Tag Archive | "Gary Join"

Ecuador’s Season


Our belief in Ecuador, as a place to live and invest, comes in part because of its position in the seventh wave of the industrial revolution.

We conducted our International Investing & Business Course last weekend here at the Jefferson Lansing Golf resort clubhouse.

ecuador-season

We reviewed cycles and seasons… how Ecuador opportunity and business in Ecuador really pick up at about this time of the year.  Ecuador’s up season is coming up.

Seasonality is a really important factor of investing to keep in mind… especially right now… as we will see below.

First, in that course we looked at the Asset Allocation of my portfolio and…

Ecuador Property      15%
US Property                46%
Total Real Estate   61%
Equities                           3%
Emerging Bonds            9%
Bonds                             14%
Cash                                13%
Total Liquid              39%

Why I have so little in the stock market now is due to cycles, seasonality and personal values.

Regarding seasonality, October is the bewitching month of  shares.

We viewed how, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the western economy has been moving through fifteen-year upward and downward cycles.  We saw how we are in the tenth year of a potentially 15 year downward wave.

Since the 1800s the stock market has moved in 30 year waves, peaking in bubbles and ending in troughs. Technology, warfare and politics are all related to these cycles. The phrase that coined this great social economic transformation we call the “Industrial Revolution,”  according to historian David Landes, was first in a letter of 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto.

Since that time mankind has enjoyed ten boom cycles… each created by new technology. Each boom has been followed by a bust… a bear market… a down wave that lasts about 15 years…. for 310 years.

So it is appropriate that in information era up wave  (the dotcom bubble) the Dow topped at 10,336  and then crashed Oct 1, 1999… 300 years after the first revolution began.

Here is a chart of the Dow in that 10th upward period from www.finance.yahoo.com.

ecuador-season

That crash began the current 15 year side ways model that marks the downward cycle.   The peaks and valleys, consistent with the downward wave has slaughtered many investors which, I explained at the course,  is why I have so few equities now.

Seasonality is why I  am not buying equities in October as well.

We viewed how seasonality was at work. Over 30 years the Dow has grown 8.16% overall but all of that growth and more (8.36% per annum average)  has come in the months of November through April. The average annual growth per annum over thirty years in May  to October is only 0.37%.

In other words… October is a volatile month for shares.  In fact the worst days of  the US stock market have been in October.

Black Thursday was October 24th in 1929. During that frenetic day nearly 13 million shares changed hands, nearly four times the norm.  Black Tuesday was October 29, 1929.   The market was slashed again leaving the Dow 40% down in that week.

ecuador-season

Black Monday  was October 19, 1987, global equity markets crashed, starting in Hong Kong. Panic rushed to Europe and then knocked the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down 22.61%, its largest one day drop ever.

ecuador season

In short the good equity growth season is about to begin.

Market timing is never more important than the search for value… but it sure can help the search for value.

Seasonality studies give support to the current bear market recovery but suggest the support is best after October.

Plus watch out for a severe October market correction!

Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management was with us and pointed out that JGAM’s  low risk portfolios have a very underweight position in equities as well.

During the course we also looked at the importance of personal values in investing by enjoying the process.

We saw some great autumnal beauty…

ecuador-intuition

in the Blue Ridge during the course.  We walked some glorious paths.

ecuador-intuition

Yet this is an El Nino year… a cold winter is predicted.  A long one maybe.

Excerpts from a 19 August 2009 UN New Center article entitled “El Niño weather pattern likely to continue into 2010, explains why: The United Nations agency dealing with weather, climate and water says an El Niño event has begun in the tropical Pacific and is likely to continue into early 2010.

El Niño and La Niña bring significant temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical belt of the Pacific Ocean: an El Niño event sees a rise in temperatures and La Niña witnesses a drop in normal temperatures.

These temperature changes are strongly linked to major climate fluctuations around the world, especially in Latin America, Australia and East Asia, which can last for a whole year or more. Both El Niño and La Niña can disrupt the normal weather patterns and have widespread impacts on climate in many parts of the world.

The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said today that sea-surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific had risen to between 0.5 and 1 degree Celsius warmer than normal by the end of June, with similar temperatures in July.

“Scientific assessments of these observations indicate that this warming resembles the early stages of an El Niño event,” the Geneva-based agency stated in a news release.

In its most recent update on the subject, WMO stated that the expectation is for El Niño conditions to very likely prevail through the remainder of 2009 and into the first quarter of 2010.

Last year our autumn paths in October turned…

ecuador-season

to this in November.

ecuador-season

Here was the weather report yesterday Oct.14 2009 at Asheweather.comRainy, cold, and raw about sums it up for today. High temperatures for the day were early this morning; We’ll slip into the lower 40s for the rest of the daytime as rather steady rain continues. Watch out for thick, dangerous fog along the Blue Ridge today through much of Thursday. And yeah, we weren’t kidding about that weekend snow shower thing. Gory details below.

Here are some weather statistics for our area that suggest what  happens in Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina (where we are in the Blue Ridge) during an El Nino year.

Roanoke’s snowiest month on record was January 1966, with more than 41 inches. That was during an El Nino.

Roanoke’s coldest winter on record was that of 1977-78, which also had more than 37 inches of snow. That was during an El Nino.

Roanoke got 19 inches of snow on Feb. 10 and 11, 1983. That was during an El Nino.

Roanoke’s snowiest year of the 1950s (1957-58), second snowiest of the 1990s (1992-93) and snowiest of the 2000s (2002-03) each in the 28-to-30-inch range occurred during El Ninos.

Long term patterns in weather or stock markets are no guarantees… but by looking at the odds wouldn’t you rather invest in equities at a time that historically has shown the highest appreciation year after year.   And though snow and cold are not guaranteed up north, wouldn’t you rather have this in the dead of winter (Mt Imbabura) or…

ecuador-season

this?

ecuador-season

Ma, Merri and our friend Steve Hankins at our condos in San Clemente, Ecuador.

This is why we added three more courses and tours in December in our 2009 schedule and will have even more Ecuador courses in January though March 2010.

The remaining 2009 courses are below.

Gary

Join our Ecuador courses and tours October, November or December.

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business

This course can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times..

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in all our seminars or tours for any one month, October, November or December, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-hotel

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

In Cotacachi the weather is always Spring like.  Here is the village plaza near our hotel Meson de las Flores.

ecuador-hotel

Let our friendly staff at Meson de las Flores serve you.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

This shorts weather photo was taken from our beach penthouse in February.

