Showing posts with label best places to retire abroad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label best places to retire abroad. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Best Places to Retire Overseas from Live and Invest Overseas

Live and Invest Overseas has a Retire Overseas Index which they use to evaluate a variety of factors that go into helping people decide where they should move if they want to retire to another country, rather than stay in the United States.  Currently, over 600,000 Americans receive their Social Security checks in other countries and countless others have their checks deposited into American bank accounts, while they spend at least a portion of their year in a foreign retirement mecca.

U.S. News and World Report, in an article released on September 5, 2014, took the Live and Invest Overseas data and compiled their own list of ten places you should consider, if you want to live all or part of the year in another country when you retire.  They considered data such as affordability and the presence of other American ex-patriots in compiling this list.

Best Places to Retire Overseas

Algarve, Portugal - low cost of living, fabulous climate, and the 17th safest place to live in the world.

Cuenca, Ecuador - affordable, high-quality healthcare, and this is a country that uses the U.S. dollar, which means retirees do not have to worry about exchange rate problems.

George Town, Malaysia - This charming small city is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Many people speak English, which makes it an easy place to live.

Chiang Mai, Thailand - low cost of living, mild climate and an easy place to find work in the local schools, universities and health care facilities, if you hope to earn extra retirement income.

Dumaguete, Philippines - A couple can live in this University town for as little as $1000 a month and enjoy the gorgeous beaches, as well as many western cultural opportunities like ballet or the theater.  English is the primary language.

Pau, France - Known as the garden city for its lush and abundant greenery, a couple could live in this beautiful university town for about $2,000 a month.

Medellin, Columbia - A beautiful South American city with numerous parks and architectural beauty.  Although we have all heard of the dangerous Medellin drug cartel in the past, according to these reports the city is now considered safe for retirees.  It was named the 2013 World's Most Innovative City.

Abruzzo, Italy - I recently wrote another post about this spectacular and affordable area, titled "Move to the Abruzzo Region of Italy."  It is also included on the Live and Invest Overseas list because of its beautiful beaches, stunning mountains and its affordability.  This is another place where it is estimated that a couple could retire for about $2,000 a month.

Panama City Beaches, Panama - This town offers retirees a beach lifestyle with modern amenities.  Panama is another location that uses the U.S. dollar and has a high-quality healthcare system.

Istanbul, Turkey - We have some Swedish friends who worked for an international company and were often transferred to various parts of the world.  They lived for several years in Texas and then for several years in Istanbul.  They insisted that Istanbul was, by far, their favorite place to live outside of Sweden.  It offers both the experience of living in Europe as well as in Asia.  It is a very affordable place to live at an estimated $1,100 per month.  Our Swedish friends love to play golf and had high praise for the golf courses and the community where they lived in a suburb of Istanbul.

For more detailed information about these locations, go to:

For more information about retirement planning, use the tabs at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of other retirement articles.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Resources for Retiring Overseas

Whether it is for financial reasons or because they want to experience something new and exciting, thousands of Americans choose to retire overseas every year.  Large enclaves of ex-patriot Americans now exist all over the world.

The longer I have written this blog, the more I have come to understand the appeal of many of these places.  While it may be very difficult for a couple to comfortably retire in some regions of the United States on $2,000 to $3,000 a month, there are many places in other parts of the world where you could comfortably retire on that amount of money and still hire a full-time housekeeper, eat out frequently and have money to do some traveling.

Using the "Retire Overseas" tab at the top of this blog, you will find links to articles about a number of popular locations to retire overseas, as well links to a few articles about the advantages and disadvantages of retiring in another country.  I highly recommend that you read these articles if you are considering making such a significant lifestyle change.  I will be adding to this list of articles on a regular basis.

In addition, you will want to check out my online Squidoo review of the book, "How To Retire Overseas: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (For Less) Abroad."  This book has detailed information about retiring in the countries of Argentina, Belize, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Thailand and Uruguay.  The article also contains links to a couple of other helpful books about retiring overseas.

The author of "How to Retire Overseas" has lived in a number of different countries and understands what it is like to arrange a foreign move and create a new life in an unfamiliar place.  Anyone who would like to move to another country will feel much more comfortable with their decision after reading this book or one of the others mentioned in my review. 

