My retire early overseas step-by-step process

In this report, I will discuss my retire early overseas step-by-step process.

I left my home country, the USA, in 2007. I have been to 67 countries so far. Because my subscribers know this, they often ask me questions. This week I got the same question twice. So, here is my answer.

This report describes my retire early overseas step-by-step process, including what you need to do 30 years before, 10 years before, 5 years before, 2 years before, 6 months before, 1-3 months before, and the week before leaving your home country.

30 Years Before Retirement

Old Economy: Save and Invest for 20-30 Years and then Retire.

Money: Read the Richest Man from Babylon, or Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and follow what they teach. Pay yourself first every time before you start paying your expenses. As the money grows, invest in Dividends, REITs, Real Estate, Mutual Funds, 401(k)s, Roths, stocks, and/or bonds. Talk to your financial planner to make sure your plan makes sense.

New Economy: Do you really have to wait 30 years? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t? If you get a job in the new economy, you could work online and live in cheaper cost of living parts of the world and save more of your income. You could also start an online business that grows over time and creates multiple income streams for you.

Money: Online jobs, geo-arbitrage (earning dollars and spending pesos), passive incomes (online business, etc).

Safest Route: Do both. Save and invest a portion of everything you earn along the way, whether from a business or job in the new or old economy. That way you will create a retirement safety net even if you never create a business with passive income streams.

If you don’t have an online business yet, then start by getting a job in the old economy or new economy while you create a business with multiple income streams. If the income stream from your business becomes greater than your job, you may want to quit your job and become independent that much sooner.

Best Online Business (Start Your Own): I would prefer to start an online business than have an old or new economy job, if possible. The following video explains the business I would create again today if I was starting all over again. Best Online Business.

10 Years Before Retirement

Money: Talk to your financial planner and make sure your assets are growing as necessary to meet your early retirement date since you only have 10 years left. Make any necessary adjustments. Keep pursuing your dreams of moving from the old economy jobs to the new economy jobs, and then from a new economy job to your own online business.

Inflation: If your assets and pension are not growing fast enough to meet estimated inflation, at about 10 years out from retirement, you should seriously consider starting an online business with an income stream that will slowly grow in these last 10 years before retirement and continue to grow during retirement to help offset inflation.

Exploratory Visits: You plan to move overseas upon early retirement right? Well, I never recommend moving anywhere overseas unless you have completed an exploratory visit. Rather than just taking relaxing vacations on your time off from work, I recommend that you start doing exploratory visits to overseas places you may want to retire someday. If you do one exploratory visit per year in the last 10 years before early retirement, you will already have an idea of where you want to retire offshore. On each exploratory visit, take a little time gathering data with the intention of estimating what your cost of living will be in each place. Here is my report on the Top 15 Places to Retire Early Cheap in Paradise for 2021. This might give you some ideas and or save you some time finding the best places.

Retire Cheap in Overseas Reports: I started doing exploratory visits to cheap places in the world back in 2007. I have been to 67 countries so far. In 2016, I started publishing the cost-of-living data I collected on my exploratory visits. If you need a jump start in deciding the best places to retire on a budget, then come see my catalog of over 50 retire cheap reports. This is intended to help you focus your search.

5 Years Before Retirement

Money: When you reach 5 years before retirement, your assets should be very close to the goals you set for your early retirement. If they are not, then you are running out of time.  Make a decision to either delay your retirement or start an online business. There is not enough time for your money to compound any substantial amount before retirement so you need to make other plans.

Create Online Business: Since you need more money before you will be ready to retire, and since you will need something to keep your mind active and alert during retirement, I recommend you take a look at my hobby income course. The Hobby Income Course.

Destination Research: There are many places around the world that are much cheaper to live in than Europe or the USA. Start looking at what sort of income your retirement assets will produce and look for potential places to live in the world where you can live for less. Hopefully, there will be places around the world where you would love to live where the cash flow from your retirement assets will be more than the cost of living. This will allow you to save additional money each month so you can suffer through some inflation during retirement and still meet your needs. My catalog of over 50 retire cheap reports is intended to help you identify places overseas that may cost less than staying in your home country for retirement. Pick your favorites from our catalog and go do some exploratory visits in your last 5 years before retirement.

Exploratory Visits: Under the 10-year time frame above, I suggested doing exploratory visits to potential cheap retirement destinations in the years leading up to your early retirement. Well, keep doing that. That is the intention of my catalog of over 50 retire cheap reports. Keep doing that until you retire. It will help you continue to identify what factors are most important to you in making the decision.

2 Years Before Retirement

Pension Research: Two years before retirement, check and see if any new laws have been passed to restrict your retirement pension income. For example, both Canada and Australia have enacted restrictions on how much time you can spend outside your home country each year. Whereas, USA citizens can be outside their home country for years at a time without jeopardizing their old age retirement income from social security. Also, set up electronic deposits instead of checks so you can pull your money out by ATM wherever you are in the world.

