Thinking Outside the Country
Whenever an American Expat or an expat from any country resides outside his home nation they instantly become street smart economists. I had never been west of Chicago until the US Marine Corps gave me a 12 month all expenses paid tour of Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Teg, we’re not in Cincy anymore, why don’t you find a job overseas, when you get out?
Good idea, I followed my bliss, first to Brazil where I tried to live an American lifestyle on a beer budget. However, Buenos Aires, Machu Picchu, boat trip down the Amazon were worth the stay.
My second opportunity to think outside the country was a short 13 month stay in Egypt as a free-lancer (on-the-economy) begging for consultant crumbs from the US Agency for International Development. Got to visit all 45 agricultural research stations from Asawan to Alexandria, took sailing lessons on the Nile and the Aswan to Luxor Nile cruise. Got to see how the civilian side of the Federal government works or doesn’t.
After six miserable winters in Cleveland, Ohio and 500 resumes I got a chance to visit all 45 agricultural research stations in Egypt from Aswan to Borg el Arab, under the auspices of the CIA front group the US Agency for International Development.
At 65 I found out that I couldn’t afford to live my ‘bliss’ lifestyle any place in the US, on Social Security and my dinky pension. I exercised my one remaining marketable job skill – speaking English with an American accent – for seven years in Mainland China.
My good looking partner with her JD Law creds, became disenchanted with being a shill for Chinese ESL training schools so we began looking for greener, affordable pastures. India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Korea were ruled out in favor of Antalya, Turkey, San Diego weather at one third the US cost of living.
In China we lived on wages, now we live on my SSA monthly check and save 30% of that, if we avoid Euro-Dollar countries. When I bragged to a Bostonian lady that we paid $300 for a 3 bed 1.5 bath apartment one block from the Mediterranean, she was impressed. Due to the currency exchange rate of the USD/TRY we started off at $327 in March 2014. Today, the US/Turkey political relationship has knocked our rent back to $250.
What if the coming global financial Armageddon puts my pension on the Venezuela payment plan? That’s the problem in not only My Backyard but in 98% of the neighborhoods in the world. There are articles of living in Portugal or Ecuador for 30 years on $200,000, but what if your $200K turns into Zimbabwe bucks overnight?
My Backyard Strategy: Stay in Antalya, rent don’t own, bank accounts in TRY, EUR and USD, 5-10% savings in Gold. – 2019.
Thinking outside the country means being flexible. 2021 has us owning, three hours east, over three big hill ranges, from Antalya, on a hill overlooking Akkaya Valley. By car – we have no car – it is 30 minutes to either Ortaca or Dalaman to shop, bank, pasar: produce market. Fresh air, 2nd best in Turkey, San Diego climate, fair weather (April to November) twenty-one unit condominium devlopment. We are waiting for our first English person to arrive.