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in the mountains and at the sea.  Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799

Read the entire UN article El Niño weather pattern likely to continue into 2010, says UN agency

Ecuador Roses


Here is a new way to receive Ecuador roses direct into your home that we are about to launch to help the poor.

ecuador-roses

I took this photo of a new Ecuador rose package that is now available through our Land of the Sun Foundation.

We have been helping readers get Ecuador roses delivered by FedEx in large containers of 50 and 100 long stem roses. Here is 100 Ecuador roses that were delivered by FedEx to our North Carolina home.

Dozens-of-roses

50 or 100 long stem, Ecuador roses are fantastic to see.

They however take a lot of work arranging.

You have to have many vases or a very large vase!

Now FedEx can deliver a smaller package of 25 Ecuador roses… already arranged… including the vase.

Fedex can deliver these Ecuador roses to your home or to anyone you wish.

Here is the Ecuador roses delivered to our North Carolina farm.

ecuador-roses

The Ecuador roses and vase…

ecuador-roses

are tightly packed in here.

This assures that the Ecuador roses and vase arrive in good condition.

ecuador-roses

The Ecuador roses are beautiful.  This arrangement arrived Thursday afternoon before our July North Carolina seminar.  These pictures were taken Tuesday morning, five days after they arrived.

ecuador-roses

You can see the vase…

ecuador-roses

and the…

ecuador-roses

incredible colors and …

ecuador-roses

the size of my hand shows how large these Ecuador flower heads are.

No puny, tightly bound roses that never open here!  Plus…

ecuador-roses

these Ecuador roses will last.   I have had these Ecuador roses for five days old.

I have not treated them well.

They arrived Thursday.    Friday I hauled them in our van to our seminar.  Because they were so fresh they drank a lot of water.   On Saturday and Sunday, when I arrived at the seminar hall,  the vase was totally dry.

Yet my Ecuador roses are still lively and fresh.  They normally stay full for a week to nine days.

ecuador-roses

These Ecuador roses are very  inexpensive… delivered by hand… to your home by FedEx. 24 Ecuador roses, the arrangement… all greens and the vase… we are hoping only $59 including delivery.  We have sent out several arrangements and are awaiting the final costs to know for sure.

Plus $20 of this goes to our foundation Land of the Sun. Our current project is improving  a school in the Ecuador village of  Topo de Grande.

ecuador-roses

to help these kids and all the children who attend this school.

ecuador-roses

You can currently order 50  Ecuador roses at $79 here.  We’ll announce the new arrangement as soon as it is ready.

You can order fresh Ecuador lilies here.

ecuador-roses

Gary

You can order an Ecuador rose arrangement here.

Gary

Join us in Ecuador and learn Super Thinking.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed multi currency course free. Save $175.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and early retirement in Ecuador.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

The Balance of our 2009 course and tour schedule.

Learn how to import Ecuador roses.

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.


Retire in Ecuador


Retire in Ecuador

Are you thinking that you want to retire in Ecuador?

A huge and growing legal problem that affects the way we bank and invest is forcing Americans to change their financial plans.

We’ll look at this problem and some overseas income earning ideas that can help solve the difficulty in a moment.

One of the solutions to this dilemma is to live or retire abroad and since we focus so much on Ecuador may I review three steps that anyone should  take before they make a final decision to retire in Ecuador.  (Then we’ll get to the problem).

First, visit Ecuador. This seems obvious but we have many people who tell us they have decided to retire in Ecuador before they have visited.

Second, rent a place and stay awhile before you buy or make a final decision to retire in Ecuador. The fastest way to pay too much or make a less than perfect decision about where to retire in Ecuador is to rush a purchase.

Third, create a plan and make sure it will work for you.  Do you need to earn income? If so how.  Do you have enough assets or income  to qualify for a residence visa to retire in Ecuador.  Do you have children who need schools? Do you have healthcare issues to resolve that will affect the location where you retire in Ecuador?

Here is how other readers have told us how we have helped them retire in Ecuador. 

Here are some retire in Ecuador raves  from recent visitors who are checking Ecuador out and who, plan to retire in Ecuador.

We can help you look around to decide if you really do want to retire in Ecuador. Here is what one Ecuador Living subscriber shared.

Dear Merri and Gary, my wife and I are staying here in Ecuador at the El Meson De Las Flores both for the very first time.I thought I would relate our first impressions of this most unique place called Cotacachi.

We arrived here July 3 not knowing if we would seek permanant residency or return to the U.S. Initially the culture difference was a shock,but only after a few days we found ourselves growing fond of the Cotacachi area.

The native people in Cotacachi have made us feel welcome and comfortable.We speak only marginal spanish but store vendors and even the indiginous who sell thier vast array of wonderful organic fruits and vegetables at the Mercado also are all helpful and accomodating

Ecuadorian people seem far more relaxed than many people in the U.S.

And it is true.Ecuadorian children do play together safely after dark.

Most ladies wear the traditional clothing,are quite pretty and take pride in their appearance.

On Leather street there are countless stores with gorgeous belts,boots,handbags,jackets,sweaters,etc,all usually made by the vendors who sell them. These Ecuadorians seem to be very creative and industrious. Otavalo has a huge marketplace and has a surprising bustle to it. To us, Otavalo has its own character but lacks the village atmosphere of Cotacachi.

The views in Cotacachi are incredible. If you like greenery,high mountain volcanoes and patchwork hillsides Cotacachi is spectacular. We went to the Mercado Sunday morning and the veggies and many exotic fruits for sale were beyond belief. Giant heads of brocolli, lettuce, tomatos, herbs and some fruits we have never seen before.

Best of all, so inexpensive. Three large bags about 16 dollars.The restaurants here are inexpensive but they seem to serve mostly starches (rice, potatos etc) along with chicken, beef or pork.

You can order fresh veggies if you want in most eateries.

Also,the produce in Ecuador is fresh.Locally grown and harvested right to your stomach.Certainly not shipped hundreds or thousands of miles like US supermarket produce.For any person who wants to improve their health through diet Cotacachi could be the answer.There are poor people in Ecuador, but no body appears to be going hungry.

Downsides?  Well,the traffic can be noisy and the drivers seem to have the right of way.  There are no emission standards so exhaust fumes can be a problem. Debbie and I have decided to seek residency in Ecuador.

We do live on my pension and believe we can be happy and healthy living a more relaxed lifestyle here in Cotacachi.

Also, I compliment your staff at  Meson? Everyone here has been helpful to us being our first time in Ecuador and also after a particuraly bad experience with animal customs at the Quito airport. Thank you  to Eduardo, Rosita, Consuelo, Franklin, Mauricio, Alberto, Christian the computer guy and the other fine associates at Meson. To the wonderful kindred spirits we have met, Olivia, Maggie, Jaci, Mercedes Peggy and Lee.  Again,thank you all.

