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Retire in Style Outside the US

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 02:05 AM PST

Here's an interesting piece from the Detroit News.

It details people who are retiring outside the US. Why are they doing this? Here are the highlights:

“I wanted to find a place where I could afford to live off my Social Security,” she said. “The weather here is so perfect, and it’s a beautiful place.”

McCowen’s rent in Ajijic, a community outside Guadalajara near Mexico’s Lake Chapala, is half of what she was paying in Texas. And since the weather is moderate, utility bills are inexpensive.

Retirees most often cite the cost of living as the reason for moving elsewhere said Olivia S. Mitchell, director of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

“I think that many people retire when they are in good health and they are interested in stretching their dollars and seeing the world,” Mitchell said.

Yes, that's correct. You can retire to a foreign country and dramatically lower your cost of living. Who would have guessed that? ;)

Alternatively, for those who wish to move to a retirement destination to retire within the US you may find the reverse mortgage for home purchase option attractive in that you can purchase a home with no mortgage payments without having to pay all cash. Details can be found here: https://reverse.mortgage/info/home-purchase

A few other facts from the piece:

  • The number of US citizens retiring outside of the US grew 17 percent between 2010 and 2015 and is expected to increase over the next 10 years.
  • Just under 400,000 American retirees are now living abroad, according to the Social Security Administration.
  • The countries retirees have chosen most often: Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Of course there are pros and cons to this idea as we've discussed time and time again here over the years.

I actually considered moving outside the US (at least the continental US), but not for the sake of saving money. We discussed moving to a warmer climate, perhaps to the Caribbean. But then we moved to Colorado and it's awesome here! I think we've decided on just visiting the Caribbean for a month or so every winter. We'll see if that happens or not.

FYI, if you want to become a citizen of a Caribbean country, seems like all it takes is money. ;)

Anyone ever consider retiring abroad? Why or why not?


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