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Listener Question: A Couple’s Retirement Endeavor – Ep 214

A Couple's Retirement EndeavorBackground of the Show

I'm so glad that you've stopped by.  Below is a “transcript” of this week's show, Listener Question: A Couple's Retirement Endeavor. It's not word-for-word because we wanted to make sure it is in a readable format.  I recommend that you listen to the episode if possible, and you'll see the links to do that on this page.

We've been producing this podcast for you since 2016.  This show addresses topics that most shows don't.  We talk about retirement lifestyle and retirement endeavors.  When we started this show, there literally weren't any other shows in this genre.  I know because I searched for them.  These are the topics I wanted to listen to but I couldn't find any.

Then other shows I found started with similar topics.  I was happy to see that and reached out too many to see if I could help. You know a rising tide lifts all ships.  I was hoping that eventually, retirement lifestyle would be its own topic. Sadly, many of the shows I tried to help have gone off the air.  There are new shows now, ones I listen to that have huge audiences.  But they aren't as targeted as us.  You know, the Baby Boomers with a few Gen Xers mixed in. A lot of these shows are targeted at the FIRE community. FIRE stands for Financially Independent Retire Early, Mostly 20s, 30s, and 40-year-olds.

The Rock Your Retirement Show has covered a lot of topics.  We've talked about what to do when your mom needs assisted living.  Whether you should retire overseas.  And yes, we've even talked about dating and sex.

Retirement Endeavor (as a couple)

A lot of us may struggle to find common ground with our spouse or partners in retirement. Sometimes they may have different needs and wants than we have.  Although we may have been together for years and years, retiring can put a lot of stress on a relationship and having the same retirement endeavor can be difficult. That's because we've been together, but also alone, and we've worked that out.  It can be tough when we retire, because now we have all the time in the world, but our loved one doesn't necessarily want to do the same thing we want to do with all that time.

That's what is facing our listener today. She wanted to work a seasonal job, that's what she wants for her retirement endeavor. Our caller is having a problem finding things to that they are both passionate about. Also, she wanted to know how other retirement couples have managed to both find a very meaningful seasonal work effort together.

Responses from our Rock Your Retirement Experts:

I reached out to two of our past guests for expert advice on the subject.

Janelle Anderson, who's been a frequent guest on the show, weighed in on Shirley's question:

I would suggest that possibly look at your strengths one person might have a strength that they can bring to the business or the idea and the other person could bring a different perspective or strength to it.

It's actually hard to say if I don't know since I don't know the particulars of what you want to do. So I'm just kind of guessing but let's say one person has the idea to make jewelry and create this business and the other person doesn't really want to make jewelry, but maybe they have an expertise in marketing or you know, getting the word out about it, or maybe they're really good at doing the bookkeeping.

So, each of you might have a strength you could bring to it. My husband and I've done that before where he was strong in one thing and I was trying and something else and the other idea I thought of was perhaps each doing your own thing but supporting each other.

That's what my husband and I are doing. He has his own business, and I have my business. It's not the same business but we support one another in it because he's doing what he loves and I'm doing what I love. So those are two ideas. Hopefully, that's helpful. I really believe that if you're doing what you love and that you're passionate about it, then you'll be happy and fulfilled, and it doesn't have to be the exact same thing as your partner.


I think what Janelle was saying is to try to find the strength that your husband could bring to the opportunity that you are seeking for your retirement endeavor.  For example, let's say that you want to do seasonal work at a summer camp for kids.  You might want to be a waitress so that you can socialize with all the kids and other the workers.  But perhaps your husband is an introvert and the idea of that just doesn't sit well with him.  I think what Janelle was saying is maybe you can help him find something at the summer camp that he would like to do. Find something that suits his retirement endeavor. For example, if he's really into computers, maybe he could help the kids with that.  Or perhaps he has an eye for marketing.  Maybe he could help the marketing team for the summer.

