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No matter how affordable the destinations we talk about are, the simple fact is: You can't live anywhere for free...
But what if you had an income that went with you? An income that could give you the freedom you need to just pick up and go?
You could spend half the year in your own cottage on the beach… work in the mornings and snorkel and relax in the afternoons. Maybe spend the other half of the year up in the mountains where it's cool... and get paid while you're at it...
With this kind of flexibility, it doesn't matter where you're based. That means you can travel whenever you feel like it. You could rent a place in Paris or Buenos Aires for a month or two of vacation, work from home a few days a week and spend the rest of your time enjoying the city...
You could earn an income from back home while you go live someplace where the cost of living is much more affordable. That way you put dollars in your pocket, but you spend in a place where those dollars really stretch.
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Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings.
Every morning, I wake up and head straight for the rooftop. At 32 stories high, my building is the perfect vantage point from which to check the closest surf break. If there’s no swell coming up, I go downstairs, fire up my computer, and get to work. If there is, well…it looks like I’m not working that day.
As I tapped away at my battered laptop that morning, sitting outside my beach hut, it came to me that I was living the dream. This was it—and I was doing it! I was living the freelance lifestyle. It was so perfect it was almost a cliché: I had just been for a long walk on the beach, followed by a breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and muesli delivered to my hut, and there I was, dressed in a bikini and a sarong, sitting in a hammock strung between two palm trees, typing away.
A symphony of monks chanted as we sat kneeling on the grass. I held the wire rim of my enormous cylindrical paper lantern and waited for the cue. Finally, in one synchronized movement, a sea of hands—belonging to individuals from countless countries and cultures—let go.
My best friend from high school saves $84 a month because I live and work in Ecuador. My sister slashed her dental bills. And I recently discovered a way for family members to double the value of their cell phones…
These days, anyone can get into photography. Thanks to revolutionary technology, expensive film and processing are no longer required, and a single camera is now all you need to be ready for any situation. It can do all the brain work for you and give you instant feedback.
I travel with a camera all the time. These days I make a living from photography—selling to publishers, stock agencies, and fine art clients—but even when I was in a job, I never missed the opportunity to indulge in what used to be my hobby. During early morning commutes, I captured scenic landscapes and nature close-ups throughout the four seasons. Images of ice crystals on frozen ponds and kids sledding caught my eye in winter.
When my husband and I wanted to escape the rainy Seattle winter weather in 2012, we planned a trip to South East Asia and spent a month on assignment exploring luxury resorts and spas in Bali, Indonesia. Last summer we relaxed on a luxury barge floating down the Burgundy canal, sipping French wines, visiting local villages and eating fine food along the way. And we did some other business while we were in the neighborhood—in Paris, London, and Wales (nice neighborhood!).
I love sitting on my seaside deck in the morning feeling the warm ocean breeze as I upload new shots to sell online. Most of my shots are photos I have taken during vacations and traveling. As a teenager, I dreamt of being a photographer someday, and for lots of life reasons I did not have the opportunity to pursue that dream. However, after three decades of living a normal adult life, raising children and having a regular paying office job, I decided it was time to get back to living my dreams.
I revealed the “hidden” market to about a dozen aspiring entrepreneurs recently, and they were shocked! They didn’t know this thing existed. As I’ve explained to you this week, this market is “hidden” from most people because they don’t know where to look.
When Gary and Kathryn Kelly, both in their 50s, moved to Ecuador from Sargent, Texas, in 2011, they expected this would be where they spent their retirement years. In Texas, Gary had owned a property tax management company and Kathryn worked as his executive assistant. In Ecuador, they hoped to laze away the days on the beach in front of their home…
If you are interested in buying into a franchise business but have no idea where to begin, you might start with a franchising broker, who can help match you with a suitable business. MatchPoint is a franchise broker an international network of franchise consultants operating in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
When I quit my job to travel the world for a year‚ the last thing I wanted to do was work. Well, at least not in the capacity that I used to as an editor in Manhattan. In fact‚ part of the reason I left the country was to take a break from the New York corporate rat race.
Recently, I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me on a plane. When he told me he’d been traveling on business, I asked what he did. “I have my own consulting business,” he replied proudly. “How long have you had your business?” I inquired.
