backstage roc

Welcome to the May issue of Backstage ROC: A Peek Behind The Conference Curtain. I’m Allison Jokinen, Live and Invest Overseas’ Senior Events Coordinator, and I’m so pleased to be reaching out to you again with another month behind us and just three months ahead before we meet in Vegas this September.

If you missed the first four issues of this attendee e-letter, you can read the archives here.

As all of our other conferences come and go each month, my anticipation for my favorite conference of the year grows stronger…

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been in Belize, Colombia, Panama (of course!)… earlier this month I was in Portugal… just next week I’ll be back in Colombia… and over the next couple months I’ll be doing smaller workshops about Mexico (in Texas) and Panama (in California). It’s been a whirlwind year so far, and it’s so exciting to see these countries firsthand and then bring them to you in one place this September. But more than just the places I mention, 21 countries will be brought to you over our three-and-a-half days together…

I can’t wait for you to see it all for yourself.

I recently reached out to some of our past conference attendees to see where life has taken them post-Retire Overseas Conference. If you read their stories in my letter last month, you’ll know that most of our attendees decide to join us for one (if not more) of our other events that we hold throughout the rest of the year. It’s something that you might consider yourself once you’re able to narrow down your decision to a short-list of places you want to live or invest in.

Because I know attending another conference might already be on your mind, I thought I would take a quick moment to let you know we recently launched three brand-new events that we’ve never done before… ever.

If any of them pique your interest, please don’t hesitate to get in touch…

Live and Invest Overseas’ Brand-Spankin’-New Upcoming Events

Live and Invest in Italy Conference – Pescara, Italy
Oct. 17–19, 2018
Read the promo here.

Make Money Overseas Event – Las Vegas, Nevada
Nov. 2–4, 2018
Read the promo here.

European Wealth Cruise – Duoro River, Portugal and Spain
April 7–14, 2019
Download the brochure here.

These aren’t all our upcoming conferences, though… we’ve still got some annual favourites scheduled. Get in touch if you want to know more.

Now, sorry to make this short (but sweet!), but I’ve really got to run and wrap up my tasks before heading to Colombia next week… so I’ll leave you with more stories from our past conference attendees. A little peek into what their lives look like now might be just the thing to get you excited for our Retire Overseas Conference and for what your future holds…

“When I attended the Retire Overseas Conference in Orlando, I already knew that I wanted to be near an ocean (preferably the Caribbean Sea) and narrowed down my destination choices to a few islands that have excellent diving.

“So I attended the 2018 Live and Invest in Belize Conference.

“My initial move will be to Ambergris Caye, Belize, in May or June of next year.

“Next April I will spend a few weeks on Ambergris to locate a long-term rental and begin the QRP residency process. I will then return to the United States to complete the sale of my house, car, and other household goods. Even though the QRP allows duty-free importation of household goods, I am not shipping anything. This move is helping me eliminate the unimportant “stuff” that I have accumulated over many years.

“I am looking forward to starting a new phase of my retirement while based in Belize. I can fly three hours from Belize to reach Atlanta and visit grandkids. Another hour flight from Atlanta puts me in touch with many friends and relatives.

“My main reason for attending the Retire Overseas Conference in Orlando was to meet others with a plan similar to mine. As a retired widower, I was not in the same demographic as most of the attendees that I met. I spoke with many couples that were avid travelers and they were considering becoming part time expats. The conference helped confirm that my plan to become a full-time expat was not unusual.

“I would be happy to share my moving and living overseas experience with other conference attendees in the future.”

— Gary N., Ohio

“The Vegas conference in 2016 really motivated us to get going.

“We sold everything (house, cars, furniture, etc.). Steve and I then arrived in Panama on Oct. 30 of last year, spent four days in Panama City working on our Pensionado visas, then drove west to Puerto Armuelles.

“We had only spent a half-day in Puerto Armuelles prior to our move, but when we found a rental house online we decided to go for it! We are renting a 3-bed, 2-bath, 1,800-sq-ft. house, with an ocean view for US$750/month. Our highest electric bill was two months ago (US$38) during dry season. I do run the air conditioner in the bedroom all night, but not during the day. The living area and kitchen do not have air conditioning. The home is on approximately 2.5 acres with various fruit trees including noni, mango, guava, soursop, lemon, orange, cashew, and coconut.

“We really lucked out on the town; Puerto is, in our opinions, the friendliest town in Panama! Everyone says “good morning,” “hello,” “excuse me,” etc., even when entering a restaurant or getting on a bus.

“Even though our Spanish is still limited, we find that most people are willing to try to have a conversation with us or help us if needed. In observing the locals, I notice that there are many people who stop to chat with each other, shake hands as they pass on the street, offer a woman their seat, and wave as you drive by.

“We are slowly figuring out the pharmacy, doctor, and hospital requirements. Steve had a recent appointment with a general practitioner—the bill was US$5.60! (We do not have insurance.) We have learned that there is a difference in the price of medications when your doctor writes the prescription on his private practice pad vs. one that says “Social Security” (it’s much less expensive). A couple of Steve’s prescriptions are not sold in Panama and we are still working on getting comparable meds.

“When we go in to town for groceries or to a restaurant we usually park and walk around to see what has changed since our last outing. The energy in Puerto has changed since we arrived; houses are being painted, restaurants are open longer hours, the new hospital is looking amazing, the new fish market is close to completion, the airport runway has been patched, and the land surrounding the airport has been surveyed. Del Monte recently started taking applications for the banana fields and the line was out the door with people ready to get to work. Looks like our sleepy town is waking up!

“When our lease is up we plan to go back to the States for a short visit and then return to Panama. We are currently discussing the Pedasí area as an option. It would be nice to have quicker access to Panama City, and we would like to check out a drier climate, but we will probably make that decision on the fly as we did with moving to Puerto!

“Warmest regards.”

— Cheryl and Steve K., Arizona

“Since the conference, I’ve bought two hectares of organic avocados in Panama, and I just picked up my cedula in the Dominican Republic yesterday.”

— Dave M., Florida

“We are taking the steps to make the move somewhere around next June. We have narrowed our choices to either Ambergris Caye or Puerto Vallarta. The closing on our house sale is tomorrow and we found a rental house here in Iowa to get us through until we make the move. Exciting times for sure!!!”

— Kevin B., Iowa

“We really enjoyed learning about all the steps we need to consider before moving abroad. Since then, we have listened to several of the sessions again from the recordings that were made.

“We’ve also created a check list from Lee Harrison’s final talk and put dates down next to each one. Just doing that one thing started to make it all real! In the last month, we’ve opened an account at Moneycorp to convert dollars to euros and also a Schwab account so that we’ll have a financial partner who is used to dealing with international situations.

“Next month we’ll start to deal with updating our documents so that they’re ready for the visa process. We’re looking at a two- to three-year timeframe, so we’re just taking everything slowly, but deliberately.

“Thanks for checking in with us. We know we want to look at Portugal very carefully, so we’re planning to attend the conference there in 2019, when we’ll be ready to start scouting out the real estate market.

“Cheers to all!”

— Jayne and Gordon H., Oregon

That’s it for this month!

When I’m back from Colombia, we’ll start really preparing for our time together in Vegas. So keep an eye out for my upcoming letters… they’ll have some behind-the-scenes information you won’t want to miss like new speakers, topics, and conference events, and even what’s going on in Sin City while we’re in town.

If you have any questions about the conference, or about any events on our calendar (or just want to say hi) just reply to this email or give me a call… I’d be happy to chat.

Until next time.

Allison Jokinen
Senior Events Coordinator