Destination Research: Continue to do destination research and travel to countries on your time off from work. Spend even more time learning about the pros and cons of living in each of your top 5 places around the world. Make sure you join Facebook ex-pat pages in all of your top 5 potential retirement places and read questions, comments, and posts more frequently to make sure you are not missing any new law changes or ways to avoid unnecessary regulations and expenses. Expats on the ground in each country, in cities of interest, are the best sources for this sort of news and changes as you approach the final 2 years before retirement.

Exploratory Visits: Continue doing your exploratory visits during the last two years before retirement. As you visit new places, continue to update your top 5 places you are considering for retirement. Also, begin to think about what your travel strategy will be in retirement, as follows.

World Travel Strategy: Five years before retirement, you should also begin to consider which travel personality suits you best. Here are some broad categories of the different kinds of travel strategies, but you may also develop your own hybrid of one of these.

Primarily Stationery: My father’s retirement plan was to pick his favorite place and stay there during his retirement years. He wanted to spend his retirement years in a cabin in the mountains with a nearby golf course. And that is what he did. Once retired, he split his time between his mountain cabin and his residence in a city in the valley, 4 hours away. So his travel strategy is to remain primarily stationary in his home country.

Snow Birds: Many Canadians fly south internationally for the winter to Arizona, Florida, or other warm international destinations during the cold Canadian winters.

Stationery Foreign Base: This is probably the cheapest way to retire assuming you pick a foreign base that is cheaper than your home country. If you retire in a cheap foreign base (Ecuador, Mexico, Philippines, Peru, etc.) and do very little international travel, your cost of living is likely to be much lower than any other retirement strategy. Just make sure to pick a place to live that you really love. If this sounds appealing to you, make sure to do your exploratory visits before your final decision of where to retire.

Slow Traveling the World: This is my retirement strategy. I just slow travel the world staying in each place for a few weeks or months before moving forward to the next destination. This is slightly more expensive than a stationary foreign base because you have to take more ground transportation and or flights between destinations and you end up paying more for rent. Since you are negotiating rents for a few weeks or months, it is harder to get your rent as low as you can when you negotiate 6 or 12-month leases.  Slow Travel TipsHow to get perfect apartments around the world

Foreign Stationary Base 9 months with 3 months of Slow Traveling the world each year. I am presently a pure slow traveler. But eventually, I suspect I will evolve to some form of a foreign base with continued slow travel for 3 to 6 months of the year.

Home Research: Two years from retirement, it is time to think about what you will do with your home. Will you sell it and downsize to a smaller condo where you can lock it up and walk away when you are out of the country? Will you rent your house out and let a property manager take care of rent collections and maintenance? What do you plan to do with your house? I suggest not selling your house. Just rent it out for the first few years until you know if international living is for you. Give yourself permission to return to the USA if you don’t like living outside the USA. Here is my report explaining why you need to keep your property in your home country and just rent property outside your home country. You may disagree with my analysis on that but at least listen to why I have come to this conclusion.

Here is my home strategy. My strategy was to buy a 4 unit apartment building about 15 years ago. While I was working in the USA, I lived in one unit and rented the other 4 units out. I knew someday, I would leave the country for months or years at a time. When I was out of the country, I could rent all 4 units out and live off the rents. I even picked a 4 unit apartment building with a large basement so I could store my personal property in the basement when I was out of the country. If I ever need to come to the USA, I come whenever a unit is vacated. Upon my return, I pull a minimalist set of furniture out of my basement and live in the vacant unit while I am in town. I paint it and get it ready for the next tenant while I am in town. As soon as it is rented out, I lock my stuff in the basement again and fly off for more world slow travel. This time I came back to get my Pfizer shots as soon as I heard a unit had vacated.

Personal Property Storage Research: But you may not have an empty basement to store your personal property. So, 2 years out from your retirement, look into what it costs to pack up your personal property for the first year or two when you leave the country. I suggest you keep your personal property in storage. Then you can come back if you decide you don’t like living offshore. Give yourself permission to not like living internationally.

Healthcare and Meds Research: Expat healthcare plans are transforming rapidly right now. So it is okay to start some research on what plans are available to you now, but you will want to refresh your research about 6 months before you leave because things are changing so rapidly now in the ex-pat healthcare industry. But if you get quotes now, it may help you begin to solidify what your budget will be living internationally based upon living costs and health insurance in whatever country you select. Personally, I am self-insured for reasons I state in this report, but self-insurance is something that most people will be too afraid to try in the first few years of living overseas. So you will want to get an idea of healthcare costs about 2 years out from early retirement.

