But last week, they just floored me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it comes back to the profit motive. Because IL is a business, and they want to make money, they gave some advice that I really disagree with.
Somebody wrote to them, stating that they thought everything they read in IL makes sense, that they thought financially they could retire overseas, but they were “not sophisticated, not wealthy, not bilingual and have never traveled abroad.” And they were “scared stiff.” (My emphasis.)
The advice they got was to “take the plunge” by planning a trip to a destination not so different from the US, someplace where they wouldn’t need to speak Spanish, then follow it up by attending an IL conference. Recommended spots to visit were Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende or Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
So far so good.
The next bit of advice is what got me. “If you’re still apprehensive, though, and really want to ease into this, I’d suggest you start by attending one of our conferences. In fact, start in the U.S.–we’ll be hosting our Live Overseas Conference in Las Vegas.”
So, here’s a couple who like the idea of saving money by moving abroad, but they are “scared stiff” and have never traveled internationally. Sorry, IL, but a single trip to an expat haven is not going to help these people figure out if they’d be comfortable living in another country.
They need to visit a lot of different places, and not just expat havens. Even if they do decide to “take the plunge” and move to a gated expat community in Mexico or another country, they will still be living in that country. They need to travel in the country, they need to visit several areas, preferably for extended periods of time.
Going to a conference where they can meet people who have made such a move might make them more comfortable with the idea of expatriation. But they’re already comfortable with the idea. They just don’t see themselves there. And they won’t see themselves there unless they put themselves there often enough to either increase their comfort level with actually being there, or to realize that it’s not for them.
While I don’t know how old these folks are, their mention of retirement leads me to believe they are close to retirement age. Frankly, if they’ve lived this long without ever setting foot outside the USA, I’m sceptical they would be happy living in another country. And that won’t change, no matter how many conferences they go to.
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