You’ve often heard us say that this is not your grandparents or even your parents’ retirement, and today’s topic is something they probably never would have considered: retiring overseas. But if you view retirement as a whole new adventure, you may want to consider a whole new place, or even country, to reside in your post-working years.
Wondering what the draw of a new chapter in a new place is? The number one reason cited for retiring off-shore of the United States is a better quality of life, dollar for dollar. Those considering retirement abroad are often surprised by the affordability of housing and diverse healthcare options, in addition to the attraction of a warm, attainable beachside climate and enhanced lifestyle opportunities. Technology has made global retirement research and planning even easier, as you can narrow down your choices via online property searches and communicate with international agents and resources via Skype.
While overseas retirement may seem like an easy choice, especially for those with a limited nest egg, there are many important factors to take into account before you make the move. Proximity to loved ones, language barriers, tax implications, mobility access around town, healthcare quality and managing a long-distance relocation are just a few considerations. If you’ve made your list, checked it twice and decided your new adventure awaits abroad…here are a few popular retiree hot spots around the globe…
Over 100,000 resident foreign retirees have selected Algarve as home, often selected for its low cost of living, low cost of real estate, great weather, established expat community, user-friendly and low-cost retiree residency program. In addition, you can get by speaking only English and live comfortably on $2,000 a month.
As a sunny destination with easy accessibility from the United States, Belize offers English as the official language and many banking and tax benefits. As a country with a developing infrastructure, the lifestyle is affordable if you buy local – but note that anything you need imported comes at a highly inflated price. With Belize’s Qualified Retired Persons visa, which you can get as long as you are over age 45, you can be granted permanent residency, which will give you an exemption from the country’s income, capital gains and estate taxes. The cost of living is an estimated 21% lower than the US.
Located in the Basque region, Pau is part of a landscape marked by small steep valleys, rolling hills, towering mountains, meandering rivers, a wild coastline plus forests and woodland areas. With France recognized by the World Health Organization as having the world’s best healthcare, Pau is an exceptional alternative to those who can’t afford to retire in Paris. You can enjoy a fine European-style retirement here for $2,000 a month.
George Town, Malaysia
Beautiful natural surroundings, highly cultured venues and welcoming immigration laws make Malaysia an increasingly appealing retirement destination. As a former colonial outpost turned busy financial district, George Town is the capital of the state of Penang. Its rich history resonates throughout the town and evokes the feeling you may be in India, China, Malay or even a British colony depending on the neighborhood you are in. Dozens of museums, community centers, music venues, expat clubs, amusement parks and fine eateries create a high quality of life. Plus, health care is first-rate, public transportation is modern and efficient, and the tap water is safe to drink.
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If you’d like to learn more or would like an introduction to an international real estate agent, please don’t hesitate to reach out. While I’d love to be your local neighbor & trusted real estate resource at any age, what’s most important to me is that you find the place you love to create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of…near or far.
VP Business Development & Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
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