In other words, the work he doesn't have to be the same as what you are doing or maybe there is a different volunteer program that would make his heart sing.  For example, perhaps he's always wanted to try out living in an RV.  There are programs you can volunteer for that are helping the public parks.  Some of these pay and some of these don't. So, see what he's excited about and try to tailor the experience to him.

Joyce Richman, another guest on the Rock Your Retirement Show, had a different answer.  Here's what she said below:

I was interested in your question because you're seeking an opportunity. It sounds like joining your spouse in a retirement endeavor, whether that's part-time work or volunteering. And you ask how to other couples do it. If one of those two is interested in this particular opportunity and the other not so much.

My hunch. Is that for most couples, there would be one person who would be yeah, I'm really into it and the other one not so much because you're very different people. You came together as a couple because you had very different interests. This is the time to really explore the differences rather than trying to force a commonality or a similarity where it's just not going to be a good fit for both of you, which could make it or turn it into one that's not at all good for either of you. Focus on what is it that really interests you and why are you interested in it.

You probably have all kinds of stories from childhood, from growing up, from other kinds of experiences that tell you, this is the kind of stuff I'd like to do, or these are the kinds of people that I'd like to help, or this is the kind of difference I want to make in my community. Listen to yourself and listen to your own passion. Get in touch with people who have similar interests to yours. Let them know what you believe you could bring to the table. Ask them to a degree to which they believe that that could be a contribution. In other words, follow green lights.

I think what Joyce is saying is that you can spread your wings and do something different from your husband.  Your retirement endeavors don't necessarily need to be the same. It doesn't mean that you don't love each other, but it just means that you each have your interests, and you are free to explore them.

You both have ways to contribute and they don't have to be the same.

My Thoughts on Shirley's Retirement EndeavorRetiremen Endeavor

To our caller, first of all, thank you for the call.  It sounds like you've given that some thought.  It can be difficult when one spouse wants to do something and the other one doesn't.  Especially when it comes to seasonal work.  This is because seasonal work often involves travel.

Shirley, one thing that I was wondering, why do you want to do the seasonal work? Is it mostly for the adventure or is it for the money?

If it's for the money, then my answer is a little different from if it's for the adventure.  I know that in my family, I'm ready to travel anywhere, anytime.  I'd spend a year traveling if I could.  I'd be one of these people who live on a cruise ship so they don't have to move to assisted living.  Sign me up!

But my husband Les doesn't really like traveling that much.  So, I have three choices as far as I can see:

  1.  I can try to talk him into the trips I want to take.  As long as I select trips that he wants to do, and he's healthy enough, I can usually talk him into it.   But let's look at a different scenario that doesn't involve travel.  It involves exercise.  Les will lift weights.  But no matter how much a cajole him, he's not going to get involved in aerobics.  It doesn't matter if it's in a class or at the house.  He doesn't like it and he's not going to do it.  So, on one hand, I can talk him into travel because on some level he enjoys it, but regarding the aerobics, I've never been able to get him to enjoy it.  So, he doesn't go. That's off the table.
  2. My next choice is to take trips without him.  For example, I do aerobics without him. So, I can take solo trips.  I can take trips with the girls; I could take group tours.  Do that kind of thing without him.  On one hand, this would save on stress about the dogs.  Even though we usually get house sitters through Trusted House Sitters, there is always a little stress leaving the dogs with someone else.
    • Oh, and don't forget that if you are interested in Trusted House Sitters, either as a house sitter, so you can travel nearly free, or as a pet owner, so you can get a house sitter for free, use my link and you'll get a 25% discount.  And I'll get two months free.  Just go to RockYourRetirement.com/THS and sign up.  Les and I have saved thousands of dollars on hotels and kennels by using this service. I've made some pretty good friends with the house sitters too.
  3. My third choice is to stay home.  I don't really like this choice very much, and so far, I've been able to avoid it.  But at some point, in the distant future, I'll likely need to make a choice between taking trips without him and staying home.  That's because Les is so much older than me.  At some point he won't be able to travel or might be too sick to travel.  This is a choice that I know that eventually I'll need to make.

