The answer to this question is a difficult one. Retiring abroad truly is a matter of individual choice, tastes, desires, goals, and aspirations.
We have addressed some issues in our report on “What to do during retirement”. It is in finding your life’s purpose and design first that will help you answer this question.
Is it for financial reason? Is it the lifestyle? Maybe a particular foreign country has a special place in your heart? Could it be a family member is already out there and waiting for you?
Whatever your reason is, the bottom line is, it’s all about where you feel you will be happier.
So the direction we are going to journey down now will be that you do know what you want, you have figured out your life’s purpose.
The result is that traveling or retiring abroad is part of what you wish to do.
Now the question of whether you should just visit other countries or actually go and live in other countries outside of the United States comes into play!
So to help you with this, it may make sense to spend a little bit of time doing the visit first plan. You have to get a feel for the location, the culture, the cost of living and so forth. Retiring abroad require some serious thinking and planning.
Here are some tips:
Make a list
Based on your personal reason, for starters, if you have not done this already, make a list of about 5 to 10 places that you will visit or thought about living in first. They could be on the same continent.
So for example, if it is Latin American, you could list several of the countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Panama and so forth.
You could do this with South America, the Mediterranean countries, Australia, Asia Europe and so forth.
Consider this part of your research. You could decide that you want to have a 30-day visit to several of these countries at one time to get a feel for them.
Do your own research
Go online and do your own research. Check out the place, the type of government, look at the pictures or better yet look for a retirement community in that particular place.
One of the best that comes to mind is InternationalLiving.com. They have a very robust website, daily email postcards and even a hard copy International Living Magazine.
So for example, I have included a screenshot of one of their website with the countries tab open. They have a listing of top retirement places to live which would be a great start to investigate your journey.
They also have a tab of “The Best Places to Live”. What I know about this site is that it is not theory. Most of the people associated with them are in fact living the overseas life.
They are the contributing editors or writers. Basically, you will get it “straight from the horses’ mouth”!
You may also subscribe to research organizations that can help you with a tremendous amount of information.
Find a good travel agent
Do your best to find an excellent well-respected travel agent that knows exactly what you want to accomplish to help you. Let him know that retiring abroad is what you really want to do.
Putting together a great itinerary for your purposes is well worth the money you will pay the agency.
However, there are also some other questions that need to be answered. Sometimes it is not a matter of money or time, but a matter of family.
Older Americans who desire to live abroad also have grandchildren.
The question that one must consider is how much do I as an older person need to be plugged into my grandchildren’s lives.
Is it really necessary to always be available to them? Or will they be more blessed by visiting you from time to time in your new found home?
The family dynamics in answering this is varied and sometimes complicated. It is a decision that only you can make. Have that discussion with your adult children.
Is it possible that your thoughts that they need you to be close may not be true at all? You may really be surprised that they actually want you to live the life of your dreams!