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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.
Sign up to Fund Your Life Overseas today, and we'll send you your FREE report Fund Your New Life Overseas With These 6 Portable Careers
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Sihanoukville wasn’t on Joe Royle’s list of semi-retirement destinations when he came to Southeast Asia looking for a new life in 2005. In fact, he didn’t even know that Sihanoukville, a beach town of 250,000 some 140 miles southwest of Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, even existed.
“There was a hole there. There was no place to get good bacon and eggs,” says Andrew, who explains that there are many other opportunities in León for quick-thinking entrepreneurs. “There’s still very little here. So anybody who has a big idea— it’ll work.” His investment of $5,000 got things off the ground. And although there were some struggles in the beginning—he had no previous restaurant experience and the local bureaucracy proved tough to navigate until he hired a local accountant—his business has taken off.
If you are working an average job in the U.S., you might be just like I was a few years ago. I was working a 9-to-5 desk job at a bank, spending what little daylight hours I had running errands, cooking and cleaning up, and preparing for it all to start over again. Like most people, I had a yearning for adventure deep in the pit of my stomach, and didn’t know how to “fix” it.
My profession has taken me all across the world, experiencing unique journeys…attending world famous events…and meeting fascinating people. And I got paid to do it. I have rung in the New Year at Hogmanay in Edinburgh, danced up a storm at Seville’s April Fair, and was awed by the beauty of Buddha’s birthday celebrations in South Korea. I have ridden camels through the Sahara desert, liberated baby sea turtles in Mexico and swam with sharks in Belize.
For every substantial, bricks-and mortar business set up by an expat overseas, there are hundreds of small enterprises that people operate from their own homes with very little investment. Within a year of starting their micro-enterprise overseas, Jim and Mariellen Wiemann are making a profit and supplementing their retirement income. “The business allows us to purchase the things we might otherwise not have. We are planning some vacations abroad, and the business will support those adventures,” says Jim.
When I asked my Facebook pals what they liked most about working for themselves I expected to get answers about no stressful commute, no office politics and other annoyances they had left behind. Instead the replies looked like this:• “Having customers from around the world; I never realized I could be a global entrepreneur.”
At first it just happened by chance, but it was the best thing that ever happened to someone struggling to survive in a foreign land. A $47,000 investment (down payment and closing costs) in the year 2000 to purchase a 750-square-foot apartment in Le Marais, Paris has resulted in the ownership of five properties valued at almost $3.5 million in today’s market. I was living in the apartment as a rental for the first two years, then the owners wanted to sell…but, I simply couldn’t bear to leave it and spent nine months figuring out how to buy it. That was just the beginning.
The words jumped out at me from the email on my screen. “We have an emergency! We need your help!” At that moment I was on vacation in Mexico with my husband. When I worked in a corporate job, seeing an email like this while on vacation would have made me nervous. But not this time.
I purchased my first rental property in the ski resort village of Whistler, BC, Canada, when I was 23-years-old with a very small down payment. At the time, I was working as reservations manager for a property management company so I had first-hand knowledge of the strong returns that could be achieved through rentals. Over the following eight years, I proceeded to buy, renovate, rent short-term, and ultimately sell nine Whistler properties.
I stood in the window of my apartment in Lucca, Italy, concentrating on painting the scene below. The narrow street was filled with the usual locals who were doing their daily marketing and stopping briefly in a centuries-old church to light a candle. As I tried to capture this slice of life on canvas, I looked out to see a pair of tourists aiming their camera at me—the artist in the window above. Once the shutter clicked, they smiled and waved and I waved back. But my own smile was followed by warm satisfaction that I was living a dream: spending several months in Italy so as to really experience the culture and become part of the fabric of local life.
It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas. If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on. Your interests can turn into a career that you love…
They thought we were crazy. My wife and I announced to friends and family that we were moving cross country—from Utah to Florida. To them it was unexpected. And it was. We decided to move on a whim, after all. Within just a few short months, we were on the road. And 2,200 miles later we finally arrived in sunny Florida. There’s a good reason I’m telling you this. One that may help you fund your own future adventures.
The tourism market in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle is heating up fast—and expat hostel owners are setting up shop and cashing in. For decades, the Coffee Triangle—referred to locally as El Eje Cafetero—has been a favorite vacation spot for Colombians. But an increasing number of foreign tourists are descending on the region, too.
