The best advice for anyone considering living as an expat in Bolivia comes from expats who already have experienced relocating to Bolivia, or even neighboring countries in South America. Below you’ll find ten important questions to ask about living as expats in Bolivia, when choosing expat retirement destinations, or for example, if you are moving to Bolivia with kids
. Don’t just ask what are the best or cheapest Bolivian cities for expats. What is right for some may not necessarily be what's right for you.
Make a list of what you, your spouse, and your children do each day. Then make a list of what you use when you do those things. Research costs and availability. For the things you won’t have available in your host country, ask yourself seriously: “Are we really able or willing to live as expats in Bolivia without these things? Really? Again, really???” Another way to approach this question would be: “If we change our minds once we’re expats in Bolivia, will we be able to return home and resume our lives?” Start with these 10 questions, and add any others that occur to you as you begin to think about your decision:
10 questions to ask before you move:
1. Why do I really want to move to Bolivia? (What is my primary motivation?)
2. What lifestyle do I want overseas? (And can I afford it?) (And is it possible or available in my host country of choice?)
3. Will I be able to make a living in Bolivia? (Or is my retirement portfolio sufficient for this?)
4. If things don’t work out or we change our minds, will we be able to return home and resume our lives? (Will we be able to afford to move back?) (Once back will we be able to find employment again?)
5. How does each member of the family feel about living in Bolivia? The decision must be mutual between partners. Children won’t ultimately decide, but should be made to feel their opinions were taken into account, regardless of the final decision taken. Will I (will our family) truly benefit from moving to Bolivia?
6. Did I fully research housing, schooling, employment, transportation, healthcare, residency requirements and everything else I'll (we'll) need for the Bolivia expat life?
7. Could I (or could my family) benefit from some additional preparation before relocating to Bolivia (language courses, culture transition coaching, career coaching, etc.)
8. Do I (does our family) have a plan for repatriation (returning to our home country) in case of emergencies? (And should this happen could we afford it, and where would we return to?)
9. Are there any options we should leave OPEN prior to moving? (Would my employer take me back if I return, should I keep my business partially open until I’m certain, etc.)
10. Am I (are we) truly willing to blend into local Bolivian life, accept the things we are not accustomed to, and thrive despite the changes?
Lastly, remember: there is a big difference between living and thriving in your new home! Ask yourself:
If you are still in the research stage and haven't yet determined whether or not Bolivia is right for you, I encourage you to exhaust every resource available to you. You can ask questions in our public Expat Forum
, read through all of the pages in our Live in Bolivia
and Bolivia Facts
sections, join our BoliviaBella Facebook Group
, get in contact with other Expats in Bolivia
, and keep up with Bolivia News
and current events. All of these are free public resources. However, if after all of your research you still have questions you'd like answered, consider making use of the BoliviaBella Question and Answer Service
. Read more about it here.