Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Will the Recession Be the Mother of a Thousand Ex-Pats?

Here's a hypothetical: pretend you just lost your job. All you have is your home and about $30,000-$100,000 in savings. What should you do in current economic conditions?

Most of us would choose to try and find a new job. But suppose no matter how hard you try, no new jobs are to be found. You send hundreds of resumes, network til your blue in the face and even land a few interviews. And still...nothing. Suddenly, unemployment runs out, and with your COBRA premiums, you are burning through $3,000 in cash just to stay alive.

Would an attractive alternative be to pick up what cash you still have left and move to Honduras, Costa Rica or Ecuador and try to wait the recession out?

I think it might be a great alternative for many of us. In many developing countries, one can live for an entire year with the same cash that is burned in one month in the U.S. If you bring your computer, you can still search for freelance online work and perhaps even apply for jobs. Or you can decide to open up a business and make the move permanent.

One thing is for sure: watching life savings disappear is NOT an option.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rest in Peace, Dear Mama

I have not written much on this blog in the past months. Part of the delay has to do with the death of my mother at the age of 72.

God rest your soul Mother: you were the greatest and always will be close to my heart. Here is a piece I read at your funeral service:

I love you Mom
And even though you've passed to the next stage of your soul's journey
I feel your presence with me everyday
Though I cannot call you anymore in the mornings on my way to work
To discuss the latest news or the cute things your grandchildren have done
I feel your are with us
Even as I know you are with your Father in Heaven

Instead of phone calls, each morning I will rejoice in my memories of you
I will remember the good times and the love you brought

Like the time you dove in the swimming pool to rescue me as a young boy

As well as the time I brought a bucket of live salamanders to a barbecue
You were holding with my father and family friends
(You weren't too happy about that one
But you forgave me soon after)

I remember you as a single mother raising two children
How you struggled with multiple jobs
I recall you writing a book for grade school kids
And your dedication to making the world a better place for all children

In later years, I remember traveling with you to Belize
Boy, we had a great time!
The sun, the surf and the Mayan ruins
A time that can only be had with good 'ol reliable Mom

I remember your many visits to me when I lived in San Francisco.
And I remember our vacation to London
And the many movies we saw together
Or the quiet nights and dinners at home or the time just walking the dogs

I remember marching with you in political protests
And watching Bears and Sox games live and on T.V.
But most of all I remember what I felt inside
The comfort of spending time with my very own Ma.

Recall that when my daughter Tanya was born
You flew down to Atlanta from Chicago that same day
And please reflect fondly of the Christmases you spent with all your children and grandchildren
Now the holidays for us will never be the same

You were the greatest Mom that ever lived
Your love shone through to all your family and friends
You were so smart, so wise
And so full of life
We laughed so many times together
It is hard to say goodbye
But I know your love will continue to shine down on us
Like a sunbeam straight from Heaven

Thank you for the memories Mom
I love you so
And I will carry you with me
All the rest of my life
I pledge to fulfill your legacy
By holding dear the lessons you taught to me

Though I am very sad today
I know your passing is not the end
Rather it is a new beginning for you and me
And all the family

For God Loves You, Mom
Just like we do
God Loves You, Mom, for all of eternity
You were the greatest Mom and Grandma in the world
And we will never, ever forget you
You will be with us always
And then we'll meet again someday
In the meantime, Mom, please rest peacefully

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

View from Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Taken from a recent cruise I took with the family. Enjoy!