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Tips when you’re retiring abroad

by Anna on November 1, 2012 · 0 comments

in Alternatives

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Retiring abroad is a very attractive option for many Americans. The US dollar is a strong currency and our purchase power is stronger in some other countries. However, before you pack up and sell your house, there are a few things to consider.

Long term visit

Living somewhere is not the same as being a tourist. Even if you have a great time when you visit a new country, you still need to take a dry run to make sure it is the right fit.Thailandis a great vacation spot, but it can be very difficult for foreigners in the long term. The language, food, and people are very different than what we are used to. Getting accustomed to systems such as setting up electricity for your home might not be easy as it now.  When you take a vacation, you focus on the good things and being away from home, and you won’t see the problems of daily life until you actually live there. Retirees need to spend at least 3 months in a location before deciding to move there. This experience will give you a truer taste of the local life and see if it’s really the right fit.

Healthcare

Retirees can have more demanding healthcare needs than younger folks. It probably is not a good idea to move to a remote location with limited or no hospital access. Healthcare costs are also rising all over the world so you need to make sure it is affordable in the location you choose. Just because a country may have lower health care costs does not mean that it is easy to access.  Some countries have public healthcare, so take that into account when you make a decision where to live and it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Visa requirement

Some countries are very friendly to retirees and offer a retiree visa.Belizeis a picturesque Central American country that is trying to attract well-to-do retirees fromNorth America. If you meet the requirement, you can get a long term visa.  Retiring in countries without a retiree visa could entail a “visa run” every 3 months. This is a huge bother so check with immigration before you make a choice.

Money

As mentioned earlier, the US dollar is strong in many countries, but that’s not true in all cases. Most European countries are very expensive even for well-to-do Americans. South American and Southeast Asian countries are probably the best bet as far as money goes. You can verify your budget when you take a 3 month in-country trial to see if you can retire comfortably. Open a local bank account so it will be easy when you transfer money abroad.

As you can see, retiring abroad may sound attractive, but you also need to do your homework. There are many great locations all over the world that welcome retirees. Taking a 3 month visit before moving will ensure a smooth retirement. You may find out that living in that country is too difficult and reconsider your options. While you are there, you can figure out the health care and visa requirements as well.

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