Jeff D. Opdyke is The Savvy Retiree, your guide to a richer life in retirement. An American expat based in Prague, he spent 17 years as a financial writer at The Wall Street Journal, and has written several books on personal finance, investing, and alternative assets. Today, he travels globally as a freelancer writer and has visited nearly 70 countries while writing about the best ways to earn money, save money, and live a vibrant, adventurous retirement.

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Enjoying a Dream Life for Less on Italy’s Famed Amalfi Coast

In 2006, I took my first trip to Italy, visiting the renowned city of Florence. At the time, I was an aspiring New York City event planner. However, eager to explore Italy, I decided to accept a position with a tour operator that assists American university students on their travels. I departed New York thinking […]

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Healthcare in Italy and France: Which Country Has the Best System?

Italy Italy is consistently ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for healthcare. It also has the highest average life expectancy in Europe, according to the U.N. Development Program. These facts verify what I see on the ground every day: Italy is a healthy place to live.  The Italian healthcare system is affordable […]

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How to Win the “Support Myself in Retirement” Battle

I had planned to write a different column today…and then I was thinking about an article that appears in the October issue of The Savvy Retiree and, well, I just really wanted to write about it. I think it says so much about the real world of freelancing and the possibilities that exist there, particularly […]

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Uruguay: An Affordable Safe Haven in Latin America

Disillusioned with life in the Atlanta suburbs, Grace Alexander and her wife, Amanda, decided to search for a better life overseas for themselves and their three children. “We were dissatisfied with things in the U.S. Our health wasn’t great. We didn’t love living in the South. So, we started looking for alternatives,” says Grace.  With […]

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Prosperous and Politically Sane: Have You Heard of This Hidden Gem in South America?

In May 2006, I arrived in Uruguay for a two-week stay. During my time exploring this gem of a country, I experienced a peacefulness that seemed to emanate from both the landscape and the culture.  As my planned departure date grew near, I felt reluctant to leave. The idea of making a new life in […]

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What Qualifications Do You Need to Teach English Online?

Is English your first language? Then you have all the skills you need to teach English online.  You know how to speak with correct pronunciation. You have an extensive vocabulary base. You’re familiar with common idioms and expressions in English. You use correct grammar when speaking or writing. All of these abilities are highly coveted […]

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The True Cost of Living in Europe From an Expat on the Ground

I just paid $1.78 for a half-liter of beer while spending my lunchtime at a park in Prague where I enjoy writing. That’s neither here nor there, save for the fact that American friends often ask me what life costs living abroad.  Which got me thinking that maybe there’s an interesting column this weekend in […]

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5 Reasons You Need to Try Teaching English

At 23 years old, I accepted an internship as a teaching assistant in a private school in southern Brazil. Although the pay was low, I learned an invaluable lesson from that experience that helped me build my dream life abroad: teaching English can be a passport to seeing the world.  Fast-forward to age 33 and […]

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The Critical (and Easy) First Step to Earning as an Online Freelancer

I want to start off today with a graphic… That’s the month-to-month income growth through the first six months of 2020 for U.S.-based freelancers, according to Payoneer, a popular money-transfer and cross-border payment system that I and other freelancers rely on for getting paid. To me, it’s a telling number because it says so much […]

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Teaching English Online: A Fun, Meaningful Way to Earn an Income

I just Googled, “How Learning English Changed My Life” and there were over a billion search results. Now, not every result had those exact words. There were many variations, like… “How learning English changed the course of my life.” “Learning English is the best decision I ever made.” “How learning English has enriched my life.” […]

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A Canadian Expat Finds the Best of All Worlds in Tropical Panama

Catherine Lefevre is the embodiment of what’s possible in the modern working world. A French-Canadian living in Panama, she works remotely in accounting and compliance for a Colombia-based company that serves clients in the U.S. By choosing to live in affordable Panama City, she’s been able to buy a condo. She’s also a co-owner of […]

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Want to Live and Work Abroad? There’s a Visa Waiting for You

A message recently received from one of my friends: “So, like, if I wanted to get a visa to live in Prague, could I? I mean, I’m not saying I want to, yet. But, like, could I—just in case?” It’s the “just in case” that stopped me.  I’m accustomed to questions from friends and acquaintances […]

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I Earned $1,400 in 7 Weeks With My New Side-Hustle

I am “Out of the Office.” Not for you—I mean, you are reading this column, so I did, in fact, write it. But for all those people out there who want me to edit and format their screenplays, I’m actually not around at the moment. And let me tell you why: There are only so […]

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For Decades, I’ve Traveled the World for Free. Here’s How You Can Do the Same…

“You have one of the nicest rooms,” the hotel clerk insisted as she walked me up a flight of wooden stairs. She pushed open the door to a spacious room and steered me to a set of French doors that she flung open, almost cinematically, to reveal the ancient, Venetian port of Chania, Greece just […]

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How I Achieved Financial Freedom and a Stress-Free Life

Money magazine called me last week. One of its reporters wanted to chat about Americans who are increasingly interested in skedaddling to destinations south of the Rio Grande—particularly Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil. So many Americans now have the capacity to work from wherever, and the cost-of-living is generally so much cheaper, that relocating […]

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My Journey Toward Getting an Irish Passport

Once our children left home, my husband, Pete, and I realized the days of big family dinners and holiday gatherings were going to be much less frequent. So, in our 40s, we sold absolutely everything we owned and decided to explore as many countries as we could over a five-year period and then settle back […]

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How I Got an Italian Passport

Growing up, my Sunday looked like many other Italian-American’s. From pasta and fresh bread to dinners ending with espresso, Sunday’s were about famiglia. At the time, I took this for granted, not understanding how special these occasions were. When I lost my grandfather and then shortly after my father to cancer, I realized our Italian […]

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The Best Countries in Europe to Get a Freelance Visa

A larger trend that began several years ago is now ramping up as an after-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic: the work-and-live anywhere lifestyle of digital nomadism. What was once mainly a trend among millennials has become a coveted lifestyle among various age groups that now have the freedom to move about the world and work.  […]

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How to Prepare for the Coming Economic Eruption

What’s the best investment you can make these days? And stick with me—this is not a financial story…which, actually, hints at the answer. Because at this particular moment in history, I’ll argue that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Yes, yes, yes—one could make the identical assertion, regardless of the historical moment. […]

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Interview: How to Earn an Income From Your Blog

Professional blogger and Francophile Janine Marsh never imagined she’d earn an income through writing. The former banker launched her blog merely as a way to share her excitement about a renovation project she was working on.  Almost immediately, however, her blog started gaining a following and before long she was getting 60,000 views a month. […]

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A Dream Oceanfront Business in Caribbean Panama

Josh Acree always wanted to move to a Caribbean island, but he’d presumed this dream would have to wait until retirement. Then he and his partner, Chad Sorrow, were presented with the opportunity to buy a business in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and they decided to bring this dream to life…decades ahead of schedule.  The […]

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