This report is cautionary, Don’t try to retire overseas with only $900 per month.
If your pension is only $900 per month, and you have never lived overseas in a third-world country before, then don’t expect to be able to do that right away, or ever. The average westerner might be able to do it eventually, but not very easily.
It takes time to develop these skills and very few people have enough patience. This video is meant to give you ideas about what to do if you really want to try living overseas and you have a limited monthly budget or pension.
In this report, I will explain one way that someone who has never tried living cheaply overseas before might be able to accomplish it eventually. After a brief explanation of the problem you are facing, I will explain …
How I would do it if I were starting over again today
You see, I have guest stars come on my channel and talk about how they are able to live cheaply overseas in various third-world countries. My guests share numbers like $500, $600, $800, $900, and even $1200 per month for basic living costs including only their rent, food, and transportation.
But those numbers will be almost impossible to achieve for most westerners. In fact, many of you will never be able to hit those numbers. How do I know? Because I don’t meet that many people living overseas that are able to live on those kinds of numbers. Most have more money.
Most people I meet overseas are living on numbers between about $1500 and $2500 per month. And the truth is, very few people are willing to even try to live on $900 per month, especially since the overwhelming majority I meet have higher pensions.
Since the overwhelming majority of people I meet living overseas seem to be receiving these larger pensions, they have very little need to even try to live on less. There is an old saying, that necessity is the mother of invention. They don’t need to live on $900 per month, so why would they go through all the trouble of learning how to be that frugal? They don’t.
I meet people all the time living overseas that say things like, “You can’t live here on less than $1800 per month in this country.” But if I ask that same person, “How much is your pension or social security,” they usually say their pension is about the same as their average monthly cost of living.
If their pension is $1800 per month, they are not usually trying to live on much less. They are just trying to keep their monthly expenses below their monthly pension. Rarely do people with $1800 pensions try to live on $1000 per month. So what do they really know about it?
Maybe they are not the right person to ask? So who really knows the minimum cost of living in any given country?
It is probably not going to be foreigners moving to that country for a lower cost of living. It will be people making less than $1000 per month. You see, locals know how to live in that country on local wages. They don’t have any other choice. They are often making less than $1000 per month.
You do not need to trust me or anyone else on this. You will find information online about wages in almost every country in the world. If someone’s pension is greater than what locals make, then they might be able to learn how to live on their pension in that country.
I am not suggesting that you need to live on what the average local makes. Your pension is higher than that, hopefully. In some of these countries, at the time of this report, there are locals living on $500 per month for a family of 4. If you think that is impossible, look it up.
What I am suggesting is that locals may be able to help you understand why you are hemorrhaging money every month and they are not. You may not need to adopt all of their ideas, but understanding how they do it would give you more ideas and choices.
So don’t assume that you can live that cheaply just because some other experienced foreigner shares their lower living cost online. You may never be able to achieve those lower living expenses. We are all different.
If you are new, you just don’t have the skills yet and you may never have the patience, desire, or mental capacity to learn them. You may also have some impulses that keep you from controlling your behavior. I have a report about why some people fail when retiring overseas, I will provide a link to that below for you.
So what can you do if you want to live cheaply overseas but don’t know how to do it yet?
That is the purpose of this video. I have no advice about what you should do. I don’t know anything about you or your ability to budget. But I know about me. So, I will share what I would do if I had a low pension and wanted to move overseas.
What I Would Do If I was Starting Over Again Today
I left the United States in 2007. I have lived in 67 countries. I have learned a thing or two about living cheaply overseas. Now I will share with you what I would do if I was starting over again today.
I will assume the following facts. I will assume my pension is $1000 per month and that it would be adjusted for inflation over the years. Since we are assuming I am new, I don’t know what I am doing when I first start.
So although my pension is only $1000 per month, I will assume that my living costs will be much higher for the first few months when I land overseas. That means I will need some savings before I go overseas. It will be my buffer while I get started. More on that later.
I will assume my flight is already paid for. I am arriving in a city where I do not know anybody.
Before I fly, I will book a place for 7 nights on Airbnb-com. Once on the ground, I will spend the first week finding a place to stay for 1 month. I would use my guide on how to find a cheap apartment, link provided. My goal will be $500 per month for a small furnished place including utilities.
