best places to retire overseas
If you've watched in disbelief as the American Dream you grew up believing in has seemingly evaporated into thin air, do not despair. Your dream of a comfortable, prosperous retirement is alive and well. It may just be waiting somewhere you never thought to look.
In most of the countries I talk about, there is usually one stand-out place. Sometimes, two... But in Mexico, there are so many top options for living and investing on the table that it's hard to pick a winner.
Make your decision about your needs with as much honesty as you possibly can. Because the choices you make after you decide to move abroad in the first place will affect everything to do with your quality of life once you go on your adventure.
We write about retiring overseas. It's what we know. And we admit we've not lived in the U.S. for 15 years now ... Still, we do know something about the retirement concerns of our friends and fellow baby boomers that are still working in the U.S. today. In just a couple of words: They're worried.
Sometimes it just pays to retire overseas ... not only an you live much more affordably overall, but you can treat yourself to experiences you might not have access to or be able to afford at home.
Could you afford to retire how you want wherever you want? The opportunity for you to do just that could be greater than you might imagine.
Current estimates put the number of U.S. and Canadian citizens living in various places in Mexico at well over one million. Not all are retired, but hundreds of thousands of them are.
For me, it was love at first sight. From the first morning I arrived in Belize, nearly 30 years ago, climbed down from the plane onto the runway, threw my backpack over my shoulder, pulled on my sunglasses, and walked across the tarmac in the direction of the one-room Belize City airport, I was smitten.
Lying in the northern mountains of Nicaragua, at the heart of coffee country, the city of Matagalpa is green all year round. Matagalpa is highly affordable, too: Figure $1,200 a month for a couple, all in. But these advantages aren't all you'll find here.
So you're thinking of retiring to Latin America, are you? Then you'd best learn some Spanish. At least a little, por favor. Not only will it enrich your experiences living, traveling, and interacting with people in your new home country, but it will certainly save you money and could save your life.
When they decided to look overseas, even though they had both traveled all over the world, Panama was their first choice. "It's close enough to the States to get to easily," Bill says. "It has a stable economy and government, low cost of living, and a warm climate, so we can be outdoors year-round."
This is the gateway to Malaysian Borneo and the thrills and adventure of Asia's largest island. English is widely spoken, people are friendly and curious, and more than half of the province is forest.
It used to be common for people back home to think U.S. expats living abroad were no longer U.S. citizens. Now, of course, most people know that living, working, or retiring overseas does not affect U.S. citizenship in any way.
Marty and Michelle Kramer know that the road to paradise is not always direct. They're okay with that. As they will tell you, what counts is being happy where you end up.
Before moving to Belize, 66-year-old Steve Gustat, from Tampa, Florida, hadn't even considered opening a restaurant. Initially, Steve lived in Belize as a retiree. But he became restless and began looking for a way to occupy his time.
In Belize, 'I am happy. I don't worry about car insurance, driving for hours, or traffic. I don't have to put on a pair of heels and a business suit. Flip-flops and a great pair of shorts or sundress are my normal attire now.'
Finding the best lawyer or doctor or accountant when you retire overseas can be an interesting process. In many cases, reputation may be your only guide. This applies to professionals of any kind ... plumbers, electricians, doctors, you name it.
You may be surprised which place tops the list. (Hint: You'll need a snow shovel.)