A New Life: Tips for Retiring in Another Country

What are your retirement plans? Have you ever thought of retiring in another country? [...]

What are your retirement plans? Have you ever thought of retiring in another country? This is an increasingly popular option for many seniors, and even if you don’t have a particularly adventurous streak, you might be more tempted if you do more research. Some places have large enough retired expat communities that you’ll still feel right at home only with better weather, lower prices and cheaper access to health care. If you have done your part, and followed all the tips on retiring early, or even on time, now you get to decide how and where you will spend those years. Keep reading for tips on how to relocate abroad after you retire.

Your Preferences

There are plenty of factors to consider. Among them are climate, proximity to the United States and cost of living. Some people might choose a place like Mexico or Costa Rica because they want to be able to travel back to the US more quickly and easy, but for others, this might not be a concern. Another important point to keep in mind is whether you want to be in a place with a big expatriate population or not since this can make or break the experience for many people. 

For now, try not to think too much in terms of specific countries even if you have some places in mind. Even though there are specific countries that offer incentives to choosing to retire there, it’s your life so you must decide from your own perspectives. Think instead about the specific elements that you’re looking for. If you cast a wider net, you may discover options you weren’t aware of.

Your Budget

Your budget will help you determine where you can go and what kind of lifestyle you can expect to live there. Be sure to take all of your assets into account, including your retirement savings, what payments you can expect to receive from Social Security and the value of your home if you sell it or rent it out. You may have additional assets you can draw on as well, such as a life insurance policy. You can review a guide that lists and compares the main companies that offer a life settlement in exchange for your policy.

The Logistics

Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for and what your budget will be, it’s time to narrow it down to the specifics. There are two different elements of this process. You could think of them as quantitative and qualitative. The former is about the nuts and bolts of what it takes to live in another country in terms of visa requirements. The latter is less concrete and is about how you feel about certain places. 

You’ll need to get a handle on the former before digging into the latter because there’s no point in falling in love with a country that you can’t feasibly move to. Fortunately, a number of country welcome retirees who can prove a certain level of financial security. Once you have established the ones that you are able to move to that also meet your other criteria, one or more reconnaissance trips are in order to see if the places live up to how you imagine them. Visiting a place is never the same as moving there, so try to talk to others who have moved there about their experiences.

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Laura.Bartlett

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