Many moons ago (in the late 90’s) I was a regular participant on the message boards for Motley Fool. A few regulars there spoke of overseas retirements in either Costa Rica or Belize. I found this intriguing and began researching the possibilities. At one point we were actually researching real estate and job opportunities in this central American country. We found a bed and breakfast/bar which was for sale for around $150,000. It was on the main road from Belize City to Guatemala. We planned and schemed and daydreamed. But we never followed through. In the first place, it is probably good that we didn’t. We may have switched locations, but we were not looking for true independence. We were thinking more about independence from U.S. taxes than location or jobs. We got sidetracked by research and planning, trying to find the best offshore business structure. I shouldn’t be surprised it never amounted to anything. About the only thing worthwhile that happened during this episode is that my mind was at least opened to the concept of ‘sovereign citizen.’ Thinking of one’s self as a citizen of the planet, not just one particular piece of geography, was very freeing. It is still very difficult to achieve, but much easier for Americans than most. This is ironic considering that we Americans are some of the most fiercely isolationist people left on the planet. Belize is still on our list of places to see, but we won’t be looking for real estate there.
[Update – 12-15-2010: By ‘isolationist’ I am not referring to American foreign policy. Unfortunately we are all too eager to impose our will around the world. Yet our citizens rarely travel outside our own borders. There is probably a correlation there somewhere]