Escape the Chaos

Welcome to Sovereign Confidential Weekly, where I answer your questions about the issues I cover in my monthly reports. Remember, I get a lot of letters — so many that it isn’t possible to answer each one individually. For that reason, to get the most from your subscription, it’s really important to do three things:

  1. Read Sovereign Confidential Weekly, since I may answer your question here.
  2. Ditto the readers’ input section of the monthly Sovereign Confidential.
  3. Read the Sovereign Confidential archives, since many of your topics have been addressed in the past.

I recently asked you to tell me where you’d go if you were to relocate overseas. I got quite a few responses … here are some of the highlights.

Some folks are already overseas, and wanted us to know how it’s going for them:

We relocated 20 years ago to Sonora, Mexico. It’s close enough to go to the U.S. for medical care if we choose, just a five-hour drive to the border. You can get oceanfront or ocean-view property. Every year that passes we are more thankful to have an “alternative” country. — TLC

My wife and I sold everything in the U.S. last year and bought a condo in Puerto Banús in southern Spain. It’s a little expensive, but the weather is great. The real estate is a bargain. Living here isn’t much different from living in a big U.S. city. One thing we like is no Obamacare — we have the best health-insurance policy and we pay only €182 a month. We set up a foreign company to hold our assets and we draw a salary from it. Since we stay out of the U.S. 335 days a year, we benefit from the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The best thing is that we don’t have to watch all of those U.S. political commercials. I love this strong dollar! Buy foreign real estate while the dollar is strong! Enjoy life! — LA

Most folks are still thinking about it, and of those, Central America was the clear winner:

I would probably live in Central America because of the climate, the low cost of living and the excellent health care. — JP

I would consider Belize and Costa Rica in the Caribbean, as well as Panama and Ecuador in Latin America. — JH

The older I get the more I like the warm weather. Would like to move closer to the equator. I think I would like Belize. They speak English — I am 75 and do not really care to learn another language. — DK

I am interested in Panama. I have read it has a good climate, real estate prices seem good, plus they are welcoming to seniors. I like the fishing and swimming and diving. Plus, I am fairly fluent in Spanish. — FA

I would like to relocate to Panama for a variety of reasons. First, Panama seems to be safe. It also has excellent air connections to most of South and Central America. This would allow for easy access to Ecuador and Belize for banking. — JD

One of my personal favorites, Uruguay, also got a few mentions:

From what I have read I will be checking out Uruguay. Costa Rica is also a priority to check out. — BL

I would like to live in Uruguay and have a second passport and citizenship of that country. — TM

Ecuador is also popular:

I’ve checked out Belize and found with my money I could only live cheaply in the middle of nowhere. I simply don’t have enough to live in the advertised expat areas. I’ve researched Ecuador and found Loja gives me a chance to own affordable real estate. My Spanish is next to none and I figured being near the university would be suitable for English dialogue while attempting to learn Spanish. — JK

I would like to relocate to Ecuador. The positive points are the cost of living is low, there are special prices for senior citizens, the weather is mild and property costs are low. The negative points are that the Ecuadorian economy is in questionable shape, the government is growing more repressive and I don’t speak fluent Spanish. — DR

There were a few votes for the Caribbean islands, but not as many as I had anticipated:

I am interested in the British Virgin Islands. Reason: very little crime and tourist activity is small. — GS

I would relocate to Curacao or another Caribbean country. — JW

Somewhat surprisingly, Europe didn’t get too many votes, but there were a few:

My current thinking is the Azores. The climate is quite nice year-round and they are a short plane ride to the (Spanish) mainland. — JM

Finally, one reader took me to task for ignoring Africa, which after all is my own second home:

I read your newsletters with great interest. Your relocation ideas, however, are becoming rather stale. Not everyone can move to Nicaragua or the other South American countries you discuss. I say it’s time for new ideas. How come you never talk of relocating to Africa other than South Africa? There are 54 countries to choose from. Long story short, your stories on South America have become a little stale. Time for something new. — AP

I will definitely think about bringing more African examples into my writing. But I sense an opportunity for feedback on this: There are many beautiful, peaceful, low-cost places in Africa an expat can live. Would you move to Africa? Why or why not?

Send your response to

Kind regards,

Ted Bauman
Editor, Sovereign Confidential