Rising costs in the U.S. are driving more people to consider retirement in less expensive locales and the list of potential resting spots is long and varied. International Living compiles annual lists on the best places to retire based on things like cost of living, ease of entry, healthcare, insurance and access to amenities. [Below are their top 10.] Words: 950
Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!), may have edited the article below to some degree for length and clarity – see Editor’s Note at the bottom of the page for details. This paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
Notte goes on to say, in part:
Retirement in the United States is nice and all, until they ask you to actually pay for stuff.
When retirees’ nest eggs are a finite and dwindling resource, rising local and federal taxes can put even the staunchest, flag-draped patriotism to the test. If retirees are willing to leave the states behind, the savings can be substantial.
The folks at International Living crunched the numbers and looked at the price of simple staples, assimilation and staying in touch with family left behind.
The following countries scored high marks not only for their inexpensive living, but for overall friendliness toward American retirees:
Considering the tensions over the state of Mexico/U.S. immigration law, it’s at the very least amusing to consider American workers streaming south to chase their retirement dreams. Great homes on Mexico’s Caribbean coast go for less than $170,000 while… [villages along the north shore of Lake Chapala, such as Ajijic, are home to hundreds of American and Canadian] expats….It’s the only retirement destination on this list withing driving distance, and retirees can rent out their properties in the off-months to cover costs. [For exactly where to settle down in Mexico read this excellent article by a friend who has personally lived in many of the places he reviews.]
A retiree has it pretty sweet in Panama, where a program commonly known as pensionado help retirees settle in quickly. International Living says retirees can live like kings here for $1,500 to $2,000 a month and score apartments for less than $500 a month or buy waterfront condos for less than $200,000. Pensionado, meanwhile, gives users 15% off fast food, 15% off at hospitals and clinics, 20% off professional services used in Panama, 25% off the price of food eaten in a sit-down restaurant; 25% off domestic flights on Copa Airlines, a 30% discount on public transport and 50% off movies, theater tickets and sporting events. There’s no age limit for the service, either, so help yourself.
The country’s My Second Home retirement benefits program for all foreigners is a great draw, but so is the quality Internet access, cellphone coverage and roads. It also helps that it’s dirt cheap. A sea-view apartment with a pool and gym on Penang Island goes for $1,000 a month, and big-budget movies usually premiere here, are shown in English and go for about $4. Oh, and there’s plenty of English being spoken as well.
Medellin has a notorious reputation among Americans who know it mostly for its drug-laden past, but that hasn’t prevented a huge expat population from springing up within city limits. Medellin’s El Poblado district has Japanese, French, seafood and Italian restaurants within a block of each other. Its health care system ranks atop any other stop on this list, while the cost of everything from housing to entertainment are a great fit for a fixed income.
The English speaking certainly helps, but so do the winters that come during an American summer. That’s some pretty costly snowbirding, so maybe the proliferation and low cost of every day amenities as well as more frivolous items should be seen as long-term investments. New Zealand’s reputation for healthy living and near-absent pollution should also appeal to those who want to extend retirement as long as possible.
A visit to the doctor is $15. Overall health care can cost as much as 60% less than the U.S., while U.S.-trained doctors speak English and will make house calls. A huge expat population in the colonial city of Granada spends about around $1,200 a month to live there, considering a small house can be $500 to $1,000 a month to rent. The best steak dinner in town runs about $13, while regular meals go for half that and “local meals” are $2 to $3. Local beer, meanwhile, runs between 75 cents and $1.50. This makes Florida’s cost of living look like Manhattan’s.
Wait, the same Spain that just dodged a bailout and is still dealing with crushing debt? Yep, that’s the one, but austerity measures haven’t bitten into the best of what Spain has to offer. This is by no means the cheapest option on the list and, in fact, has the most expensive real estate of any country listed. That said, it’s really easy to fit in, with near-ubiquitous English, three-course meals for less than $20 and modern infrastructure that places high value on convenient, punctual rail service. Combine that with teeming culture and tons of ways to pass the time and Spain can be a great fit for retirees who’ve already weathered a shaky economy.
About $500 a month is enough to score a nice new home just about anywhere in Thailand. One of International Living‘s contributors pays just $222 a month for a beachside bungalow with air conditioning, hot water, Wi-Fi and a refrigerator. Altogether, the cost of living in Thailand sets retirees back only about $1,000 a month while giving them great amenities and vibrant cultural and entertainment options. Bangkok still gets pretty wild, but loads of expats and lots of English speakers help ease the transition.
The benefits offered to retirees beyond the three-hour flights back to see the kids are fairly substantial, especially considering that expats living on beachfront property can do well here on less than $1,500 a month. The scuba diving, fishing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and surfing are lovely too. But even Honduras can’t top the last entry on our list:
This basically is Florida or Arizona for the expat community. The country’s retirement benefits package includes 50% off transportation, utility bills, international round-trip flights originating in Ecuador and tickets for cultural and sporting events. Foreigners can also enroll in Ecuador’s Social Security medical program for $57 a month. Those over 65 also pay lower income tax. Penthouse suites and beachfront condos go for $50,000, while beachfront rentals hover around $500 a month. A retiree’s entire cost of living rounds out to roughly $800 to $1,500 a month, and the neighbors more often than not are either A) other expats or B) English-speaking locals. We’ll warn that this isn’t exactly undiscovered country among retirees, but it’s several steps up from the costly retirement kennels and golf carts of more costly American hot spots.
*http://www.heritage.com/articles/2012/06/22/life/doc4fe3269d7c2de411004858.txt?viewmode=fullstory (To access the above article please copy the URL and paste it into your browser.)
Editor’s Note: The above article may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…), and reformatted (including the title, some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The article’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article.
As an artist who is neither a real estate salesperson nor travel agent pushing an agenda, I feel it’s time to have a real discussion and look at the very best places to retire with real Pro’s and Con’s so the reader can really make an informed decions on where to go that serves their needs, interests and ambitions.
Welcome to the new model of retirement. No retirement. In 1983 sixty two percent (62%) of American workers had some kind of defined-benefit plan. Today less than 20% have access to a plan. The majority of retired Americans largely rely on Social Security as their de facto retirement plan [and the 35 and younger cohort are not able to save, or save enough, to eventually retire. True retirement is now a thing of the past except for a privileged few. Let me support this claim.] Words: 1091
Americans spend more time planning their vacations than their retirement and this is the reason why 1 out 7 baby boomers are going bankrupt. With people living longer and spending as much as 30 years in retirement, if you want to maintain a moderate standard of living, it is essential to plan your retirement well in advance to secure your golden years. This article outlines 6 ways to do just that. Words: 665
Withdrawing from a $1,000,000 nest egg upon retirement using the familiar 4% rule to generate a successful 30-year inflation-adjusted (3% per annum) retirement proved to be totally inadequate as per the retirement withdrawal strategy that I put forth in a previous article (1). In fact, it crashed and burned in year 25 of the 30-year plan! In fact, as I show in this article, it will only succeed if your portfolio outperforms the S&P 500 by 5% every year for 30 straight years – and what is the likelihood of that? Words: 1533
A life insurance policy is intended to provide your family with a sizable amount of money should you meet an untimely death and, as such, can be said to be a something of a an ultimate bonanza – a pot of gold, if you will. Most people, however, think the only way to get money from a life insurance policy is to die but there is another way should your circumstances change and that is called a life settlement. In this article I provide you with some insider insights on how to go about negotiating the maximize payout on such a settlement. Words: 851