Expats advised to research natural disasters when choosing retirement destinations

Published:  25 Sep at 6 PM
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Following the devastation caused to popular Caribbean retirement destinations, expats are being advised to research natural disasters in their preferred region.

Near-retirees who’d almost decided on a relaxing life on a beautiful Caribbean island are being forced to reconsider after two mega-hurricanes struck the region. Hurricanes Irma and Maria haven’t just wrecked the lives and businesses of an untold number of residents, they’ve also killed the dreams of an equally untold number of would-be expat retirees.

It wasn’t just the smaller islands which were devastated by the unusually powerful storms, with Puerto Rica also hit hard by the once-in several lifetimes’ winds and rains. How many expat retirees have lost everything is not yet known, but those who were considering selling up and settling down in their personal paradise are being urged to do their homework very carefully indeed.

Overseas retirement is becoming very popular, drawing both known and unknown destinations into the contest to attract the wealthiest pensioners. At present, some 400,000 US citizens live abroad in locations across the world, many of which are set along the Pacific Ring of Fire with its 450 volcanoes and high risk of earthquakes. Mexico’s two powerful earthquakes earlier this month are another example of how the planet can turn retirement dreams into nightmares.

One thing’s for sure, whatever the earth-mother throws at her elder children, they won’t give up their dreams of an entirely new life in stunning surroundings, well-earned by a lifetime of work in their home countries. It’s not only the elderly who get up and get out, as it’s now normal for young entrepreneurs, digital nomads and even backpackers to decide to experience diverse cultures in the hope they’ll be able to make more sense of the world they live in.

In these strange times, it’s best to cover your back by researching everything about your chosen destination, including the harsher, unexpected twists and turns of the weather and the threat of violent volcanic eruptions or earthquakes.
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