Summer has finally arrived. It’s time for sunshine, barbeques and maybe even vacations to the beach. If you’re still working, you may only get one or two weeks a year to escape from the office and enjoy the great weather. However, once you’re retired, you’ll have the time and flexibility to enjoy a beach and a tropical climate as much as you want.
In fact, many retirees choose to not only vacation frequently, but to actually relocate to a warm, tropical location. Many do it for lifestyle reasons. They want to be able to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Others may do it for health reasons. They may have illnesses or conditions that are less severe in warmer weather.
Some people also move to tropical locations for financial reasons. There are many places, especially in other countries, where your retirement dollars might stretch further than they do in the United States.
In fact, every year International Living magazine rates the best tropical retirement destinations in its Global Retirement Index. Below are a few of the top locations in 2019’s index. If you’re looking for a warm tropical climate and want to make your retirement assets last, you may want to consider either a part-time or full-time relocation to one of these countries.
Panama claimed the top spot in 2019’s Global Retirement Index. It’s a modern, sophisticated country in Central America that’s popular with American ex-pats and retirees for a few reasons. One is the climate. It’s a tropical country with year-round great weather, but it also isn’t a frequent target of hurricanes or tropical storms. Whether you love the beach, golf, or other outdoor activities, you’ll find plenty of options in Panama.
Panama is also a great location for your wallet. The country actively courts retirees from other countries with its Pensionado program. This program offers substantial discounts on everything from airline tickets to hotel rooms and even energy costs. Also, you don’t pay taxes in Panama on income that originates in your home country.
Medical costs are also affordable in Panama. According to the study, office visits for minor issues have minimal costs and most patients can enjoy a direct relationship with their physician or specialist.
Want to relocate to somewhere tropical, but also with a completely different culture? You could try Malaysia, which ranks fifth in the Global Retirement Index. The country is home to pristine beaches, but also rainforests and mountains if you’re in the mood to explore. You can live in the city or a small countryside village.
The cost of living is also appealing. According to the report, Malaysia offers a cost-of-living at a fraction of the expenses here in the United States. In fact, a couple may be able to live comfortably in a beachside town for less than $2,000 per month. Health care is also affordable in Malaysia. Retirees in the country report low costs and high-quality care with access to skilled physicians and specialists.
Want an inexpensive location with plenty of travel opportunities? Portugal could be the right option for you. According to the Global Retirement Index, Portugal is the second most affordable country in Europe, just behind Bulgaria. Retirees interviewed as part of the study say they can live comfortably in Portugal for less than $2,500 per month.
While Portugal is a foreign country, it could be an easy transition for an American retiree. English is widely used, and even basic knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese is sufficient. Also, Portugal is rated as the fourth-safest country in the world according to the 2018 Global Peace Index.
The biggest benefit to living in Portugal may be the lifestyle. You have access to beach towns or a relaxed lifestyle in the country. It’s also easy to travel throughout Europe. You can quickly travel to Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, or more via train or air.
Steps to Take Before Retiring Overseas
Is an overseas retirement right for you? If so, it’s important to have a solid plan in place before you make the leap. One important piece of your plan is your income strategy. How will you generate income in retirement? And how much income can you expect?
A financial professional can help you map out your income sources, such as Social Security, defined benefit pensions, retirement account distributions and more. He or she can also help you estimate your spending in your new home country and determine how much income you will need. You may also want to take advantage of vehicles like annuities, which can be used to create guaranteed income for life.
You also may want to take this time to assess your investment strategy and allocation. In particular, consider how your investments and potential gains may be taxed in your new home country.
Also review whether your allocation is appropriate for your needs and goals. If you don’t need as much income in your new country, that could impact your strategy. Perhaps you should reduce your risk exposure. Or maybe you can pursue growth strategies. Your financial professional can help you find the right strategy for your objectives.
Ready to retire overseas? It all starts with a sound financial plan. Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at MasterPlan Retirement Consultants. We can help you analyze your goals and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
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