Retiring Overseas? Things to Consider Before You Make a Decision
Retiring to an overseas paradise and living like a prince off your Social Security is certainly possible, but there are several important issues would-be expatriates must consider before retiring abroad. Here are ten things to think about before you buy a one-way ticket to paradise.
- Consider Separation from Friends and Family
Many people think they can survive without being surrounded by friends and family, only to quickly learn that losing contact with these people makes being abroad extremely difficult. Flights home are expensive, and time differences may make it tough to communicate. This is the top reason people head back home, and it should be considered carefully before you plan your retirement.
- Investigate the Crime Rate
Places like Mexico and Brazil may seem like paradise until you learn about the high crime rate. Sure, there are safe places in nearly any country, but you may be restricted to exploring just one area in your new location.
- Consider Medical Care
In many countries, retirees can get great medical coverage at a reasonable cost. In others, the quality of care may be low and an expensive medical evacuation may be necessary in an emergency. Do your research before moving abroad so you know what to expect.
- Think About Taxes
Living in France, for example, can be affordable from a tax standpoint, but only if you put your assets in a trust and distribute money to yourself in a certain way. Doing so can make it a tax haven, but it can be a tax hell if you don't take the right precautions. Carefully consider the tax system in your destination to avoid losing wealth.
- Keep and Eye on Politics
Many countries have a political environment that is constantly changing. Peace may reign one day, while a new dictator takes over on the next.
- How Adventurous Are You?
People often have a romantic idea about living abroad. They picture days spent sightseeing and nights spent enjoying the local culture. The reality is that living abroad is very different than being a tourist, and the day-to-day details often overshadow the romance of a destination. If you move overseas, be prepared to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn the language and embrace a new lifestyle.
Are you planning on retiring overseas? Have you successfully retired abroad? Share your advice with our readers in the comments below.