Where I Live

Knowing that I spend a significant amount of time outside the United States, Michael M. wrote to ask for my thoughts on living well in a foreign country. (Michael’s an ETR reader as well as a reader of International Living, a newsletter published by a client of mine.)

Half of my time outside the USA is spent visiting clients in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Australia, and India. I stay in hotels and spend my working hours at their offices. And though there are plenty of perks, it’s not a way of life that works for most people full-time.

I have a second home in Nicaragua, but my primary home is in Delray Beach, Florida. I spend about 40% of my time there, and I enjoy it immensely. My house is on the beach. I take advantage of the beach lifestyle. My office is a mile away. Couldn’t be better.

You need a home. Everyone does — a place where you want to spend a good percentage of your time. I am okay with 40%, but I’d like to be at my home in Florida a bit more. It is there that I have my favorite routines. Jiu Jitsu every day at noon. Bocce ball every Saturday at 4. Golfing on Wednesdays. Boys’ night out on Fridays. That sort of thing.

But living overseas gives you a completely different perspective on the world. You interact with entirely different people. You’re introduced to entirely different cuisines. You have unique experiences — experiences you could never have if you spent all your time living in one place.

I can’t recommend the international lifestyle for everyone. But for someone like Michael M. — who is obviously intrigued by the fun and romance of living overseas — I can recommend it heartily.

In Nicaragua, for example, you can truly live like a king on a modest income of a thousand to two thousand dollars a month. You can eat the best food, get the best medical treatment, enjoy all the luxuries that only a multimillionaire could enjoy in the States.

As I said, this lifestyle is not for everyone. But if it sounds like something that might appeal to you, I suggest that you begin by subscribing to International Living. It is the best (and really the only) publication in the world that specializes in teaching Americans how to live international lives.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]