At his moment, someone is thinking, “Dan, you can’t rent apartments in my favorite tourist trap area for $500 per month.” I agree 100%. You are right. But I have a question for you. Who do you think is cleaning your $700 per week condo in your favorite tourist trap area when you fly home after your 1-week vacation?
A local is cleaning your $700 1-week vacation condo. And they don’t live in the tourist trap area. Do you ever wonder where they live? You probably assume they live in a ghetto somewhere. Would you be curious about how they live? You should be. It might be the key to your earlier freedom.
Their rent may only be $200 per month not $700 per week. Maybe you don’t want to live in a $200 per month apartment, but maybe you would be happy at $300 or $400 per month. Maybe you would find stores nearby, kids playing outside in the neighborhood, and old people walking their dogs.
What if it felt safe to you and people smiled at you in one of these local neighborhoods? So, I would do that. I would spend that first month in my $500 per month apartment exploring the neighborhoods and determining whether I could get below $500 per month and feel safe. I would shoot for $300 per month or less in one of those neighborhoods. But here is the most important thing I would need to do.
I would develop relationships with locals.
When I say locals, I mean locals. If I were single, I would place an ad on a dating site and meet local women that way. If I were religious, I would go meet locals at church or whatever. If I enjoyed a beer in the evening, I would go to a local bar and chat with the locals. If I was a gym rat, I would meet locals at a cheap gym. I would chat with the locals wherever I went. People always seem to open up when we smile.
You could also hire someone to clean your house and do your shopping for you. Then pay them a few extra hours per week to teach you how to do everything they do cheaply. They may even be willing to help you find a place with cheap safer rents.
Wherever I met a local, through any of the above methods, I would ask for their help. I would explain that I was considering retiring to their beautiful city, but I needed to learn more about the cost of living there. Not how foreigners live but how locals live.
Then I would make a request. Where do they go eat nearby when they are looking for a fairly priced lunch or dinner? Not an expensive place they only visit on special occasions, but a normal place where they eat frequently.
Then I would offer to pay for their meal if they would show me their favorite foods there. If they joined me, I would be able to ask them a bunch of other questions while we tried their favorite foods there. If they were too busy to join me, I would ask it if is okay to text them questions from time to time about living there.
I would keep meeting locals like this and learn such things as where to shop, what local neighborhoods are nice and safe, what local rents should be, and how locals get around town. The locals know how to get the most for their money. Very few foreigners have this sort of information because most have much higher budgets.
Eventually, I would find someone that enjoys my company and also happens to know what I need to learn in order to bring my budget down substantially. Finding one or two locals willing to help me understand how to do things would accelerate my ability to manage my finances.
If my pension was $1000 per month, my goal would be to find a local that lives on about $600 per month, and I would learn how they are able do it. What do they eat, what do they do for fun, where do they live, everything? I would see their home. I would ask about the neighbor’s homes and rents if they know. How much do they spend on each budget item and how do they achieve that?
Why would I want someone living on about $600 per month in this example? Because I would want a little wiggle room in my budget to spend $200 per month more than they do. So my goal would be to live on $800 per month, which would give me $200 more I could spend on a nice place, or a few nicer things that are most important to me. Plus, with a $1000 per month budget, spending only $800 per month, I would still be able to save some money each month for a rainy day or inflation or whatever.
Why Most Foreigners Don’t Do This
There are two main reasons most foreigners do not do it this way.
The first and most common reason, they have a higher pension so they have no reason to learn how to live on so little. Instead, they just learn everything they need to know by trial and error or from other foreigners they meet living overseas on higher pensions.
Second, when people first move to a foreign country, everything feels odd to them for a year or two. So they look for other foreigners that have already been through it all. Locals don’t understand what foreigners from the west are going through when they move to a lower-cost country, so the locals are often unable to comfort new overseas retirees during this adjustment period.
It is okay to make friends with foreigners for this emotional support. Just understand that when they invite you out for a beer or out to dinner, they may be taking you to hangouts where people living on $1800 per month eat. So entrees will be $8 instead of $3 USD.
So you will have to limit how many times you go out to eat and drink with other foreigners if you are trying to live on a more local budget. Instead, offer to meet them for a nice walk on the waterfront where you can chat for hours with very little money out of pocket money.
So what happens if you don’t get your spending under control?
If you are unable to get your spending under control, you will need to pull your safety parachute and fly home before you run out of money in a foreign country. So what is a safety parachute and how do you pull it? I explain that in this report. Make sure to grab my free eBook if you don’t have it yet.