You can check out my review at "Retirement Book Review: How to Retire Overseas."

If you are planning to retire soon, you will also want to check out the other tabs at the top of this blog to learn more about great places to retire in the United States, handling your retirement money, medical concerns, travel, family relationships and more.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Retire in Lovely La Antigua, Guatemala

Would you like to retire overseas to a small city with an established, English-speaking ex-patriot community?  If so, be sure to investigate La Antigua, Guatemala.  This lovely community has spring-like temperatures the year around and excellent medical care.  In addition, the cost of living is very affordable ... about one-third of what it costs to live in the United States.

Average daytime temperatures in January, one of the coldest months of the year, range from about 53 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (similar to what we experience here in Southern California).  In May, the warmest month, the temperatures range from about 63 to 78 degrees during the day (somewhat cooler than Southern California in the summer).  As you can see, there is very little difference in La Antigua weather from one season to the next.

This charming colonial Central American city has appealed to visitors for centuries. The Antigua Plaza was first laid out in 1541 and is the heart of the city.  Many of the buildings surrounding the Plaza were also originally erected at about the same time.  There is a large fountain in the center of the Plaza, surrounded by trees, benches and gardens.  You can also take a carriage ride around this elegant Colonial city.

In addition, if you live near the city center, you can walk almost everywhere, eliminating the need to have a car.  Travel back to the United States is also convenient, since it is just a four-hour flight back to Texas.  That's less time than it takes to fly from Boston to San Diego!

The city has a lot to offer new residents, including wonderful restaurants.  It is a popular destination for people from all over the world, including Europe, Asia and North America, especially those who want to study Spanish through an immersion program.  Consequently, there are a number of Spanish language schools in Antigua. The University of San Carlos in Antigua was originally founded in 1687.

In addition to the large community of retirees from the United States who reside in the city, Antigua is also a popular tourist destination.  Cruise ships dock in Guatemala on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the country.  This beautiful city is known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Your friends and family members will look forward to visiting you in this lovely location.

Frequent religious celebrations and festivals are among the appealing features of the city, including weekly processions through the streets of Antigua during Lent.

Things to Consider When Moving Abroad

I am often asked where to begin if you want to retire abroad.  Before deciding to live in another country, I highly recommend that you take an extended vacation there and tour as many different areas as possible.  It is the single most important action you can take before you make a final decision.  While you are there, meet with Realtors and leasing agents.  Ask them to introduce you to Americans living in the area so that you can get all your questions answered.

You should also consult with a local, English speaking attorney and/or CPA to discuss any legal and financial issues you might encounter in pursuing your goals ... purchasing property, getting a job, starting a business, acquiring medical insurance, etc.

Check out the State Department website for any warnings about visiting or living in the country of your choice.  Visit your local Social Security office and find out what arrangements you will need to make before you move.

It is best to accumulate as much information as possible before you move, rather than experience a nasty surprise after you have given up your home in the United States and resettled in a foreign country!

Other Articles You May Want to Read:

How to Access International Travel Warnings and Alerts

How to Collect Social Security and Retire Overseas

The Risks of Living Abroad

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Costa Rica Has Become a Top Retirement Destination

Costa Rica is now considered one of the best countries in Central America for both the elderly and retirees to live, according to a report released by HelpAge International.  The report ranked 90 different countries on their treatment of residents who are age 60 and older.  Costa Rica came in 28th on their list, ranking well on this list of the more developed countries, including some Asian nations, European countries, the United States, popular Central and South American destinations, and a few other locations around the world.

How Costa Rica Scored

The rankings were based on four categories including health status, income security, employment and education, and an enabling environment (integrating the elderly into the rest of society.)

Costa Rica ranked especially high in health status.  It was listed in 11th place for healthcare, which is interesting when you consider that the United States only ranked 24th out of the countries studied.  In fact, Costa Rica has become a popular destination for medical tourism.  There are a number of high quality medical facilities in the country, including the Hospital Alajuela, pictured above.  

On the other hand, Costa Rica's score was hurt because it ranked only 48th for employment and education.  Of course, these are not issues that concern most retirees as much as healthcare does.  Consequently, for retirees who are looking for a beautiful, tropical and affordable place to live, Costa Rica should certainly be high on their list.

