Do you dream about retiring to somewhere warm and wonderful? You're not alone, and lucky for you, it looks like retiring abroad is more and more a very financially feasible option. The American dollar is strong compared to most foreign currencies, and American healthcare, real estate and cost of living is much higher than most other places in the world. This combination means that it's significantly cheaper for you to maintain your lifestyle in another country, reported Forbes.
There are several important factors to consider before deciding to pack everything up and move abroad, reported MarketWatch.
Weather: If you live somewhere with heavy winters, you may (very reasonably) want to get away from all that shovelling for your golden years.
Travel time: If you have a family that you want to stay close to, and that you expect to visit, consider locations close to hub airports and with a flight time less than 10 hours.
Safety: Don't retire somewhere that you'd feel unsafe in, plain and simple.
Healthcare: This is one of the most important factors. Be sure to go somewhere where you can trust and afford the healthcare system.
Political climate: As a retiree, you won't want to deal with political turmoil if you can avoid it.
Language: Is the country you're thinking of English-speaker friendly? How hard is it to learn the language of the country? Are you willing to learn a new language?
Cost of living: Do extensive research. Find out how you'll want to live and how much it'll cost you.
Countries in Asia and South America are perfect for those looking for a huge cultural change and a very different environment, whereas commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia and Ireland provide the comfort of a familiar language with more affordable cost of living than much of the U.S., and better healthcare.
Many choosing to retire abroad are looking to Europe. Italy, Spain and France are all great options, with exciting cultures, good healthcare and very reasonable real estate prices. These countries also deal with quite a bit of tourism, meaning that if you speak only English, you'll be able to get by while you learn the language of your new home.
One last important thing to think about is that you'll be leaving America, which means that it's very possible that nothing will be open 24 hours, bureaucracy may be slower and more frustrating, and certain services will be harder to obtain. Stores may be closed on Sundays, and don't be surprised if everything is still done by mail and phone. If all of this sounds good to you, there's nothing left to stop you!
Once you've given everything lots of thought, research and budgeting, get ready to pack!