Cost of Living
Retirees have found overseas living not only doable, but easy because it’s less costly. According to Missy Sullivan of Smart Money, lunch for two in Boquete, Panama, is around $6, and even if you want to splurge and treat friends to dinner out at an "expensive" restaurant, you'll still only pay about $50 for the four of you, and that includes wine. Depending on where you go, you may find that some of the expenses are comparable to the U.S., like cell phone, electricity and cable television costs. But things like Internet service, entertainment, and groceries are less in places like Costa Rica, according to CostaRica.com.
When you hit retirement, you want to worry less and enjoy life more. The U.S. State Department knows that; its website is full of fact sheets about the land, government, economy, history and foreign relations of up to 200 countries. This information is helpful for the savvy senior who wants to move to Thailand, but knows nothing about its safety conditions.
Of course, no country has a perfect economy or is crime-free. But you'll probably keep your bank accounts and investments in the U.S. anyway, and continue to do the majority of your financial business via phone and Internet. Services like those provided by LifeLock identity theft protection, such as monitoring your identity and protecting against the illegal use of your personal information, are still valuable ones to have, as they'll follow you wherever your retirement road leads.
The choices: living out your retirement in a tiny two-bedroom condo in the suburbs or building your dream home on the beach. When the beach option is the same price as the 'burbs, there really is no choice to make. The AARP reports that this scenario is a reality in the coastal paradise of Belize. Cheap housing is just one of the draws for this Central American retirement destination. Imagine tropical jungles on one side, the crystal-like blue-green Caribbean on the other, amazing reefs for snorkeling and fishing like you've only dreamed about -- and it's all just a 20 minute drive from urban conveniences like malls and movie theaters. Review the AARP report on the best places to retire abroad or check the BelizeRetirementGuide.com for highlights on retirement overseas.
Overseas governments appreciate and favor the developing economy trends when U.S. retirees move in. For that reason, all kinds of incentives are offered from suspended property taxes on new construction to discounts on prescription medications and airline tickets. Visit Expat Exchange to learn more about the benefits for retirees settling in different overseas locations.