Retirement Planning: My Tale of Preparing to Retire Abroad

Skip the intro and go straight to the articles in this section

If you were to ask many young folks what they dream about for when the “grow up” many of them will likely say something like having a family, owning a home, or perhaps running a company. For me, the dream has always been to retire. That’s right. From my first day of work my dream has been to not work. Well, that’s not entirely true. You see, I have a different definition for the term “retirement” than most. To me, being retired means working because I want to, not because I have to. As a result, I could walk away from the job any time without suffering financially.

Retirement would also bring with it the option to live somewhere more enjoyable than where I live now. Some might find my choice crazy as I currently live just outside of New York City (which would be a dream for some), but I’d much rather live somewhere tropical like in Central America (Panama or Costa Rica) or in the northern parts of South America (Ecuador).

I’m also realistic about retirement especially if I were to move abroad. While I’d like to have access to good health care, I recognize that I may have to deal more explicitly with personal safety than in NY. I also recognize that there will be some cultural shock (slower pace and, what will feel like to me, inefficiencies) and political differences (i.e. according just about every government south of the US is considered to be more corrupt – the exceptions are Chile and Uruguay).

Retiring in another country is also risky. To do so means leaving a job and a home that I know to take a chance that I’ll be happier somewhere else. What if after 4 months I’m not? I’d have to return, but without a job or home to lean on while I get back on my feet.

What you’ll find below are articles about my journey to retirement. And if you happen to be reading this months or years after I started writing, perhaps there’ll even be a piece showing that my dream has come true.