When we hear “tutoring job,” we often picture an underpaid, but hardworking person trying to make some side income while finishing their studies. Guess what? We’re wrong. In the U.S., tutoring is a $7-billion-ayear industry, according to the education research company EduVentures. That is more than what all the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip generate on an annual basis. The Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK recently published an article about “super tutors”, earning up to £1,000 (about $1,600) per hour.
I had a cute house with a backyard, a great job, a wonderful marriage, and two beautiful little boys. I was living the American dream, but it didn’t feel like it. The long hours at work meant I didn’t have time to enjoy gardening in the backyard. Our sons Diego and Dante spent more time in daycare than with us. My husband and I were once so stressed that we both forgot our wedding anniversary.
Tanya Mimbres loves food. It’s one of her top interests when she travels. A native of New Mexico, she has lived in Paris and Barcelona. But when she moved to Malaysia five years ago she felt right at home. “Lots of my friends were traveling in Asia and were a bit shocked that I hadn’t been there,” she recalls.
It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. “Jason,” my friend Brad told me. “I know you can work from anywhere in the world.” He was right. Freelance copywriters like me can make a living—and often a very good living (in excess of six-figures per year)—from just about anywhere in the world. All you need are the secrets to writing a simple sales letter, a laptop, and an Internet connection…and you’re good to go.
“And I know,” Brad said, “that you’ve never been to Thailand.”
When I first started uploading photos to an online stock agency I had no idea how it would change my life. I had stumbled on stock agencies while looking for a photo for a small design job. But once I saw how much money people were making from their photos, I realized I could do the same. A year after I started, I was making $600 a month. And my best-selling photo has now earned me more than $3,500.
My fiancé and I headed out for a double date with friends in the States recently. We were visiting Florida, and our friends wanted to get our opinion on the authenticity of a new Peruvian restaurant. It was very good and very close to the real thing…right up until the check arrived! Our half of the evening came to $70—but in Cuenca, Ecuador, our home overseas, a similar meal would have been less than $50…for all four of us.
Gliding between the jagged peaks of the French Pyrenees in my chairlift seat, I took a deep breath and tried to relax. It wasn’t the soaring height of the peaks that made me nervous, or the prospect of swishing down them on my skis. It wasn’t the weather, either—blue skies stretched from peak to peak. Nope, everything on the slopes was perfect.
The night I arrived in Mexico to start my first English-teaching job…the sky lit up with fireworks! I asked the taxi driver what holiday it was. He responded that it was not a holiday, but likely a birthday of someone in the neighborhood. Mexico likes to celebrate. I decided right then and there, I had come to the right country.
Laying under a palm tree on a tropical beach is a fantasy many people only act out during vacation or retirement. Sure, we would all love to live in paradise long before our twilight years, but, so the thinking goes, it’s far from feasible. Not so. In fact, more and more hard-working North Americans have begun to redefine their life parameters and are moving abroad to exotic locations before retirement. How? By opening businesses that support their lives abroad in the country of their dreams.
My wife is a very outgoing person. But when we moved to Costa Rica…things changed. I speak Spanish. Her? Well, she took a few semesters in college. She tried her best…but often got flustered when having a real-life conversation. So it was up to me to act as a translator and talk to everybody: the gardener, the maid, bus drivers, people on the street to get directions, our neighbors, the utility company…you get the idea.
Veronique McKenzie didn’t exactly choose to make her home in Belize…more like, Belize chose her. In her former life, Veronique was working in sales, marketing, and advertising, splitting her time between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Her job gave her the opportunity for plenty of travel…but as the years progressed, she knew she needed to make a change. She considered moving to Marseilles in France where she is originally from…but before she did that, she decided to take a vacation.
My friend Sarah Booth is a real estate investor who lives in Panama. She owns various types of property in several Latin American countries that she rents short-term to vacationers and others. These visitors come to spend a week or two…or even a month or more…in one of her seaside apartments in Mexico, or in her longer-term rental in Panama City, or in one of the casitas she has built on the grounds of her home at Playa Coronado on the coast about 70 minutes from Panama City.
We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved. I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years!
