Thinking of places to spend your golden years?
A friend of mine recently asked the very common question I get asked several times per month. Which are the best retirement countries? Well, she inquired about several places including Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Panama-the usual classics that come up when most Americans and Canadians are thinking about retirement.
I would say there are many options but it really depends on what is your lifestyle and budget. Are you an enlisted military retiree with a conservative fixed income or a successful internet wiz who makes 6 figures while bouncing from paradise islands to yachts around the world looking for your next adventure while avoiding extreme weather? Are you a beach lover or prefer the peacefulness of the mountains? Perhaps you like the busy city life, prefer a small cozy town or somewhere in between?
All these factors need to be taken into consideration when exploring the many options available for those wanting to spend your precious golden years or not so golden years like in the case of “young internet millionaires”, overseas. Let’s take a look at what may be involved before we head on off to a foreign country in search of that new place that fits perfectly into our dream lifestyle.
There are several reasons why we may choose to leave the comfort and familiarity of the place we have lived for so many years. It might surprise you to know that it is hardly ever JUST financial reasons. But it’s almost always at least part of that reason. Living in prime beach front property in California is extremely costly compared to a spectacular beach front home in Chile, but the fact that you have the chance of being exposed to different language or learn about a different culture may also be an important factor in deciding to head south.
Maybe you are in the medical field and always wanted to do volunteer work but have always been afraid of the liability that may entail while living in the great U.S of A. You might decide to move to a small village in the Philippines where there is much needed medical professions and very little resources to attend to those needs. I participated in some medical humanitarian work in the P.I. while in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and found it to be a great experience.
Perhaps you are an advocate of legal recreational marijuana and would like to be able to “lite up” while walking the streets of your hometown without the worry of getting arrested. If this is your kind of place you can head over to Zipolite in Oaxaca, a small beach town in the very south of Mexico where I spent about a week and had an absolute blast…no pot needed for me thank you. If you prefer you can also go topless on the streets or totally nude on the beach, male or female, it’s your call.
Whatever your interest or reason for moving abroad, somewhere there is that perfect place for you. But before you rent out your house, sell your car and have that garage sale to free yourself from all the furniture, do some research. Ask questions but make sure you are asking the right people. Subscribe to forums like, the lonely-planet, couch-surfing, air-BnB and other sites where you will find experienced travelers to communicate with. You will find that travelers’, NOT tourists or travel agents, are the best sources for inside information about what to expect while living in that dream location abroad.