I know, I know. It’s that time of the year and the New Year’s resolution talk is coming at you from all different angles. But a list of resolutions I’ve never seen before is one for people who are wanting to become expats, such as myself!
We can get so caught up making lists and doing research but keeping yourself in this “research mode” can also result in you not actually doing anything. You might tell yourself you’re doing something, but perpetual research does not equal action.
Here’s what ChatGPT defines as “taking action”:
Taking action refers to the process of actively doing something or initiating a series of steps to achieve a particular goal or address a specific situation. It involves moving beyond thoughts, plans, or intentions and engaging in tangible, real-world activities. Taking action is a dynamic and intentional process that requires effort, energy, and a willingness to make decisions and implement them.
This year, let’s all make a pact to move beyond just planning, and start taking action. Here are five simple ways you can do that, and really start moving towards your Plan B goals.
Visit a country on your Plan B list
You can only research so much before you need to go and experience your Plan B contender countries for yourself. Nothing beats real life, on the ground intel when it comes to picking somewhere new to spend your time and money.
So, make it a goal to travel to one of your Plan B destinations in 2024. It may be tempting to stay at an all-inclusive resort, but that won’t really enable you to experience the country. Rather, book yourself an Airbnb and make a real effort to get out and about in the community. Go grocery shopping. Visit the local restaurants. Talk to locals and expats you meet there.
One of my favorite recommendations is to join a Facebook group or other online community of expats before you go, and then see about meeting up with them when you get there. They can also give you some tips and tricks to make the most out of your stay. Enjoy yourself, soak in the experience, and pat yourself on the back for getting out there and taking action towards your goals.
Learn a new language
Learning a new language takes some time, so if you are serious about getting yourself set up to move a new country, you are going to want to start learning the language in advance.
If, like myself and many of our readers, you are eyeing up Mexico and South America, you are definitely going to want to check out Spanish Uncovered. It uses a technique called “Story Learning”, which is the process of learning a language through stories, just as we learned to speak our native language growing up.
My husband is working on this course right now and it is really helping things click for him. Prior to that, he had been using Duolingo and hadn’t made a ton of progress, but now even Duolingo makes more sense to him thanks to this course.
Once you pass Spanish Uncovered, you can progress to other, more challenging courses to further improve your language skills. And there’s more than just Spanish, you could also choose French, Korean, and Portuguese, among several others.
Learning a language is a great step you can take to prepare for enacting your Plan B, right from the comfort of your own home.
Start building your wealth legacy
Two of my favorite ways to start building your wealth legacy with a relatively low investment are buying precious metals and investing in tangible assets, such as teak.
Precious metals are a great hedge against inflation as they allow you to protect your purchasing power. Essentially, they are wealth insurance. If you look at gold and the price per ounce makes your eyes water a little, consider starting with some silver, which comes at a much lower price tag. Or, do a bit of both.
Whatever mix you decide upon, I challenge you to set aside a little money every month this year to purchase some precious metals to start safeguarding your wealth as part of a robust Plan B.
If you need some guidance, make sure to reach out to Rich Checkan and his team at Asset Strategies International and they will be happy to give you a hand.
Okay, I admit it, I love teak! It is part of my portfolio (I wrote all about it here) and I think it should be part of yours, too. In addition to being an amazing investment (Hello, 10x returns!), it is a great way to build generational wealth for your family.
Teak has a 25-year growing cycle so it’s definitely a long-term play, but that’s what makes it so perfect for building generational wealth. You will actually own the land and be able to pass it down from generation to generation, continuing your legacy well into the future. Plus, you get great diversification, and are helping the environment and local community, too. Another huge bonus is the potential to leverage your investment into a Plan B residency.
Get your documents in order
Most things you need from the government take much longer than they should, and you don’t want to be left in the lurch when you are trying to travel to one of your Plan B destinations or apply for residency. That’s why you are going to want to have your documents in order, well in advance.
I’m not sure what the waiting time is for a passport in Canada right now, but when things were super slow during the pandemic, we renewed our passports as soon as we were able to do so. For Canadians, that is a year prior to expiry. If you know you are going to be traveling and are suspicious of your government’s ability to process your renewal in a timely fashion, it definitely does not hurt to get it done early to make sure you are good to go when you need it.
Something else we did was order extra copies of birth and marriage certificates. This way, if you need to send one off with an application or to get it apostilled, you have peace of mind knowing you have an extra copy safe at home.
This may seem like a small action to take, but it is an action nonetheless, and helps you to get an easy win under your belt!
This one might seem a little annoying to include on this list, given that we all are aware of it being a typical New Year’s resolution. But, the thing is, traveling is just going to be a lot easier if you don’t have health issues bogging you down.
Medical issues can arise sometimes when you are traveling, no doubt, but you will set yourself up for success if you get your health in order as much as possible before moving or even just traveling overseas. You will have more freedom to go where you want and experience life-changing destinations if you don’t have health issues holding you back.
I know I definitely need to lose a few pounds and improve my fitness this year, so that I can increase my chances of success and my overall enjoyment when we make the trip to visit one of our Plan B destinations in the new year. I also want both the physical and the mental rewards that go along with improving my health, and I want to be ready for whatever challenges and adventures come my way in 2024. I’m in a much better position to do that if I am a lean, mean, fighting machine!
Make 2024 your year to take action!
Research is great and all, but if you are serious about becoming an expat and building your Plan B, you need to start taking action. The above items are simple steps you can take to prepare yourself for the future and make tangible progress on your offshore goals. Heck, even if you never ended up moving and stayed in your home country forever, you would be in a better position by having done these things. So, what are you waiting for? Pull up your socks, suck in your gut, and make 2024 the year where you take some real action!
And, of course, don’t forget to subscribe to Escape Artist Insiders magazine for the latest and greatest on all things offshore from our team of experts. It’s a great tool to have in your toolbelt and will help you start building your action plan for the new year. Subscribe now!
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