Busting Myths: Expectation Versus Reality Of Moving Overseas

colorful building at the Orlando Citywalk at night

Busting Myths: Expectation Versus Reality Of Moving Overseas

Expat Myth: You Have To Be Rich To Live Overseas 

Recently, Mary M., United States, wrote in to say:

“Kathleen, I do not believe a word of the article you published from the people who say they quit their jobs and are traveling around.

“Please don’t print stuff that is fantasy. It just isn’t fair.”

All Access Pass Member Dusty Tubbs wrote a reply to Mary that I’d like to share with you today; it’s an important reminder of what you do not need in order to enjoy a great adventure and richer life overseas. Over to Dusty…


All right, Mary M., to be fair I did not quit my job and move overseas.

The reality is I did not have a job to quit.

Tired of using my brawn, and wanting to use my brains, I quit my big-box retail job and returned to live the life of a full-time student.

Graduating with honors, I took my newly printed diploma from my master’s degree and went in search of a good-paying job.

Unfortunately, I was not to be rewarded for my hard study. Hotels and local shops were going out of business faster than the government could spend money.

The primary airline that brought the much needed tourists to our local community also went bankrupt. No tourists meant a severe loss of revenue… adding to more businesses closing their doors.

So, in reality, I did not “quit my job” to move overseas. I would have had to find one first.

Instead, I began a rigorous search for a location where my wife Carolyn and I could move to, somewhere that would allow us the ability to live in comfort off my retirement pensions.

Before you bemoan the fact that you’re not a wealthy retiree, let me set the record straight on another misconception, the one that people believe you have to be rich to live overseas.

My first career (if you want to call it that) was in the U.S. Navy. Of course, we know that all high school graduates join the military to make their fortune. It’s the easiest way to become wealthy, right?

After over 30 years of service, the Navy sent me home. I wasn’t ready to retire yet. I was still having too much fun.

But orders are orders, so I departed the military and began a second career as a teacher. Another wealth-building profession…

I departed the world of education when our local chancellor decided that the college district’s funds would be better spent on him and his family. Which took me to my aforementioned big-box retail job.

Fortunately, I also managed to become a private investor—mostly dealing in stocks. In spite of the stock market crash and the housing bubble burst, I did manage to build a small investment fund.

With my investment money, Carolyn and I managed to move to Panama, buy a house, and start a new life.

We also like to travel a lot. How do we manage that?

Moving to the interior of Panama allowed us to save 75% of our daily cost of living. The money we saved we now spend traveling around Central and South America and the Caribbean.

We recently spent a month in Las Terrenas, in the Dominican Republic, before returning to Panama City for Lief Simon’s Offshore Wealth Summit.

It was this same conference, a few years back, that kick-started our offshore adventure.

I invite Mary, and all of you Live and Invest Overseas readers, to come join us at a future event and learn the ins and outs of living, investing, and doing business overseas. If you’re just starting out, the Retire Overseas Conference is a great place to start (plus, it’s Stateside… and coming up soon).

At a live event, you get to:

  • Personally meet the speakers—shake their hands and share contact information…
  • Ask questions where you get straight answers—no hype, no baloney…
  • Express your fears and concerns—knowledge is the best way to slay the bogeyman…
  • Interact with other like-minded conference attendees…
  • Most importantly—listen live, in person, to these experts as they share their knowledge…

If you prefer to focus on one country at a time (or have narrowed your focus already), why not register for a country-specific conference? The next in-country event is Live and Invest in France. When you do, you’ll meet expats that are living in that country… day in, day out. They experience all the joys of a new culture… and have learned how to deal with the frustrations.

These expats are just your average, run-of-the-mill, yet extraordinary people who have decided to move overseas.

I say extraordinary because the “ordinary” people are the doubters that never take the first step to finding the truth about this remarkable lifestyle.

–Dusty Tubbs
All-Access Pass Member and Full-Time Expat in Panama


As Dusty said, our Retire Overseas Conference is a great way to dip a toe into the whole living-overseas idea… without actually going overseas. We’ll bring all our experts to you… and prepare you, over the course of four days, to make the right move for you—with the right support you’ll need to do it…

If you’re not already on my list, be sure to reserve your seat while the Early Bird Discount is still good—and use Coupon Code ROCCONFIDENTIAL to save an extra US$50. Full details here.

Valentine Fouché

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