Final Thoughts

If you wanted to do seasonal work for the money, then you might not want to do it alone.  I can certainly understand that you wouldn't want to be off to summer camp working in the kitchen or in the dining room while your husband stays home and eats Bon-Bons.  I'm guessing that your desire to do seasonal work is more for the adventure than the money, so you might want to consider bringing him along, but you do the work on your own.  That way you'll get the adventure, and he won't have to work.  That might be a good compromise between the two of you.

Anyway, I hope that this helps you think about some options.  And for you, the reader of this post, or listener of this podcast, if you are interested in having me or any of our previous guests help you with a retirement lifestyle question, give us a call and leave up to a 2-minute question.  The phone number is (858) 876-2548.

If you have some advice for Shirley, leave it in the comments below!

Mentioned in this Episode:

TrustedHousesitters.com
Janelle Anderson – Emerging Life Coaching
Joyce Richman – Joyce Richman and Associates, Ltd.

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Making that Move to Ecuador – Episode 213

Move to EcuadorThis is the last episode of our series on living overseas. In the first episode, we talked about the possibility of living overseas. The second episode talks about the things to do before moving abroad. In last week’s episode, we discuss where to retire. Many of us want a place not only where we can afford to live but also where we have like-minded people that we can be friends with. Also, we discussed why my guests chose to move to their particular country, Ecuador.

Today, we’re going to talk about Ecuador in addition to talking about bank safety. Many articles recently, in October 2019, discussed Americans losing money in Mexican banks. It seems to have been a scam, but we’ll talk about it and what you can do to protect yourself.

Deciding Factor on that Move

When you talk about living somewhere, Cynthia Staton suggests that you have to consider many factors. On top of their list was the cost of living. They also wanted a warm temperate climate, healthcare, and a sizable city.

Why Did They move to Cuenca, Ecuador?

Edd and Cynthia never really heard of Cuenca, Ecuador. They said that they didn’t find it but rather it found them. Because of the wishlist that they made, they were focused on Latin America. Edd was keen on Buenos Aires but it has seasons, and they didn’t want that. Also, as we’ve discussed in the last episode, political volatility. Buenos Aires is not as politically volatile as it is financially volatile.

If you’re a retiree, you may be living on a fixed income. You need to know how much you have available to spend every month and how much it’s going to cost you to buy groceries. That’s an important factor to point out when you’re looking for a place to retire abroad. You want a stable economy.

Friendship Aspect of Living Overseas

You certainly want to create your community of friends wherever you go. However, the truth is that proximity doesn’t necessarily have to describe a friendship. You can be friends with people even if you don't live in the same place.
Although they are already living overseas, Edd and Cynthia still get in touch with their friends in the US, thanks to technology. It provides them with easy access to communicate with their friends. The reality of life is that if you have close friends that are more than you can count off on one hand, you are truly blessed. A lot of friendships, they’re just friendships but they are not like that deep friendship sort of thing.

Edd and Cynthia recommend that you seek out friendships with locals. They can help you so much particularly in terms of recommending medical people in your life, attorneys, and even understanding the culture. Also, if you’re not fluent in the language of the country that you moved to, there are plenty of bilingual locals that you can befriend.

Bank FraudMove to Cuenca Ecuador

In a foreign situation, Edd and Cynthia noticed that when you’re packing your luggage and getting to move to a foreign country, some people seem to leave their common sense at home. They just do things with their money when they move abroad that they would never do in their previous life. It seems that when you move abroad, you really want to work so much and want to be part of the community.

To qualify for a residency visa, Edd and Cynthia have friends that invested in a condominium coming out of the ground. When their residency application is up, they couldn’t get their deed because of various shenanigans. So, they ended up having to pull 25 grand out of their savings to invest in a CD, which was another way to qualify for a visa. They eventually got the deed but things like that can just happen.

How Much is the US Dollar Worth in Ecuador?

