Retirement Economics IV – Happiness the Ultimate Insurance

See why happiness is the ultimate health insurance and how to have it.

ecuador parade

Ecuadorian indigenous enjoying an Ecuador Parade. Click on photo to better see them smile!

There are a lot of parades in Ecuador.  They really have fun. One would not think of parades as a form of health care… yet as you’ll see below evidence suggests they are.

A reader recently sent this note.   Gary – thanks so much for all your wonderful info.  I have a thought that keeps bothering me.  From what I have heard the healthcare in Ecuador and other countries like Panama is very good and very affordable – one of the reasons so many of us are considering leaving the US.

In the US – it seems basically the insurance companies have ruined our healthcare system – taken practices away from doctors so that now they are factories and in fact we are losing doctors because of it.  Aren’t we bringing this dangerous western system into these countries?  They have worked just fine and affordably without insurance – now the practices are going to need to hire staff to keep up with the paperwork – etc – we’re inflicting this ruinous system onto Latin America. Why can’t we just leave well enough alone – it seems to me our need for insurance, which we are running from in the US – is going to change things in Ecuador?

My reply was.  Thanks. I agree with your thoughts.  Personally I have never had and never will (other than what the gvt imposes) health insurance. I hate the idea. I’m too much a Scot. If I paid out all that money I would have to get sick to recoup the cash.

Plus I believe that the concept of health insurance is a major contributor to the deterioration of health and health care.

This is why I write so much about natural health.

However I also have a responsibility to help readers live in Ecuador. That’s why we are called and I cannot ignore the fact that a lot of readers disagree with my view.  Those insurance companies have been there for decades before the expat rush and are for all Ecuadorians so they would be there whether I write about them or not.

Merri and I have never had health insurance. We have spent our money on being healthy instead… investing in better food, food supplements, and numerous purification and balancing therapies.

Our logic is that our health is in a big part what we make it and whatever costs we have are not reduced by adding layers of extra cost… like insurance administration.  Our belief is that we do not have to be caught up in this loop of negativity when we pursue our passions through careers.

The careers we create in our 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s can benefit from our greatest experience and the growth of wisdom.  These can be our pinnacle careers…  the best ones that earn more… are truly fulfilling and provide a greater service to mankind.

The least expensive health care is direct, patient to health care provider who knows the patient well.   Later you see something even better and usually cheaper… having fun.

Under the current US system medical costs continue to rise and everyone (except perhaps the insurance companies) seem unhappy.

Business suffers because medical insurance has grown to be the most expensive, employer provided health benefit.

Because, whether we like it or not, we live in a global community it is harder and harder for American companies to compete with foreign companies that have less expensive health care.
The high cost of medical insurance is often a major reason cited for company layoffs, and outsourcing of jobs. In America health insurance can easily cost $700-1000 a month yet in China or Taiwan the cost is closer to $20 a month for health care that is as good as in the US.

Doctors and health care providers do not like it either. The insurance system questions and interferes with their decisions and creates costly overheads that drive their fees up.

This puts health care providers under pressure to see more patients.  This reduces the quality of care and leads to unhappy patients and litigation which in turn increases costs even more.

Plus patients do not appear to benefit. Many indicators show that the US  is one of the sickest industrialized nations.  The US has more chronic obesity, cancer, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease than any other country in the world, on a per capita basis.

One of the messages posted at this site in 2006 said:

We prefer health self reliance. This means not relying on governments for our health care, security or prosperity. Government systems will simply not provide the kinds of health care that past generations have received in the West.

The system will be strained to, and beyond breaking point by natural disasters, mass migration and the strain on ecosystems and national infrastructure. Self reliance means excelling in the basic survival skills of our time.  People should know how to operate in high tech environments but also the fundamentals of ‘old tech.’ Our children should therefore know how to use both computers and grow their own food.

This is an interesting year that can tell us a lot about business and investing.  Special boomer birthdays are coming this year. Mine is one. I am among the first wave of certified Baby Boomer and reach 60 along with a mass of other, born right after the war, kids.