Uruguay is one of the best places in the world to own a farm…and you don’t have to be a Uruguayan citizen or even a resident to buy agricultural property. While it is most famous for its grass-fed beef industry… Uruguay also has soil and climate that are ideal for growing wheat, rice, soybeans, olives, and blueberries. It is a water-rich country, minimizing the need for irrigation, and its soils are among the least degraded in the world. All Uruguay’s farmland is mapped by soil type.
Buenos dias from Costa Rica! My wife, two kids, and I currently live in the town of Atenas in the Central Valley region. We’ve been here for a touch over a year…and we love it. I established myself with a remote income before I set off. I am a partner in a small software development/consulting firm that we formed a couple years before my family and I moved abroad.
Vacation rentals are a great way for an investor to create an income overseas but, unless they’re living next door, anyone who owns a vacation rental needs someone to manage it for them. Property management is a business you can start with absolutely no investment. You are simply trading your time and effort.
If you make your money online, there are some great benefits to locating yourself in Panama. One of them is gaining residence on the basis of your economic activity. Panama welcomes expats…and if you register your business as a corporation, you can easily apply for a residence visa. Online workers may not have the same need to officially register their business—the way bricks-and-mortar entrepreneurs do—but becoming a legal resident is a good idea.
Jensen Wheeler Wolfe is a yoga instructor and “momtrepreneur” in New York City. Jensen teaches yoga to children and adults, and during one of her sessions she had an idea to make simple and colorful yoga mats for kids. She cut up a large piece of foam matting into small rectangles for the kids in her class.
You could start a business for $50. This is not a joke. Granted, you probably won’t produce thousands of dollars in profit instantly. But you will be able to start buying and selling products from anywhere in the world. You’ll also get a feel for how this business works in the real world. Today I’ll show you how entrepreneurs around the world are making money in this market right now.
China exports more than $1 trillion in goods each year. And that opens the door to an incredible opportunity for people who want to make money online. But it’s important to understand how the game is played. There is a website that has become one of the largest and most successful online marketplaces in the world.
Buy low. Sell high. That’s business at its core. It’s a plan that works. It is simply tried and true. And it’s never been easier to execute this than it is today. You can get world-class products directly from their manufacturer online, and then you can sell those products on Amazon (at astonishingly deep discounts) without ever having to deal with the product physically in your home or office.
Although my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I write a lot about retiring overseas, we’re not officially retired. We write for a living, and even after we do reach official retirement age, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t continue our work writing, editing, and traveling. We know more and more folks in the same situation. They have no intention of retiring in the traditional sense and will probably work at something well past any official retirement marker or milestone they may pass.
I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I’m even luckier to be doing it from where I’m doing it, which right now is Ecuador. I’m a writer, and I trained a long time to do this, although not really on purpose. And I never thought it would lead me overseas. My undergraduate training was in journalism. Just the facts, ma’am. Who, what, when, where, how, and why…and maybe a job at the local newspaper. (Remember newspapers?)
Figuring out how to make some extra money doing something you love is a wonderful thing. And many of my fellow expats are doing exactly that. If you’re looking for inspiration, I’d like to share some of those stories with you. In fact, we know of so many such stories that my husband Dan and I devoted an entire chapter of a new book we’ve written to this exact topic. (More about that in a moment.)
I pull back the curtains, feel the crisp refreshing air, and look out over the waterfront at the colorful buildings of this Art Nouveau town…excited about the “work” day ahead. I’m in picturesque Ålesund, Norway. This jewel-like coastal town is the gateway to Norway’s spectacular Geiranger Fjord making it the perfect base from which to explore the region—and that’s my job for the day.
For some visitors to France, a fulfilling visit consists of getting a couple of snapshots of the Eiffel Tower, dining in a classic brasserie, and bringing home a piece of France: a case of Châteauneuf du Pape or perhaps a wheel of brie.
It’s not just the freshly-ground beef burgers or the perfectly-seasoned curly fries. It’s everything else that makes walking into Big Al’s Burger Bar like stepping back home. From the warm greetings and friendly customer service to the familiar music and on-tap beer, it’s just like a burger joint in the States… except that it’s 2,000 miles away from the U.S., in the Catalan beach town of Sitges.
