Tips about where you can live well on a tight budget, and ideas for making your retirement income go further overseas…
I recently read an article in the British press that suggested a married couple in the UK would need to build up a retirement pot of at least £600,000, (circa $920,000), if they wanted to retire relatively comfortably. I don’t know about you but I think £600,000 seems like an incredibly huge amount of money to work towards saving, no matter how young you start a pension!
If you’re concerned that your retirement savings won’t stretch to afford you a decent standard of living in America, or you want to get more for your money by moving abroad in retirement, this report has been researched and written with you in mind.
The cost of living in countries like Great Britain and America is high – so it’s no wonder that we need a lot of money to retire on if we want to remain living in such nations. But not all countries in the world have such high prices placed on everything from health to housing – there genuinely are places in the world where it is cheaper to live, and where the standard of living is high, affording you a decent way of life and meaning you don’t have to compromise.
You may be thinking about a retirement abroad because you’ve always fancied travel, you dream of living in a tropical climate or you just want to get out of the country you’re in. Or, perhaps you’re in a position where you feel change is being forced upon you in the form of relocation overseas because you know you cannot afford to remain living in the country you’re currently in. Either way, what’s important to know is that it’s an absolute fact, you can have a very good life living overseas – and so a move abroad should be looked upon as an adventure, and planned carefully to ensure success.
Where in the World Are Homes More Affordable?
If you currently own your own home and you want to sell it to buy real estate abroad when you retire, you can take your pick of continents because I assure you, there are plenty of places left in this world where a house or an apartment is an affordable commodity in relative terms. Depending on which sources you trust, at the peak of the housing bubble in America the average sales price for a home reached between $230,000 and $300,000 – now assuming sales prices have fallen back and perhaps you don’t live in whatever constitutes ‘the average home’ in America, let’s assume you have between $75,000 and $100,000 to put into real estate overseas. For your budget you’ll likely be pleased to know you have vast choice.
You could choose a villa in Turkey on the Mediterranean coast surrounded by stunning views and enveloped in glorious sunshine for much of the year…or perhaps a condo in Mexico would suit you more, allowing you to be more accessible to your old home haunts? If you’re prepared to venture further south you’ll find homes in the likes of Costa Rica, Belize, Argentina and Brazil for less…or if you want the history and culture of Europe then what about Portugal or even Sweden?
A good and detailed real estate search on the Internet, restricted only by your budget, will reveal to you a whole world of opportunity currently out there and perhaps open up your mind to nations you’ve never even heard of or know very little about. So, if you’re not sure where you want to live, why not let your budget guide you. Find real estate you like the look of, and then explore the realities of retiring to the nation in which the property is in.
Alternatively, if you have a fixed idea about the country you’d like to live in, remember that the further away you are from centers of tourism and business, the cheaper real estate will become. This is simply because property is worth less, as is the land it sits upon because it is less in demand – and this can mean you get more for your money the further you’re prepared to step off the beaten track. So even if your country choice is considered ‘expensive,’ you may well find an affordable property if you dig deep and go beyond the obvious communities where expatriates gather.
If that doesn’t take your fancy one bit and instead you actually like the idea of moving into a ready made community abroad, where you know you’ll meet like-minded people of a similar age and perhaps even from a similar background, making your integration even easier, what about looking into retirement communities overseas.
From Australia to Wales, Greece to Mexico there are dedicated retirement communities abroad where you can buy in for the duration of your lifetime, and live in luxury surrounded by new friends and also care and support from professional staff. With the concept originating in America and now spreading worldwide, you can potentially find a home within a neighborhood that’s secure and maintained. Alternatively, gated style residential communities are becoming more common around the modern world too, offering you secure living but without the retirement centric, supportive environment.
Where in the World Can You Afford a Better Lifestyle?
The cost of living is always relative, in terms of affordability, to that which local people earn – therefore, if you’re limited in your budget, you need to look at where actually your budget is worth an awful lot more than it may be in mainland America. This doesn’t mean you have to look at the most impoverished places in the world! Far from it! Countries like America and Britain are overburdened by taxation and social care programs, they require one to pay out for health care in the form of private insurance or National Insurance and as a result, one’s money is restricted in terms of how far it will stretch because of policies that one has no control over.
If you look to countries where the economy works differently, you’ll quickly realize that there are places in the world where you will taxed far less and even have to pay much less for essentials such as medical care. Countries such as Costa Rica and Argentina become affordable at this point, as does Mexico. Or what about nations such as Belize, Malaysia and Thailand where there are retired persons incentive programs that make it cheaper and easier for you to live in such countries once you hit retirement. You may even be able to live in them 100% tax-free legitimately.