Retiring to a foreign locale: Some problems and options
August 30, 2007
With so many boomers reaching retirement with a shortfall in savings, how are they going to stretch their dollar in order to maintain their lifestyle?
Many are looking at retiring outside of the U.S. in more exotic locales. Unlike the prior generation that preferred a routine retirement, boomers want excitement. Boomers are looking at adult communities in Mexico, Costa Rica and other locations. Many of these communities offer yoga centers, sushi bars and Internet cafes in order to lure the retirees. Places like Florida and California that offer similar opportunities are more costly.
Many U.S. retirees that live in expensive locales realize that property taxes, medical care and other expenses are going to eat into their nest eggs, so places like Mexico are getting a lot of attention.
But living outside the U.S. can be worrisome. Many boomers will not leave the U.S. because they like the stability of government.
They want their own health-care system and doctors. They do not wish to learn another language or culture.
Foreigners are not permitted to purchase property in certain places outside the U.S. In Mexico, you must purchase a trust through a Mexican bank if you wish to live within 62 miles of the coast. The bank will hold the title for 100 years. Upon the death of the trust owner, the property would pass to a relative, if proper estate planning is in place.
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Another problem is immigration rules. In Mexico, for instance, the country has immigration visas for people who wish to stay in the country on a permanent basis and nonimmigration visas for those staying for a limited term.
With those obstacles in mind, many will just vacation in these locales rather than live there.
Boomers looking for less expensive living can look at areas inside the U.S. The sunbelt is the most expensive, but maybe looking into the Midwest or South could save some money and the boomer could establish a travel budget that would allow them to spend weeks or months at these exotic places.
I have always thought that it would be nice to live in Italy. Good food, happy people, what is not to love? But then I think about how far away that would be from my family and friends and could I take my animal kingdom?
Besides, I think that there is no better place to live than here in the good old USA. I have been lucky in that I have been able to travel to many great places, but when it comes to living there, I prefer not. With all the problems that we face in the future, I consider this country my home.
Do you wonder how much it will cost you to live the way you want to in retirement? Give my office a call and schedule a comprehensive retirement plan and take some of the guesswork out of where and how you are going to live. We can be reached at 841-4277.
• Carol Perry, of Carol Perry and Associates, has been a resident of Northern Nevada since 1983.