He had a huge panoramic photo of his home—although you really couldn’t see the house for all the brilliantly colored bougainvillea tumbling over the walls and the fruit trees in the yard. Mango, lemon, lime, orange, raspberry, passion fruit, banana, and much more we weren’t familiar with…even coffee.
“The full-year growing season means tons of fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said. Organic poultry and meat is produced nearby and fresh seafood and fish is brought in from nearby fishing villages.
After living here for five years, he said, “The lowest temperature we’ve seen is 50 and the highest is 88. Our perfect weather means we don’t have a furnace, we don’t have air conditioning, and we don’t worry about utility costs…no matter how much energy prices rise.”
John Curran lives in the small mountain village of Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Although his monthly expenses hover around $600 per month (yes, you read that right), John says his property taxes increased by a whopping 500% last year… to $62.60. (And yes, you read that right, too.)
“People think I’m crazy,” John said…or at least they once did. Why would a guy retire at age 44? Why would he go to South America and buy a property?
John Curran had the complete attention of everyone in the audience at the International Living Ultimate Event that kicked off in Cancun this morning.
“A 20-oz Pilsener (the local beer) in Vilcabamba is 75 cents in the store or $1.25 in restaurants. Here in the Cancun airport, I saw a regular-sized 12-ounce bottle of Corona selling for $7.50,” John told us. Then he joked: “In Vilcabamba you can go blind for $7.50!”
Although undoubtedly a most important part of good living, it’s not just beer that John saves money on in Vilcabamba.
For instance, his partner, Sue, had an accident with a horse. She was taken by ambulance from Vilcabamba to the best hospital in the nearby city of Loja with a collapsed lung and three broken ribs.
“We don’t have health insurance,” John said. “Sue had a CAT scan, x-rays, a tube inserted to inflate her lung. She spent three days in hospital in a private room, with three edible meals per day. And the total cost for all of this…including the ambulance and everything? Less than $800.”
Are John and Sue crazy? I think not.
My name is Suzan Haskins. And I, too, live in Ecuador, along with my husband, fellow International Living editor Dan Prescher. We’re here with John and about 40 other experts (and 100 or so more in the exhibit hall) who’ve come to Cancun to share their experience and expertise with people like you…who know there’s nothing crazy about the idea of retiring overseas.
This morning we heard all about John Curran’s happy new life in Ecuador. Dan and I got to share our experiences, too, and explained how and why we came to move (with a 90-pound chocolate Labrador) away from our U.S. heartland hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Glynna Prentice told her story of moving as a single woman (also with dog) to Mexico where she intended to start a business.
Former Congressman Bob Bauman—always a wealth of information—was also on hand to share his perspective on global citizenship. More and more Americans are giving up their citizenship…or at the very least, obtaining second citizenships. Why are they doing that? And if you’re interested in doing the same, why should you do it sooner rather than later?
Make no mistake, Bob knows how our government works. He also knows how other governments around the world work…especially which ones are most welcoming to those of us looking for privacy and financial havens. He shared his knowledge today—about offshore residence, second citizenship, second passports and offshore banking—and even inspired one audience member to stand up and offer Bob his personal thanks. No questions, no issues….just a heartfelt thank you.
Some of the most valuable information of the day, though, was also a bit taxing. Literally.
In separate presentations, U.S. “taxpert” Nick Hodges and Canadian attorney Doug Hendler detailed the tax considerations for U.S. and Canadian expats. Laws, regulations and tax codes are constantly changing. There’s no way any layperson can possibly keep up. What to do? If you want to protect the assets you’ve worked all your life to accumulate (and keep yourself out of a legal hornet’s nest), you must understand your obligations and options. If you’re thinking of living overseas, you need to hear what Nick and Doug have to say.
Here’s what you need to know: even if you have no money at all, you need to play nice with Uncle Sam. You must file your taxes. Being an expat—or being broke—is no excuse.
Fortunately for you who can’t be with us in Cancun this week, we’re recording all the presentations. Every minute. So you needn’t miss a word of this valuable information.
We know it isn’t always possible to attend our events… your personal and business obligations come first. But we think the information from this conference is so important that we want to make it available to you even if you couldn’t join us in Cancun.
Seminar attendees paid up to $1,295 each to get this information first-hand. And being here in person is more than worth that amount, of course. But like I said, we know that not everyone can be here.
Here’s what else we learned today:
Aaron Stevenson of the very progressive EverBank explained why a diversified portfolio is so important…why we need to hold precious metals and international currencies. As example, he shared how his personal portfolio is weighted…and why.
Lars Stouge of Denmark’s Jyske bank shared his perspective on the world’s economic future and what safe vehicles—outside the U.S.—are the best global investment. If you believe it makes sense to diversify outside the U.S. dollar, you’ll want to hear these valuable insights from two very savvy global investors.
Real estate experts Ronan McMahon and Margaret Summerfield were on stage today, too. Ronan revealed his top four destinations that he believes offer today’s best real estate investment opportunities. (All happen to be gorgeous tropical beach destinations, by the way—not just places where you’ll want to park your money, but your beach blanket, too.)
Margaret told us exactly what to look for…and importantly, what to look out for, as we go through the process of buying international real estate.
If you’re interested in learning what we’ve learned…watching and hearing firsthand about these tremendous, going-fast opportunities, act now.
Reserve your 2012 Ultimate Fast-Track Your New Life in Paradise Kit and you’ll save a whopping $200. Instead of paying the regular price of $399, it will only cost you $199.
We’ll offer this low price until we have the recordings ready to deliver to you. At that point… we’ll charge the full price.
We’ll send the information about how to obtain your conference package as soon as we’re finished making copies of the hand outs, the PowerPoint presentations, etc.
Of course, some day we hope you’ll join us in person at one of our events. So we’re throwing in a $100 voucher toward any upcoming International Living event. You can use it to attend any of the future events and seminars you may be interested in and on top of any other discounts you may be eligible for.
(Still to come in 2012, we’ll be hosting events in Panama, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Las Vegas and Costa Rica …at least one of these is sure to be a perfect fit for your personal needs.)
Best of All, if These Insider Tips Don’t Work, You Pay Nothing
The 100+ experts at this event, in nearly 80 individual presentations and workshops, cover every possible aspect of living and investing around the world. After you’ve heard their briefings, there will be nothing to stop you from acting on the information they share.
Because of that, we’ll return every penny you paid for this information if it doesn’t help you reclaim your retirement, safeguard your hard-earned assets, and make your overseas dreams come true.
In other words: You can call us at any time in the next 30 days—and tell us the information didn’t help you. (Or don’t tell us anything. Just ask for your money back.)
So if you’re serious about reducing your expenses, protecting your retirement plans, and living a more relaxed, genteel life, I urge you to take advantage of this offer and reserve your 2012 Ultimate Fast-Track Your New Life in Paradise Kit now.
Learn more about Ecuador and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter.
Simply enter your email address below to sign up for our free daily postcards and we’ll also send you a FREE report on The World’s Top Ten Retirement Havens.