Talk to a US (or Canadian) and Ecuador attorney before you retire in Ecuador.

Here is what an Ecuador Living subscriber shared about this.

Hi Merri:  I’ve been meaning to send you a note to let you know my passport paperwork was in perfect order for our 12IX Visa and we got it in two days after the applicaction was sent to Washington.  I gave my permanent visa paperwork to the attorney you recommended when we arrived in Manta and it was in order as well.  There were a couple of documents they had to prepare for us to sign and it was off to Quito with the attorney the day after we met with him for the first time.  I can’t say enough good things about your referal (and his Immigation specialist).  It was because of their help that the legal part of our experience in Ecuador has gone so well.  Thank you again for the referral and for filling me in on what we needed to do prior to leaving the States.  Believe me, most people out there don’t give you the true or whole story about the visa requirements.  Because of your advice, we saved ourselves a lot of headaches.

Another wrote about one of the immigration attorneys we refer to our Ecuador Living readers who want a retire in Ecuador visa.

I contacted the Ecuador attorney as you suggested and he gave my file to hsi asscoiate who specializes in immigration.  They responded immediately and she has been wonderful.  I think I have ordered all the documents I need certified and apostiled.  It’s taking forever to get a couple of them but I’m hoping they will arrive soon.  Until you go through this, you don’t realize just how time-consuming it is.  Thank you so much for your advice in this regard. You and Gary have been so helpful in helping us realize the potential problems and we are very appreciative.

Get to know expats in the community who can share what they have learned as they retire in Ecuador.

One Ecuador living subscriber planning to retire in Ecuador wrote this:

We arrived in Manta on May 30th and after spending a few days at the Howard Johnson’s, rented a house for a month. It was owned by a wonderful Ecuadorian woman (native of Cuenca) who moved to the Casita in the back.  We became great friends and met a lot of people through her as well as through the local Gringo organization.

We came to Cuenca a week ago and are living in a rented, furnished apartment overlooking the city (across from the Ore Verde Hotel.)  We attended the Gringo gathering Friday night and who should appear shortly after we arrived we met another one of your Ecuador Living subscrobers who we had met on the January Tour.  Never did I dream we might run into her in Cuenca.  It was great seeing her.

We know we love Ecuador and, hopefully, after out three month rental is up here we hope to be able to decide where we want to settle.  At this point, we are really loving Cuenca! Thanks, Merri and regards to Gary.

Talk to MDs and learn about the healthcare options you may need before you retire in Ecuador.

Here is what one Ecuador Living subscriber who planned to retire in Ecuador shared about this.

Here is the website for my insurance company in Ecuador.  They have clinics across Ecuador plus a number to call and talk to an English Speaking sales person.

The monthly rate for a 69 yr old – and it is $80. Plus the initial medical exam.

They do not have doctors who speak Englaish but I suspect that within all the clinics there probably is at least one, if not several doctors who speak English.

They do have connections with optmologists and dentists in other clinics.

They do not cover treatment outside Ecuador except for emergency treatment in Colombia.

Emergencies are covered all over Ecuador – say you have the misfortune to suffer a life threatening event then you would, presumably, be taken to Loja and treated in a hospital there. You would pay the cost and the insurance would re-imburse you.

All non emergency treatment needs to take place in Quito or where there are insurance owned or affiliated clinics – at this moment just Guayaquil or Santo Domingo.

Now the problem.

The problem is that Americans have lost control of their wealth.

An insidious form of of loss has been taking place for decades and now we are in the end game.

The theft has taken place in the same way the Nazis robbed the Germans of control.

A German industrialist once explained how the Nazi’s took over when he explained that very few people were Nazis.  However many enjoyed how the Nazis brought back an external German pride.  Most were just too busy to care.  The majority let it all happen at an early stage.   Too late the realization came that the Nazis were in total control.   See how this has happened to your wealth here a Bank Privacy Gone

One way to overcome the problem is with overseas income ideas.

See one Ecuador Income idea at Retire in Ecuador with Income

Big problems creates big opportunity.  The huge problem of losing our bank privacy  is creating great profit for those who move, invest or retire abroad. Whether you work invest and retire in Ecuador or elsewhere,  be sure to create ways to protect your wealth in the inflationary era ahead.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about early retirement and Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Bank Privacy Gone


The problem of getting Bank Privacy is gone.  Now the problem is being able to get a good international bank at all.

The problem is that Americans have lost control of their wealth.

An insidious form of of loss has been taking place for decades and now we are in the end game.

The theft has taken place in the same way the Nazis robbed the Germans of control.

A German industrialist once explained how the Nazi’s took over when he explained that very few people were Nazis.  However many enjoyed how the Nazis brought back an external German pride.  Most were just too busy to care.  The majority let it all happen at an early stage.   Too late the realization came that the Nazis were in total control.   See how this has happened to your wealth here.

This is what has happened to American wealth.

Now we are in the end game.  I have been warning about this problem of reduced bank privacy for over 2o years… first in my printed books and newsletters… later at my web site.

Here is what I wrote at this site almost nine years ago to the day, July 13, 2000.

More on the loss of bank privacy

Bank privacy no longer exists. Some years ago I wrote about the insidious tactics that the US and other governments have used to erode financial privacy and personal liberty and pointed out that the problem is that the government does not attack the individual but puts the pressure on the overseas financial institutions. The current additional move by the US government to collect tax is just one more small step.

The message below shows that one of our readers does not understand this yet. After his message I put my comments below.

“Gary  How can a non-US institution, and there must be many thousands of them in hundreds of countries, be “forced” to comply with the IRS and become a tax collector for them? I would think that most of them would tell the IRS to stick it. Or simply ignore it. Sounds more like scare tactics for US “taxpayers.”

The problem began in the 70s when the SEC sued an investment manager in the US who was managing an overseas mutual fund which kept all its money in Switzerland. The SEC demand to the Swiss bank (Credit Suisse) that they return the money (it was many millions) to the US. The Swiss bank pointed out that the fund had not broken any law and that they had no legal way to return the money.

The US simply seized an equivalent amount of Credit Suisse’s money in the US. The was the beginning of the end of bank privacy. The simple fact is for an international bank to operate it must hold accounts in the US, England, Germany, Japan, etc. This makes these institutions vulnerable to the authorities in each country.

Now we can see that this bank privacy problem has grown so serious that more and more international banks will not accept US investors.

Excerpts from USA TODAY article entitled “Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap”  by Kevin McCoy shows how far the loss of bank privacy has grown.

