Retiring abroad offers a unique set of benefits and experiences. Here are 18 compelling reasons why leaving the United States and retiring to another country can be a worthwhile decision for many.
Choosing a climate that supports your health and preferences is a key benefit of retiring abroad. Whether you prefer year-round sunshine, mild weather, or cooler temperatures, you have the freedom to choose a location that suits your ideal climate and this can have a profound effect on your overall well-being and happiness.
Retirees in Cyprus, Panama, and France can access high-quality health care at a fraction of the cost compared to the US. Especially those countries with high healthcare costs can benefit from this. Many countries have healthcare costs specifically created for expats which are both private and public options to suit everyone’s needs. These all come at an affordable rate in comparison.
Lower cost of living
Those who are planning on retiring abroad, tend to expect an expensive lifestyle. However, this isn’t always the case. Amenities such as housing, utilities, food, and living costs can all be much lower than in developed countries like the US. This financial benefit allows retirees to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and can allow them to relax more and travel more without the stress of stretching their savings too thin.
Living in a new country provides an immersive experience of different cultures. It’s about embracing local traditions, food and lifestyle, which can lead to greater personal growth and a deeper understanding of the world. Many retirees find this cultural immersion to be one of the most beautiful things about retiring abroad, creating a sense of belonging and community in their new home.
Opportunities for travel and research
Returning abroad opens a new chapter full of travel and exploration. Whether it’s immersing yourself in local traditions, exploring natural landscapes, or even discovering ancient cities, retirees have a unique opportunity to indulge their curiosity and new experiences that they may have lost out on while working or living in their own countries.
Quality retirement community
There are a variety of different places where people can retire. Some include Monte da Palhaguera and West Cliffs Ocean & Golf Resort in Portugal, which are welcoming to international communities and offer a tranquil setting with rich culture and strong community ties. According to Internal Living, a couple can live comfortably in Portugal on a monthly budget of around USD 2,500.
Improved quality of life
For many retirees, the slower pace of life can be more relaxing and stress-free. Traffic reduction, crime reduction, and a focus on community well-being contribute to quality of life. This type of environment is especially beneficial for those looking for a peaceful, quiet and safe place to enjoy their golden years.
According to the American Expat Journal, the number of pensioners and retirees who have retired abroad increased from 2007 to 2017, by 40%. Overseas retirement can provide significant financial benefits, such as tax savings and wealth management. Being a non-resident for tax purposes in your home country gives you the advantage of income, lower property taxes in some countries and capital gains. This can give you disposable income to live a good life.
As we get older we tend to lose friends and families and it can start to get lonely. Many of those who have retired overseas have attested to finding vibrant immigrant communities in their new countries, as well as opportunities to make new friends and join various social networks with fun activities. These environments provide a sense of belonging, which is important in adjusting to life in a new country.
Language learning opportunities
Learning a foreign language, for example, has various benefits. It can pay off! The Economist reported that bilingual college graduates earn an average 2% wage increase, which The Economist believes could cost these people an additional $67,000 in retirement. Retiring in a non-English-speaking country gives you an amazing opportunity to learn a new language.
Living in a new country can be a personal transformative experience, encouraging individual growth and opening your mind to new perspectives. One way it does this is to challenge retirees to adapt to new environments and customs, improving their life experience and broadening their worldview.
Many retirement homes have world-class amenities, such as professional golf courses, wellness centres and gourmet restaurants. These facilities contribute to a luxurious and comfortable retirement, allowing retirees to indulge in hobbies and interests back home that may not have been available in their U.S. homes, or if they were, then not as affordable or readily available.
Why not continue the adventure when you’re retired? Many of those who have retired abroad find some great opportunities for adventure when they live overseas. It provides prospects to explore exciting things, places, and activities. This can help bring new meaning to a sense of adventure. Who wouldn’t want to make their retirement more enjoyable and fulfilling?
Excellent work-life balance
The many varieties of leisure facilities that are common in many retirement communities go a long way towards work-life balance. Pensioners in these areas tend to have more time and less stress, allowing them to focus more on their personal hobbies, leisure activities, and well-being. This change can give both your mind and body a healthy and significant improvement.
Retiring in countries with known low crime rates such as those mentioned in the World Population Review report, can increase safety, providing a more peaceful and secure environment for retirees. For example, countries such as Portugal, New Zealand and parts of Scandinavia are often praised for their security, which guarantees retirees to live in a safe community. According to a report on the Global Peace Index Portugal was rated 7th. This is an important factor for many when they are choosing where to retire.
If you’re into buying luxury items, retiring abroad can have its benefits. Many places offer the ability to purchase certain luxuries that may not be available in the US. Low labour costs in many countries make services like domestic help, gardening, and spa treatments accessible. For example, in countries like Mexico and Thailand, the cost of these services is very low, allowing retirees to take part in this relief without straining their finances.
Through a combination of factors such as better weather, access to fresh produce, local foods, and reduced stress, retiring to another country may not be a bad idea. Countries with a Mediterranean climate, for example, offer not only a diet known for its health benefits. Research done by Harvard links a Mediterranean diet to a far healthier option that has benefits towards cardiovascular diseases, healthy ageing and an increased lifespan.
Living abroad can broaden retirees’ horizons, giving them a deeper understanding of different cultures and global issues. This helps in providing insights into new ideas, enhancing your creativity and life itself. It encourages retirees to think more globally and understand their place in a wider context. It can also lead to greater empathy and perspective on the world, which can be one of the most educational and enriching aspects of retirement abroad.