Saturday, April 9, 2011

Six Considerations For Retiring Abroad:

Liz Davidson has a column in Forbes titled "A Great Retiree Migration Abroad is Not So Far Fetched." She writes
Millions of U.S citizens retire abroad; the State Department records that there are over 6.6 million Americans living abroad, many of them retirees (550,000 of them are military personnel and their families). This number has grown over 500% in the past 40 years and will probably continue to increase going forward.
I think Liz is exactly right! Baby boomers will be moving from the U.S. in something called a diaspora to escape to a warmer climate, sure, but really to escape the high cost of living, a financial system that is failing and ultimately the fear that the U.S. will impose all sorts of controls over our movements and movement of our assets.

The story of violence we read about in North American newspapers stopped travel to Mexico temporarily, but now hotel booking sights are seeing big increases.
Expedia revealed last week that travel bookings made to Mexico from its portfolio of global brands, which includes the Expedia and websites, were up nearly 25 percent in the last 12 months.

Returning to Liz Davidson, her piece looks at six considerations for retiring abroad:

Distance: For some long plane flights to and from family are a deal breaker. Davidson says consider shorter distances away and consider Skype. You may have more face time with Skype than you do now living in the same city. Also, remember, we have become such a mobile society that families are already spread across the country.

If language is the problem, consider living in expat communities. If you can learn the language, you'll enjoy the country more.

Culture Shock:
To adapt to not only a new environment but also a new culture takes a flexible and adaptable personality type. So if you are the type that loves routine and predictability, you’d need to consider long and hard whether retiring abroad is for you.

Medical Care:
A resource to determine the quality and eligibility of medical care is to ask the expats that live there and are using the medical system. Look for expat forums such as the Future Expat Forum on LinkedIn .

Economic Stability/Inflation:
It is prudent to choose a country with a relatively low inflation rate or at least not one that is higher than ours.
Davidson has links to sources for this information.

Personal Safety:
Start with the U.S. State Department. Their website offers reports on terrorism as well as crime rates by country, broken down by counties. You can also post questions on some of the many expat blogs to gather the word literally from the street – Expat Exchange has hundreds of expat blogs.

I am interested in Mazatlan and am a member of the Mazinfo expat group and can ask any question about living in Mexico of the expats and always get good answers