In addition to high quality healthcare, medical attention in the country in also very affordable, which contributes to its medical tourism. It also has recently begun to improve its accessibility for people who are physically disabled, which is an important consideration for people who are planning to live there for the long term, possibility the rest of their lives.

An American Living in Costa Rica

A friend of one of our daughters moved to Costa Rica to teach school about four years ago.  A few months ago she married a Costa Rican businessman and plans to remain in the country for the rest of her life.  She has been very happy with her lifestyle in Costa Rica.  Her original teaching position was at an elementary school located in the mountains and she is now working at a school along the coast.  Her original salary was only $500 a month, but she was able to rent a tiny cottage and live comfortably in the mountains on that amount.  Now living near the coast, her income has increased to $1000 a month. Her husband earns a bit less.  The two of them are able to lease a large, comfortable duplex apartment only a short drive to the beach.  They have two cars and a pleasant lifestyle, living well on about $1800 a month income for the two of them.

The fact that this young woman enjoys living there so much brings up another advantage for those of you who have family in the United States.  Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination for many Americans of all ages, so no doubt your family members will enjoy visiting you in your new location.  In the case of this young woman, she returns to the United States about once a year, and her family members also take frequent trips to see her.

Precautions to Take When Moving Overseas

As always, when you are considering moving overseas I suggest that you check with the State Department website for up-to-date alerts about crime and areas which you may want to avoid.  Our daughter's friend has experienced a home burglary, so I advise retirees to be as cautious in Costa Rica as they would be in any American city.

If you are planning to retire in Costa Rica, be sure to read more articles from this blog, using the tabs at the top of the page.  I have written a number of helpful articles about collecting Social Security when living overseas, things to consider when living abroad, and other countries that you also may want to consider.

More Helpful Information

You may want to check out the full article from the Tico Times using the link below.  You can use their interactive map to see how other South and Central American countries did in their analysis of the various countries.

If you are planning to retire either overseas or in the United States, you will want to use the tabs at the top if this page where you will find links to hundreds of additional articles about where to retire, financial issues, medical issues and possible family problems after retirement.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

One of the most requested topics on this blog has been for articles about good places to retire overseas.  As a result, over the past decade I have researched a number of possible locations and written articles about ones that may interest my readers.  You'll find links to all of these articles below.

Every year thousands of Baby Boomers make the decision to retire overseas.  There are many issues they consider in making this decision.  One reason that is frequently mentioned is the low cost of living in a number of other countries.  Americans are often attracted by the idea that they can live in luxury, or at least in comfort, in an exotic location.  This is especially true if they are worried that they can just barely survive on their retirement income in the United States.

Other people decide to retire abroad because they want to try something different or live in an romantic, tropical location.  They want to experience new experiences during those first few years after they stop working, while they are still healthy and active.

You will find articles here about the best places to retire abroad, including in Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand, Ecuador and other countries.  There is also an article about some of the U.S. territories where Americans would like to retire.

No matter why Americans choose to retire overseas, there are also some general considerations people need to think about when they make that decision, including the risks and how to access travel warnings, and readers will find helpful articles below on those topics, too.  I ALWAYS recommend that people should talk to a Realtor, tax accountant and lawyer in the country where they are moving, so they learn as much as possible about the laws, taxes, healthcare situation, and rules they must follow if they want to work or buy property.

According to a friend of mine who lives in Switzerland, " I would suggest to go to talk to the local consulate, because Realtors in Spain or Italy are not really qualified to give you the necessary information you know and they would lie to sell you the property. In Italy I would go to talk with a "Commercialista" and a "Notary" those are the best placed to know exactly how much you have to pay on your property, income taxes and so on."


 If you are interested in retiring abroad, check out the article links below.

