I’m a typically skeptical Canadian. If it sounds too good to be true, then it isn’t true. So when my restless husband announced that we needed to go to International Living’s Ultimate Event, I had my doubts.
Wasn’t International Living only about real estate in obscure countries, in which I had very little interest, except for the enviable fact that their citizens didn’t have to shovel snow?
So I hedged my bets. If my husband could find a flight from the Bahamas, where we were going to vacation ahead of time, to where the conference was being held, I’d go. He found a flight.
I thought we were doomed. A couple of mutt Canucks with five words of Spanish between them, probably about to be exposed to sales pitches for swampland in Colombia? We should have our heads examined. I took a deep breath and prayed.
As they say, a fool and her money are soon parted. I was determined not to be a fool.
The Ultimate Event was where I could expect attempts to be made for scamming us out of our hard-earned cash.
How wrong I was.
Good, solid, informative presentations were made on destinations, such as Ecuador: Legal Considerations for Living and Investing…and Uruguay: Keys to Immigration, Taxes, Banking and Purchasing Property, to name only two.
The speakers openly and honestly gave both the pros and the cons of the countries they discussed rather than the hard-sell stories I was expecting.
Other presentations addressed financial concerns for those thinking of leaving their home continent, such as U.S. Tax Considerations for Living, Investing and Working Overseas…and Protect your Wealth with Offshore Opportunities…and, particularly pertinent to a cowardly Canuck, Canadians Going Offshore.
A third group of sessions tackled the nitty-gritty basics of living in another country, issues that tend to stump such pragmatic and practical thinkers as myself. Presentations titled Quality Health Care at Affordable Prices…and The Hook-Up: Moving, Utilities Insurance, Finding Craftsmen and More…and even Staying Connected with Friends, Family, Bankers and Brokers left me without a leg to stand on for continuing my skepticism.
And the approachability of all the speakers, the many tables set up with displays relevant to the presentations, and the absolutely priceless opportunity to mix and mingle with people who have actually made the move to South or Central America, and had nothing to gain by giving their opinions, completely demolished my cynical point of view.
By the end of the four days, it was obvious that selling me questionable real estate was not the objective of International Living’s Ultimate Event.
So, you ask, have we bought any real estate in South America? Are we planning on moving soon? Eventually. Let’s just say that I’m far more open to it than I would have been if we hadn’t gone to the Ultimate Event.
If you want substantial and verifiable information about living or investing overseas, if you want to know the advantages and disadvantages of moving from Canada or the U.S. to live in a warm, sunny climate, if you need details like what to expect when you make your move, you must go to International Living’s Ultimate Event.
Because of it, this is one Canuck who’s heading south!