One of the best kept secrets in the elderly community is seniors living abroad. In addition to spicing up their lives, seniors are discovering that living overseas can also be cheaper than living in the U.S.
The Social Security Administration estimates that there are over 350,000 American seniors, who receive their Social Security benefits outside of the United States. There are more and more seniors living abroad today, because of the ongoing recession and sluggish American economy.
Seniors Living Abroad – Living the Life of a Senior Expat
An expat, also known as an expatriate, is defined as a person who lives in another country full or part-time. Seniors can expect to benefit from other languages and cultures. For seniors who want an easier approach to living abroad, there are usually large expat communities in more popular locations in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama in Central America. Or, you can also find good-sized expatriate communities in larger cities and popular tourist destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America.
Retirees can get more bang for their U.S. pension bucks when they are spending their money in economies where the cost of living is cheaper than the United States. Even though many senior expats live in Mexico or Canada, there are many spots in the world where they can comfortably live for less than $1000 dollars a month.
Although, there are some challenges, most U.S. retirees who have lived overseas would tell you that they are enjoying life much more in the places that they are, compared to their lives in the United States.
3 Top Tips for American Seniors Living Abroad
• American Friendly – Naturally, you don’t want to live in a country that is hostile towards the United States. However, you also don’t want to live in a place where people are only friendly, because of your money. This is where expat communities come in handy. You can find places where you can live in comfort without locals constantly touting you for money.
• Safety – Remember all of those movies and nightly news reports you’ve seen about Americans being kidnapped and held for hostage?
Well, there are some locations in the world where that does happen, but for the most part, most countries are much safer than living in the United States.
The same rules that apply when traveling or living in the United States, should apply when you are living abroad. You should never flash your money around, and you shouldn’t walk around the town with expensive jewelry. You should also not hang around at night in places that you are not familiar with, and you are always safer in numbers.
• Steady Income – You don’t need a lot of money to live in many foreign locations, but it is always a good idea to make sure you have a steady income, and that you have enough money to go there in the first place. This is not usually an issue for most seniors, because they receive their Social Security benefits, as well as other retirement funds.
The nicest part about this is that some countries give seniors special retirement visas, or visas that allow you to live as a resident in those countries if you have a guaranteed minimum income set by each country. This means that you don’t need to leave the country every couple of months to apply for a new visa, but can stay there for a year or two before applying again, or you can even receive permanent residency or citizenship.
Seniors Living Abroad – Conclusion
Of course you need to find some countries that you feel comfortable living. You can scour the Internet to find out about other countries and cultures. The next step should be to visit those countries to get a better feel about them. While you are there, talk to some other seniors who have lived in the country for some time, and even hook up with other expats to learn more.
There are many advantages for seniors living abroad, and you might find that it is something for you.
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