Moving Overseas For Retirement: Some Considerations
You might be surprised to know that many of the overseas moves today are being conducted by those choosing to retire in a new country. There are tons of reasons for this, with lower living costs, wonderful weather, and a more relaxed lifestyle being at the top of the list. But before you make such a decision for yourself, here are some practical considerations that demand attention.
Determine Your Budget
One of the biggest reasons to move overseas is the lower cost of living. While this is certainly true, actually conducting the move itself can be quite expensive. Because of this, you must calculate and set your moving budget ahead of time in order to see of this is a very practical option.
You should also think about it will actually cost to live this new wonderful lifestyle. Include ongoing expenses like rent or a mortgage and any expenses that you might still have back in the USA, plus travel costs to visit your family back home (or to fly them down to visit you). Of course, you should still keep your US bank account and can collect any pension, Social Security or other income that you currently receive, as long as you remain a US citizen.
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Do Thorough Research
Make sure to conduct thorough research on your new country. Include information about the climate, culture, economy and any other factors you consider important. Just remember that the reality may not be exactly what you see in travel agency photos or publicity ads. Think about the following, at a minimum:
- Taxes—Yes, some countries (especially those in the Caribbean and Latin America) are considered tax havens and impose taxes at a very low rate, if at all.
- Crime—This should be checked not only on the country level, but also by city and even neighborhoods (if you can find data that reliable). Just remember that even otherwise beautiful and wonderful countries can be marred by certain types of crime. Be sure to check the differences between popular tourist destinations and more ‘local’ regions.
- Weather / Climate—This should be an important factor because you will need to deal with this every day. Latin America is going to have high heat and humidity, generally speaking, especially along the coastal areas. Then again, you could potentially find a place with enough elevation (if you like mountains) to lower that heat and humidity level. You may also consider Europe and other regions around the world.
- Living Costs—You always want to make sure your chosen destination is very affordable. This research is also pretty easy to conduct, just make sure that the data found is the most current. Some of the most popular overseas spots for moving include Thailand, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. They also have established expat basis, although that may or may not be a concern for you.
Never just get up and move. Take a trip or two beforehand to see if you like the place. Try to go to the actual part of the country in which you would like to move. Also, spend some time learning the language; there are tremendous resources from textbooks to online programs that can speed up the time it takes to learn a new language.