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You Don’t Have to Wait Until Retirement to Become an Expat

Moving to a different country is only for old, rich people—retirees who want a new playground as the chains to the J.O.B. are gone. 

Wrong.

What an outdated perception to think only retirees leave the country to escape the freezing temperatures of their homeland. And let’s take a second to clarify old… 40 is not old. 50 is not old. Nor is 60. These are mature milestones. Times have changed. And so has the definition of retirement.

With the new digital age, people have discovered they can work from anywhere. The pandemic solidified this idea into a reality.

Picking up and moving to another country is no longer considered odd, crazy, or dumb. Picking up and moving to another country is now chic, sane, and clever.

Cost of living, climate, politics—people can’t take the ludicrousness of incompetent politicians anymore. 

Lockdowns forced employers and employees to work from home. Some were happy about this. Some were not. Blinders are now gone from both demographics realizing work from home is possible, and in some cases, even more productive. This change has sparked an understanding in younger and older adults that it is possible to work from anywhere in the world.

As the working world becomes increasingly remote, the idea of running an online business is not as scary as it used to be. People have discovered they can become successful entrepreneurs online or start a niche business if they have the drive and vision to achieve it. 

No longer do people have to wait in the long line up of traditional work to obtain the freedom ride of retirement in another country.

With the growing trend of self-employment, people now know they can earn the same amount of money, even if they change their address. And the money can stretch further than imagined. Rapidly increasing information technology, a globalized culture, access to high-quality information, tools, and resources have blown the roof of what we can now do to define what it means to be an expat.

Not much is holding the younger generation back. Buying power has greatly diminished from what the older generation experienced. Owning a house where people were born is now a pipe dream. Seeking a more affordable and better standard of living in another country is a viable option. Gone are the days when people graduated from college, got a job, bought a house with a white picket fence, and live in it for forty years. It simply is an unaffordable future. 

As rental and purchase prices rise in the U.S. and Canada, the average middle-class worker is riding longer on a tilt-a-whirl, getting more nauseous with each turn of the cart. And the ride gets even worse when you can’t make a full circle but continually rock back and forth, gaining zero traction.

Finding a decent job and keeping it is getting harder and harder. People are getting left behind in the wealthiest—or what used to be the wealthiest—countries in the world. The gap between the rich and poor is widening. The middle class will soon be extinct in Canada and the U.S.A. Even though we have politicians cranking the carnival music to convince us otherwise. Yeah, right. 

Many people lost their jobs during COVID. Some may lose more as subsidies end or lockdowns continue (or, start over again??) It is nearly impossible for brick-and-mortar businesses to turn a profit. 

Today, becoming an expat is not only a retirement dream. The possibilities are a saving grace. For some, leaving their homeland may be the way to survival and improved quality of life for themselves and their future families.

For a young couple or family to move and cut their expenses by half or two-thirds is a godsend. Trading off what would be a poverty existence back home for a place where you don’t have to make over $5,000 a month to squeak by is possible. And it’s not just about the money.

Your children will become well-rounded adults by receiving a different upbringing creating incomparable childhood memories. You’re giving them a unique and incredible life, so even during the tough times, you enjoy the experience without worrying about freezing or starving to death.

Time for a fresh start. And you don’t have to wait until the Golden Years, which aren’t so golden from what I’ve seen.

And if you can work from anywhere, why would you stay where you were before, especially if you were not happy in the first place? Something is either good or it is not. Living in Canada and the U.S.A. is not good anymore, unless you are the elite.

The insanity we’ve endured over the last year and a half has made people pause and think where they would rather be next time something like this happens—and it will happen again. Dangerous precedent has been set. We’ve all become pawns on the joyride for power. 

Look at countries with their act together. Rational countries are out there. And they are not too far away.

Be an adventurous soul and claim a change. Don’t settle for a larger TV and more toys to entertain yourself or your kids. Don’t settle for “stay home.” Satisfy the crave for a change of scenery. None of us are getting any younger. And none of us are getting any freer—financially, or politically in the countries of our birth. 

Do things you want to do instead of what you are forced to do. How about after your workday is done, you and your loved ones can fill up your schedule with golf, surfing, watching whales, or sunsets over the ocean. Being a workaholic is not a desired trait in other countries. Family and social lives are more important. What is more important to you?

The death of traditional work and career is your call to action to get creative, create your career, and find new opportunities.

Sit back and enjoy the ride because admission to the world playground is open for all ages.  And so are many different options for permanent residencies and 2nd citizenships. 

Destination: Think… check out the Escape Artist Insiders magazine to help you plan the good life in the land of your dreams!

(photo credit Travel Bugged)

Charlotte TweedCharlotte Tweed is an adventurous soul with a goal to take you on a journey where you don’t just visit—you live it. Graduating with a Travel and Tourism Honours diploma, Charlotte is channeling all her passion and skills into writing for Escape Artist. She began her expat journey on June 15, 2021, and will be chronicling her expat roadmap weekly in the Escape Artist newsletter. Reading, writing, and planning her and her husband’s next expat destination in the world are how she fills her days. As a recently published author, her mission is to transform your life with expat travel—one destination, one adventure, one story at a time.

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