Record Number of Americans Ready to Expatriate
In a survey of readers on March 22, 2010, InternationalLiving.com found that nearly 96% of respondents said they are more likely to move out of the United States than they were last year.
More than 500,000 readers of the company’s free Daily E-letter were asked a single question: Are you more open to moving outside the United States than you were 12 months ago?
A stunning 95.6% of those who responded said they were now more willing to make the move and leave the U.S.
“We suspected from record attendance at our global conferences this year that something big was happening to attitudes in the U.S.,” said Jackie Flynn, publisher of InternationalLiving.com.
“The economy is faltering,” said Flynn, “unemployment is at record levels, the health care debate nearly caused a civil war, and there are real wars being fought on two fronts in the Middle East. The cost of living is going up so fast that people are being priced out of their retirements. It’s no wonder our readers are getting serious about moving abroad.”
One such reader is Elaine Yakos-LeBron, an advertising executive in her early 60s from Washington D.C.
“I attended an InternationalLiving.com conference several years ago, after my husband died,” said Yakos, “but when I got back to the States, with the economy down the tubes, I was lucky to keep my job and not be laid off. I dropped anything to do with moving or buying abroad. I just focused on work.”
But then, Yakos said, she decided to attend the InternationalLiving.com Ultimate Event V, held this past February in Quito, Ecuador.
“After losing over a third of my money in the market,” she said, “I’d had enough. I told my financial advisor that he should be ashamed of himself for making more on my money than I was.”
Yakos was impressed with what she learned at the InternationalLiving.com conference. She also realized she wasn’t alone in looking for options outside the U.S. Nearly 400 people, mostly Americans, were there with her.
Along with attending the conference, Yakos spent some time touring Ecuador. It wasn’t lost on her as she was driving along Ecuador’s sunny Pacific coast that there was four feet of snow on the ground back home.
“I don’t have deep pockets, and I’ve been hit by the downturn like everybody else,” said Yakos. “But I’ve always wanted to live where the weather is great and I can hear and see the surf. I learned that I can do that in a place like Ecuador because it’s so affordable.
“After the conference I went to Manta and made a deposit on a condo overlooking the water. I’m a little nervous, but I’m also excited. I now have a lovely place to vacation, and when I do get ready to retire, I’ll have the life I want.”
Elaine Finnegan, InternationalLiving.com events director, said Yakos’ story isn’t unique, and that record attendance at global conferences and seminars so far in 2010 bears out the survey results.
“At our Ultimate Event in Ecuador last February we had the largest crowd for any event in our 30-year history,” said Finnegan. “Nearly 400 people just like Elaine Yakos-LeBron flew all the way to Quito for a four-day conference about living and investing abroad. That’s unprecedented, yet it seems to be continuing.
“We’ve already broken last year’s attendance record for our Live & Invest in Panama event coming up April 18-20,” said Finnegan. “For the first time, we’ve actually had to cap registrations. Our International Real Estate Investment Forum in Toronto June 3-5 is already half full, and we haven’t even started advertising it yet.
“There seems to be a groundswell of discontent in the U.S.,” said Finnegan, “and we’re seeing a record number of people who are ready to vote with their feet and get out while they can still afford to do so.”
Whiskey & Gunpowder
April 12, 2010