The closely watched Justice Department court fight to get the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders from Swiss banking giant UBS has prompted some other foreign banks to drop U.S. clients they once welcomed, tax experts said Monday.

Eager to avoid a similar struggle with federal prosecutors, banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC in recent weeks have notified American clients they must close their offshore accounts or transfer them to the institutions’ U.S.-based operations, where tax reporting requirements are far stricter.

“Overall, the international banking community, and particularly the offshore banking community, has been very friendly to American account holders,” said William Sharp, a tax law specialist at the Sharp Kemm law firm in Tampa. “That changed in the past couple of months as a result of the UBS case.”

The owner of an HSBC account in Jersey, one of the English Channel islands, recently received a 45-day notice to close the account, said Robert McKenzie, a tax law specialist at Arnstein & Lehr in Chicago. A client with an offshore Credit Suisse account got a similar notice, he said.

Some foreign banks elsewhere now avoid offshore business with Americans because they know the Justice Department plans “to extend this effort to other jurisdictions beyond Switzerland,” said Martin Press, a tax expert at Gunster Yoakley Valdes-Fauli & Stewart in Fort Lauderdale.

It was a smart move. Overseas banks do not vote and do not lobby in Congress.   US banks of course do not mind the competition getting kicked.

A few writers, (ourselves included) have been sounding the warning… in our case for decades.

Yet we are small potatoes and this never reached the majority of the public awareness.

The freedom to bank abroad has never been removed. Conditions have just been set so overseas banks cannot serve Americans.

Clever.  This leaves US investors with fewer ways to protect against inflation created by irresponsible spending.

The loss of bank privacy is not as bad as the loss of being able to use competent international banks.

Fortunately some banks like Jyske Bank (the Danish bank I have worked with for decades) has taken the time and considerable expense to qualify to serve US customers and actively accept them.

One way to overcome this problem is move.  Live and/or retire outside the US. Retire in Ecuador or somewhere you enjoy… as many Germans who saw what was coming did before the Nazis took total control.

This is one reason why so many Americans are moving abroad. See more at America Moving Abroad.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about early retirement and Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

See the entire article Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2009-07-12-ubs-secrecy-case_N.htm

Retire in Ecuador for Healthcare


Many people will retire in Ecuador for healthcare reasons.

A huge demographic retirement problem looms. Population and economic numbers will drive many boomers to retire in Ecuador or other low cost countries like Ecuador where they can afford the healthcare.

The first boomers turned 60 years old in 2006. Now about 4 million more reach that age every year for the next 18 years.

This boom of retirees will swamp the retirement and healthcare systems that our parents enjoyed.

This means that those who want to retire need new strategies.  One strategy is to retire in Ecuador or at least some country where healthcare may be more dependable and affordable.

retire-in-ecuador

One reason people retire in Ecuador is the scenic beauty. This is a view from our hotel Meson de las Flores.

The demographic distortions are increased because boomers have a better chance of  a long life than their forefathers.

Improvements in healthcare  extend the expected average lifespan of boomers to 22.5 years.  Yet this healthcare is becoming so expensive, it is out of the reach of many.

A longer life expectancy means higher potential  healthcare costs.  Medicare and private insurance are becoming more expensive.   Fewer employers will be able to continue giving healthcare benefits to retirees.

More and more people will be forced to finance their own healthcare. This retirement healthcare can be so expensive, one illness can destroy a lifetime of savings.

retire-in-ecuador

Health care in Ecuador is less expensive in part because of lower real estate costs. Very nice houses like this built on the small river in Cotacachi are less than $90,000.

Excerpts from an article in US News & World Report entitled “A New Look at Healthcare Costs in Retirement” by Emily Brandon explains the problem better:

Health benefits for retirees are a relic of the past. Fewer than a third of current workers have any employer subsidy for retiree health insurance, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

A new analysis by the nonpartisan EBRI puts the number for a couple currently age 65 at a staggeringly high $635,000, and that doesn’t include long-term-care costs. EBRI also calculated that a 65-year-old single man will need $331,000 and a single woman $390,000 to be almost completely certain of covering all out-of-pocket retiree health costs.

The article (see a link to the full article below) explains that this amount was up from a previous estimate of $225,000 needed to cover healthcare costs in retirement.

My experience is that those who retire in Ecuador find their medical, dental and pharmaceutical costs run about 20% to 25% of those in the US.

Plus there are many free health care benefits for Ecuador retirees.  See Ecuador Retirement and Healthcare.

retire-in-ecuador

These new condos being built at Primavera provide low cost homes ($75,000) for those who retire in Ecuador.

Many will also retire in Ecuador for better healthcare care.

One Ecuador retirement healthcare concern goes beyond the cost.

Ecuador retirees want the care.

Many people do not like the way Western healthcare has evolved. They will not use the traditional healthcare system even if they can afford it.

A reader just sent me this note…not about Ecuador retirement…  but about a benefit of overseas healthcare for those who are retired.

Hi Gary, This is your expat friend in Manila. You are so correct about US medical care.  I couldn’t help but feel the US health care system failed my retired dad miserably.

The feeling I had was that hospitals try to avoid patient care liabilities. My dad had also purchased a term care policy, which could not be utilized until 90 days of documented out of pocket expenses. Same feeling, you call the insurer, and you are referred to their legal department.

Dad had always said socialized medicine was a bad idea, so our entire family followed.  But after this first hand experience of critically needing US medical care for an elderly, very loving dad, who this time around – needed help.

Dad risked his life in the Philippines to serve our country, as a photo-reconnaissance pilot, in WWII. He deserved better than that!

I feel like I am in much better hands here in Manila, the nursing capitol of the world. If I were in my dad’s situation I would get dedicated care from loving caring human beings, just like in Ecuador. Dentistry is the same here too. Cheers!

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The Catholic cathedral next to Meson at sunrise. The church helps with healthcare.

One US healthcare problem is that the great emphasis on specialization and insured medicine has depersonalized the care.   Liability concerns have further blocked the doctor patient connection.  The system seems  uncaring… too systematic… too numbers oriented and too lacking in compassion.

This is not the situation in many other countries including Ecuador where the health care is not only inexpensive but very caring.

Here for example are some sorts of an Ecuador retirement nursing home where the doctor and nurses even dance with the retired residents.

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See more on this at Retire in Ecuador & Nursing Homes.

The onrush of boomer retirees will place a strain on the US healthcare sstem, push up the price and reduce the care. Many will retire in Ecuador or other countries for lower costs and more care.

