Every year, millions of Americans reach retirement age. Many of them do not think that living abroad is a good idea for a variety of reasons. They think it’s too expensive, and what about healthcare? The truth is that retiring overseas can be incredibly cost effective, and the healthcare abroad may be cheaper than in the U.S. – and just as good! Don’t be afraid.
Retiring abroad is becoming more and more popular as the years go on. In 2013, almost 375,000 of the 3.6 million retirees were receiving their Social Security checks overseas. Fortunately, it is usually much cheaper to retire overseas with current exchange rates and the cost of living simply being lower, meaning you can maintain an active lifestyle without going through your savings too quickly. Before completely ignoring the option of retiring abroad, read through these reasons why retiring abroad may be right for you.
Reduced Cost of Living
You’ll need a place to live when you decide to leave your current home. In the U.S., retiring can be an expensive pursuit, especially the monthly costs of living. Owning property abroad has become much less expensive than purchasing similar property in the United States. In the U.S., the average sits at around $1,300 a month for housing. Abroad, this number could be cut down to as low as $600 a month. If you choose to live in a place where you can get around by walking, or possibly golf carts, then there’s no need to keep up with maintaining a car…eliminating one worry.
Lower Cost of Healthcare
As most know, healthcare can be very costly in the United States. This can take a huge fraction of your pension or income. Places like Panama City, Panama, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, have excellent international standard medical care that can cost as low as half as much as in the U.S. Are you concerned there may be a language barrier? These first-world hospitals usually have a staff with many English speaking doctors who were trained in the Unites States, so you are receiving the same health care advice as if you were at your local doctor’s office and hospital.
Additionally, the price of medical insurance would be significantly lower. In many parts of the world, full local health coverage can cost $100 a month or even less, depending on age and circumstance. There are a plethora of insurance providers to choose from with a range of care plans that you may qualify for depending on age and how many family members you’d like to cover.
Change in Climate
Do you want the feeling you get when you hear a Jimmy Buffett song to be permanent? Trade in your winter coat for a Hawaiian shirt. It’s time for some sun! When it comes time to retire, you don’t want to have to worry about digging yourself out of the driveway from feet of snow, especially if you’re living in the northern U.S. If you retire abroad, you get to choose warm destinations where you can spend your days relaxing on the beach, hiking, or swimming. There’s no need to worry about packing in all of your favorite activities before the snow starts to fall when it’s an endless summer.
You can find a country that has the ideal climate for you and your needs. If you’re looking for summer all year long at an affordable price, Ambergris Caye, Belize, is one of the top choices for a tropical retirement. Colombia and Ecuador offer pleasant weather all year, and Uruguay and Croatia are great choices when looking for moderate changes through all four seasons.
Moving to a new country opens up a world of activities and projects to get involved in that you didn’t have time for previously. Is there a hobby that you’ve always wanted to take up? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try snorkeling or explore natural wonders. Have you wanted to learn a new language or learn about a different culture? Retirement overseas could be the perfect opportunity to do that, especially when you’re surrounded by that culture and language. Your opportunities are endless, and when you first arrive, there may be even more things you’d like to try than you even knew about. Be a part of the community of other retired expatriates and see what the world has to offer.
Almost anywhere you would like to retire, there is going to be internet. We have the ability to communicate with family members and friends, sharing pictures and videos, conducting business, and even keeping up with our favorite television shows at our fingertips. Skype makes it extremely easy to catch up with your children and grandchildren, friends, and other close relatives. With computers, cellphones, and tablets, your family will be able to see all of the pictures of your hikes through the tropical forest, or hanging out with your new friends at your favorite restaurant. They would love to see you having the time of your life.