Personal Finance

Overseas retirement moneymakers beyond teaching English 

Kelvin Murray | Getty Images

A lower cost of living may be one of the reasons people retire overseas.

But you might still want a job — and not just for the money. Working gives people social connection and daily purpose. And trying to feel at home in a foreign country may be easier when you have some regular working hours.

As a native English speaker, you could put those skills to work and teach others to speak or write English. But not everyone likes teaching. If you like clothes, you might consider opening a consignment shop. They are hard to find outside the U.S., according to InternationalLiving, and start-up costs are low, since you don't have to invest in stock.

Or check out these five businesses started in other countries by American ex-pats who saw a gap they knew they could fill.

1. Baking in Ecuador

Double D's Delights cupcakes

Dawn Wolfe couldn't find bagels in Cuenca, Ecuador. So her aunt, Deborah Rodeheaver, whipped up a batch, followed by other baked treats.

Now the two cater local events and run a successful bakery.

"I most definitely did not come here with even a remote notion of starting a business," Rodeheaver said.

2. Boating in Belize

Belize, Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, dawn over Caribbean sea and illuminated jetty
Alex Robinson | AWL Images | Getty Images

Karen Sands Zul and her husband Marcos Zul started a business in Ambergris Caye, Belize's largest island, that drew on their expertise.

Marcos is a boat captain, and Karen has business and cooking experience, so they bought a boat for a private charter service. "Providing gourmet food for guests became our niche," she said.

3. Shopping in Mexico

'alebrijes, handcrafted mexican colorful wood animals from Oaxaca Statea, in the picture a close up of a hedhog,'
abalcazar | E+ | Getty Images

Judy Miranda's love of folk art led her to start an import business that now funds her frequent trips to Mexico and Guatemala, among other countries.

Her long experience in sales and previous successful businesses were a natural fit for the import business, which can be full time or a part-time side income.

4. Fashion tours in France

Woman is making shoes.
Tadamasa Taniguchi | Taxi | Getty Images

When New Yorker Kasia Dietz moved to Paris, she continued her business: hand-painting handbags and accessories.

Getting to know other Parisian designers gave her a great idea for a second business: introducing tourists to the work of French designers, by visiting their studios.

5. Panama bed-and-breakfast

Star fish beach in Bocas Del Toro, Panama
John Crux Photography | Moment Open | Getty Images

After honeymooning in Puerto Rico, Alli and David Emerson thought it would be wonderful to have their own mini bed-and-breakfast. They opened Surf Break at Paunch in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and never looked back.

They were willing to do much of the construction themselves. A few reviews on sites like TripAdvisor helped them boost the business, which is now well rated among the B&Bs in Bocas del Toro.

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