I am doing a Retire in Ecuador questions and answers so send your questions about Ecuador and retirement.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about early retirement and Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Read the entire article “A New Look at Healthcare Costs in Retirement at” http://www.usnews.com/blogs/planning-to-retire/2008/06/05/a-new-look-at-healthcare-costs-in-retirement.html

Early Retirement in Ecuador


Early retirement in Ecuador has several attractions… because of Ecuador’s wonderful people.

One attraction to early retirement in Ecuador is a labor pool that offers much more than just low cost.

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Merri and I know the value of Ecuador’s people and how they can help early retirement in Ecuador. Here I am with the manager of  Meson de las Flores.   He is an incredible person whom we trust totally.  The staff loves him.

According to a recent USA Today article,  When 1,097 Americans 45 and older were surveyed last December, 9% of them said they had lost their jobs in the past 12 months, and 31% of workers that age said that it is very likely that jobs will be eliminated this year, according to AARP’s 2009 report.

Baby Boomers also are out of work longer than younger Americans. Last year, they were out of work 22 weeks on average, compared with 15 weeks for the 20- to 24-year-old age group, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They may find it hard to get a new job because they’ve had higher salaries. And that means they may have a higher threshold before they’re willing to take another job, says Maria Heidkamp, a senior project manager at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

But they also may be rusty about applying for a job, and their skills may be out of date, she says.

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Our two chefs (Santiago and Alberto) at Meson are  a fraction the cost of a US or Canadian chef but do an incredible job. We continually get raves about the delicious food at the hotel.

One person quoted in the article had lost several jobs in information technology because his employers thought his work could be done more cheaply outside the USA and he saw his money slowly flittering away.”  He took a minimum wage job at a car rental firm, to just keep up with bills but then even lost that job.

The article said that even workers who thought they had planned perfectly and saved enough for their retirement are refocusing.

There are two seeds of an Ecuador early retirement idea that takes advantage of early retirement in Ecuador or anywhere that offers lower cost living.

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Everyone tells how caring our food servers (Eduardo and Consuelo).  They always remember what you want and how you like it. They really do care about your happiness.

The first seed is that labor costs are lower outside the USA and that labor is very willing to work.   Perhaps the man in Ecuador could take early retirement in Ecuador and start a business that takes advantage of this good low labor cost.

He could turn his problem into an opportunity and take advantage of  Ecuador’s labor pool to start an information technology business that serves his former bosses, and others like him in the US, who let him go.

Early retirement in Ecuador or any country with a good pool of workers can turn one of our great disadvantages into an advantage.

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Our cleaning staff are the two…

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Rositas (Rosita Molena and Rosita de la Torres).  They do much more than clean rooms.  They are the hotel mothers looking after all of us with love,  real nurturing, devotion, willingness and smiles.

The second seed is that the cost of living in Ecuador is low.  The high US and Canadian costs of  living make it harder to start a business.

Whether you are young or old,  there may be benefits of taking an early retirement in Ecuador.

Think outside the box and adapt to changing conditions.  Just 3 hours and 45 minutes south of  the USA is a pool of low cost, happy, hard working, earnest labor.

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Alberto Verdesoto (left leading our staff at a Quito seminar) looks after our delegates on tour.  He has over a decade in Ecuador tourism and is assisted by Mauricio Bonilla (below also), who is graduating with a degree in Business Tourism.

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An early retirement in Ecuador can benefit from Ecuador’s wonderful people.  They help make living pleasant and offer great skill, combined with genuine care and desire to serve at an affordable price.

Ecuador’s people can make your retirement more enjoyable, plus form the core of  a successful early retirement income.

Gary

Here is the typical praise we receive about our staff at Meson.

Merri:  Just thought you might like to know that Michael and I have enjoyed our two real estate tours, and feel like we have achieved our goal of an over-view of Ecuador and the available types of property.

Mauricio has really gone the extra mile to be helpful to us, and is a great asset to your team. His “can-do” attitude has enhanced our visit.

Alberto is always there with a smile and a hand to help me out of the bus, and I so appreciate the special attention, as I am a little wobbly on stairs.

Eduardo at Meson is another asset to your group and makes an extra effort to please.  The girls who serve the food there are also very nice.  Looking forward to meeting you and Gary, hopefully at the IBEZ Seminar in October or one of the upcoming Import/Export Tours… Thanks again.

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about early retirement and Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

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Ecuador people really do care and make you feel part of their family. This is a note from our staff sent to Merri on Mother’s Day.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

See more early retirement ideas

Reading the entire article For Boomers, recession is redefining retirement http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/2009-06-16-retirement-boomers-recession_N.htm will help you understand Ecuador retirement better.

Retire in Ecuador & Live Longer


Retire in Ecuador, work and live longer!

Many who planned to retire… cannot…  because of the global economic crash.   They have to work.  So why not work instead of retire in Ecuador?

It may be hard to get a job… a good one especially… in Ecuador or anywhere right now.  We can take advantage of this fact and work at something we love by working with our own business.

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Ecuador is a safe, low stress place. These children work in Otavalo and ride on their own, on tour buses selling scarves, dolls and rugs.  The oldest (on the right) is 15.

There are several reasons why it’s good not to retire in Ecuador… but to work instead.

First retirement, in Ecuador or anywhere, kills! An important part of longevity, for those who retire or not, for those who work in Ecuador or not,  is to remain independent, challenged, active and needed.

One of the most important features that was found in the valleys of Ecuador where people rarely retire but live long lives, is that old age was revered.  In Ecuador old age its not viewed as bad…  Maturity is highly respected.  People at the age of 100, even 110 are known to still be active and working!  There is not the same old age glass ceiling as in the West.

If you plan to work beyond retirement age, why not provide your services in a place where you efforts are more appreciated?

One does not have to move to Ecuador to work.  There are innumerable stories worldwide of how staying at work extends life.

One non retirement story that motivated me is of Max Zimmer of Los Angeles.  Max came to the US from Austria in 1911 with only a two dollar bill. At age 103 he still had the same two-dollar bill and had built and still ran a multimillion-dollar business.

One MD who specializes in anti aging points out that most centenarians seldom spend much time with doctors. When they finally get sick, they die quickly and with little expense. They depend on themselves to remain healthy not others.

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Ecuador is becoming an increasingly international place, offering more opportunity for business work and retirement. Here are the flags of our visitors at our inn, Meson de las Flores.

A second extra income from Ecuador retirement work, is that your efforts can be more effective and enjoyable because the cost of living is low. When it is easy to live within your means… huge stress is removed… and make no mistake… stress kills.

Third, living in a country, like Ecuador, where slow and steady, is a lifestyle foundation, enhances longevity and makes life more enjoyable as well.

