Baby Boomers still retiring overseas in droves

Published:  19 Oct at 6 PM
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As the 21st century gets even more confusing, the Baby Boomer generation is heading off into the sunshine for a tropical retirement.

Survey after survey is revealing the most important factor in the decision to emigrate is the wish to enjoy a lower cost of living in a warmer, more laid-back environment. The Baby Boomer generation still has its zest for life, and seems to be determined to live it as far away as possible from their countries of birth. Better weather is a must-have, as is a lively community which believes life begins at 65 years of age.

American retirees are a perfect illustration of the need for an exotic lifestyle, with at least 500,000 US pension payments being sent overseas every month, some 100,000 more than in 2016. It’s believed the real numbers are still greater, as not every US pensioner receives his or her money overseas. Many are believed to have kept their US bank accounts and use local cash machines to access their money in their new country of residence.

However attractive retirement overseas can appear, it’s not the right decision for everyone, according to expat experts. Success in a new environment depends on financial circumstances as much as it did in the home country. Priorities such as a low cost of living and cheap healthcare are important, but downsizing takes careful management and preparation. One useful tip is to examine your favourite occupations and establish truthfully how much you’ll miss those you can’t have overseas.

Another is to list everything you hate, from mosquitoes though loud noises and shovelling snow! Balancing the two lists should give you an idea of your preferred location as well as your new aims in life as a retiree. The next trick is to take a vacation in your preferred country, being as objective as you can during the process. Note what irritates you, such as slow internet, electricity cuts, a hurricane or two and a lack of your favourite foods.

At this point you’ll begin to realise flexibility is everything, even to the point of considering a safety net against the possibility you’ll not be able to adjust. Holding on to your home-country property is one way to postpone a final commitment, with the added bonus of finding it’s worth more when you sell it than when you left.
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