Retiring Abroad

Yesterday there was an article on The Wall Street Journal about the benefits and challenges of retiring abroad. Even though retirement is many years away for us, this is one of our dreams and we intend to do it in part to make our retirement savings go farther. This is how we are thinking of doing it.

We are planning on buying land abroad. Right now we have about $10K in savings that we have reserved from the sale of our old house and that we intend to use to buy beach property in my home country. This is turning out not to be as easy as we first thought. My sister and her husband already have property where we intent to buy. Because we both live here in the US, we are relying on them to find us neighboring property that we can buy too. However, as the WSJ article explains there are legal issues with purchasing land abroad. In our case, recently my home country loosened the laws and now foreigners can own property there. However, there are many risks involved such as not having a clean title on the land or the risk of expropriation. Expropriation is a big risk for the area where we intend to buy. However, we are willing to take the chance if we can find the land we want within the price we are willing to pay taking into consideration this risk. We also want to buy as soon as possible and hold on to the land until we are ready to retire there.

We are also aware that because our children and hopefully their families will be here, we don’t intend to make our move full time. We will probably be living there six months and six months here in the US. Ultimately we will end up having to maintain two homes but this will allow us to downsize considerably our house here in the US since we will only need it for a few months. Possibly move to a condo or townhouse.

A big challenge for moving abroad is health care. However, in this day and age of medical tourism looking for health services abroad is almost normal. I can only imagine that in the years to come this practice will become even more common or global competition will create a better domestic offering in health services.

Would you consider retiring abroad to save money? My husband and I consider ourselves nomads. So far we are not attached to a particular area. But this may change with the years ahead as our family gets older. That’s why we are considering a part time move abroad. A view like that in the picture is worth risking $10k.