In the U.S. alone, there are 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, a trend expected to continue for the next 15 years. This means that about 3.6 million Americans are retiring each year. And more Americans are retiring outside of the U.S. every year, as evidenced by almost 375,000 retirees receiving their Social Security checks overseas in 2013 (the latest data published by the Social Security Administration).
The dollar has appreciated against most foreign currencies. Thanks to this exchange rate, purchasing property overseas has become relatively reasonable and certainly much less expensive than the purchase of similar property here in the U.S. The cost of living in most overseas locations is a good deal less, which means you can maintain a better lifestyle and your savings will last longer.
In addition, although the cost and quality of health care varies substantially from country to country, there are many overseas locations that offer health care services similar to what is provided in the U.S. and usually at a great deal less.
As you research overseas locations you should select some destinations and check to see how they compare to your needs and expectations. Considerations should be:
Lifestyle/cost of living. Is the beach important, what about restaurants, shopping, skiing, the arts, etc.? Do you want to live near the mountains or near the beach or even both? What lifestyle will your budget provide?
Climate. Many overseas retirement destinations are hot and humid, while some can be chilly and others have a rainy season lasting several months. How does climate affect your decision?
Health care. Do you have medical problems or a medical condition that requires special medical attention or require that you live near a hospital? What kind of health care is available in the country you select, what are the costs and is this available locally?
Time to travel/ease of travel. If you plan to return often to the U.S. to visit friends and family, or if you want them to visit you; if you have health issues and need to return to take care of them this is an important consideration.
Safety. If you don't feel safe, you may not feel comfortable in certain overseas locations.
Politics/government/local laws/stability. How comfortable are you living in a country with anti-American leanings, or where you must be careful with your interactions with the police or local politicians?
Natural disasters. Some places have hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, flooding, etc. and their infrastructure is not set up to handle them.
The arts. How important is access to museums, opera, symphony, ballet, theater?
Sports. Do you wish to play golf, tennis, ski, run, bike, hike, scuba dive, or climb mountains? Do you wish to be able to attend professional or amateur sporting events? Is it important to view sporting events on TV?
Shopping. Is shopping important to you? What about shopping for food, clothes or staples?
Language. Are you comfortable in a country where English is not the native language and perhaps is not spoken or understood by many of the locals?
As you do your research on retiring, relocating abroad check out our content in this area including a chart evaluating many destinations according to cost of living, health care, climate, etc. and links to help you evaluate how far you money will go in over 300 countries, IRS tax implications and much more