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Let's talk retirement: Think globally Print E-mail

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 00:00

Written by Andrea Theisson

Retirement seems to have changed while we were waiting for the big opportunity to arrive.  Not the same people our parents were, our world has changed.   

Most of us are now global thinkers, having been exposed to international living through the media from an early age, if we realize this or not.  More of us have traveled extensively, or at least been kept informed via the all the same media.  This overview helps us to find compatible countries, and indeed, be more adaptable ourselves.

Our funds have suffered economically, with many IRAs and pensions going from promising to discouraging.  It seems only sensible to explore possibilities beyond one geographical location.  Many of us are disturbed and disappointed with politics, and are thinking along less nationalist loyalties.  The old philosophy of blooming where you plant yourself can work at any age, and the new adventurous, healthy retirees are ready to explore.  We can take a lifetime of lessons and thrive on maybe a third of the cost of what we’ve been spending.

So, the considerations will be where to reinvest your lives, and possibly your money.  Find a compatible country, which has a population that speaks at least one language in which you are proficient.  Consider the real estate situation - if you will be downsizing completely, or just renting out your old home and managing as a long-distance landlord.   You will want some available communications, Internet hopefully.  Even the most remote places have some satellite or cell-phone coverage, or at the worst, telephones or telegraphs.  Money can be converted, or accessed online.  You can arrange for dividends, or social security to be forwarded to wherever you are.  Most financial institutions will set up a trust-fund type management arrangement for you.

Careful planning will include decisions about citizenship, banking, and insurance.  You will find that your money will go much farther in certain places.  You will want to check the exchange rates for the currency of the destination.  Popular locations are the Caribbean islands, South America, Hong Kong, Ireland, and many of the smaller European nations.  Many of these are known to be Tax Havens, such as Austria, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. 

Everyone’s lifestyle is different, with different needs, so take time to really consider what is important to you.  Urban or rural?  Nature or sophisticated culture?  There are more and more contemporary gypsies who just move around and live in RV’s, taking time in parks and touring various countries.  Your personal comfort zone will dictate how long you can be on the road.  Most retired people want adequate medical facilities and availability of pharmacies or natural healers.  Check out what you need.  Ideally, you might travel to the country and try it out, or talk to or correspond with people who have lived there.

There are countries that are more receptive to American or English expatriates.  See this website for some in-depth explanations -  Likewise, there are many books on tax havens and politically stable areas which would be likely global retirement destinations.  The American Association of Retired People even has an International  division and resources -  Whether you are considering moving to a new country, becoming a gypsy, or just switching states to take advantage of pension and tax laws, you will have a happier retirement if you do some homework.  Make your dreams come true!


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