Since writing was something that I’d always loved, it seemed reasonable that it could become my ticket to traveling the world. I spent a couple of months researching the best way to get started on this new career, and then submitted my first story about Costa Rica to International Living. You can’t even imagine how excited I was when they agreed to publish it!
Bill and Carol Sansone are the envy of their friends. Acting on their passion for Italy they have gone back year after year to explore regions up and down the peninsula. Since 2005 they’ve taken six different destinations for a “test drive” in search of a future retirement home. “We’ve rented in Tuscany, Umbria, northern Lazio, Lake Como and Torino, settling into life in each locale, opting to walk or take public transit rather than drive…
My wife Suzan and I used to get dressed to go to work. No, really. Although we’re writers and have been for most of our professional lives now, there was a time when we’d have to put on the nylons and skirts and ties and slacks and sit in offices for hours on end. Flash back about 15 years. The clients we wrote for had Big Offices where they did Important Stuff that we would turn into brochures…
There is a tidal wave of opportunity coming your way… Opportunity that could pave the way quickly for your live-abroad move. In fact, whether you want to live in Cuenca, Panama City or Paris, that move could now be financially more comfortable…and you could make it with greater mental satisfaction than you might otherwise expect.
With a 16-hour work week…a month-long winter vacation…a huge number of well-paid jobs …and all the Chinese food you can eat…it’s no wonder so many people of all ages and backgrounds are heading to teach English in China. Demand for teachers is high as China is a world player and millions of college students and adults enroll in English courses to help them get better jobs.
There are communities in many parts of the world where arts and crafts are still made by hand…and markets in other parts of the world ready to pay good money for them. Bringing them together is the perfect way to create an income for yourself while enjoying a life of travel or living overseas at a lower cost than back home.
After the London house was sold, the Bryson clan moved north to rural Yorkshire and a new life. Bill’s modest goal was to earn a decent living by writing articles and books. He produced several titles on the English language, but it was his books of travel essays (like Notes from a Small Island and I’m a Stranger Here Myself) that began earning him a following and lively book sales. Today, his legions of fans eagerly await his next book without knowing what a debt of gratitude they owe to his wife.
I first visited Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast as a newlywed back in 2005. It was everything I’d read about the country and seen in pictures: White-sand beaches lined with palm trees and green-blue Pacific Ocean with jungle-covered mountains as the backdrop. And let’s not forget the wildlife. Capuchin monkeys. Three-toed sloths. And dozens of birds with vivid plumage.
Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Often that’s what I pay for accommodation when I travel. But I’m not roughing it. I’ve been in unique and unforgettable places around the world. I’ve made friends, met interesting people and learned new skills. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve cheated the system. But it’s entirely above board.
Canadian Andrew Blyth first came to León, Nicaragua, seven years ago to look after some properties his parents had purchased. The family had visited back in 2003 and fallen in love with the city. “Their eventual goal is to retire down here and open a bed and breakfast,” explains Andrew.
When David Hagerman went on business trips, he always kept a camera stashed in his briefcase. Early in the morning, well before his day’s round of meetings started, he would leave his hotel to take photos of local people and places, from women preparing bowls of noodles in busy street-side stalls to piles of brightly colored spices in bustling morning markets.
For us, the daily grind in the States had begun to require too much work for too little reward. Expenses were rising and both my wife and I had reached a level of dissatisfaction with our careers. It was time for a major change. It was time to slow down, work less, and enjoy more of life! This would not happen by accident. We made a plan. After some months of research, Ecuador emerged as the location for our next chapter. Having spent many years in Alaska…
Want to move overseas but not sure you can afford it? Good news: there are plenty of places in the world where you can live happily and comfortably on a small amount of income. Places where palm trees sway in the sunshine and where you’ll never again see snow. Sounds pretty decent, doesn’t it? But maybe you’re worried about that “small amount” of income—worried that what you have is just “too small”?
This has been quite a year. It started in January with a weekend in West Virginia riding all-terrain vehicles on the Hatfield & McCoy Trails…hand-feeding black bears…and dancing to bluegrass music. In February I drove a reindeer sleigh through a winter wonderland in Roros, Norway. I kept myself warm by sampling aquavit along the newly developed Aquavit Trail around Trondheim.
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