Retire Overseas - What Would I do?

Hermosillo, Mexico nightlife in the town square

A picture of the town square in Hermosillo, Mexico
A picture of the town square in Hermosillo, Mexico

What do people do when they retire outside the U.S.

It's always funny when people ask me this question.

What would I do if I moved outside the U.S?

I guess there's a bit of psychologist in me, because I would respond with, "What would you like to do?"

Run a bed and breakfast?

I've run across numerous expats who've done exactly that. (An expat is

It's always funny when people ask me this question.

What would I do if I moved outside the U.S?

I guess there's a bit of psychologist in me, because I would respond with, "What would you like to do?"

Run a bed and breakfast?

I've run across expats who've done exactly that. (An expat is a person who lives outside their native country.)

There's an American who owns and runs a hotel on the shores of Lago Yajoa in Honduras. (El Cortijo del Lago) Down the road from him is an American that has the only micro brewery in Honduras. He owns hotel and restaurant. He also makes his own ginger ale and root beer. (ddbrewery.com) Expats have hotels in Mexico and other countries in Central America.

Expats buy homes and convert the rooms into apartments that they rent year round. You can find many of these listed on Airbnb.com and Cragslist.com

I met a Danish girl in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. She rented a home, spent about $2,000 and converted it to a bed and breakfast. She has a community kitchen for 4 guests, a private kitchen and room for 1 guest. She lives upstair in the house. She's saving up money to buy house to expand her business.

I met an America in Leon, Nicaragua re-rents homes. Americans were doing the same in Granada, Nicaragua. If you know how to market the rentals, it's a good way to make a living.

A vendor in Quatzentenango, Guatemala

A vendor in Guatemala
A vendor in Guatemala

Retail more your style?

I met a lady in Guatemala who lost her grocery store job when the company "downsized". She sold everything and bought a small store in Panajachel, Guatemala. She had struggles. She did make enough money to open a newly built "International Grocery Store". She took the knowledge of the grocery store business in New York to have a nice life Guatemala

I talked to one of the brothers who own "Pizza Burger Diner" in Guatemala. The brothers total 4 and learned the restaurant business in New York. They started as dishwashers. Moved up the ladder and one of the brothers became GM of the restaurant. They wanted to move back to their home country. Started a small restaurant in Guatemala City, and in 6 years they now have 8 restaurants.

I know of a lady who lives in Antigua Guatemala who's an artist. She paints avidly and sells her paintings online. She ships them throughout the world using FedEx and UPS.

(An American runs an "Art Workshop" in Antigua - http://www.artguat.org)

I met a Frenchman who runs a skateboard and surf shop in Cancun, Mexico. He's been running it for about 4 years. Never thought there was that much surfing in Cancun, but this Frenchman proved me wrong!

Construction work of interest to you?

A bed and breakfast building currently under construction outside Somoto, Nicaragua
A bed and breakfast building currently under construction outside Somoto, Nicaragua

Other "retirement" options - construction

I "met" a fellow online who moved to Panama after he had a heart attack at the old age of 42. He realized he was leading a stressful life, sold everything, and moved to Panama. He began repairing homes for retirees. Repairing screens, plumbing and roof leaks, that sort of work.

Then he got requests to build walls andl additions. One thing led to another and he started a construction company in Panama. Bought some land, built some houses.He now runs an organic farm outside of Panama City.

Become a real estate agent. Unlike the U.S., a license not required to sell real estate in Mexico and Central America. Century 21, Keller Williams and REMax are present in Mexico and Central America. The homes available for sale high end bracket. The companies cater to U.S., Canadian and European clientele. You wouldn't even have to learn Spanish!

Offer tours of the town you've retired too

Sea gulls on an abandoned boat in Mexico
Sea gulls on an abandoned boat in Mexico

Offer tours of the town and area that you're living in.

I talked to a lady in Oaxaca, Mexico. The city has a lot of churches. It's a major tourist attractions for foreigners. She subsidized her SS with tours and "eclectic" insight about the churches in the town.

I'm sitting at a coffee shop in Jaco, Costa Rica. A Canadian has a small kiosk on the sidewalk. We talk for a bit. He tells me he's retired in Jaco and for 6 years he's been a tour company out of this small little table with an umbrella!

In the Copper Canyon, there are tour companies owned and operated by Americans. It's so close to the border. If they want to head back to the states, it's about a 4 hour drive from the Copper Canyon.

Arts, music and crafts more your style?

Street scene in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
Street scene in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

People make a living with music, arts and crafts

I've visited art galleries that display and sell art and photographs. Americans, Canadians and Europeans make a living selling photographs and art in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama.

Jazz, rock and roll and blues are played by musicians in bars and restaurants. In my hotel in San Cristobal, Mexico, I listened to a blues band play a rendition of "Sweet Home, Chicago". The music drifting in from the bar next door. Musicians play in bars and restaurants in the more cosmopolitan cities of Mexico. Guatemala Nicaragua , Costa Rica and Panama. There were two Americans playing and singing at Hotel Cocal and Casin in Jaco, Costa Rica.

I met a Danish fellow in Granada, Nicaragua who rents a night club. He has a 10 year lease. Packs 300 to 500 people into the nightclub on Fridays and Saturdays, at $10 per person. He started with a restaurant and is now a major "player" in the city.

Opportunity abounds!

Opportunity abounds if you have a dream!
Opportunity abounds if you have a dream!

What is your dream?

As you can tell from these examples, there's a lot of expats doing some interesting things outside the U.S.

Is it "easy"? NO!

Sure, there are challenges. But, expats I've talked to state they wouldn't change much. Despite the challenges, they enjoy their lives.

There are also tax incentives, at times, to help you set up a new business.

There's less red tape, rules and regulations when it comes to "doing" in Mexico and Central America.

Labor costs, land and renting is usually less when compared to the U.S..

If you're like me - I like my freedom. I don't want to be tied down to a "job".

You can volunteer. Work at an NGO. (Non Governmental Organizations - think "charities") Teach English at a school.

Myself, I like to travel - I don't want to stay in one town for years. So, I travel slowly - a month in Honduras, 6 months in Mexico, 3 months in Costa Rica.

If you have a dream or a desire, you CAN make it a reality.

The responsibility for doing that is on your shoulders.

Don't think "I cannot do this because", think "I CAN do this because."

And always remember, travel safely, play nice and have fun!

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Comments 2 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 months ago

I love dreaming about escaping to paradise outside the U.S. I explore various places, imagine I am there, and then I am content to stay exactly where I am.


claptona profile image

claptona 2 months ago from Earth Author

Hey breakfast pop,

John Lennon was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up.

Ha stated he wanted to be happy.

Questioner said, "You don't understand the question"

He replied back, "You don't understand life"

Maybe instead of "happy" he meant to be content with ones life.

A lot can be said about being "Content no matter my situation"

I hear so many people say that they feel trapped - stuck in a situation they don't feel they have a way out of.

Options abound, sometimes we just don't see the forest through the trees......

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and glad to hear your content!

Cheers

John

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