How to Plan Your Retirement Abroad

Filed under Places to Retire

A growing number of international citizens are contemplating the concept of taking early retirement, escaping the hectic monotony of the daily grind and retiring abroad in a low cost location to make the most of their retirement savings.

If you’d like to live overseas to escape the high costs of living associated with countries such as American and Britain for example, this is a guide to planning your retirement abroad so that you don’t run out of money, you don’t run out of friends and you never lose your adventurous spirit. When contemplating retirement the majority of us seem pre-programmed to only consider the far reaching financial implications of never bringing in an income again! But the fact of the matter is that there are many more things to consider if planning on retiring abroad, not to mention the fact that many retirees overseas pick up odd jobs and part time positions advising and assisting other expatriates with their lives and businesses anyway!

However, as the financial implications of retirement are uppermost in our minds let’s tackle that subject first.

By retiring overseas in a low cost country such as Mexico, North Cyprus or Belize for example, retirement money simply goes far further. Taxes on property and income are far lower in many overseas countries, property prices are amazingly affordable in plenty of emerging destinations, and the abundance and quality of fresh produce in many sun-blessed and affordable retreats means that day to day living costs are quite simply reduced.

There are considerations that those moving to less well developed but cheaper countries should bear in mind though – such as affording a decent level of health care cover  but in a country such as Northern Cyprus for example the cost of receiving quality medical treatment is so low that an insurance policy’s excess is usually higher than the amount having to be paid out anyway!


It’s important to research a preferred destination to discover the true cost of living there as well as the likely realities of daily life, and researching all options and alternatives is an absolute must for those planning an overseas retirement before making a firm commitment to retire abroad to any particular affordable haven.


Other than the financial implications there are a number of social considerations that those planning on retiring abroad should think long and hard about. By moving physically away from friends and family, homesickness and longing for familiarity can be intensified which can make it harder to settle in abroad. This feeling of displacement is entirely natural and will be experienced to a lesser or greater extent by all those who move abroad – but it is a feeling that can be overcome by making an effort to meet new friends and establish new bonds with people  which means that sociable types who find it easy to make friends and acquaintances will find it far easier to retire abroad.

Those with a tolerance for alternative cultures and values will also find it easier to settle in an unfamiliar country where things are quite simply ‘done differently’! Those who are resistant to change and who plan on living abroad in an expatriate community where they hope to be surrounded by familiarity will still have to encounter local people and accept local values, therefore such people should really think seriously about whether they can adapt to a totally new way of life. If they feel they cannot then they will be wasting precious resources moving abroad only to discover that they hate it and have to return home!

This brings me on to my final point  having a Plan B! Sometimes people retire abroad and for one reason or another they cannot settle and wish to move on or move ‘back home’, alternatively some unlucky people are forced to return home as a result of a change in circumstances. Therefore it is always important to have at least the rudimentary workings of an exit strategy or a plan B in mind. If possible squirrel away a little money so that if the worst comes to the worst you always have a way out or a way back home – even though statistics show that the majority of those who retire abroad in an affordable and sun kissed location love every minute of their life and never want to change it!


Choosing the Best Place to Retire

Filed under Places to Retire

The idea of retirement has changed dramatically in recent years. People are reconsidering the places that they want to retire and what kinds of activities, events, and even work are available in those areas.

The most popular destinations in the U.S. have been Florida, California, and Arizona. These states offer the ideal weather, golf, shopping and outdoor activities many seek for their dream retirement.

These are great places to think about, but because of their popularity over the years, the cost of living in these sunny states may be too much for some people to afford. Many are even thinking about retiring outside of the U.S. to places like Mexico or Puerto Rico. In comparison to most places in the U.S., these destinations offer the same dream retirement at a fraction of the cost.

You don t have to leave the United States to have an amazing retirement. Many places on the map get overlooked but have become very popular destinations for seniors.

States in the southern U.S., like North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia, have become popular destinations because of the cheaper cost of living, while still providing the leisure and culture retirees are looking for.

Here are a few tips to help you find the right place:

Ask yourself what can you afford. This is the biggest question on retirees’ minds. First you will want to make sure you pick a town within your budget, keeping housing costs in mind. Ask yourself what kind of home you want to live in. A condo, apartment or a house? Then look at the cost and availability of each type of home in the area that interests you to see if it will fit your needs.

Are you still going to work after you retire? These days, the average baby boomer retiree will continue to work to some extent, whether part-time or by starting up a small business. Make sure the town you are looking into has a diversified economy to support whatever endeavor you choose to take in your retirement.

What is the weather like, and how important is that to you? Most people have dreams of retiring in the sun and enjoying comfortable weather all year long. Don t forget that in some places that are known for sunshine, summers can be too hot to be comfortable, especially for seniors.

How important is it for you to be close to home? Most retirees will want to stay close to their children and grandchildren. If you are looking into a place that is farther away from home, make sure you re close to an airport, so you can easily jump on a plane to see your loved ones.

Retire in Mexico

Filed under Places to Retire

It may be one of the last places you had in mind to retire, but more and more people in recent years have been living their retirement dreams in Mexico.

The top spots have always been California, Florida, and Arizona. But because of the popularity of these destinations, the cost of living has gone through the roof. Dreams of a nice home on the golf course have simply fallen through for many people.

Mexico, on the other hand, is very affordable, and it’s easy to find beautiful homes in beautiful places for very reasonable prices. There are some areas, such as Baja California, where many Americans have been retiring, and naturally the prices in those areas have gone up.

But there are many places with friendly locals and lots of things to do that are not yet over-saturated. You can even find places on the coast that are very affordable. Maybe your dream is to live on the beach, and it’s possible in Mexico!

Many retirees might be wary of heading down to Mexico because of concerns with legal issues and citizenship. In fact, the government of Mexico is very welcoming the U.S citizens– frankly because Americans bring a lot of money into the country.

Another concern might be the language barrier. There are many places in Mexico where others have retired or have second homes, and the Americans living there don’t attempt to speak Spanish. They only socialize with other ex-pats and retirees. They shop and go out to English-speaking, Americanized restaurants and resorts. Many make no attempt at learning the language or learning about the rich culture surrounding them.

This is not recommended if you are thinking of making the move to Mexico, as there are several issues you may face if you don’t learn the language. Any legal issues, from closing the deal on your new home to a traffic ticket, will be difficult to navigate if you don’t speak the language.

Besides, isn’t that what retirement is all about– learning new things and daring to see what else is out there? If you’re planning on or thinking about making the move to Mexico, be sure to take a history lesson and start learning Spanish!

What about the quality of health care in Mexico? Of course this is on most retirees’ minds, and with good reason.

The fact is that health care in Mexico is quite good, and many doctors have been trained in the U.S. and speak English. Although Medicare and Medicaid are not accepted in Mexico, many ex-pats choose to join the MSS, which is the Mexican social security plan. It covers medical, dental and vision for about $200 USD per year.

Though there may be a few obstacles, Mexico is a wonderful country that you will want to keep at the top of your list of potential places to retire.