Several posts ago I wrote about the possibility of retiring abroad. This idea struck a chord with a number of readers, so today I’m taking a closer look at the topic by reviewing How to Retire Overseas by Kathleen Peddicord.
Published in 2011, the book lays out the world’s top 14 retirement havens: Argentina, Belize, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Thailand, and Uruguay.
For each country, Peddicord provides pertinent data in 11 categories, including:
- Cost of living
- Cost of housing
- Health care
- Accessibility to the U.S.
- Culture, recreation, and entertainment
- Special benefits for foreign retirees
- Education and schools
The author has lived in three countries outside the U.S. and shares her experiences with some of the more important aspects of relocating. Anyone thinking about living in another country need to be aware of residency requirements, health care options, and local customs and etiquette, not to mention income taxes in both the U.S. and the relocation country. Peddicord offers suggestions and advice for handling these and other issues. She also offers inside information on navigating the process of buying real estate and moving belongings.
I appreciated her comments about making friends and how to move beyond tourist status in a new country. She also advises people to accept the fact that setting up housekeeping (including utilities) in another culture is a process that can take a lot longer than we’d experience in the U.S.
While she endorses doing the research up front and talking with other expats about an anticipated move, her strongest recommendation is to simply get on a plane and visit the country. Even though a locale may look great on paper, you can make a much better determination if it will work for you if you have first-hand experience.
This gives me some great ideas about our next couple of vacation destinations!