Retirement is not a one size fits all. While the whole idea of retirement planning escapes many of us, even a well designed strategy can unexpectedly go sideways. We had what we thought was a solid plan for our golden years until the Economic Tsunami of 2008 mercilessly engulfed us. We decided our best option was to take early retirement with the assets we had left and move abroad to a lower cost of living. Fast forward to 2018, and not only have we rescued our retirement, we’ve created an exceptional life as expats and are truly blessed.
The Good: Retiring overseas is an attractive and affordable option for Baby Boomers with inadequate savings. How attractive? According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a senior in the 40th income percentile in the U.S. would be in the 90th percentile in Mexico.
How affordable? Moving abroad truly allows you to enjoy a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget, and is one of the best ways to save money in retirement. If your location is chosen wisely you could live in a dream home on the ocean, and have affordable health care even when paying out of pocket—on a budget funded solely by your Social Security benefits. Now that’s a surefire formula for permanent stress relief!
The Bad: If you’re over 50 and for whatever reason have little or no money saved, the truth is you’ve run out of time and basically have three options:
- Resign yourself to a miserable, impoverished retirement. You could quite possibly become dependent on family members for your livelihood, and maybe even have to give up your own home. This option is really bad and not what any of us want.
- Keep on keeping on as the financial gurus advise. Work forever and cut back drastically on your current lifestyle so you can save like crazy. The big problem with this plan is by the time you can finally retire, you could very well be too old, too sick, or too tired to enjoy those last few years. Not so good either.
- THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE! Moving to a foreign country is probably not your first choice of the best places to live, but it could be a much better option than those first two. And that’s not bad at all!
The Ugly: The National Institute on Retirement Security reports the median retirement account balance for near-retirement households is only $12,000. If you’re doing better than that don’t be too quick to pat yourself on the back. Fidelity Investments says retired 65-year-old couples can expect to pay $275,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for health care, and that doesn’t even include long-term nursing care and rehabilitation. Got that much spare change sitting around?
The harsh reality is you’d better do SOMETHING or, well, it’s gonna get ugly. Even if you’ve never considered it, explore the possibility that moving abroad may be the best answer to your situation.
And that’s the good news! We are determined to make moving abroad part of the retirement conversation. Stick with us over the next few weeks, and you’ll learn more about this extremely affordable and attractive option.