So you’ve got a lot of money saved up in your retirement nest egg and are considering retiring somewhere warmer or cooler than where you live now. (Or maybe you just want to escape your in-laws!) Retiring abroad is certainly an intriguing possibility, but there are some important things to consider before making that decision.
Will you have easy access to necessary medical care?
Medicare coverage ends if you move outside the US, so you will need to plan ahead and budget wisely for your healthcare needs in your new country. Make sure you learn about any residency requirements and the like where you plan to live! Some countries have cheaper healthcare than here in the US, some are more expensive, so get informed beforehand.
Do the taxes make sense?
If you are living outside of the US, but collecting retirement from work in the states, you will still be liable for the taxes here. Many other countries have taxation agreements in place with the US, but they can be quite confusing. Consider getting a professional tax specialist to go over how you will pay taxes in your new home.
Can another culture feel like home to you?
While part of the appeal to retiring abroad can be the opportunity to experience a new culture, it is important to deeply think on whether you will feel at home in a place where things may be so different from what you are used to. This isn’t a week-long vacation, after all, but a permanent move you are considering
Are you able to stay connected with loved ones?
Some of us are completely comfortable with only talking with our loved ones over the phone or video chat. Other people, however, really miss the face-to-face togetherness. If you are one of those people who really likes spending time in person with their family and friends, retiring to another country may not be for you.
Will you be safe?
Perhaps the most critical thing to consider is if you will be safe in your new home. Many of us have a romanticized view of the places in the world we’d like to visit (or retire to, in this case). Crimes happen everywhere, and in some places, it is more common than in the US. Be certain that you will be safe wherever you decide to retire.