5 Reasons to Consider Retiring Overseas

Retiring Overseas Can Offer More Lifestyle For Less Money

Quito, Ecuador. International Living

At first the idea of spending your retirement years in a completely different country and culture can seem odd.

But as more and more U.S. retirees and near-retirees search for ways to improve their retirement prospects, the idea of retiring abroad is becoming a serious option.

Here are five reasons why overseas retirement options are gaining so much traction lately.

1. Community: Like-minded people tend to find each other and hang out together no matter where they are, and expat retirees are no exception.

(Here we use the term “expat” simply to mean someone who is living outside their home country… NOT someone who has given up their citizenship.)

In fact, there are dozens of locations in foreign countries where retirees with similar tastes in weather, culture, and geography have formed close-knit communities for mutual support and social activity… Places like Ajijic, Mexico; Boquete, Panama; Ambergris Caye, Belize; and many more. They play and relax together, watch out for each other, and join together to help out their adopted villages, towns, cities, and countries through service work and volunteer efforts.

It’s the kind of community you’d find in retirement communities in the U.S.— only in some of the most beautiful and exotic locations on the planet.

2. Affordability: If you could suddenly cut your cost of living—utilities, property taxes, and health care costs—in half, would you do it?

This is exactly what happens when you relocate to many of the most popular expat retirement destinations.

Moderate year-around weather in many overseas retirement destinations shrinks utility costs. Property taxes in much of the rest of the world are ridiculously low compared to the U.S. And many countries popular with expat retirees have medical services that cost half or less than in the U.S. and often offer low- or no-cost national healthcare systems.

It all adds up to the fact that, just by making a move abroad, it’s possible to cut an average monthly budget in half.

3. Health Care: As we just mentioned, health care costs outside the U.S. can be remarkably inexpensive. Private insurance can cost a half to a third what it does in the U.S. Most medical procedures cost much less, and in some cases expats can qualify for a foreign country’s national health services for less than $100 per month…sometimes it’s even free.

But does that mean quality goes down as well?

Most major metropolitan areas of the world have health care providers and facilities that are the equal of anything in the U.S., and that includes the major cities of most of the countries that retirees choose as overseas destinations.

But just like in the U.S., the farther away you are from those metropolitan areas, the faster the quality of health care goes down. This will have much to do with choice of retirement location for expats who have or think they may have major medical issues. If you need weekly dialysis or have heart issues, living in a tiny fishing village hours from the nearest city won’t meet your needs. There are plenty of major cities out there…Merida and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico; Panama City, Panama; and Quito, Ecuador to name just a few… that many expats have called home for years for just that reason.

4. Climate: An old song has the verse, “Going where the weather suits my clothes.” If the clothes you prefer are shorts and sandals, then moving someplace where you never again have to worry about shoveling snow, changing furnace filters, or paying a heating bill makes perfect sense.

People have been vacationing in and retiring to warm, welcoming spots since recorded history began. But renting or owning in the best weather zones of the U.S. became a high-cost proposition years ago. Looking outside the U.S. for affordable retirement property in a place with great weather expands the possibilities exponentially.

5. Adventure: For many retirees, retirement isn’t the time they settle in a chair and rock away the rest of their lives. It’s when they have their greatest adventures… The part of their lives when they finally have the time and resources to do and see the things they’ve always wanted to do and see.

Retiring overseas certainly fits that bill. Starting a new life in Mexico, Malaysia, France, Uruguay, Costa Rica, or any other beautiful and exotic place can feed the soul and keep the mind and body engaged in learning new things, meeting new people, and discovering new ways of life.

There are few better ways to stay young than to retire abroad.

This article comes to us courtesy of InternationalLiving.com, the world’s leading authority on how to live, work, invest, travel, and retire better overseas.