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The 4 Things To Think About When Retiring Abroad

By | Marina

Inflation and the cost of living just seem to keep rising. When you retire and are on a fixed income, these increases can hurt even more than they do to others. What really stings is how you saved your whole life and did what you were supposed to do. Yet, now your money just isn’t going far enough.

This is why many seniors are considering retiring abroad so they can live the lifestyle that they always dreamed of while stretching their money at the same time. In many countries, the cost of living is so much lower and a pension from a country like the US will go a long way. If you are considering retiring abroad you do have to consider a few things, however. In this article, we will go over what it takes to retire to another country.

1 – Health insurance

Many countries outside the US have universal healthcare paid for with taxes. This means that the entire population is covered by insurance that is free, for all intents and purposes. Unfortunately, for an American retiree, this is not usually available.

Since you didn’t pay into the system with your social security taxes, you aren’t able to take advantage of a public healthcare system. You’ll need to cover yourself with private insurance.

There are many international health insurance providers that will cover you abroad. You just have to ​​review global medical insurance to see which one is right for you. There are policies with many variations as far as coverage goes so you can usually find one that works best for your situation. Since many countries have excellent healthcare professionals, you will have access to them even with your own insurance so you can usually expect quality care.

2 – What type of visa is available?

Unfortunately, you can’t decide to move abroad to a country of your choosing and just show up. There are usually some bureaucratic procedures required to get a visa to be able to live in many countries outside the US. unless you have dual citizenship to another country, you will need a visa and then a residence permit to live there.

Many countries love having senior citizens from abroad retiring there, however. Seniors will be spending money there on essentials and lots of extras and not taking any jobs at the same time.

This means that there are usually visas available for people looking to retire in many countries over the world. They do require that you meet certain conditions and they change with each country that you are looking to retire to. Often this means that you have to have a certain amount of money in the bank, or that your retirement income is over a certain amount.

3 – Can you afford it?

Although living in many countries abroad is cheaper than living in the US, it still does depend on a lot of factors. Often, the median wage is much lower than what you will be bringing in with retirement income so it may look attractive as far as the cost of living.

However, living the lifestyle that you are used to living back home may end up costing quite a bit of money. The low cost of living doesn’t always reflect what you’re able to get for the money. To live in a house with modern conveniences may end up costing the same as what you would pay back where you used to live.

It takes time to properly research an area and figure out if the numbers you are seeing are too good to be true. Try to make sure that you are able to visit for an extended period of time to see what the true costs are before you commit to moving there.

4 – Think about integration

Unless you are moving to an English-speaking country, then you will be dealing with a foreign language for just about everything you need on a daily basis. There will be government agencies to visit for the paperwork related to being able to stay there. Then you will have to do the shopping and get utilities set up. While you’re not expected to learn the local language right away, you will have trouble integrating for a while.

Even if you plan to mainly keep to yourselves or find other expats in your area, you will have some periods of loneliness since you will have difficulty fitting in in your new country. You can make this easier on yourself by taking some language lessons before you move and finding a language tutor when you move to your new country.

If you have a hobby that you used to enjoy then you may be able to find groups or clubs locally where you can participate again. This is a good way to meet locals and learn the language much better than by taking lessons.

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