Retiring Abroad


beachAttracted by a lower cost of living, high quality health care, and a foreign locale, retirees are putting down roots across the border, and around the world. For many retirees with a sense of adventure, and an updated passport, the ideal retirement destination lies outside the United States.

If you have been thinking of becoming a world traveler in your retirement here are a few questions to think about before stepping out of your door. The following questions, and tips or tricks in this article will assure you have thought of everything down to the smallest of details.

Once you have picked your destination what is the next step?

You should always try living in the country for an extended period before you start planning a life there.  One month is a minimum. A palce that seem charming for a few days might feel hopelessly backwards at the end of a month.  It’s a good idea to try to rent a home, or an apartment before you commit to a final home purchase. In many countries, popular with transfer retirees, rental properties are plentiful and cheap.

In Costa Rica, for example, you can rent a three-bedroom home for as low as five hundred dollars a month. Living for a month or two in the country while renting will give you a better idea of how much it really cost to live in a country.  The cost you think you can live on when visiting the country and the amount you really need can vary greatly.  The amount you need might eb a lot higher or lower than you first though.

Another option when choosing to relocate may be a part time stay abroad. This alternative allows you to get the best of both world. You can live in your home country during the summer and then fly down to the tropics and live there during the fall and winter.  This can be a very good option.  People who only live in the tropics during the winter is sometimes referred to as snow birds.

Financial concerns living abroad

Do your homework on opening foreign bank accounts if you’ll need one for spending, and make sure you know how those banks treat U.S. citizens. Americans who hold accounts abroad are subject to additional reporting requirements and tax laws.

Remember: Once you leave your home country you will need to confirm with two tax laws.  That of your old home country and that of your new home.  This is really only an issue if you come from the USA. The USA is the only country in the world that tax Citizens living abroad.

Helpful hints and tips checklist

  • Understand your social security benefits
  • Check visa and residency requirements
  • Know the local laws
  • Prepare your finances
  • Research medical expenses and health care
  • Pay your taxes
  • Research accommodations ,accessibility, and commodities if traveling with disabilities
  • Beware of scams
  • Prepare yourself for any financial emergencies as best you can
  • Incorporate a plan to stay connected with friends and family
  • Make two copies of your travel documents leaving one with a trusted family member, or a friend back home


You have waited your whole life to embark on being a world traveler, and living in an exotic location is definitely a wonderful retirement dream. However, just like with any other dream it is important to make sure you have all your bases covered. Traveling or living part time in a new country can be a big step in your retirement future, so take your time in choosing the perfect destination for your retirement future needs.

Remember to make emergency plans as well, just in case things don’t go as planned when you get to your new location. Better to be safe than sorry when living overseas.