Cynthia: It was so great to hear from readers this week about how things are going in their areas. Some even sent photos!
Edd: And we were really appreciative of those who asked how we’re faring here in Ecuador.
C: Ironically, we’re supposed to be on a 5-week, family trip right now in the States. Specifically in New Jersey, one of the coronavirus hot spots.
E: Yep. At the beginning of March we contemplated changing our itinerary and going early when all this craziness started. In retrospect we made the right decision staying put.
C: I’ll say. Glad we trusted my intuition. Our country’s restrictions are more stringent than many places we’ve read about, but Cuenca has less than 200 cases in a population of over 600,000.
E: You know, since we work from home anyway, our daily life is probably 90% the same as it was before. We just don’t get to go out for lunch a few times a week, and we visit the grocery store less often. Who knew we were pioneers in “social distancing?”
C: Ha! You’re right, but it’s funny we didn’t realize it until we related our lockdown experience to friends and relatives. What’s different is the eerie quiet outside of our walls. Especially because, as a friend of ours says, Latin Americans like to live life loud.
E: Don’t miss hearing the late night parties in the neighborhood, that’s for sure. Our curfew from 2 PM to 5 AM has put the kibosh on those! So all in all, except for having trouble remembering what day it is, I’d say we’re doing just fine. Well, it’s really just me not knowing what day it is...
C: Thanks for the clarity on that comment! I thought it was interesting some readers expressed concern about our financial situation living abroad. Gosh, so many people are hurting right now with most of the world basically being shut down. No paychecks and in probably too many cases, no jobs at all once this is over. Plus the stock market plunge has been a crushing blow, especially to those near retirement age. My heart really goes out to that group because they just don’t have enough time to recover.
E: So true. Lots of folks who got clobbered like we did back in 2008 were feeling better about their future. Now this happens. Like we told Business Insider, what a blessing the Social Security checks that pay all our bills keep coming. And those stimulus checks we weren’t even expecting will show up this week.
C: And it’s ironic that two of our 1-year CDs in Ecuador that pay almost double digit interest were renewed last month right in the middle of this mess. Really glad we’re not depending on the U.S. stock market for our financial stability. So to answer those curious subscribers, we’re not feeling the economic effects of COVID-19 and are very grateful.
E: Absolutely. You know, Cynthia, we’ve kind of held off talking about retiring abroad in the current environment. I mean, on the one hand it’s like, what’s the point when you can’t even travel! But as we’re having this chat I’m realizing that this is actually the perfect time to at least be thinking about it.
C: That’s an excellent point. Sure, you won’t be booking an international trip somewhere any time soon. But as we’ve been discussing, on the other end of this pandemic a lot of people will be facing difficult financial decisions. They’re going to need a Plan B like we wrote about recently. And since we’ve been doing it for the last ten years, we know for sure that moving out of the U.S. is a solid strategy to live better for less.
E: Honestly, if you’re close to retirement and short on savings, it’s a great solution. Because you weren’t initially fired up about moving overseas, we looked at every option we could think of before pulling the trigger on retiring abroad. We found that nothing else even came close.
C: Plus, important life changes take a lot of thought, time, and planning. Even something like booking a trip isn’t done spontaneously. You think about where to go, how long to stay, what to do, how much to budget, right? So yeah, now is the ideal time to consider what to do if the economy doesn’t rebound as quickly as we all hope it will.
E: Why don’t we come up with something special to help out with that?
C: I think that’s a great idea. Let’s think about how we can put together our own version of a “stimulus package” for those that are now going to need a different retirement option. Stay tuned...