love. Live. Plan. Slash. Save. Plan. Sell. Prepare. Convert. Plan. Move. Live. Love. And, Ginny’s favorite….Engage…while living and loving. 

Join us, won’t you?


Dream BIG!

Watching The Open now.  The British isles are beautiful and offer a tremendous opportunity.  Just like North America. However, let’s look towards the Carribean.  Much bigger upside there. Thinking Belize, Ecuador, Panama, Uruguay, or Costa Rica.  Check them out.  Your Paradise Found

It’s just a matter of time….

And here’s great advice from someone who knows how to live big…

By Susan Haskins of International Living –

“My husband Dan Prescher and I recently celebrated 10 years of living the expat life. We’ve lived in seven different locations (in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Ecuador) and spent considerable amounts of time in many, many more—especially Belize and Costa Rica.

Believe me, we’ve learned a lot in the past decade!

Importantly, we’ve learned that it’s impossible to compare and contrast the merits or disadvantages of entire countries.

Years ago we’d talk confidently about the benefits of Mexico versus Ecuador…or Panama versus Costa Rica. But we’re finding that we don’t do that too much these days.

It’s not because there aren’t differences between entire countries… there are obvious and, sometimes, major ones. The visa choices and requirements of Belize may be a better match for you than those of Nicaragua. Panama’s tax laws may meet your needs better than those of Costa Rica right now.

But when it comes to quality of life—which is, after all, the thing that most people are looking for when they think about retiring or living abroad—Dan and I find that comparing countries is far too difficult.

For instance, in the last couple of years, Dan and I have thought a lot about the locales we’d most consider as a place to really call home… at least for a while. We’ve talked about what countries we like, but we have been much more dialed in on specific locations within those countries.

When we decided on Cotacachi, Ecuador as a home base, it was only partly because it was in Ecuador, one of our favorite countries. It was more because of what Cotacachi itself offered… peace and quiet, a very interesting and colorful culture, safety and security, an extremely low cost of living and—for us—the perfect climate… not too hot and not too cold. All of these things mattered far more than what Ecuador itself offered as a country.

When you approach the idea of living overseas, you naturally start from a country level, but if you do your research well, you inevitably sharpen your focus on specific locations.

Laidback Lake Living or Coasting on the Caribbean?

Take Costa Rica… with a bit of research it’s easy to see why it’s a wonderful place to live and retire. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful and diverse country—truly a place with something for everyone, whatever your lifestyle needs or desires. And health care there is among the best (and most affordable) in the world.

But once you’re determined that Costa Rica is the place for you, then you need to drill down and figure out where to live… In a country as diverse as Costa Rica, this can be tough. Perhaps you’d prefer the gorgeous laid-back lake country of Arenal…or the urban convenience of the Central Valley…or the tropical splendor of the newly opened southern coast near Ojochal…or even the adventure of the Caribbean coast.

Same with Ecuador or Mexico… are you after the size and excitement of a city like Quito or lively Puerto Vallarta? Or are you after small-town village life in a place like Cotacachi or Ajijic?

Maybe you’re a surfer… In that case, you might set your sights on Ecuador’s Pacific coast near Salinas or Mexico’s Pacific Coast state of Oaxaca. Scuba divers might want to check out Tulum on Mexico’s Riviera Maya…or even go farther south to Belize.

Like many of our friends and fellow writers for International Living, Dan and I have been lucky enough to live in or near many of these locations long enough to have made the jump from being tourists to being locals. That’s why you’ll often find us writing about specific locations within countries rather than the countries themselves.

Your quality of life can vary enormously from the west side of Mexico to the east, from the north of Nicaragua or Belize to the south, even from one neighborhood of Quito, San Miguel de Allende, or Panama City to the other.

Assessing exactly what you’re looking for as a potential expat, then getting past the “Europe vs. Latin America” stage to the “Ecuador vs. Panama” stage and well beyond—to pinpointing a specific location that matches your requirements, will not only save you time and effort, it will focus your thinking on what’s most important to you.

A final tip: Taking advantage of the experience offered by those who actually live in the specific locations you’re considering is a great way to get the kind of boots-on-the-ground intelligence you need to make those decisions. Ask probing questions, listen to their advice, and look before you leap.”

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