Tuesday, March 16, 2010

America---Love It AND Leave It! (Part 1)

Grab this related post Widget!
Except for lack of money there is much to enjoy about unemployment, including the free time to write.  Since I started a new job about a year ago this blog has "gone dark."

Everyone close to us knows that Cynthia and I are moving to Ecuador soon.  We are grateful for the support and encouragement we have received, yet I'm certain there are lingering questions about why two semi-reasonable people would do such a "crazy" thing.

So to allay fears that we've lost our minds and to perhaps help others who are contemplating a move abroad I want to officially declare this blog "open for business" again.  I'll begin by sharing the background of our decision; in future posts you'll follow the process (and believe me, it is a process) from that initial decision to packing and getting on the plane, which should happen in the next couple of months.

Last Memorial Day weekend, shortly after Cynthia had been "downsized" for the second time in 6 months, we were forced to take a hard look at our financial situation.  We quickly realized that the economic downturn had really knocked off course the excellent plans we had put in place several years earlier.

Have you ever watched "Let's Make a Deal?"  Like a contestant on that TV show we felt we had a choice of three doors:

DOOR #1 was to resign ourselves to severely scaled back "golden years."  ZONK!!!  Uh---no.

DOOR #2--work our butts off for--how long??--to hopefully achieve the retirement lifestyle we had envisioned.  That had always been our standard operating procedure in life--when knocked down, get up and brush yourself off; if bleeding, put a band-aid on it--whatever it takes.

This time, that word "hopefully" made us pause and reconsider.  Keeping it real, we aren't getting any younger, and one's health only holds up for so long.  What if, say, 10 years from now our finances still weren't where they needed to be and we'd urinated away perhaps the best decade we had left?  This was a risk we simply weren't willing to take.

That left us with DOOR #3---THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE!!!  How could we retire or at least semi-retire as soon as possible with the assets we still had?  Honestly, we'd been in the workforce for 40 years and the fire just wasn't in our bellies to keep chasing a dollar all day every day.  It's not that we wanted to do--nothing; we're at a point where we'd prefer to spend our time doing what we want to do instead of what we have to do.  Who doesn't feel that way, right?  Now we were ready to create that reality instead of continuing to wish, hope and dream.

Several friends have speculated that our imminent departure was some sort of anti-America statement.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We love this country, but staying in the US isn't our best option financially, and there's really no place here where we have a burning desire to reside anyway.  So let's see, that leaves---the rest of the world!!

In Part 2 I'll share how and why we decided on, of all places, Cuenca, Ecuador??  Until then-----


Andy said...

Holy Shnikes! I'll be very excited to keep reading your blog and talk to you about it in Mexico. Awesome stuff. I hope I'm as adventurous when i near retirement.

Kimber said...

Inquiring minds do want to know and I'll drill major deep once in Mexico. I think it's great you're ready to jump into the deep end - you first!!

Denise Buchanan said...

I'm loving the new vacation destination! I've never been to Equador so... I vote YES, Great idea! Not that you asked for my vote but I approve !
Check out my Blog, too. www.roswellrealestateblog.com

Cody Hamilton said...

Hi from Prague! I just stumbled on your blog and am so happy to find it. My husband and I have just started to research Cuenca. We are from Denver, but currently live in Prague as I work at an intl school here. Like you, just lucked onto hearing about Cuenca and we plan to come check it out at Christmas. Really looking forward to hearing about your move and your thoughts about housing, legal stuff, etc. Have seen the Intl Living site, but not really trusting it. Thanks for helping us thru your blog. See you in Cuenca someday I hope! Cody and Michael Hamilton

Mike and Johnie said...

Read your last two posts with great interest. Last year when we began to think about retirement we saw the same set of doors. To retire in the States would have meant a hardscrabble lifestyle. To keep working would have meant never to retire. We looked at a lot of the same countries and came to the conclusion that Cuenca was for us. We will be there in December. Hope to meet you when we visit in April.

Edd Staton said...

Hope my blog helps with your move. Don't know when we'll meet--we arrive in mid-May and plan to back in the States visiting our kids, family, & friends during December. But stay in touch and let me know if I can help in any way.

Nicole B. said...

Brilliant Blog!
I found your blog while researching schools in Ecuador to study Spanish. I find your insight and perspective on life really honest and it comes through beautifully in your writing. I completely relate when you say that you prefer to spend your time doing what you want to do instead of what you have to do in life. We should all take a few lessons from your self-help book and have the guts to pull the trigger. All the best and keep writing.

Fan from NYC,
Nicole Behar

Edd Staton said...

Thanks, Nicole. There are several excellent Spanish schools here in Cuenca, as I'm sure you learned from your research. Let me know how I can help you if you decide to come here.