“We can’t afford to retire in the United States,” said Marcia, “and we don’t really want to.”Her husband, Jim, was recently laid off from his job as head of a family-run company in Texas. Not his family, of course. And now, ready or not, Marcia and Jim are preparing for life’s next adventure: retirement.

Deirdre, who owns homes in New York and Arizona—neither of which she and her husband can sell right now—confides: “We’re not happy with what’s going on at home. The economy is just so awful. Jobs are hard to come by. We’re really worried about our kids…we’d like to leave them something and we want to figure out how to do that.”

I’ve heard several statements similar to these again and again over the last 24 hours.Where am I? Quito, Ecuador—with 400 International Living readers. We’re here for the sixth annual International Living Ultimate Event. This is our biggest Ultimate Event ever…and I think you’re getting an idea why so many people have convened here to find out how to fast track their plans of living their dream lives overseas.

The economy stinks. But the human spirit is resilient. People at this conference are ready to escape the chaos at home and move on. And move out. And you can, too, if you’re of that mindset.

Fortunately, today’s very first speaker, Lee Harrison, gave us all hope. He retired at age 48…and moved to Latin America where he knew his retirement dollar would go much further than it would back home in the States. In the last 10 years, he’s lived in Ecuador, Uruguay and Brazil. He now has an eye on Colombia.His presentation on retiring overseas explained exactly how much money we need to retire right now at age 50. And as Lee says, “if you’re older it will be easier.”

Where will you get that money? If you make smart decisions about where to retire, you will certainly not need as much money as you think, Lee said.The Good Life on Less Than $500 a MonthExpat John Curran watered that seed when he took the stage a bit later. He explained how he and his partner, Sue, are living happy, fulfilling lives in Ecuador’s Vilcabamba Valley (also known as the Valley of Longevity). Their monthly expenses are less than $500/month.

Source: International Living