Edd and Cynthia maintain US bank accounts and they use the US dollar in Ecuador. It's a little more security for people on a fixed income because you're not constantly converting your money and so you're not subject to the fluctuations. It also gives you a little more sense of the worth of what your assets are. The US dollar also tends to be stable.

When you’ve finally decided where to go, that’s when things get hard because you’re going to unravel your whole life and transplant yourself into a whole different situation and it’s so easy to make mistakes that you don’t want to be trying to fix long distances. Cover every single thing that you need to think about to make sure you have a successful experience.

If you’re approaching retirement and are concerned about your financial situation be at that you know you don’t have enough money or you’re afraid that you’re going to outlive your money, retiring abroad is an option that’s well worth considering and whatever fear factors you have about that idea, just do some research and make a good decision.

About Our Co-Host

Edd and Cynthia Staton are creators of Retirement Reimagined!, a revolutionary Master Course for Baby Boomers facing an uncertain future. Recognized as experts on ex-pat living, they have appeared on network television and written hundreds of articles for international magazines and other media outlets. Each volume of their trilogy of books, Mission: Rescue Your Retirement is an Amazon Best Seller. The collection hit #1 in 10 categories as diverse as comedy, personal finance, retirement planning, self-help, and travel. Visit them at www.eddandcynthia.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

Americans Find More Affordable Paradise for Retirement

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Your Retirement Destination – Episode 212

Retirement DestinationA move abroad may be the answer if you're hoping to further stretch your retirement dollars. Last week's episode of The Rock Your Retirement Show talks about the things you need to know before moving overseas. Today, we will discuss a very important subject on How to Decide Where to Retire, a great topic for your future retirement destination. Life in a foreign land offers a chance to see more of what the world brings to us and can offer a lower cost of living.

Things to Do Before Deciding Where to Retire

When Edd and Cynthia Staton realized that retiring abroad was their best option, they created a wishlist of everything that they’d be looking for in their retirement destination.

The cost of living was a top priority for them, they got wiped out in 2008 with the economic recession. Beyond that, they wanted to be close to their children who live in the US. That immediately made them focus on Latin America as opposed to the far east, which is too far.

They also like what they called “Goldilocks Weather,” which is a temperate climate. Not too hot, not too cold, and that was a driving force for their retirement destination. Another was healthcare. Edd and Cynthia were in great health but moving forward you would need good access to healthcare in whatever retirement destination you would choose. Also, access to cultural activities and a place with other ex-pats.

Deal Breakers on Your Retirement Destination

Deal breakers if the opposite of your wishlist. Edd and Cynthia didn’t have any but some people do have specific deal breakers. As an example, you need specific medication, everything is great about the country, but then you find out they don’t have that medication. It doesn’t matter how great it is, you can’t lose that medication you need. Another one would be mobility issues. If you have those, then you’re not going to pick a place of high altitude or places with handicapped issues.

How to Figure Out Your Destination

A lot of people are nervous to go to a country that doesn’t speak English but I have to tell you when I was in England, they speak English but I was having a hard time understanding the people in Wigan.

The English language isn’t really the determining factor for your retirement destination, but it is important. A good factor to look for is if there’s an established ex-pat community in that country of destination. Because if there is an ex-pat community then at least you’ll know that there are English speakers there. North American English speakers in particular, if you are North American.

Social Security Check

A lot of ex-pats including Edd and Cynthia don’t collect Social Security checks in the country they’re living in. They maintain a US banking presence, have a check there, and just pull money out of the ATMs locally.

Where to Retire?

It starts with deciding what you want not what you’ve read about or think what other people want you to do. Once you’ve decided what’s really important for you.without any restrictions and judgment, then that’s the time where you can choose the right retirement destination for you.

Go with the worst time of the year weather-wise not the best time, because Edd and Cynthia have friends that have moved to Panama, they visited during the dry season, moved there during the wet season and they didn’t know that God was capable of releasing that much rain. They ended up living in Cuenca because they couldn’t take the weather there. The message there as Edd would say if you like the place during the worst time of the year, you’ll love it during the rest of the time.