This age thing means little to me. Another birthday here at Merrily Farms is far more important…and telling our family’s special friend (we call her Suzuki) turns twenty. Here she is.

Merri gave Suzuki as a birthday present on my 40th. (It was meant for my son and me to enjoy ourselves out on our lease.) 20 is old for a car! I suspect they age about four years to one compared to humans.

Suzuki is an icon that represents so much that we can learn about life, business and investing. Let me explain.

First she represents a lesson in good health. Health is the basis for all wealth whether earned from business or investing. This is a lesson we all know but also regularly ignore.

At 20 Suzuki looks almost new and runs like a top in part because she only has 59,864 honest to God, one owner (me) miles.  I say this not trying to sell her.  She’ll never be sold.

This lesson is let’s not try to wear ourselves out!  The long haul, slow and steady, really does work best.  If we are given 100,000 miles of existence we can drive them in 60 years or 100 years. The slower journey is easier to see and enjoy.

Suzuki can tell us even more. For example she is the focus of our family. Like many modern families, ours is scattered to the four winds. Mom, my baby sister Sandy, daughter Cinda and her husband David and their daughter are in Portland. Cheri, her husband Shawn and our grandson Garren are in Florida, Jake is in Leeds, Ele in London and Francesca is headed to Swaziland for a year.

But Suzuki holds us all together with memories. The entire family has had and continue to have adventures in Suzuki… in deserts, swamps and backwood’s mountain roads. Whenever we jump in the whole family is there. We are brought together even if it seems that its just me sitting there.

This remind us that its quality of time together that counts. Modern families move and shift more and more. Quantity of time together may diminish, Fortunately even the smallest drop of caring love is so everlasting that it can be packed and carried any and everywhere. It supports and lifts in every way.

Good times are everlasting experiences that are shared regardless of time and space. This entanglement bonds and unites families just as effectively (and at times even more so) than any physical event. So listen to Suzuki.  Quality, not volume, is what counts… among families and really everything! If the world remembered this, the world would be in a better place than it is now.

Suzuki also just had an inner purification, a rejuvenation from the inside out. Here is her new interior that makes her really attractive even though her outside paint job still holds the scars, dents and scratches of so many memories past. I never want to fix the dented front fender where Jake learned not to drive close.  Nor do I want to remove the scratch when Fran was learning to drive or fix a tear in the roof liner that reminds me of a trip with Cinda through an Everglades swamp.

Suzuki’s lesson here is to focus on the inner factors. Goodness will shine out. Focus on developing core, inner beauty, internal assets and don’t worry to much about the outer skin. Good inner workings are what really count.

As a four wheel drive-go anywhere car-Suzuki also reminds us of mankind’s need for adventure and challenge. Once the Western world improved its road system so we can drive anywhere and everywhere without a single bump in the road, four wheel drive off-road vehicles became the top selling rage. This says something about human nature that can help us invest in wise ways.

Plus Suzuki at 20 is a Boomer Japanese car. She came of age as we early boomers turned 40. At every stage of life, we Boomers have not changed industry, we totally transformed it. We Boomers didn’t just rebel against deteriorating, gas guzzling muscle cars made in Detroit. We turned the U.S. automobile industry upside down by buying Japanese. We turned Made in Japan and Germany Lexus, Mercedes and BMWs our luxury cars. Good bye Cadillac!

Then of all things we began to drive trucks and turned everything upside down. For example we stopped doing fun things that gave us exercise. We created a whole new health and fitness industry instead. We stopped getting exercise through play. Instead we made exercise work even called it “working out” and turned our work cars, 4 wheel drives (like Suzuki) and pickups into instruments of play! Figure that one out.

Suzuki reminds us of the richness of this era that is so wealthy, she could be a third and even fourth car in the family just mostly sitting around waiting for us to play in her and “muck about”. And she is a reminder about value and inflation. Today, even with her dents, scratches and scars, she is worth more in the market place than her price when she was new.

