Retiring abroad has become an option for those looking to move to a new climate, pay less to live month to month, or achieve a change in lifestyle. There are many advantages to living abroad, such as improved weather, exposure to different cultures, lower costs of living, and adventure. Many retirees are joining expatriate communities abroad, and it’s a growing trend.
Before you pack your belongings and hop on the plane, there are some aspects of living abroad you should take into consideration. It’s important to do your research before making a life changing decision. I’ve gathered some resources to help you get started.
When beginning the overseas retirement journey, travel blog websites dedicated to sharing the resources and knowledge for smart living abroad, such as this one, are invaluable. Finding the right posts and articles can help you make educated decisions about where and how to retire overseas. This link here (http://www.escapeartist.com/retire/) is a great place to start.
Fortunately, the U.S. Social Security system allows you to receive your benefits while living abroad, which makes a great form of supplemental income. Unfortunately, these benefits cannot sustain a human life fully, so you must ask yourself if you have the ability to pay to live overseas and keep up a lifestyle you would be comfortable living.
When retiring abroad, one needs to be sure they have sufficient funds to live in the country. Many countries even require proof of financial independence, monthly retirement income, or investment income. Researching the price of living is key. To learn more about your options and qualifications, visit https://www.ssa.gov/international/payments.html.
Healthcare is something that is readily available in many places in the U.S. and can be taken for granted, but it may not be as readily available in another country. Many countries do offer health care that matches up to American standards, and many facilities even have medical professionals from the U.S. Medicare does not cover healthcare outside of the States, so finding an alternative option for insurance is needed. Contacting the U.S. embassy (https://www.usembassy.gov/) can get you pointed in the right direction.
One of the biggest perks of living abroad is the lower cost of living. Have you always wanted beach front property? Maybe a cabin in the mountains? Many places like Central America are popular because of the low cost of living. There are resources that allow you to calculate how much you can expect to pay in other countries. It’s great to have your options and compare them. Xpatulator (http://www.xpatulator.com/) and Numbeo (https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/) can help you compare the cost of living in each country.
Visiting a new country can prove to be a culture shock. Standards of living will be different than what most are used to in the United States. There may be language barriers or safety concerns.These are factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a place to spend the golden years of retirement. The State Department (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/) provides information for over 200 countries.
Will you be comfortable where you are living? Taking time to visit prospective places to retire is highly recommended so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Talking and networking with expatriates will enhance your understanding of the lifestyle. There are many websites, such as Expat Exchange (http://www.expatexchange.com/) or Expat Forum (http://www.expatforum.com/), to get current and future expats connected, to share their advice, and to encourage people to experience life abroad.
Many are escaping harsh winters or long seasons of rain and just want to be in the sun, so they find themselves on beautiful islands with summer-like weather all the time. There are countries with a climate for any liking. Check out http://www.worldclimate.com/ to find the perfect fit for you.
While relaxation is a major attraction for retirees around the world, they need to consider whether they are willing to try new things. Other countries offer nature exploration and ecotourism, water sports, and a wide range of cultural activities. Are you keen to new experiences and going out of your comfort zone? If so, retiring abroad may be the choice for you.
Wherever you choose to spend your retirement, especially if abroad, make sure to do your research and make the best decision for your health and happiness.