Come visit! Well, maybe…

Posted On December 14, 2017

America’s Baby Boomers are at the age where they are either retiring or thinking about retiring. Many of them will move south to Florida – a state that has become known as much for its retirement communities as its beaches and theme parks. Others will go west to Arizona, drawn by the warm, dry climate.

Increasingly, however, they are venturing outside their homeland.

According to Forbes contributor Alexandra Talty, an increasing number of Americans are retiring abroad. The Social Security Administration sent 100,000 more payments per month overseas this year than it did in 2016 – up to 500,000 from 400,000.

Want to join them? There are many possibilities with a wide range of attractive qualities:

Italy: Stunning coastlines and soaring cathedrals. All the pasta you can eat.

Portugal: Sunny climate. Piri Piri sauce. Enough cork to make everything (purses, shoes … you’d be surprised)

Belize: Stunning beaches. World-class snorkeling. Belikin.

Thailand: Spicy food and beautiful scenery, with a relatively low cost of living.

Before you sell your house and pack up your beach clothes, however, there are a few things you should consider, courtesy of AARP:

Are you willing to be a minority? While there are expatriate communities in many countries, you will still be the foreigner. Are you willing to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture?

Are you willing to go without some things you’ve taken for granted in the States? Network television? First-run movies? Oreos?

Wait, what? Oreos?

Not to say there won’t be a few reminders of home wherever you go. There’s an ever-decreasing number of places on this earth where you can’t find a McDonald’s or a Starbucks.

There is something more important that you’ll likely have to do without as well, however – your family. Are you willing to be further away from them, perhaps with an ocean separating you? Take note: It is easier to answer affirmatively to this question before your first grandchild is born.

Which brings us to our final point: Make sure you can afford the type of lifestyle you’ll want in the place you want to retire.

Yes, the cost of living in some of these places is lower than the U.S. – in some cases, far lower – which is an attractive reason for moving there. But that still doesn’t mean you’ll want to do it on a shoestring. While rent and utilities may be cheaper, other costs will be higher – such as the cost of transportation to see your family back in the States. Or the cost of shipping over some Oreos if you get a craving.

So get your financial house in order for retirement, and you can move that house practically anywhere in the world.

Except Antarctica. No one retires there except penguins.

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Baby Boomers, Retirement