Millions of Americans move abroad every year. We don’t have any hard and fast numbers – the US government doesn’t track expats – but all indications are the number is rapidly increasing.
While some expats have employers who send them on overseas assignments, many more are moving by choice.
I fall into the “expat by choice” category. Sort of … more on that later.
I found that there’s a ton of information about different regions, countries and cities of the world. There’s lots of investment advice and information about protecting your wealth.
What I haven’t found is basic information on how to accomplish your overseas move, and how to support yourself once you arrive.
So if, like me, you’re planning to expatriate because it’s something you want to do, there aren’t any road maps.
I’m not an expert – I’ve just done this for the first time myself. But I’m documenting everything I learn and sharing it with you. Creating road maps as I go along.
Specifically, I’m zeroing in on two areas. The first, “Prepping the Move” covers preparing yourself physically and mentally for the move – things like where and how to get rid of stuff you don’t want to take with you, whether you should learn another language, and how to cope with friends or family who just don’t understand.
Portable Careers identifies work you can do from almost anywhere in the world. When you move abroad, you can’t just go find a job, so most expats by choice develop some kind of business or freelance work. Under Portable Careers you’ll find:
I’ve also written a Free E-Book about creating your own portable career. It’s called Untether Yourself: 5 Portable Careers to Support You Overseas and you can download it here.
Why Move Away from Home?
My husband and I realized several years ago that, if we stay here in the USA, we won’t ever afford retirement. Add to this my lifelong desire to spend time in another country, and we began looking at the possibilities of retiring overseas. Your reasons may be completely different.
Where Should we Go?
After raising five kids and getting hit hard by the financial meltdown, our choices are limited to the countries where the cost of living is well below that of the US. Neither of us currently speaks another language with any fluency, but we don’t want to limit ourselves to just English-speaking countries. Climate is also a high priority for us — no cold winters! Given all those facts, we have narrowed our search to Central or South America.
Here’s what I’ve Found
I’ve started learning Spanish, and I’m finding out it’s a lot tougher now than it was when I was young to learn a new language. We’ve made our initial move, to a small town on the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. From here, we’ll explore the country and the region to see if this is where we’ll settle down or if we’ll keep looking.
Who am I?
My name is Susanna Perkins, but I call myself Future Expat. Having made the move, I should probably call myself something different, but I’ve gotten used to this nickname.
Even though I’m blogging about my own experiences, I’m not a publicity hound, and I sort of try to keep a low profile. But not too low. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Professionally, I’m a writer. Due to a combination of the financial meltdown (see below) and our plans to move to another country, I’ve made my work geographically independent. The good news is, you can Finance Your Life Overseas too!
My job melted down in March, 2009, and I’ve not been fully employed since. To support myself in Panama, I’ve created my own portable career.
I help non-technical people develop attractive and effective WordPress websites. I also write about the art and craft of writing, WordPress, and expatriation.
Outside the US, We Can Do Better
Because of the terrible US economy, and the even worse conditions here in Central Florida where I currently live, my husband and I figure we can survive better, for longer, in a less expensive country. As long as I have my laptop and a good internet connection, I can do business from anywhere.
We’re creating our own roadmap — and I’ll be sharing it with you every step of the way.
Get Future Expat’s Emails (and a Free e-book too)
If you’re one of the 80% of readers who will have to earn a living overseas, this book’s for you!
In Untether Yourself: 5 Portable Careers to Support You Overseas, you’ll learn about five portable careers you can develop now, before you leave home, and take with you almost anywhere in the world.
And it’s FREE!