The “Big Easy” Way to Discover Your Dream Retirement Destination

Is the idea of retiring overseas just a bit intimidating? You’re not alone if you think so.

I meet hundreds of expats every year who feel just as you do. They’re excited about the chance to squeeze every bit of fun and adventure out of their retirement years by exploring new cultures…and yes, saving tons of money…and living a more carefree life in a pretty-as-a-picture, fair-weather destination overseas.

But some of you are concerned about the logistics of it all. I get that.

You may be trying to determine the best destination for your particular needs. (What about the climate, the healthcare, the language issues, options for rentals, activities to keep you busy?)

And then there are all those little niggling details, like: what kind of visa should you apply for? And how will you get your dogs, cats, horses, and parakeets there? What vaccinations do you need? How will you get your mail? Where will you bank?

Some of you are bringing kids and want to know about schools. Others want to earn an income and are full of questions about opportunities you might lock onto.

Believe me, I understand. Although it’s been awhile (going on 15 years now) since my husband (fellow International Living editor Dan Prescher) and I moved overseas, I remember those initial feelings of uncertainty.

Retiring overseas was a new idea back then. When we moved to Ecuador in 2001, there were only a handful of expats kicking around the country. The internet was still in its infancy. There were no bloggers or websites to pave the way.

(And I daresay even today you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Information can live forever out there in cyberspace and that means it can quickly become outdated and unreliable.)

So I’d like to offer three quick tips to make things easier for you:

  • Don’t be paralyzed by fear. No matter how prepared you are, there will always be a few uncertainties. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and believe in yourself that you’re on the right path. Yes, it’s good to be as prepared as possible, but things always have a way of working out. So do your research and then go ahead. Just do it.
  • Find a mentor. Ask lots of questions and then ask them again. International Living is a good place to start. We’ve built up a community of editors, correspondents, expats, and experts from around the world who are more than happy to answer your questions. You’ll find them on our website, at our conferences, on our Facebook pages. These are great places to find reliable, well-qualified mentors.
  • Make your research a priority. While I’m not saying you should make your research on moving overseas your full-time job, I will suggest you take it seriously. I’ve seen people make some mistakes that could have been prevented if only they’d taken a little more time, asked a few more questions, and reached out to those of us who can help. There’s always a solution, of course. But you can save a good deal of money (and lots of frustration) by properly preparing and getting things right from the get-go.

Thankfully, there’s a way to do all of these in one fell swoop. (I just thought of this term…one fell swoop…as a cackling flock of yellow-bellied parrots swooped over the terrace where I’m writing just now. But I digress.)

The easiest way I know to find the best mentors and get all your questions asked and reliably answered is at the upcoming International Living Fast Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference. It’s the best way to calm any fears you may have.

Aptly enough, the conference is being held in the “Big Easy”: New Orleans.

As the name of the conference implies, it will help you fast-track your overseas plans. You’ll meet International Living editors, correspondents, and expats from far-flung corners of the world. If you’re not sure which country…and maybe even which community in that country makes sense for you, this is how you can find out. Our crew will be accessible and ready to answer any and all questions you may have.

You’ll also meet the best in-country professionals we know…attorneys, real estate people, insurance brokers, etc. It’s their business to know exactly what all the local legal requirements are and they, too, will be answering questions—free of charge. (Make an appointment at their offices in Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and beyond and you’ll pay their hourly rate. But at this conference, your consultation with them costs you nothing.)

By the way, the networking is a huge part of this conference. You’ll meet lots of fellow would-be expats who will reassure you that this idea of retiring overseas is not at all crazy. In fact, in just makes sense on so many levels. But if you didn’t already know that you wouldn’t be reading this.

I’ll be there along with my husband, Dan Prescher, to answer your questions and share the benefits of our 15 years of expat experience.

I wholeheartedly believe in the mission behind this conference: to introduce you to the world’s bet experts in expatriation and to help you assuredly dot every “i” and cross every “t” so you can easily move forward with confidence…without any fears at all.

That’s what will happen in the Big Easy…I hope to see you there.

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