Retiring Overseas

I am a female expat living in Ecuador with my husband and two cats. My last address in the U.S., in 2001, was in Omaha, Nebraska. Since leaving the U.S., I've also lived in Quito, Ecuador, and in Mexico (Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende and Merida) and in Panama City, Panama, and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I'm currently a writer/editor for InternationalLiving.com.

From Omaha to Ecuador: Can You Live Abroad on Social Security?

This year, 2012, marks the first year since 2009 that U.S. retirees will finally see a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of +3.6 percent in their Social Security benefits. In other words, along with suffering through a tough global economic situation, retirees who depend on Social Security endured three consecutive years without a cost-of-living raise. This was an historical event, mind you – the first time in three and a half decades that no cost-of-living increase was forthcoming. And while news of …

From Omaha to Ecuador: Convincing Your Spouse to Retire Abroad

I first met Laura and Joel (not their real names) a decade ago on the shores of Mexico’s Lake Chapala where they were vacationing. He was retired and she was happily working as a network television sales executive. He wanted her to quit her job and move to Mexico with him and she was having none of it. A few months later Laura accepted a prestigious promotion and assignment in Hawaii. Joel supported her decision, but made it clear he …

From Omaha to Ecuador: I’m an Expat, Not an Ex-Patriot

“I don’t like being called an ex-patriot,” my friend Jack said. He’s a former elected official and about as red-white-and-blue as they come. His wife is a former trial judge. But now they’re retired and living in Ecuador…for the adventure, the pleasurable lifestyle, and the lower cost of living. Gently, I explained to Jack that he is definitely not an ex-patriot. And he never will be… Jack is an expatriate. As the dictionary explains, the word “expatriate,” which can be …

From Omaha to Ecuador: All I Miss Are Triscuits

“What do you miss the most from home?” As a speaker at International Living conferences held around the world, this is one of the most common questions I’m asked. And it’s one that’s easy to answer. I’ve been living in Latin America for 11 years, and the truth is that I have a new home now, in Ecuador. There’s not much I miss from my old home. In fact, there are far more things I don’t miss than those I …

From Omaha to Ecuador: The ABCs of Retiring Overseas

The following is a guest post from Suzan Haskins. “How did I get here?” I wonder that often. Here is a small Andean mountain village basking under the equatorial sun in a green valley 8,000 feet above sea level between two extinct volcanoes in northern Ecuador. And of course, I know more or less how I got here. Almost a dozen years ago, my husband, Dan, and I sold our house in Omaha, Nebraska, and moved south – out of …