Things to Consider

When choosing your retirement destination, think about these considerations:Retirement Destination

  • The cost of living
  • Climate
  • Quality of healthcare
  • Living Arrangements
  • Buying vs. Renting

Figure out as best as you can what your retirement income is actually going to be. Go to the Social Security website and they can give you an estimate of the different levels, your monthly benefits, and with that combined with your savings, you can get a rough estimate on how much you would spend every month. Moving abroad is a capital preservation strategy. Be open-minded about this whole topic. A lot of people are held back by different kinds of fears, but it’s not that scary.

About Our Co-Host

Edd and Cynthia Staton are creators of Retirement Reimagined!, a revolutionary Master Course for Baby Boomers facing an uncertain future. Recognized as experts on ex-pat living, they have appeared on network television and written hundreds of articles for international magazines and other media outlets. Each volume of their trilogy of books, Mission: Rescue Your Retirement is an Amazon Best Seller. The collection hit #1 in 10 categories as diverse as comedy, personal finance, retirement planning, self-help, and travel. Visit them at www.eddandcynthia.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

Here are the countries with the most U.S. retirees collecting Social Security by Catey Hill

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Things to Do Before Moving Abroad – Ep 211

Moving AbroadLast week’s episode, we talk about our 2 co-hosts, why they moved abroad, and why they help others do the same. In today’s episode, we will talk about the things you need to know before moving abroad.

I had something similar when Les and I moved from San Diego, all the way to South Carolina, and I had a checklist that I’ve worked off of. Let me tell you, now that I’m here in South Carolina, there were some things I didn’t put on my checklist.

Learning the Language

Cynthia Staton said that the first thing that they need to think about is the language issue. If they are interested in learning anything from another language, then they need to look at places that a lot of English speakers. Being functional is great, and that doesn’t take a lot but signing up for classes not necessarily before you move along, but once you get there because it gives you the opportunity to make friends. Once you’ve settled, find a language class that’s conversational.

Your Financial Situation When Moving Abroad

Edd Staton said that if you’re still comfortable writing checks and deposits to banks, you need to get over that. One misconception is you’ll have trouble getting your Social Security if you live out of the country, that’s not the case. What you can do is maintain a US banking relationship and then just pull money out of the ATMs. They also have a local bank for easy payment of bills.

One of the reasons Edd and Cynthia Staton maintain a bank account in the States is because of the credit cards, especially for airline tickets. They used credit cards because it’s the smartest thing to book tickets.

Visa

Another misconception is that where you’re moving abroad, you have to give up your citizenship in the States. You can choose to, some people do, but that’s not necessary. You’re just a tourist to start with. You got to go to a formal process of applying for permanent residency. Each country has its own rules, once you decide your country then you start looking into what the requirements are for a residency to live there, not necessarily become a citizen.

Possibility of Moving Abroad

Moving abroad is not a do-it-yourself project. You need to spend a small amount of money to hire an immigration attorney in the country that you’re going to. The paperwork Moving Abroadvaries from place to place and person to person. Let someone who knows the ropes do this for you.

In Edd and Cynthia Staton’s first move, their tourist visa lasted for 90 days. That is why you need to show up with your paperwork pretty much in hand. It’s painful and expensive to deal with FedEx if you don’t have your paperwork correctly.

Healthcare

Medicare doesn’t travel beyond the US borders. That is why you got to think about that. Your choices are either you get a private policy, the national health program of that country once you are a permanent resident, or because it’s cheap, you can simply choose to pay out-of-pocket for care within the country.

When moving to a new country, you need to get familiar not just where you are but within where you are. Different neighborhoods have a different vibe and feel, you can’t know that over the internet. You need to just be there for a while.