Index of Articles about Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

American Retirement Opportunities in Borneo Malaysia

Americans Retiring in Panama

Americans Retiring in Vietnam

Avoid International Problems When Retiring Overseas

Best Places to Retire Outside the US 

Best Places to Retire Overseas from Live and Invest Overseas

Cheapest Countries for Retirement 

Costa Rica Has Become a Top Retirement Destination

Five Places to Retire Overseas - What to Consider 

Risks of Retiring in Mexico and Other Countries

Step Program for Overseas Travelers

The Risks of Living Abroad

When Grandkids Live Far Away

Why Retire in Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands or Guam


You may also be interested in checking out these other index articles or use the tabs at the top of the page:

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

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As always, you can contact the author of this blog by leaving a comment at the end of any post. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Eleven Important Retirement Stories from the Past

Before we begin to research the news stories that will affect the retirement plans of Baby Boomers in the future, I thought you would all be interested in seeing the eleven important retirement stories from the past, in case you missed any of them. 

Not surprisingly, most of these stories dealt with finding good places to retire, maintaining our health, inter-generational relationships, and our retirement finances.  One significant difference I noticed during the past year was that more of our readers seemed to be giving serious consideration to retiring abroad. 

Important Retirement Stories You May Have Missed

Best Places to Retire Outside the US 

This is one of the top ten most read articles since this blog has been in existence. It includes the AARP list of the best places to retire abroad, along with a small amount of information about each location.  You can also find more detailed articles on this blog about some of these locals.

Best Sunny Places to Retire 

This list brings us back to the United States to review the communities here that have at least 250 sunny days a year, a low crime rate, strong local economies and plenty of fun activities for retirees.  The surprising news in this article was that not all of these communities are in the south.  In fact, both Oregon and Utah are represented on the list!

Why Retire in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands or Guam

Moving to one of the U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, America Samoa or Guam, is a great choice for those who want the feeling of living abroad without actually living in a foreign country.  You do not need a passport, learn a new language, or obtain foreign health insurance.  If you are contemplating moving to another country, you may want to read this article first.

Do You Need a Million Dollars to Retire? 

Many people fear they will never be able to retire because they will never be able to save enough money.  However, you may not need as much money as you think.  Learn how you can stretch your Social Security benefits as much as possible so you will only have to supplement your income a little.  You may be closer to retirement than you think!

Healing Relationships with Your Adult Children 

This article was based on some sad facts I read in an AARP magazine about the increasing number of Baby Boomers who have become estranged from their adult children.  While there are many reasons why this may happen, with a little help this situation can sometimes be reversed.  If you are in a stressful relationship with any of your adult children, this article could help.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases After Age 50 

Our adult children may not want to think about it, but many divorced or widowed Baby Boomers are actively dating again.  While they no longer need to worry about birth control, unfortunately STD's are a serious problem.  In fact, one quarter of the people in the US who are living with HIV/AIDS are over the age of 50!  Learn how you can protect yourself. 

Retiring Former Hippies Spark a New Generation Gap 

This article was actually at the top of my list for several months.  Now that the Baby Boomer generation is reaching retirement age, we rarely think about the differences between our values and those of our still-living parents.  However, the generation gap that existed in the 1960's is making a comeback, as our generation becomes active in existing retirement communities where we once again find ourselves living with "the generation before us."

Finding Niche Retirement Communities 

What activities are important to you when you retire?  Several retirement community developers are building niche retirement communities that cater to the needs of special groups, including Asian-Americans, gays and lesbians, RVers, nudists and artists.  If you are interested in finding a niche retirement community, this article will give you resources to help with your search.

Retiring in Luxury to Hua Hin, Thailand 

This lovely, beachside town in Thailand is extremely affordable, with apartment rentals running from $400 to $1000 a month and a full-time housekeeper available for as little as $250 a month.  Consequently, some American ex-patriots are finding that a couple can live there comfortably on their Social Security benefits alone.

Americans Retiring in Panama 

Another country that has become popular with American retirees is Panama.  One advantage of moving to this Central American country is the fact that the U.S. dollar is the official currency of Panama.  Although the major cities in Panama have become expensive, many smaller communities are much more affordable.

Coping with Divorce after 50 

Because this issue is so important to many Baby Boomers, I expanded the list of articles from ten to eleven important stories to be sure to include this one.  While the divorce rate for other age groups has decreased in the United States during the past 20 years, it has actually doubled for people over the age of 50.  Getting divorced at this age can have serious consequences, so it could be helpful for those who find themselves in this situation to read this article if they missed it earlier this year.

If you are looking for additional retirement information, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of other helpful articles on where to retire, financial planning, health concerns, family relationships and more.

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