6 Months Before Retirement

Execute Your Home Strategy: Six months before retirement, make a final decision about what you want to do with your home and get that process started. If you are selling, early spring is a great time to get it listed.

Final Odds and Ends to Think About (Free Ebook): If you haven’t already, grab and read the most recent and updated version of my free eBook, “How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 14 Years.” This book is a treasure trove of many ideas that will save you years of time and thousands of dollars in getting set up in your new life. Make sure to read the latest version again as you round third base and start heading for your new travel life away from home.

3 Months Before Retirement

All three of the following functions must be set up before leaving your home country, so any mistakes can be corrected while you are still in your home country. Three months will give you time to set it up and make sure it works as expected before you leave.

Set Up Postal Mail (Snail Mail): Three months before international retirement set up a way that you can receive your US postal mail while you are outside the USA. I have described all of the possibilities and the one I love most in my free eBook, “How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 14 Years.” You should not attempt to leave your home country without reading this book. It doesn’t cover every potential obstacle you may face in your new life outside your home country, because we are all different. But it will help you avoid all of the major mistakes I have made.

Set Up Phones: Did you know you can have an application on your smartphone that will ring when someone calls your old phone number? Did you know that will help keep your credit rating strong? I cover all of that in my free eBook.

Set Up Banking: I have a separate report that teaches you how to set up international banking to maintain access to your money when you live outside your home country. That same report also explains how to have a backup plan in case someone robs you or steals your bank cards. Here is that report, Top Banking Mistakes I learned Living Internationally for 14 Years. Here is the VPN I use when I log onto my banks from outside the USA.  I also have ideas on banking in my free eBook, Chapter 8.  

Set Up Pension: Contact the government or private pension agency that is responsible for paying you your monthly pension. Make sure your monthly pension can be deposited electronically in one of the accounts you set up above. Do this three months early so there are no surprises once you leave the country. Flying home to solve problems later can get expensive.

1-2 Months Before Retirement

Home: If you sold your home, get it empty and ready for the buyer. If you are renting it out, get it ready for the new tenant. If you have to, move out early and deliver possession to the buyer or tenant.

Garage Sale: Sell everything you don’t absolutely need. Store anything else in storage or the basement, according to your home strategy. If you rent your house furnished, this will be much easier. But store anything of value offsite or locked in your basement so the tenant can’t ruin it.

Storage and Shipping: Don’t ship anything internationally the first year or so. Just store anything of sentimental or family importance and wait to see if international life is for you. Once two to three years have passed, and you are convinced international living is for you, and once you have a permanent foreign base, (if you ever do), then think about shipping.

Verify Pension, Mail, Phone, and Banking: Has your old number been properly ported to an application on your smartphone? Has your postal mail started showing up as PDFs at your email address? Has your pension started being deposited into the banking system you set up? All of this should be working now since you set it up a few months ago following what you learned in my free eBook.

Book First Flight and Accommodations: Book your first international flight and accommodation according to my free resources: Free eBook, How to Find Perfect Apartments.

Luggage Packed: Purchase luggage and pack according to my packing instructions, “What I Pack to Travel the World.” Weigh your luggage to make sure it fits the weight and size limitations of your first flights

Healthcare and Meds: Refresh your search on the best healthcare insurance for ex-pats and buy insurance. Leave a message on the Facebook ex-pats page for the first destination of your travels. Check to see if there are any changes to ex-pat insurance policies available and the availability of whatever lifesaving meds you will need on your travels. Make sure to get a month or more of meds before flying away. How I search for healthcare (in part 2 of this report). Why I decide to self-insure (but you probably shouldn’t).

7 Days Before Leaving

Get safety cash: In my banking report, I describe how you should have some safety cash in case all else fails when you are outside your home country. I recommend bringing no more than 3 to 4 weeks’ worth of living costs with you. Go to the bank and get that before leaving. I explain why in my banking mistakes report.

Weigh Your Luggage: Weigh your luggage and make sure it does not exceed the maximum weight or size allowed according to the ticket you purchased. The amount you will be charged at the airport in excess baggage fees can be triple what you would pay online in advance. So weigh your luggage and pay online if you want to bring everything you packed.

Go Time (Head to Airport)

I recommend you travel the first few years to all 5 or 10 of your top places before deciding which is best for you to retire cheaply in paradise. That way you will have confidence you are making the right decision. But that depends on the resources you have available to you. Here are three more reports I recommend you read before heading out on the world travel highway!

Slow Travel Tips

Top 10 Mistakes International Retirees Make

How to Not Get Robbed Traveling World

Thanks for reviewing my retiring early overseas step-by-step process.

This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the YouTube Channel for The world is your home, what time will you be home for dinner?