About Our Co-Host

Edd and Cynthia Staton are creators of Retirement Reimagined!, a revolutionary Master Course for Baby Boomers facing an uncertain future. Recognized as experts on expat living, they have appeared on network television and written hundreds of articles for international magazines and other media outlets. Each volume of their trilogy of books, Mission: Rescue Your Retirement is an Amazon Best Seller. The collection hit #1 in 10 categories as diverse as comedy, personal finance, retirement planning, self-help, and travel. Visit them at www.eddandcynthia.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
Five things you must do before you pack your bags for an overseas retirement

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Living Overseas: Is It Possible? – Episode 210

Living OverseasToday we have 2 co-hosts in this first series of living overseas. If you've considered living overseas, or if you know someone who is considering it, this is the episode for you!. In today’s show, we talk about why you might want to live overseas. If you have lost money in the stock market, or the value of your home has declined, you may not feel like you can ever afford to retire. You might be worried about retiring because you haven’t saved enough money, or you just want a slower lifestyle. Perhaps you have a friend who is in a tight situation and you are looking to help them with suggestions on their retirement? Or maybe you are just curious as to what it is like to live abroad. If any of these situations are yours then stick around for all four episodes.

Create a Wishlist

Before living overseas, Edd and Cynthia Staton made a list of everything they wanted in their new home. They encourage everybody who has the same idea as theirs to do a self-assessment before living overseas.

The whole idea of creating a wishlist is because so many people probably have probably never asked themselves this question in their whole life. It isn't to instill some kind of race against time or create disinclination towards death. It's a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time here, instead of wasting our time in pointless activities, we are directing it fully toward what matters to us. There are some basic things that you need to keep in mind, for a lot of people the lower cost of living is going to be a drive, but there are some that want to do it just for the adventure.

Living Overseas Away From Your Family

When Edd and Cynthia made this decision to move to Ecuador, they didn’t have grandchildren yet, but they allotted budget for traveling so that they would be able to go back once the children were born.

There’s a misconception that living overseas is so far and expensive from the United States. They spoke with someone who said that a trip from Houston to New Jersey was more expensive from their trip from Ecuador to New Jersey. There’s just a mindset that living this lifestyle is so “out there”, when is the reality is, that it's not really unusual, weird, or isolating as people may think.

Healthcare

Healthcare is a huge concern for people no matter where they live as they get older. Here’s a shocker for everyone, healthcare outside the United States is super Living Overseasaffordable. It’s comparable, if not in a number of cases, better than the US.

Many people that live in the US have misconceptions if they haven’t travel very much that the rest of the world with the exception of a few places, is considered third world countries. The reality is much of Ecuador is rural but Cuenca being the third-largest city, is a city like many other cities in the US. That was on Edd and Cynthia Staton’s wishlist to live in a place that has culture, access to excellent healthcare, all of those things you would expect in a larger city.

Learning the Language When Living Overseas

The idea was Edd and Cynthia were going to learn Spanish before living overseas. They arrived in Ecuador knowing little Spanish with the fear that they were going to perish but it turned out that Ecuadorians like playing charades and hangman. If you choose to become fluent in another language, that’s a choice, but being functional is more than enough. You just do your best with what you’ve got as Edd Staton would say.

When living overseas, it’s important that you find and recreate your sense of community. Whatever that means to you because you’re going to want to know and meet people. Whether they are native English speakers or bilingual locals, it does not really matter. You want to find that commonality. That is why it’s important to think about living in a place that has somewhat of an established expat community. You’re going to feel more comfortable, not just with the language but with everything that comes with it.

About Our Co-Host

Edd and Cynthia Staton are creators of Retirement Reimagined!, a revolutionary Master Course for Baby Boomers facing an uncertain future. Recognized as experts on expat living, they have appeared on network television and written hundreds of articles for international magazines and other media outlets. Each volume of their trilogy of books, Mission: Rescue Your Retirement is an Amazon Best Seller. The collection hit #1 in 10 categories as diverse as comedy, personal finance, retirement planning, self-help, and travel. Visit them at www.eddandcynthia.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
Five things you must do before you pack your bags for an overseas retirement

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com