Jody Hanson has had enough of shoveling snow and chipping ice off her car’s windshield. She was born in a small town in central Canada. But as her retirement date approached, she couldn’t wait to hop on a southbound plane.
After traveling to 93 countries and living in seven, Hanson has settled in Santiago, Chile. “If I had to identify one primary reason for choosing Santiago it would be the weather,” says Hanson. “I never, ever, ever want to see snow again—and the only acceptable ice is in my vodka and tonic.”
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Chile has proved to be a user-friendly place to launch a new life. Hanson found a furnished apartment to rent, changed her dollars to pesos, and found the nearest grocery store all on her first day in town. “The advance worries related to moving overseas are much scarier than the reality once you’ve arrived in the new place,” she says. To help finance her permanent summer, Jody supplements her retirement income by working as a freelance travel writer. She sends her articles to publishers and editors around the world, gets paid electronically, and withdraws the money from an ATM across the plaza.
Hanson’s friends and family in Saskatchewan, Canada, often call to tell her about the latest blizzard, the cold temperatures, and how spring can't be more than another few months away. “My mother holds up her Skype camera to show me the snow banks,” Hanson says. She can’t really complain about Santiago’s mild Mediterranean climate. “When it is my turn, I chirp away about the sunny Santiago weather report—typically 75 degrees with a light breeze blowing.”
Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.