Published On: Wed, Jul 16th, 2014

Experts and other Retirees Suggestions, if you’re considering Heading South to Retire

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1) Do your research. Start with a simple Google search, but then visit some of the blogs and forums kept by ex-pats in the communities you’re interested in.

2) A good start: www.internationalliving.com, www.retireearlylifestyle.com, www.holaexpat.com, www.liveandinvestoverseas.com and www.theyucatantimes.com

3) Live in a place for at least six months before deciding to move. Anything less feels more like a vacation and will not give you a true picture of living without certain American amenities.

4) Check out the ex-pat community and ask questions. They can give you a more accurate estimate of what it will cost to live abroad. Tour companies that specialize in this field tend to underestimate expenses.

5) Rent before buying.

6) Figure out your finances. Open a bank account in your new home to pay for everyday needs, but also keep one in the U.S. so you can pay bills in your hometown, including federal taxes.

7) Apply for a local credit card. This eliminates the conversion fees most U.S. cards charge.

8) Research health insurance options. While you can receive Social Security benefits anywhere you live, Medicare doesn’t travel abroad. Most countries have affordable state-run health programs. Many doctors speak English and are U.S. trained.

9) Learn the language. Though it’s not necessary to become fluent, knowing enough to converse enhances the experiment.

10) Keep track of local news through online newspapers (if you’re thinking about moving to the Yucatan Peninsula, www.theyucatantimes.com is your best option).

Expat World

Retired workers receiving Social Security benefits abroad

Region

2012

2007 2002
Mexico

26,577

23,253

23,782

Central America & Caribbean

20,280

17,050

14,099

South America

15,698

11,650

8,677

Canada

67,378

60,920

54,488

Europe

149,782

132,255

116,406

Total

359,767

295,970

242,128

Source: Social Security Administration

Mexico Travel Care

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