As the time comes to close your laptop and put away your slacks and pressed shirts, an important decision needs to be made. Where are you going to retire

There are benefits and drawbacks to every option, and the decision depends entirely on your personal preferences and financial situation. Keep reading to get insight into some of the pros and cons of retiring outside the United States and to learn about some of the best countries to spend your golden years in.

Pros of Retiring Outside the United States

  • It’s an adventure: Living in a new country is exciting and stimulating. You will face new situations every day, which can help you ‘stay young’ for longer. Experiencing new things as you age is incredibly beneficial to your overall health and well-being.
  • Low cost of living: You have the option to go almost anywhere in the world, which means that you can choose to live in a place that has lower everyday living expenses than in the U.S.
  • More affordable healthcare: Health tends to deteriorate with age, and healthcare in the U.S. certainly isn’t cheap. Assuming you meet the requirements of the country you choose to retire in and have a proper visa, healthcare can be much more affordable.

Cons of Retiring Outside the United States

  • You’ll be far away from existing social and professional networks: Moving to another country might mean you’re leaving family, friends, and hard-earned professional connections behind. Having to establish new connections can feel overwhelming, especially in a new environment.
  • Language and cultural differences: Though experiencing a new culture is one of the most exciting parts of traveling or moving to another country, it can also be difficult to acclimate to so many changes at once. Every place in the world has its own quirks and unique customs that can be hard to understand, especially if a language barrier exists. 
  • Managing finances and jumping through regulatory hoops: Depending on the country you retire in and your overall tax status, you may end up paying taxes in both the United States and in your country of choice. Additionally, many countries have specific requirements you must meet before moving there and it can be difficult to acquire the proper long-stay visas.

If Not the United States, Then Where?

“Best” isn’t always synonymous with “least-expensive”, but spending less on living expenses is certainly a positive thing! Here are some of the most affordable (and beautiful) countries to retire in outside of the United States:

  • Portugal: Home to several cities known for their expatriate population.
  • Costa Rica: Has a low cost of living, good healthcare, and an abundance of natural beauty.
  • Panama: Known for the welcoming locals and breathtaking landscapes. Retirees with a visa can receive various benefits in Panama. 
  • French Countryside: Much less expensive than Paris, the French countryside can offer a quiet and peaceful lifestyle.

Some other honorable mentions include Malaysia, Vietnam, Colombia, and Mexico.

Final Words

Many different factors need to be considered when deciding where to spend your retirement. Not only do the social and emotional repercussions of moving to a different country need to be thought about, but so do the financial and regulatory details.

Take your time when making this choice, and enjoy your well-deserved freedom. Please feel free to reach out to me on this or any of your investment needs or questions. I may not always have the answers at my fingertips,  but I promise I will get them for you.  Harvey Sax. I’ll even share with you my favorite ex-pat spot.

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