Are you feeling adventurous? Are you tempted to broaden your perspective beyond US borders? Then read on. A growing number of North Americans are reinventing themselves overseas. They’re leaving their current world and embracing a new one. Here’s what they’re finding in their new life aboard.
1) The cost of living across Central America is well below what most people are used to at home. Nicaragua is the cheapest destination according to PPP data from the IMF, but Belize, Costa Rica and Panama all offer a luxurious lifestyle (with a full time maid if you wish) for far less than it would cost in the US.
2) You get to choose you climate zone. Some retirees love the coast and their dream is to find an beach-side home to call their own. Others retreat to the hills for cooler temperatures, and seek out Boquete real estate in Panama, the Central Valley of Costa Rica or the highlands of Matagalpa in Nicaragua.
3) No longer do you have to bump along bad roads to remote areas miles away from shopping and entertainment. Now you’ll find real estate in central locations with vibrant expatriate communities and all the services you need. Top picks for us would be real estate in San Jan del Sur, Nicaragua or, for a touch of the Caribbean, Ambergris Caye real estate in Belize.
4) A new culture awaits. When you move abroad you’ll be entering a new culture and a new community. Everywhere in Central America, except Belize, Spanish is the main language. You’ll find things more laid back and, yes, slower.
5) A wide range of benefits and incentives are available for retirees who qualify for special retiree programs. Central America is keen to attract retirees so some of the benefits are very tempting and result in large savings. The details are different country by country but most offer household import tax and property tax exemptions.
Overseas living may not be for everyone. You may miss some of the conveniences or feel frustrated by the slower bureaucracy. So if you’re at all tempted, a great idea is to rent first and test the lifestyle before you take the plunge.Filed under retire early, Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Try budgeting by using envelopes. It’s so easy peasy, and it works. Stop the worrying about all the things you want to purchase for big kids and baby, and set into motion a system that will plan out your money and make it stretch.
Managing your personal finances gets complicated fast, but budgeting by using envelopes can take the pain out of the process and make things easy to follow. Let’s say you want to plan for some health and fitness equipment, you just add an envelope for that expense.
Your first step is to put together a spending plan, or budget, to represent your planned spending over the next few months. This is a good practice to have in order to keep good control of your money. When you have the spending plan drawn up, you can begin to see where your money goes each month. You will have your income, your expenses and the surplus at the end of each month.
Once you have this completed, you are ready to use the envelope system. For those important categories of spending, especially the ones that tend to runaway from you you will want to have a simple envelope to keep your cash inside. Use one envelope for each category.
The advantage of the envelope system is that you allocate a set amount of spending to each major category. Once you discover that an envelope contains no more cash, then you can spend no more money. This stops your spending getting out of control. If you do want to spend more one month on clothes, for example, you always have the option to decide to spend less in another category, and you can move some money between the envelopes. This keeps some control but allows for the flexibility needed in real life.
Budgeting by using envelopes can often beat sophisticated computer spreadsheets because it keeps things simple and has a build-in control to stop overspending. Why not try it today? Once you get the budget under control, being able to retire early is within your reach.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
So I thought I would share with all of you some great investing sites that i have come across on the web. When it comes to investing it’s always best to do as much research as possible and to try and see some different points of view!
If you’re a beginner in the stock market (or just looking for more experience), you can try buying and selling stocks without spending, or losing, your own money. Check out this free fantasy stock market game and you can get an understanding of what it takes to invest in the stock market.
For beginning investors, it can be hard to decide which resource to use, or which advice makes the most sense. If you want to know the right way to learn to invest money, the Saving Cash Tips blog has posted some ideas and useful resources. In this economy, it helps to know what to watch for, and this post has some suggestions you can put into action right away.
While a tough economy has many people thinking in terms of monthly bills, the folks at 401k Rollover Answers explain that it is never too early to save for retirement.
Stock market investing for beginners guide delves deep into the world of stock markets and lays out in simple terms the investing basics as well as the trading strategies that you should use as beginners. This is needed so as to make sure that you achieve good financial success in the stock market.
Ty Coon over at Stock Market Investing Today has started a unique Thirty Day Stock Market Investing Challenge. Each day, he’ll pick one stock and invest $1,000 in a stock simulator. Over the course of 30 trading days, he’ll pick 30 stocks and play them until he is either stopped out or reaches his target gain. Be sure and follow along.
When it comes to signing up for your 401k plan, you usually have a lot of questions. However, most people do not plan for nor think about what to do with your 401k when you decide to leave an employer. While you have options such as cashing out or leaving it where it is at for the time being, you’re best option is to do a direct rollover.
Check out all of these sites for great advice and drop us a line if you come across any others that we should add to our list!Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)