Retiring Abroad: What You Need to Know

Five Steps to Staying Safe During Retirement

It seems these days that with an increase in global connectivity and more easily accessible air transportation, destinations once thought to be exotic are more like a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Plenty of elder folks have seen their children and grandchildren head off on study abroad trips or backpacking tours through Southeast Asia in the depths of post-graduate malaise. It’s about time that the older generations get their fill of international exploration and a bit of reckless abandon. If you’re lucky enough to be able to retire at a relatively young age, you should look into taking advantage of your opportunity to set foot in distant landsmaybe for good.

But be wary, intrepid traveler! Monsters, evil spirits, and hidden taxes lay lurking in the shadows of uncharted waters. Here are a few things you must consider before heading off.

Lifestyle Shift

If you’re looking for an escape from the home you are most likely seeking refuge from some of the high demands of the fast-paced lifestyle that helped you get into a position where you actually could afford to retire in the first place.

It’s no surprise if you’re burnt out after decades of grinding away in the workforce. There exist a myriad of reasons for what has revealed itself to be a steady surge in work hours in recent decades, leading to what many classify as an extreme work culture. According to a 2007 study, we even walk faster in major cities these days than we used to.

All of this physical and mental exertion related to career work can have an extremely taxing impact over the years, and by the time a well-earned retirement comes around, getting yourself out of the pressure cooker environment of your home country might be health and rewarding.

Health Insurance

Unfortunately, retiring abroad involves some necessary sacrifices. One of the big ones is that you won’t be able to receive your regular Medicare insurance if you live outside the country. That means you’re going to have to look into another option for getting covered, and although there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re covered.

Firstly, your home insurance may cover certain costs while you’re living abroadit depends which country you’re coming from and which plan you have. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there are a host of international plans and plans within the foreign destination that may be able to accommodate you. If you’re coming from the U.S., you can assuage slightly your fears of losing Medicare with the fact that standard, high-quality insurance comes at a much lower cost in many other countries around the world.

¿Hablas Español?

It’s undeniable that English is the language of the world these days. In most any other country you go to, the people familiar with handling tourists will probably have a solid grasp on English. That being said, if you’re really looking to make a life somewhere else, it’s best to at least try and learn the native tongue. This could be difficult at an advanced age, as the brain cells aren’t quite what they used to be, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. At a minimum, becoming comfortable with basic phrases will do wonders for making you feel at home in your new hometown.

Cost of Living

This may be the best reason to retire abroadbut also the area in which you will have to do the most research before you make any decisions. Forbes recently compiled a good list of some of the best countries to retire inand as you can see, almost all are in Latin America. Due to the laid-back pace of life, the low cost of living, and the incredible weather, countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica are topping the charts for expat retirees. But you have to do your research too. Costa Rica MLS and similar sources will help you find the best deals on property to make sure you get well-settled with enough change in your purse to keep you stress-free.