Yesterday, we took a pit stop in the cocktail-soaked world of retirement overseas.
Just 50 years ago, choosing to live out your golden years in a developing country was still seen as a pretty wild idea. But in the last 20 years, several significant shifts in modernization have fostered a new era of globetrotting retirees.
Affordable travel options and more flights than ever ensure you’re never really “cut off” from your family. Even if you’re on a tropical island the other side of the world, you’re always less than a day’s travel away from the grandkids.
High-speed internet keeps you “connected” to the real world. And with the help of apps like Skype and Viber, you can stay in touch with folks back home and not rack up long-distance phone bills.
But most importantly, advances in global healthcare mean you can now get world-class treatment at state of the art facilities in low-cost spots all over the world.
Retiring in Vietnam or Costa Rica isn’t just for swashbuckling adventurers anymore. It’s for people who want to enjoy the comforts of home mixed with a little local culture and some nice weather.
In today’s issue, we’re going to dive into the Money & Crisis mailbag and hear from some folks who are planning to retire overseas… and some folks who have already done it.
All the best,
Editor, Money & Crisis
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The Homesick Lone-Star Grandma Blues
By Amy “Old Texas Cowgirl” D.
In 1999, I took my social security at 62 and sailed my 32′ sloop from Galveston to Isla Roatanoff the north coast of Honduras with my then nine-year-old grandson.
After living aboard the boat in a marina for two years, we built a “native” cabin on a hilltop overlooking the Caribbean.
While it was a lot of fun at first, in time it paled.
I missed my son who was taking care of our small ranch in Texas. I missed the Texas drawl, insteadof the Spanish and Caribbean English I heard daily (Caribbean English is a strange accent, more difficult to understand than Bob Marley). I even missed McDonald’s.
After five years I sold my hilltop home and returned to Texas, where I now am happily watching our cattle reproduce and grow and reading adventure novels where other people braver than I live dangerous, exciting lives. I’ll take home and peace.
I made it in Honduras with a child to raise and school tuition to pay, and do so here (without the child who is now 28) on just my very average social security check.
A Paradise Closer to Home
By John M.
I am dropping you a line to give you my retirement place choices.
Retiring elsewhere is a nobrainerfor me because I went broke fighting the Fed from 2004 to 2006. Because of this, I see myself retiring with SSI and a pension — provided the pension stays solvent.
(Another reason is the troubling turn towards socialism here and the rampant entitlement mentality I see everywhere. I hope to be far away from the implosion and anarchy I see coming.)
In your article, you mentioned Vietnam. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful and affordable country, but it’s a little too close to China for me. I’ll probably end up in this hemisphere.
My choice is up in the air, probably between Uruguay or Panama. I have about 20 years to go and a lot can happen in that much time to change my decision. Both choices appeal to me because of their proximity to the U.S.
I’m trying to get my long distance travel out of the way now, so Tahiti is on the list for this coming winter.
I enjoy reading your emails Owen, keep up the good work!
The Soldier Returns a Middle-Class Fish
By Lou S.
My choice, you’d never guess, is Germany.
Not in a big city though and not in the northern part.
I’m looking for a small town. And there aremany quaint villages in southern Germany to choose from.
I lived there for 3 1/2 years while in the service. You have to get really local to live there. But if you do, and downsize, it’s great.
You quickly get used to everyone else living humbly around you. And if you can stay humble,you can be in the top 10% on a modest financial budget — something impossible in the US.
I called it being a “middle-class fish in a small pond.”
[Editor’s note: Achieving financial security… and living the retirement of your dreams…can be easy as writing a single simple sentence. Click here to see what I mean.]