Expatriate or Smart Retiree?

It should come as no surprise that the largest segment of The world adult population (Baby Boomers) is about to, trying to, or considering, their retirement options.

There is also a growing list of the population not just in the United States but other countries also considering a Life overseas. The majority of those folks that do take the leap will relocate or retire to what may be considered a “third world’ country”. The growing trend is for a place outside of their current home that will include great beaches, incredible sights, exotic foods, opportunities to learn new languages and cultures, and most importantly, offer a more affordable lifestyle than they currently have.

This last year has brought a flurry of articles that talk about how many people are planning to handle their future; what are their prospects for survival? There’s also talk that their choices are dwindling and their hopes and dreams of a perfect retirement are looking bleak, due to concerns such as safety, health, finances, cost of living, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and the ever growing cost of healthcare.

In the U.S.just 10 years ago, states like Florida, Nevada , Arizona, Pennsylvania, Vermont, North Carolina, were all heavy retirement destinations. Today they have all but climbed out of reach for many in these groups and they’re discovering costs are much higher than they ever anticipated they would be during their retirement planning. So new places all over the globe have popped up for Expatriates (also called Expats)and retirees to escape the high costs of living. Places like Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and Nicaragua are becoming more and more popular retirement hotspots.

In January of 2007, an article in the latest McKinsey Report made the following statements:
*McKinsey research finds that U.S. workers are far more likely to be forced into early retirement than many of them expect and that many significantly underestimate the costs they’ll face in retirement.Almost half of all pre-retirees expect to work past age 65, yet only 13 percent of current retirees have done so.

Living or retiring overseas is not for everyone; it requires flexibility, particularly if you live in a developing world. Learning a new Language is hard. Integrating into the local community can be difficult. Getting things done in a timely manner can be stressful.

Every potential retirement locale has benefits and drawbacks. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all retirement haven, and no retirement choice is perfect. Believe it or not, There is NO paradise.

There are those that may say if you chose to live outside of the US or another developed country you have different or no values at all. Well it certainly brings you to the question of whether you want to be considered an Expat or just a smart retiree?

Many others who have made the transition are proud of being in a small select group that is doing something that others would like to do, and fiercely proud of all the associated challenges that have had to endure but successfully overcome.

Moving a hundred miles in your own country and surviving for ten years probably won’t impress anyone. Moving from England to a tree house in Brazil and surviving ten years certainly would. Bragging rights come when you get to live somewhere difficult and make a success of it.

What are your main reasons for even considering a place to retire outside of your home country? Is it greater prosperity, better early retirement opportunities or perhaps more travel confidence? Or if you are nowhere ready for retirement but are considering relocation could it be the changes in technology making it possible for you to work remotely from anywhere in the world?

The best advice for people thinking of moving abroad should focus on the foreignness of the new surroundings, the legal aspects, medical, schooling and overall lifestyle choices. You should make it a must to visit any potential country you have an interest in and contact other ex-pats who live in the area you are considering moving to and ask them detailed questions. The advantage to you will be they speak your language. They have probably made all the mistakes that you would like to avoid. But most importantly they will be a wealth of useful information.

If you have considered Nicaragua as a possible retirement destination you will find it to be a country with all the modern conveniences that you could find in the US or Europe at half (or less) the cost. The roads and airports are modern and safe. The people are warm and friendly. You can experience greater health benefits by being able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown right where you live.

Living in Leon, Nicaragua you will find a pretty city with a beautiful surrounding area.T exits here a more genteel way of life than you’ll find in most of Latin America. Real estate values are a bargain. Modern conveniences such as cable internet cell phones, Theaters, supermarkets etc. are all part of this ever evolving city. Is it scary to pack your bags and move to another country? You better believe it is! Is it scary wondering if your retirement check or pension will be enough for you to live a moderately comfortable lifestyle in years to come? You better believe it is!


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