I talk to my mom once a week and last week she gave me some sound Baby Boomer Generation advice. She lovingly urged me to move back to the states in pursuit of a stable job with a good pension. Then when I’m ready to retire in 33 more years, I can move back to Panama. I laughed at the joke and told her, “good one, mother.” To which she replied, “I’m serious.”
After explaining that since I am already living in Panama, her plan didn’t really make sense. I could see just how much each generation we were raised in shaped how we look at the future. She was raised in a time when companies were loyal to their employees and rewarded them with pensions for giving decades of their lives to ensure the company’s success. I couldn’t imagine being in a job for decades. Well actually, I couldn’t imagine being in a job…period. I think that’s my entrepreneurial spirit talking.
My mom was born at the beginning of the Baby Boomer generation and I was born at the bridge of the X-Y-MTV generation. I job hopped within my career field and imagined retiring abroad before going into business for myself. When I married the hubs, a fellow Gen X-Y-MTV person, he said why wait until retirement. We don’t have job security or pensions and Social Security more than likely won’t be available to us when we retire in 30 years. We create our own jobs, businesses, and pensions. We think outside the box. That in turn led us to think outside the borders of our own country and it has paid off.
It’s pretty awesome to work from home, have your living expenses super low, and step outdoors into the tropical world of Panama during off time. I’m glad we didn’t think we needed to wait another 30 years to enjoy it. As far as any of our online clients know, we’re sitting in an office within the good ole U.S. of A.
We have a free U.S. phone number with free incoming and outgoing calls. We have a Samsung Galaxy S3 that we got from Claro (a cellular service provider in Panama) for $60 with an 18 month contract. This allows us to forward all calls from our U.S. number, emails, and any other type of communication we need to the palms of our hands while out and about enjoying life in Panama.
For our online business, as long as we have a cell signal and internet, we’re good. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I couldn’t imagine going back to the hustle and bustle of the states. I couldn’t imagine putting on another coat and shivering like crazy at the crack of dawn in the dead of winter for a morning commute. And I sure as heck couldn’t imagine spending less time with the hubs.
If you can figure out a way to make your career portable so all you need is an internet connection or even open a brick and mortar business in your own version paradise, you should do it. (And there’s no reason you can’t have both. We do!) Don’t decorate your home so you feel like you’re in an oasis. You should actually live in an oasis. Take it from me, you don’t have to wait until 65 and no, you won’t regret it!