This economic inflation reminder is important because we Boomers are about to transform inflation as we have so much else.

A BBC article entitled “Baby boom proves economic power” explains how when it says: “The first of the Baby Boomers are turning 60 this year – and the BBC is running a series of articles and interviews to mark the milestone. Here the BBC News website’s economics reporter Steve Schifferes considers the generation as an economic force. The baby boom generation had a profound effect on the US economy – and was itself a product of a remarkable economic boom. The baby boom began at the end of World War II, when returning veterans turned to marriage and raising families. But its origins were as much to do with economics as with the end of the war.”

The article goes on to explain how Boomers created the suburban house building boom – expanded education – developed unique tastes for teens in music, cloths and dance – brought opportunity to blacks and rural poor – created a sexual revolution – rejected conformity – embraced equality for women and shifted preferences for immediate spending over savings that reduced support for public investment, which has had a long-term negative effect on prosperity.

Then the article outlines why Boomers will also transform inflation when it says: “Nevertheless, the accumulation of asset-based wealth, particularly in houses, was greater among this generation than any time in history. The Pensions Crisis Starting in 2010, the baby boom generation will reach 65 and start to retire. Over the next 20 years, the number of people reaching retirement age is set to rise dramatically. Not only are more people retiring, they are also living longer. And this bulge now poses an enormous problem to pension systems not just in the US, but in many other developed countries where the baby boom started later. In the US state pension system, Social Security is coming under increasing pressure as its accumulated surplus is running down. The official estimate is that it will run out of money – unless taxes are raised – some time between 2030 and 2040. And spending on healthcare is under even more strain, with spending on the US Medicare system rising even faster.”

What can we do to break out of such a downward spiral?

The first step that can take us out of this rat race is to lighten up!  Have some fun.

A Sydney Morning Herald article entitled “Happiness is key to longevity” supports the importance of the link between happiness and good health.  Here is an excerpt:  New research shows being happy can add several years to life.

“Happiness does not heal, but happiness protects against falling ill,” says Ruut Veenhoven of Rotterdam’s Erasmus University in a study to be published in September.

After reviewing 30 studies carried out worldwide over periods ranging from one to 60 years, the Dutch professor said the effects of happiness on longevity were “comparable to that of smoking or not”.

That special flair for feeling good, he said, could lengthen life by between 7.5 and 10 years.

The finding brings a vital new piece to a puzzle currently being assembled by researchers worldwide on just what makes us happy – and on the related question of why people blessed with material wealth in developed nations no longer seem satisfied with their lives.

Growth in material wealth adds little to happiness once buying power hits $US10,000 ($11,500) a year per head, according to such research.

But happiness can be bolstered by friendship and human community, as well as larger social factors such as freedom, democracy, effective government institutions and rule of law.

In Veenhoven’s findings, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, a scientific publication founded in 2000, the strongest effect on longevity was found among a group of US nuns followed through their adult life – perhaps reflecting the feel-good factor from belonging to a close-knit stress-free community with a sense of purpose.

This is why our mantra for decades has been to “turn your passion into profit”,  do what you love and learn how to profit from this.

Benjamin Franklin’s quote is so well worn that I hesitate printing it yet again… but appropriate.  “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

True insurance comes self reliance and such freedom embraces change in a path that leads each of us to our own unique destiny.   One way to accomplish this is by writing to sell.


How We Can Help

We offer an online course.  Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell for $299. Enroll here.

Even Better!  We offer a year long program including attendance to a Writer’s Camp.  You receive the  online course “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” free and save $299.

Writer’s Camps – Recorded on MP3

Learn how to learn how to wrote and self publish from our recorded Writer’s Camp…

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 


Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the places I have lived.   Anywhere I am,  I am  able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from a laptop business.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms in Florida and North carolina, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Hugh and I playing chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like Hugh are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course on how to expand the profits of what you write called “Eventful Business” (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • The business course “Eventful Business”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund. 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.


What other readers have shared about us Gary & Merri Scott

Sydney Morning Herald Happiness is key to longevity