The mere idea of retirement means something different to each person.
Many people consider retirement an extended vacation, “but vacations are only fun because we have work to return to,” says Jacquelyn James, co-director of research at The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. “With retirement, there’s nothing to go back to.”
James recommends people test retirement before plunging full-time into it. Many companies have introduced phased-in retirement options, where staff cuts back to work three days a week, followed by two days. Before retiring, “Pay attention to what gives you the most pleasure,” she says. “Add variety in your activities because what you do every day can turn into drudgery, even in retirement.”
For many people who keep working, work centers their life. It offers “structure for the day, a social network and feeling needed,” James says. “Retirees need to replace those motivators with a blend of part-time work, volunteer activities or civic engagement and leisure activities.”
Planning and preparation makes good sense. This holds true for those of us who are thinking of retiring abroad. For those who might want to keep working while abroad, it becomes even more so. Here are some considerations and tips to help you along:
1. English is a high value language. Consider how you can use this to create work opportunities for yourself:. There are a range of jobs such as teaching English, working as a translator or a tour-guide for English-speaking tourists, or staff a hotel where English-speaking travelers congregate, according to Betsy Burlingame, founder of ExpatExchange.com.
Colorful Macaus at Campo Del Mar Park, Trujillo, Honduras
2. Consider virtual jobs: For many people such as writers and editors, it doesn’t matter where you live. Today’s technology allows for flexibility. Find ways to take what you have done all of your life and turn it into an online opportunity if you can.
3. Do your homework: Don’t put your head in the sand. Study up on index factors such as visas, setting up bank accounts, expenses, local taxes etc.. There are a number of resources to help you with this such as International Living, a magazine and website focusing on retirement abroad.
4. Go for an extended visit. Spend time living for six months or a year where you’re thinking of starting your “working” retirement. Get to know your community to ensure that the location, the quality of the construction, the local expats are favorable to your needs. Look for mentors. In Trujillo, Honduras for example, Canadian owned company Jaguar Construction will help you build your dream home and also help you navigate the landscape of the area each step of the way. Even better, they live in Trujillo.
5. Be open-minded and flexible: Part of the joy of living and working overseas is learning to go with the flow. Sometimes this means electricity or internet interruptions. It might mean banking hours are limited on certain days or hours. These are the times when it’s great to go for a walk or a swim, take a siesta, relax.
6. Learn proper etiquette for business relationship in the country that you are moving to: Relationships are usually the key to doing business in any foreign country. You must learn patience. Slow down, share a meal or drinks with potential business partners. Enjoy the process of building relationships with them first and then you will find that doors will start to open. If you try to rush the process, the doors will most likely slam shut. It’s just the way it is.
Internet down? No problem, relax.
It is never too late to start planning. So go ahead. Just make sure to have fun with the process.
Jaguar Construction is a premium builder in Trujillo, Honduras. We build homes to the North American standards standards that you have come to expect and maintain the highest level of customer care as we guide you through the construction process.
Jaguar Construction is proud to be the exclusive builder for Desarollos Vision de Vida (Life Vision Developments), Trujillo Bay area’s premier and largest developer. Please visit their website to view their past and current projects.