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Can you afford to retire abroad? Personal Points to Consider

The proverb that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” has never been truer than when making the decision to retire abroad. Of the many perceived obstacles to taking that first step, the fear of not having enough money to live happily in another country is probably the most common. However, this concern is probably one of the least likely to affect your happiness as an expat if you consider a some key personal factors.

I’m going to start with one given. You must have enough income to qualify to enter the country of interest as a retiree. If you don’t have at least that amount of money, nothing else matters financially.

After that, your choices will determine if you can afford to live there. The important thing to remember is that YOU have control over whether you can afford to live in your selected retirement country. So what do I mean by that?

You have control over the destination country. In your preliminary research, you decide whether the potential destination country meets your lifestyle and financial goals. If you want to be close to family, you don’t move to a country twelve hours away by air. If you want to live economically, you can choose a country like Panama, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic or Belize; each of which has numerous areas of the country where one can live frugally.

You have control over whether you rent or buy.If I intended to live in a country for at least a year, I would personally commit to renting for at least the first six months. It’s easier to pay a monthly rental fee than it is to pull out cash right away to buy a unit. After all, you may decide after a few months that your location isn’t really suitable for your intended lifestyle.

You have control over the level of lifestyle you will live. You can live within your financial limits or you can choose to live outside of them. If you choose the latter option, then you cannot afford to retire abroad. Drop it and enjoy life wherever you are.

However, if you have learned to live on a budget or can learn to do so, you can afford to live abroad. If you have enough income or financial resources, you can live in the best accommodation the country has to offer. However, if your financial resources are limited, you should reduce them accordingly. Once again, it is your choice.

In any case, there are numerous retirement destinations that can meet any level of lifestyle. If you want to live in the city, have all the comforts of your old life, shop in the most expensive stores and eat daily in exquisite gastronomic establishments, these places exist. They just require a higher level of income.

If you must live more moderately, you can shop at local markets, eat where the locals dine, use local transportation, live in a less expensive neighborhood, and probably even have the luxury of a maid if you choose the right city or neighborhood.

Ultimately, you have control over your costs of living.You may be limited in the amount of income you receive as a retiree, but you are not limited in your ability to make spending decisions related to it. Thoughtful retirement planning and execution will enable you to retire abroad. Where and how well you live is up to you.

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