Monday, August 29, 2011

9 Tips for Picking an Affordable Place to Retire

This is one of the best articles I've seen on the subject of retirement abroad. I'm always wondering what are the steps to ensure that the place you choose to retire abroad is the right one. Well, here are 9 tips, via U.S. News, that will guarantee that you feel confident in your decision about retirement abroad, and will prevent any unpleasant surprises in the long term. All in all, it really is a process that can be key to a wonderful retirement. For that reason, I leave you with wonderful advice on what to consider before deciding on your retirement spot overseas.

Test it out. You should plan to make several visits to a city before you buy property, or even rent for the first year. Fred Brock, author of Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future, says "Go spend a month at a place that you are considering, and go there during the worst time of the year."

Access to an airport. If you plan to travel long distances during your retirement years, you will need access to a nearby airport or train station. "I don't think most people want to live more than an hour-and-a-half from a major airport. Otherwise air travel becomes very difficult," says Brock.

Locate new medical facilities
Make sure that you locate medical facilities in that area that will be able to attend to your current needs, as well as any conditions that run in the family that could possibly appear.

The weather . It's tempting to move to a retirement spot that boasts a great climate, but you'll have to make sure you're ok with possibly trading high heating costs for large cooling bills.

Proximity to family . Consider how much time you want to spend with your children and grandchildren in retirement.

Local transportation. Consider how you will get around, no matter where you are moving to. Consider the possibilities if you don't want to drive or are no longer able to. Find out what options are available for getting around without getting into your car.

Consider the economy. Make sure that the country and its economic outlook matches what you're looking for. Again, this U.S. News article states, "If you need or want to work during your retirement years, you need to choose a retirement spot where you will be able to find a job. But even if you plan to permanently exit the workforce, it's a good idea to pick a retirement spot where the economy is at least fairly strong. "Unemployment is like a cancer that affects the whole community, including services you enjoy and take for granted such as police and parks and services for the poor and elderly," says Sperling. "You don't want to be the only person who is well off in a community where everyone else is suffering."

Low-cost things to do . If you take up expensive hobbies, you can end up spending more money in retirement than you did while working. The key is to find public spaces and associations or clubs that will allow you to engage with other seniors in your area and enjoy low-cost, group-oriented activities. The added benefit? These types of outings generally lead not only to a fuller wallet, but a fuller, happier social life as well.

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