Having a good savings and investment plan for old age is an important factor to remaining independent.  But the recent economic downturn has destroyed this for many, so why not at least be able to take it easy a bit as you work. Enjoy a more laid back lifestyle.

The world has put itself in an economic mess.  We do not have to participate if we steadily do something we love in a balanced way.

Live where you can afford. Enjoy serving someone every day  and spend less than you earn in healthy surroundings where society appreciates your efforts.

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Ecuador has a great supply of fresh, low cost food.

Excerpts from a recent USA Today article by Noah Berger entitled “Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, says today’s problems are caused by capitalism’s excesses”  fine tunes this point when it says:

INAMORI’S TIPS

Capitalism brought prosperity to mankind. Today’s problems are due to capitalism’s excesses.

Seek profits for the good of society and long-term sustainability of companies.
Lead with altruism and modesty, seeking reasonable profit over the long term.

Q: The 20th century ended with the greatest prosperity in human history. Doesn’t capitalism deserve the credit?

A: Capitalism was able to bring previously unknown levels of prosperity to humankind. We have now fallen into an unprecedented recession brought about by capitalism. With humankind’s unlimited desire to earn more profits and live more affluent lifestyles, financial institutions launched new instruments, such as derivatives, using advanced mathematics and statistics. They created enormous profits by leveraging funds that were 10 times larger than their assets. This human desire caused the economic collapse. While the past prosperity resulted directly from the achievements of capitalism, the present difficulties have resulted from capitalism’s excesses.

Q: Leverage has not always been bad. Won’t there be times when Kyocera competitors will do far better because they are willing to take a risk with leverage?

A: You are right. It’s easy to outperform companies like Kyocera. Companies make huge profits by leveraging their capital. However, if society and employees need a company, then it has to be maintained so it can grow for a long time. This is a company’s mission, to maintain and expand for the long haul. The correct way to manage a company is to have a firm financial foundation that is capable of overcoming economic downturns rather than making a significant profit in the short term. I will continue to aim for stable management even though we are facing harsh economic challenges.

Inamori is now 77-years old and is showing no signs of slowing down! I chose to quote him because he is a great example of steady success and shows how continuing to work rather than retire enhances longevity.

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Inamori was born in  Japan and at age 27, he started Kyocera. His company is now a high-tech multinational maker of cellphones, office document equipment, solar power products and ceramic components that employs 66,000.  He founded KDDI in 1984, which is now Japan’s second-largest telecom network.

Yet he has not just followed the money.  He is an ordained Zen Buddhist monk. His priest name Dai-wa, means “great harmony.” 

Our lives do not have to be dictated by the errors of others.  No matter how insane a society becomes, we as individuals can remain steady, balanced and happy by serving others while living within our means.

Retirement in Ecuador makes good living less expensive.  Yet we can adhere to these principles anywhere to live longer and happier… not tired or retired no matter how old we are.

See more on Ecuador retirement at Why Ecuador Retirement and  Retire in Ecuador Idea.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Read “Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, says today’s problems are caused by capitalism’s excesses” at  http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/advice/2009-04-19-advice-inamori_N.htm

Why Ecuador Retirement


Why take retirement in Ecuador?

For many it is the low cost of Ecuador living that makes retirement there attractive.

For others Ecuador retirement is attractive due to the low entry cost of good income producing businesses.

Ecuador retirement can be enhanced by owning an agricultural business.  This is a tomato farm for sale in Ecuador.

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This property offered at $130,000 includes a house.

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We are told that this farm generates $25,000 a year of income… an excellent addition to one’s Ecuador retirement plan.

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I believe this farm is under offer… but there are other farms ideal for Ecuador retirement like the one below.

Retirement and farming go well together for many… Ecuador retirement or retirement at home.

Merri and I are lucky having a farm in Ecuador and the US.

Excerpts from a recent article in USA Today entitled  “For Boomers, recession is redefining retirement” by Christine Dugas, shows why Ecuador retirement and farm retirement plans will grow.

The 77 million Americans in the Baby Boom generation face an economic storm: The Wall Street meltdown trampled their retirement nest eggs more than any other group. After losing jobs during what they thought would be some of their peak earning years, many are struggling to get back into the workforce. Health care costs are rising, and declining home values mean they might not be able to count on home equity to guarantee an easier retirement.

SAVE EARLY: Tips for building a solid retirement plan

“This generation will be sobered by their experience,” says John Coyne, president of Brinker Capital, an investment management firm. “They may not have as extravagant a vision of retirement as they did last July.”

The reality is sinking in: Baby Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, are planning to work longer, save more money and spend less, to reach any semblance of the retirement they once envisioned. According to AARP:

•35% of those ages 45 to 54 have stopped putting money into their 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts.

•25% said they have prematurely withdrawn funds from their retirement accounts.

•56% have postponed a major purchase.

•24% have postponed plans to retire.

Cash management change

Middle-class Boomers have few options for improving their retirement goals. If they maintain their current standard of living and don’t cut costs, three out of five will outlive their financial assets in retirement, according to a new report from Americans for Secure Retirement, a coalition of more than 40 organization.

Our last real estate tour looked at a number of new properties including an Ecuador Avocado farm. Here is the entrance to the avocado farm.

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the main  house.

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Here, in front of the houses, is the fruit… the cash generator.

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We are told they will offer a $50,000 a year income after two years… $25,000 potential this year.

Learn more about the Avocado farm and see a recipe for Avocado Naranjilla Muffins at Retire in Ecuador Idea

Farming and retirement in Ecuador or anywhere can be fun and healthy… better than a La-Z- Boy recliner for sure.

Excerpts from an October 2007  Time magazine article “Back Home on the Hobby Farm” by Dan Kadlec says: When he was a child, Walker Miller would pick berries and bring them to his mother, who baked “the best blueberry pie you ever ate,” he recalls. Today, Miller, 66, a retired Clemson University plant pathologist, has found a way to return to a bit of that past: he owns a 9-acre (3.6 hectares) pick-your-own farm in rural South Carolina, which he named the Happy Berry. At least some of the local children who pick blueberries for their mothers today pick them from Miller’s fields. This pleases him–as does the simple hard work the place requires. “I enjoy being outside,” he says. “I enjoy sweating.”

Miller and his wife Ann (who still works for Clemson) are among the tens of thousands of recent retirees finding meaning and fun back on the farm. Their tiny operation also happens to generate half their annual income. But others are raising cattle or seeding small plots with no regard for revenue. These gentlemen–and gentlewomen–farmers are drawn to the country by a love of nature, affordable real estate and, in some cases, Internet connections that allow them to keep working as lawyers, writers and consultants.

