NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, What tips and resources can you recommend to folks interested in retiring abroad? My wife and I will be retiring next year and are intrigued with the idea of living in a foreign country. What can you tell us?
— Looking Abroad
Whatever your reasons for wanting to retire abroad — a desire for adventure, a lower cost of living, a better climate — you need to do your homework and learn everything you can about the country you’re interested in because there are many unknowns. Here are some tips and resources to help you get started.
Researching tools: You can find lots of information and articles on the countries and cities you’re interested in retiring to at websites like International Living (internationalliving.com), Escape Artist (escapeartist.com) and AngloINFO (angloinfo.com). International Living even offers a short quiz you can take to help you discover your ideal overseas retirement location.
There also are some great books on this topic, like “How to Retire Overseas: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for Less) Abroad” by Kathleen Peddicord and “Retirement Without Borders,” by Barry Golson. These books and others like them are available in book stores nationwide or online at amazon.com. Or check with your local public library.
Another good tip is to talk or network with some expatriates who already have made the move you’re thinking about making. They can give you tips and suggestions, as well as the advantages and disadvantages and day-to-day reality of living in a particular country. Some popular sites to finding expat resources are expatexchange.com and expatforum.com. Here are some other areas you need to investigate.
· Cost of living: Retiring abroad used to be seen as a surefire way to live beyond your means, and for some countries it still is. But the U.S. dollar isn’t what it used to be, so your money may not stretch as far as you think. See numbeo.com and xpatulator.com for a country-by-country cost of living comparison.