Before your read another paragraph, I want to be sure you know that I am not employed by International Living or anyone else. My opinions are strictly mine and I enjoy, very much, the freedom to express my opinions through various mediums and forums. As a freelance writer and author, I do sell my pieces to a variety of publications (including the International Living Organization) and have arrangements with others to share my written material, as well. I write what I want to write and if others buy it…great! If not, I am fortunate in that I am not reliant upon their money!
Diane and I have just returned from the International Living Fast Track Ecuador Conference in Quito, Ecuador. We had accepted an invitation to speak to the large group of folks in attendance about our retired lives here on Ecuador’s coast. The attendees had come from the United States and Canada to learn, over the course of nearly three jam-packed days, all they could learn about retiring and living in Ecuador and they paid good money to attend. I’m sure each person had multiple thousands of dollars invested by the time one includes the price of the conference, hotel, airfare and meals. Many folks arrived before the conference to take tours and remained after to see more of the country. Like I said, multiple thousands!
“Multiple thousands” is a lot of money for me and yet, when one is considering a major lifestyle change such as leaving North America and moving your lives to a small, South American country, I think most would believe it to be a wise investment.
In addition to our personal contributions to the conference, there were expat speakers from all the major areas of Ecuador, presenting material on what their lives were like in such places as Quito, Cuenca, Vilcabamba, Loja and Cotacachi, Salinas and more!
Besides those of us who live here presenting material on our lives in various regions of Ecuador, there were many other speakers presenting material on such things as visa and immigration issues, citizenship vs. residency, expat tax and reporting issues, raising children in Ecuador, learning the Spanish language, several presentations on purchasing and renting real estate, a number of presentations on Ecuador’s healthcare system (benefits and pitfalls), options for earning income in Ecuador and many, many other topics.
I was absolutely impressed with the quality of the overall conference as well as each speaker’s knowledge of their subject matter. Speaking with many attendees during the conference, all I talked to also felt it was a great investment of time and their multiple thousands of dollars.
I have just learned that one can actually purchase the conference materials that include recordings of each presenter’s information and their slide shows (Power Point) as well as other stuff.
I just checked on the International Living website and the information is not yet available. I suspect it will take a number of weeks to prepare these “Conference At Home” packages. Here is a link to the International Living Website that sells “Conference At Home” packages. It looks like the price may be somewhere around $350 but…I’m not sure.
Again, I don’t make a nickel off of any of this stuff. But speaking as one who attended the conference (for free as a speaker) my opinion is that it was chocked full of the information most would want to have before making an International move. There were also many opportunities for attendees to connect with the speakers and ask questions and discuss any concerns. Both Diane and I were regularly captured by eager and inquisitive groups of people over the course of the conference.
You might want to save the link above and check back every few weeks to see when the package will be available.
I understand that there are some who are not fans of the International Living organization. I can only report on my personal experiences and from what I experienced, the information that was presented was accurate and thorough. International Living brought together a knowledgeable base of speakers, the majority of whom had nothing to sell and the reception to the overall conference appeared to be overwhelmingly positive! Diane and I were pleased to have had the opportunity to participate.For those who attended the conference and for those who may choose to purchase the Conference At Home Package, it could be compared to drinking from a firehose. It is a huge volume of information to swallow. No one should complain that they didn’t get their money’s worth. But…that’s just my opinion and one that no one has purchased!