Everyone wants to have a great post-retirement life. But besides saving up for old age in the form of traditional retirement funds, you might want to consider moving to a different location overseas to make your savings last even longer.
Most baby boomers are concerned that savings from 401(k) and other traditional retirement plans aren’t enough to enjoy a fulfilling life in old age. But most of these future retirees overlook one of the biggest retirement solutions: relocating to a different country.
Edd Staton, the author of International Living knows all about this. He and his wife Cynthia Staton moved to Cuenca, Ecuador eight years ago, and the two have been documenting their journey in the form of a blog ever since.
It was the year of 2010 when the Statons decided to make the life-changing move. The couple wanted to escape the United States’ crumbling economy in the wake of the massive financial crisis, and moving to Ecuador was the best decision of their lives. Since their early retirement in 2010, they have written numerous books to tell others about their experience living overseas.
Statons say that they have actually grown their nest egg in Ecuador rather than watching it shrink, and the cheap medical costs in the country, compared to the U.S., have played a huge role in it.
It’s never easy to pack up your life and move to a foreign country. It’s undoubtedly an overwhelming process that may involve learning a new language, being apart from the family and doing a lot of research on the place you want to stay.
But with digital technology and social media apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, FaceTime and Whatsapp, staying connected to your loved ones is easier than ever.
As far as learning a new language goes, Staton says that most countries already have expat communities which makes it easier to communicate in English – but learning the local language can be a big plus if you really want to experience their culture thoroughly.
Moving to different country to spend the rest of your life is a big commitment, and it shouldn’t be seen as a holiday get-away. Living in a place all year round is different than a vacation which is why you need to asses factors like transportation, cost of living and the locals’ response to foreigners.
Staton’s blog, International Living, provides plenty of valuable information on cities that are great for retirees. Here are his top five recommendations for living your best life after retirement under $37,000 a year.
Quito, Latin America’s best preserved historical site, has plenty of good suburbs that offer similar lifestyle perks to U.S. cities. Neighborhoods like Parque La Carolina, Cumbaya and Gonzalez Suarez have gated McMansion communities, museums and plenty of good dining and entertainment spots.
Probably the biggest advantage of living in Ecuador is the cost of living which is only a fraction of what you’d spend in North America. A couple can easily live under a monthly budget of $1,650 to $1,825 in Quito –which amounts to $19,800 to $21,900 per year.
Panama City, Panama
If you’re looking for a true cosmopolitan city that has all the luxuries of a First World country without the hefty price tag, then Panama City is your best bet. This Central American district has excellent cellular coverage, high speed internet, clear water and air – and you won’t have to worry about currency conversion either because Panama’s main currency is the U.S. dollar.
Expats who have lived in Panama rate its healthcare system as one of the best in the world – which is a huge perk for those who’re thinking of retiring there. Couple can easily rend a two-bedroom apartment in a central location and still keep their monthly expenses under $1,765 (or $21,180 per year).
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
This Cambodian capital, which was once known as the Perl of Asia, offers stunning colonial French architecture, bustling food markets and supreme affordability. Under $22,050 a year, retired couples can afford a spacious 2-bedroom house with a gardener and a housekeeper.
Just like Cambodia, Hanoi has plenty of colonial French architectural sites and is a melting pot of cultures with Chinese, French and Southeast Asian influences.
The city is modern and traditional at the same time so there is something for every expat here. It is also one of the most affordable cities in the world where couples can live comfortably under just $905 a month.
Portugal is the rising star of Europe when it comes to life after retirement. This capital has a population of over 500,000 people and offers everything from history to architecture to hospitality and calm and vibrant nightlife.
Summers here are generally sunny and winters milder than other Western European locations. Living in one of the most hospitable cities in Europe will only cost a couple $3,065 a month.