Life Lessons

Planning for retirement is not as simple as it used to be. In our parent’s day, it was often enough to consider just downsizing and moving to a warmer climate for your golden years. For our grandparents, it could have been as humble as outliving the mortgage and finally enjoying your home. This generation of retirees however faces an unusual challenge. With increased life expectancy and better geriatric care, people are healthier and more active into their 80's and even...

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I would like to start by thanking all of those readers who responded about my post 'Tis the Season. As you may imagine it was not an easy decision to make public such a personal post on depression. But after hearing from so many people who have similar problems and concerns but have been afraid to talk to anyone about it, I am glad that I posted it. Several of you have emailed or messaged me asking for an update,...

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By any rational criteria, I have a wonderful life. I'm married to a beautiful woman that I've only grown closer to over the last 10+ years. We have been fortunate enough to do a lot of travel and experience some wonderful places. We've hiked the Inca Trail to stand in Machu Picchu, and explored the Galápagos Islands. We have a lovely home in a great location with no mortgage, and we plan to start traveling more soon with the rental...

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As some readers may already have seen in this blog, other articles, or in social media posts, after six wonderful years of living in Ecuador Rita and I decided to move on. Our beachfront condo in the resort city of Salinas has been sold. We have relocated our US property from West Virginia to Tennessee, a state with no income tax on retirement and a more forgiving and temperate climate, and are preparing for a new lifestyle starting in 2020....

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I'm no stranger to Death. I have had to deal with the Grim Reaper on all too many occasions. I watched my older brother drink and eat himself to death before the age of 35 when I was in my 20's. I lost my first wife of 25 years to cancer. More recently, Rita lost a brother, my mother passed this last Thanksgiving season, and there have been at least four in-laws and acquaintances who have left this earth in...

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Ten years ago today on May 3rd, 2009, my life changed. Not that I was aware of it at the time. In fact, I was not aware of much of anything. Mostly I was in a kind of an emotional limbo. My wife of 25 years had finally succumbed to a battle with breast cancer just five months earlier, and although I appeared to be functioning in public, I was still in the last stages of what I came to...

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Since I made the decision to resign as International Living's Ecuador Coastal Correspondent back in March, I've been ramping up the attempts to find more freelance work. I'm still writing articles for IL's magazines and website about places we have lived and visited - in fact, look for a Feature Article I co-authored due out in the May issue - but I'm looking to broaden my subject matter when it comes to writing. I'm now officially a "freelance writer". What...

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We are about to leave Knoxville, Tennessee to return to our home in Ecuador, and this time it is a little bitter-sweet. You see, the sun may be setting on our Ecuador adventure. We have our oceanfront condo on the market now, and if all goes well, we hope to have a buyer before the high-season is over. Salinas, Ecuador It is not that we don't love it in Ecuador. In fact, after living there for five years we love...

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Once you have made the decision to move to a foreign country, the next thing most people start to think about is “what should I bring with me?” This is an important question, but like most decisions when it comes to moving abroad, the answer is different for different people. When we decided to move to Ecuador, my wife and I shipped a 20-foot container. But I know several expats who brought only a couple of suitcases and are just...

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I would like to get some input from the readers of my blog on something. As some of you know, I have been working for some time now on a book framed around our decision to hike the Inca Trail, and our preparations for the journey. For me, most of the preparation revolved around losing enough weight to go from the morbidly obese category down to merely fat. That is only the framework, however. The heart of the book is...

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