Cynthia West bounced through the door vibrating with the news she was about to tell her husband Robert. He listened with mounting glee as she explained her medical company’s plan to inject some younger blood into the workforce. They were offering an early retirement package—one that would give Cynthia “an avenue of escape” from her high stress, 10-hour-a-day job in Silicon Valley. She grabbed the opportunity. Though Robert, 62, was working part-time…
There is business opportunity in overseas weddings…and Costa Rica is emerging as the new place to be. It’s estimated that about 8% of U.S. weddings are held overseas, with Mexico being a perennial favorite due to its proximity and established tourist infrastructure. But Costa Rica is now rated the top destination in Latin America by wedding website TheKnot.com. With 36% of the destination weddings in the region, it’s second only to Mexico in terms of numbers…
Moving abroad is so much more than a change in location; it’s a complete shift of lifestyle. That’s what Penny and Marshall Watne have learned over the last six years in Costa Rica. Their path from North Lake Tahoe to jungle-woven Manuel Antonio was a short one. Once they achieved the idea of general success—complete with two kids and a house full of almost everything they could want—they realized they needed something different…
When Costa Rica got its start as an expat haven more than three decades ago, it was all about retirees. But over the years, the great weather, stable government, and low cost of living have also attracted those too young to retire (or those who never want to). And they’ve found plenty of ways to support themselves—and their families—while living in a tropical paradise.
When I reflect upon my lifestyle since becoming a copywriter in 2001—after 20 years in banking in Australia—I know I made the right choice. I started in banking as a clerk at 16, and worked my way up to senior management positions. When I quit my job as a commercial lending manager after 15 years, I was so stressed out from working 80-plus hours a week on multi-million dollar loan applications.
For three days now, I’ve been telling you that in Ecuador, you can have it all…but at what price? What must you give up to make a good life here? International Living is, at times, accused of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses…of overlooking the bad and omitting the blemishes. If you’ve been here in Quito the past few days, I doubt you’d agree with that.
On a beautiful morning, I was up early to watch the pale light filter through the trees as the sun rose. The forest came to life as I sat on my balcony. I sipped a cup of rich, locally grown coffee and watched the tropical birds flit through the branches in the early morning sunlight. I refreshed my coffee and settled back to enjoy the sounds of wildlife around me, while my husband slept in our room.
As I watched my fiancé fall off his surfboard for the hundredth time, my pancakes arrived. Warm and fluffy, they were so big the edges drooped over the sides of my plate. But my server was very sad and apologetic. There was no maple syrup left…anywhere in town. I’d just have to make do with the mango spread—made in-house from local, naturally-harvested fruits.
Thanks to the location independence my career provides, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of making a living from some truly amazing locations all over the world. Places like the top deck of a ferry crossing the Gulf of Thailand at sunrise…in the sleeping cabin of a night train on the way to Sapa, Vietnam…in a pub on Dublin’s Temple Bar…
Five years ago, fun-loving Canadian cowgirl Blue van Doorninck was searching for a place to put down roots. “I had been living in Vietnam, but there weren’t good opportunities to own land. And I wanted to be in the same time zone as my family. I also wanted to be in a culture more similar to my own. Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama all made my short list,” says Blue.
Are daydreams of finding a new life abroad appearing on your horizon? Do you know what steps you need to take that will ensure you’re tax-compliant—or that could even save you thousands of dollars in taxes? With the right steps, here’s what can happen for you: Barbara came to us the year before she moved abroad.
I went from a life where I was struggling financially—despite working three jobs—to one where I work “part-time” and make a great income. As a result I live wherever I want to. Right now I’m just minutes away from gorgeous sunrises on the beach. I’ve been able to pursue hobbies I’m passionate about, including ballroom dance, music, and songwriting. More importantly, this year my new income stream will fund my travels to Europe and Central America—two places I’ve been meaning to visit for quite some time now.
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How to Earn Overseas
“I cannot say that there was a single thing that I did not like about the conference.” Being the first event that I had attended I was a little apprehensive that that I may get the hard sell like these time share people but it didn’t take long to get rid of that feeling. […]Read More Testimonials