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A Travelers Guide to Retiring Abroad

Date : June 15,2013
By : Louis Mack

Have you always dreamed of traveling abroad or moving overseas but life got in the way? Between careers, kids, mortgage payments, and everyday life, perhaps with retirement it’s time to make those dreams into a reality.
Just imagine mimosa’s on a warm paradise beach, or having dinner on a restaurant terrace overlooking the city of lights. While living abroad may not always be palm trees and margaritas due to restrictions, language barriers, and red tape, it could also be the journey you’ve been waiting for. If you’ve been waiting to live out your golden years abroad, well, here’s your golden ticket.

Drawn to the unknown?

Choosing where you want to retire can be an alluring enigma. While the romance of not knowing may be what appeals to your sense of adventure, make sure to factor in things other than just the weather, and cost of living.
• Will you be able to access care for basic needs?
• How often will you see your friends and family?
• What can you afford? – Retirement Plan
• Medical care
• Public transportation
• Staying active

While these factors may seem a bit daunting, don’t unpack your suitcase yet. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do. If living abroad has always been more than just a pipe dream, take the time to do the research. Many world-wide destinations allow Americans the opportunity to retire up to 10 years earlier than in the U.S.
Consider the lifestyle you want to live, and what the country offers. Contact your local
embassy to find more information regarding laws and crime rates. If you’re truly passionate about living abroad, below are five top destinations for retirees.

#1 – Costa Rica

Tropical beaches, lush rain forests, comforting amenities/shopping, biodiversity, political stability and cheap health care are just a few reasons baby boomers are flocking to this unique country. With a large contingent of retirees, U.S citizens registered under the Costa Rican pension plan; pay into the countries social security system for less than $40/per month, receiving full hospitalization and pharmacy coverage.
Cons – High crime rate. Land title scams (similar to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula).

#2 –France

Retirees drawn to art, culture, medieval history, and romantic atmosphere find themselves falling in love with the French culture. Key factors like excellent health care and economic stability entice pensioners from around the world. (Not to mention excellent hiking and beachcombing paths along handsome Mediterranean seashores for the active senior.)
Cons – High cost of living (Paris).

#3 – Spain

Quiet beaches, quaint villages, delicious cuisine, gorgeous weather, and infamous cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia are just a few reasons to retire in Spain. Awash in irresistible deals due to an economic slump, the cost of housing has been slashed by nearly 40%, making it more affordable than ever to move to this lavish country with no sales and low property taxes.
Cons –Language barrier. Lack of elderly caretakers.Red tape bureaucracy.

#4 – Belize

With English as its official language, Belize is a Central American paradise that offers tropical jungles, endless white beaches, fishing, and Mayan ruins. With an established Qualified Retired Persons Program, known as the QRP, foreign retirees are offered a fast track to residency, along with variousother benefits.
Cons – Little to no emergency system(911, etc.).

#5 – Italy

Authentic cuisine, gorgeous vineyards, Roman built cities i.e. Venice, Rome, and Florence surrounded by beautiful cypress trees and historical cathedrals offer a relaxing retirement lifestyle rich in European history.
Cons – High cost of living. High crime rate. Tourist scams.
Although the prospect of living abroad is an exciting option for retiring seniors, be advised to visit and get a feel for the country before putting all your eggs in one basket. Make sure your retirement plan will work for you overseas. Calculate your retirement finances, and consult with a tax professionalas well as a financial advisor who has cross-border expertiseand specializes in helping expatriates chose where to hold their assets whilemanaging your investment portfolio.

Author Bio – Louis Mack is a freelance writer, and independent contractor for New Retirement. As an avid traveler he enjoys exploring new places, while dabbling in creative photography and capturing the world through his lens.