The number of farms in the U.S. has been shrinking for seven decades. But the rise of “lifestyle,” or hobby, farms–typically about 30 acres (12 hectares) that produce little or no income–promises to halt the decline, say officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Largely because of hobby farms, whose numbers are growing 2% a year and now account for about half of all farms, the population of rural counties is up 12% since 1990–the first gain in such areas since the Depression.

“Many of these people are businessmen or bankers,” says Karen Keb Acevedo, editor-in-chief of Hobby Farms. “They start on weekends, wanting a better quality of life.” The hot spots, she says, are in areas that are one to three hours outside of big cities on both coasts and throughout the Southeast.

Hobby farmers drive up land prices in hot areas. They also raise big-picture concerns about total farm output. Hobbyists get far less yield per acre than the lifetime pros, and in times of food shortage they would further crimp the supply, usda officials warn.

But there appears to be no stopping the trend, which is fueled not just by retirees getting in touch with the land but also by a rapid rise in the market for organic foods, which these farms tend to produce.

Now is a good time to buy a retirement farm as well.  Demand has definitely dropped.  US and Ecuador retirement farm prices are still low.

On a previous Ecuador real estate tour we looked at a small farm that included a thousand peach trees that created real estate income. The peaches were sold to the armed forces and a super market chain. Here is the house and…

The orchard with wonderful views of Ibarra in the distance.

Merri and I love the enjoyment and the health benefits of living on our farm

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with…

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our horses.  This is Goliath…one of our five.  Our…

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chickens lay great fresh farm eggs. What an omelette… farm eggs and home grown veggies!

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The omelettes are even bigger with our geese.

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We love the pure spring water…  and our creek…

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filled with trout.  Our daughter Elle caught this brookie in the creek last year.  Plus…

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the wildlife like these deer in our front yard.

Our ability to grow food… taking care of the animals and even getting to the mail box keeps us walking… working… flexible and trim.

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So whether  you plan to retire in Ecuador or elsewhere, do not stop working and perhaps consider moving to a farm.   This is a great way to live.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Read the October 2007  Time magazine article Back Home on the Hobby Farm at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1670527,00.html

Reading the entire article For Boomers, recession is redefining retirement http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/2009-06-16-retirement-boomers-recession_N.htm will help you understand Ecuador retirement better.

International Investing & Business Index


Making international investing and business decisions based around an index of happiness can add depth to your international investment and business decisions.

Understanding what will happen globally is important to everyone’s decision making process on where to do business… where to invest and where to live.

We’ll see below that Ecuador is high on NEF’s (New Economics Foundation) Happiness Index (more on the index in a moment)… but this index is about much more than Ecuador.

This index is about the world… the future…. prosperity and poverty… life and death.  We should know it… especially because it is quite hard to believe.

You’ll see below why:

* Seemingly poor countries may have an advantage in the years ahead.

* The richest countries may not be the best places to invest or start a business.

* How to use new techniques to see what the future may bring socially and economically.

NEF is an independent think-and-do tank that tries to analyze real economic well-being.  NEF’s aim is to improve the world’s quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and social issues.

NEF says:  NEF’s report, the Happy Planet Index: An index of human well-being and environmental impact, published in association with Friends of the Earth, moves beyond crude ratings of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to produce a more accurate picture of the progress of nations based on the amount of the Earth’s resources they use, and the length and happiness of people’s lives.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting Index of the 178 nations for which data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go.  In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits – all nations could do better.  No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.

This index is important because everyone is increasingly faced with complicated problems, parts of which are unknown or unreachable.

This index is worth sharing because as I read it,  my first thought was “nonsense.”

Who would have placed the nations of Guyana, Bosnia, Georgia  and Romania above the UK for happiness?  Yet  Guyana is 63rd in the index. the UK 74th.

Here is 63 to 74 on the happiness index.

63. Guyana
64. Belgium
65. Bosnia and Herzegovina
66. Slovenia
67. Israel
68. Korea
69. Italy
70. Romania
71. France
72. Georgia
73. Slovakia
74. United Kingdom

Guyana happier than France and the UK?

I wanted to reject it.

Then it made me begin to realize… the somewhat disturbing fact that as far as potential for happiness goes, Americans are almost at the bottom of this international index… along with the British and most Europeans.

Reading this index made me realize that we cannot use old standards of the past to analyze what will happen in the future.

About the time of this thought, a page from an old John Sanford novel, “The Hanged Man’s Song” came to light.

The prime person in this fiction is a computer hacker… a very logical, scientific thinking person… but who also from time to time uses a totally unscientific way to process information… tarot cards.

The story says:

So I got the cards out, my tarot cards.  I’m not exactly a scientist – I was trained as an engineer-but I have studied the philosophy of science and I’m a true believer.  The tarot as a predictive system is superstitious nonsense. The deck is useful as a gaming device, though and that’s how I use it.

Like this: we are forced to deal with complicated problems, when some facets of the problem are unknown or unreachable, we deal with them in terms of our past experience. That’s almost inescapable. But approaches that are useful with some problems don’t work with others. The tarot deck, when used as a gaming system, pushes you outside past experience and encourages you to think of new ways to deal with it.

Say for example, you are involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were dealing with, the opposition,consisted of five men and a women. You begin doing the tarot spreads and see a number of indications of female influence.

This does not mean that the deck correctly predicts female influence in the transaction, but suggests that you should sit back and think about the woman on the other side, who might otherwise seem to be just another functionary. Why is she there? What specific influences does she have? Is there a way to approach her that would help the deal?

This has nothing to do with supernatural-it’s simply a human way, and a fairly subtle way to game a problem.

This started me looking at the index more.

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Sustainability and cost of happiness are a part of the index. This is why we grow some of our own crops at our farm… like the lettuce we harvest around our backyard pool.

The Happiness Index pushes us beyond our past experience.  This international index does challenge mainstream thinking.

Imagine Haiti is 41st on the list.  Denmark 105th.

99. Uruguay
100. Ghana
101. Latvia
102. Australia
103. New Zealand
104. Belarus
105. Denmark

That started me thinking for sure.

NEF is composed of some very intelligent people so their approach does have  logic. NEF calls it a new global measure of progress, the ‘Happy Planet Index’.

The NEF logic factors in the short and long term cost of happiness.

Mainstream thinking uses measurements like growth of GDP… but ignores the relativity involved. If GDP rises 10% this is considered good.  Traditional thinkers do not ask what is the cost of this growth to our environment. How much will we, our children and grandchildren have to pay in the future for this current growth?

