Relocating overseas for retirement is a growing trend. More and more Americans and Canadians are planning to spend their Golden Years in Central or South America, Europe, or Asia. Adventurous “Snowbirds” used to flock to Florida in the colder part of the year. Today, they have expanded their horizons to include international destinations.
Cost of living overseas
Only twenty years ago, the pace of life that led towards retirement was completely different. Many people worked in the same place for 20-30 years, enjoying benefits, contributing to retirement funds, and investing in stocks. This was a time of stable jobs and stable careers. By retirement, their house was paid off. A considerable amount of funds were saved, and they could simply enjoy slowing down work to pursue a hobby with a disposable income.
The situation is quite different now. The rising cost of living, erosion of stable well-paid jobs, labor outsourcing, and a couple of market crashes have made it very difficult to set money aside for a comfortable retirement. Fewer and fewer people have pension plans. Entire professions disappear halfway through our career life. Does this sound familiar?
Juggling jobs, side hustles (like driving Uber, or renting through Airbnb), still doesn’t allow for a nest egg to carry us through retirement. But what if you could live in a dream destination while cutting your expenses?
In countries like Belize, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Portugal, you can enjoy comfortable living within a modest $1900 a month. You can experience a great climate, amazing nature, fresh produce, and the bonus of living in the culture that matches your lifestyle.
Semi-retired & working remotely
Retirement, too, has changed. People remain active for a longer time and retain a keen interest in business or continuing doing what they love. They just do this at a slower pace. Luckily, more and more jobs offer remote work opportunities, and because of Covid-19, remote work has become commonplace.
When you simplify your life by cutting your expenses, you are able to continue working remotely with the added benefit of having more money to save. There is really no reason not to consider increasing your quality of life and income potential.
Cost of healthcare
With the cost of healthcare increasing over the past few decades in the United States, many people are discovering quality health and dental care by going to an international destination. These medical and dental vacations are a practical solution, but what if you could find great healthcare access near to where you live? From minor surgeries, dental work, to long-term care programs, Mexico and Central America offer comparable care for a much lower price.
Although it seems to be a bit different for Canadians, who enjoy healthcare programs for free, once it comes down to specific medication, treatment, dental implant procedures, and operations, it turns out not all of it is as free as it seems. So moving somewhere where affordable and private healthcare options are available has become a solution for Canadians too.
Lifestyle & thrill of adventure
People have become more adventurous and open to the world. It is only natural that if you loved to travel all life, you would love to do it more once you have more time. Retirement can provide the perfect outpost for traveling, but with the decrease in expenses and better quality of life – why not just move to the place you love?
While some choose familiar vacation places to relocate, others are adventurous enough to explore an entirely new direction. I’ve created a Know Yourself Questionnaire to help you choose the perfect place to call home.
Pursuing hobbies or passions
You know the feeling of feeling passionately about something but having career, family, financial responsibilities block you from enjoying life to the fullest. The best part about the Golden Years is that you can find the freedom to live your dream. You’ve taken care of others all of your life – these are the years to dedicate to yourself.
Discover air painting, making wine, starting a jewelry business, or growing an eco-garden – it all becomes suddenly possible. And you can dedicate more time to your hobbies, once your budget becomes manageable.
When considering retiring in North America as a Baby Boomer, it simply cannot compare to what Central and South America can offer:
- Government programs for foreign retirees,
- A simplified way to get a Permanent Resident status,
- Considerable infrastructure improvement,
- Affordable & higher quality living accommodations,
- Investment benefits to attract retirees,
- Legal and taxation system improvements.
These measures now allow the decision to move to become much easier.
Strong local expat communities
Once you make the decision to relocate abroad, you will discover strong expat communities in many popular retirement destinations. There are areas where you can live comfortably without knowing any Spanish, or Portuguese, or any local dialect. This creates a great sense of security and comfort for those who are not interested in learning a new language but want to be immersed in a foreign culture.
Expat communities make the whole process of adaptation much easier and faster. You will discover a lot of familiar things in unfamiliar places.
Do you feel like you need help in creating your relocation plan?
The decision to move for retirement overseas is an important one. After all, you are deciding on your lifestyle for a few decades and must make serious financial decisions. This decision usually comes after extensive research, and it might be overwhelming with so much information available. So read on to learn about retiring in Brazil or perhaps Italy and how taxation of your U.S. pension will work. And if you're interested in becoming an expat in your Golden Years, this article may be interesting to you!
As owner of and advisor at International Lifestyle Consulting, Emily will help you find a country or destination that matches your personal situation and will create a customized plan tailored to your unique needs.
Contact Emily now to request a consultation and discuss a plan suited to your budget, personal preferences, and desired lifestyle.