Give Stuff Away for Christmas

Canadian Couple Sells All Their Stuff to Retire in Panama

This is a great story from Lynn and her husband, a couple of fellow Canucks (who are also our close friends now). They decided to sell all their stuff to retire in Panama. I love how they got rid of extra stuff too, I wish I’d have thought of that – what a fun idea!!!


By Lynn Conrad

I wish I had this e-book when I retired 8 years ago.   We got everything accomplished but if I had a “go-to” manual like this it would have been much easier.   Good job! – Lynn

My husband calls himself a “collector”.  I call him a “pack rat”.   Not only did we have to sell all the worldly goods in our home, we had to sell all the “collected” items my husband picked up along the way.

This was a standing joke with our friends because Sunday night in our area was garbage night.  I tried my best to stop him from going on the prowl for “good” stuff that other people were throwing out.   Hand cuffs only worked the first time.  I think he thought I had something else in mind.  HA! I fooled him.

The double-car garage was so full of “treasures” you had to enter at your own risk.   I have since had to eat crow because he managed to sell pretty much all of those “treasures” for over $2,000!  I had to publicly apologize to him or never live it down.  He redeemed himself.

From my experience I found I placed far too high a value on some of my material goods.   Go figure!   I realized it’s only “stuff” and had to step back and decide on my priorities:

  1. Delay my move date and hold out for a few dollars more or…
  2. Get rid of it and start enjoying my new life.

I chose to take my fist full of dollars and get outta Dodge.

That $5,000 king size bed less than 2 years old? Sold for $500.  Our two leather couches that cost us $7,000? Sold for $1,000. Cement mixer? $50 please.  The list goes on.

Our last Christmas in Canada was the most fun.   My husband took a lot of his “treasures” and things, wrapped them all in Christmas wrap and placed them under the tree.   Every person who came into our home had to pick an item or items.   The only rule was they had to leave with the item or items they chose.   There were candles, medical kits, bundles of nuts and bolts, unopened shaving cream, batteries, tubes of silicone – all unused.  If we had a group of people there they got into the spirit of it and starting trading with each other.  It was a great time and a great memory to take with us.

In fact, at the end of it all, family and friends were the benefactors of many freebies (or close to free).

upset Stick ManDon’t expect everyone to embrace your decision either.  You will be amazed how many of your family/friends will become negative Nelly/Neds.  “How can you leave your home to go live in a third world country”?   “How can you leave your kids and grandchildren”?  “You’re crazy! You’ll be back within a year”.  “Don’t expect us to come visit anytime soon”.  Keep in mind this is more about “them and their fears” and has nothing to do with you. And yes, jealousy does play a part.

We heard all the naysayers nattering away and we politely (okay, sometimes not so politely) told them “This is our gosh darn adventure, not yours”!   I think we may have used stronger words than this, but you get the idea.

Was the whole process scary?  Absolutely!  It was scary, exciting, overwhelming, sensational, and life changing.  Through it all there was not one time that I second guessed our decision.  It was a life-long dream which was becoming a reality.

To sum it up I followed a Helen Keller quote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  

Wow! What an awesome story from Lynn – I’m sure many people can relate to taking a hit on near-new items.  The Christmas gift idea sounds like so much fun! Selling all your stuff brings out some creative ideas, that’s for sure.

Got any stories of your own? We’d love to hear them, so tell us your tales.

Now go sell all your stuff!


5 thoughts on “Canadian Couple Sells All Their Stuff to Retire in Panama”

  1. Hello Mr. and Ms. Hilarious! My name is Kim and my husbands name is Ken from Ottawa, Canada . We are ‘professional house sitters ” now, I am pretty sure, and would love to meet you. Will be back in Canada for the month of May. Where are you located ?

    1. Hi Kim. Ottawa, fun! We love visiting family and friends in our nation’s capital. We don’t have a home base currently and are making our way out west at the end of April.

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