Nor does the mainstream paradigm compare the happiness efficiency of a nation.

The NEF Happiness Index takes into account whether a culture is using more than its fair share of the Earth’s resources.

This creates a new international ranking of environmental impact and well-being and reveals a very different picture of the wealth, and poverty of nations.

Environmental Efficiency

NEF’s view is that Happiness Efficiency is a phrase and concept worth knowing and using in consideration of the overall (long and short term) success of a nation.

We all know the benefits of efficiency. Now we have a way to measure a really important long term efficiency.  We could call it the “cost per smile” or “laughter earning ratio”.

This really makes sense because it is the inherent nature of all living things to strive for happiness and satisfaction and avoid stress.  If the population of a nation needs to do and spend a lot to attain it… that nation is likely to have economic problems due to its lack of efficiency compared to other nations.

NEF’s index combines environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which countries provide long and happy lives.

The results are surprising, even shocking.

The index shows a very different hierarchy of success than we normally assume.

For example, the US is a disappointing 114th in happiness ranking behind  countries like Mongolia, Malawi and Chad.

106. Mongolia
107. Malawi
108. Russia
109. Chad
110. Lebanon
111. Macedonia
112. Congo
113. Madagascar
114. United States of America

NEF’s report also says:

“It is clear that no single nation listed in the Happy Planet Index has got everything right. But the Index does reveal patterns that show how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means. The challenge is – can we learn the lessons and apply them? Governments the world over have been concentrating on the targets for too long. If you have the wrong map, you are unlikely to reach your destination”, says Nic Marks, head of NWF’s Centre for well-being.

The HPI shows that high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction).  This suggests that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources.

The report also shows that a culture can have a long, happy life with a small environmental impact.   America and Germany have similar life satisfaction and life expectancy. Germany’s Ecological Ecological footprint is barely half that in America.   This means that Germany is twice as efficient as the USA at generating happy long lives based on the resources they consume.

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Sustainability is important for long term happiness which is why we bought a farm with lots of spring fed water, like this stream that flows in our backyard.

How can we use this index in business and investing?

I am not sure how accurate this index is or how important it will be.  Accuracy is not all that important though because, if nothing else, this index is a thought process put together by intelligent people that can help us see and think outside the box… something we always need to do.

We must always ask, what comes next?  This index might help us answer this question by adding one more small light that reflects of what might be in the days ahead.  Now we can see better how a country is doing now plus how the cost of the current success may affect the future.

Thinking outside the box is almost always a criteria for long term success. For those who believe this, NEF’s Happiness Index will help make them happy!

Ecuador is 25th on the index.  See the top 25 countries on the index and more about Ecuador’s Index here

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and..

investing-course

cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

investing-course

enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

investing-course

I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Read the NEF  report at www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_i1_aboutushome.aspx

Wild Health & Profit


Two huge problems we face whether we live in Ecuador, the US, Canada or anywhere are rising costs and a deterioration of global health and health care.

Here is a tip that can improve your health and wealth at the same time.

See how water is proven to improve health and how one person used it to enhance his wealth.

internet-business-idea

Wild Pooling?  Good for your health?

Our last message Ecuador Dental Exercise looked at ancient health wisdom suggesting that taking a cold shower or dip in a pool can improve your health.

This thought goes beyond shamanism.

In the Eighties, NASA research confirmed that regular cold water swimming leads to a series of bodily changes called “cold adaptation”, which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and increases fertility and libido in men and women.

See in the excerpt below from our course Tangled Web – How to Have an Internet Business how one businessman turned his passion for water and disaster into profit.

The Tangled Web course helps earn added income, as you improve your lifestyle, wherever you live because the mantra in our business courses is “Turn Your Passion into Profit.”  Do what you love and figure out how to earn from the process.

We have been stressing this idea since well before we started our internet publishing in the 1990s.

Our son Jake, just finished law school in Britain.  His break before jumping into his new profession has been to join us to work here on the farm. When he arrived he brought the idea of wild swimming… a perfect example of how to turn a passion into profit… using the internet.

Jake told me the story of Wild Swimming as he tested the idea of Wild Pooling… soaking in the creek pools here at the farm.

internet-business-idea

The rock pool.

The story he shared was about Daniel Start, an Englishman who led a conservation expedition into New Guinea in 1995.   While in the jungle the entire scientific team were taken hostage by Irian Jaya separatists.

Start and his team were held for over four months and during the military operation that freed them, they saw two of their team hacked to death in front of them by the rebels.  While being held hostage for months they were forced to scavenge for food and live like the native people, their lives constantly at risk.

During this time, Start became a devotee of outdoor swimming as his kidnappers were a riverine tribe.

Upon returning to England he held a passion for swimming and began crossing the country looking for great places to swim.  From this passion grew a book, “Wild Swimming” a  guide arranging 150 swimming sites by region, with a helpful ‘at a glance’ section that groups the swims by themes such as child-friendliness, literary associations and proximity to a cycle route or good pub.

internet-business-idea

The bridge pool.

The book has created quite a movement and a web site (a link is below).

A Telegraph article entitled Wild Swimming: A Splashing Time, Naturally

Spring is here and soon it will be warm enough to go to Port Meadow, a huge grassy swathe along a meandering stretch of the Thames in Oxford where we live for a picnic, a paddle and maybe a swim.

It was here, during a late summer swim last year, that I met Daniel Start. He was taking pictures for his book, Wild Swimming, to be launched at the end of the month by Punk Publishing (the imprint responsible for the popular Cool Camping guides). Start was inspired to write about England’s best swimming spots during the baking summer of 2006.

“I was working in an office in London, dreaming about the rivers of my childhood in Herefordshire,” he says. “I was desperate to go swimming on my days off but couldn’t find any information about where to go. So I decided to write about the lost swimming holes of England, where generations of children learnt to swim before public baths existed.”

internet-business-idea The lower falls pool.

There you have it.  A problem… a passion and a profit.

When you create a business in this way it often does more than just make a few dollars.   Start’s books (he has now also written “Wild Swimming on the Coast”) encourage enviromentalism, healthiness for adults and children plus togetherness of family and a return to nature which is needed all over the world.

internet-business-idea

The upper falls pool.

Hopefully you will never need to be kidnapped to have a passion… yet know this: There is some desire within you. If you turn it into an internet business, it may do swimmingly well!

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and..

investing-course

cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

investing-course

enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

investing-course

I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

The Wild Swimming site is at http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/

Read Wild swimming: A Splashing Time, Naturally
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/3354127/Wild-swimming-a-splashing-time-naturally.html