Retiring outside the U.S

My apologies if there is a current thread on this but I didn’t find one in my search. I was wondering if there are any threads about retiring outside the United States in the near future (2021 - 2030). I had never previously thought about doing this but as I near retirement, look at the cost of living/medical and the political (and mental) climate in the U.S., it’s becoming an intriguing idea and I’m looking at more and more information about doing this. I wanted to know if anyone has researched this, plans to do this, or knows someone who currently is or has plans to do this. All thoughts and information is welcome - pro or con. TIA

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Because my work, I know a lot of people that go to south america after retired , some of them are married with people from there or have double nationality.Others apply for a investor visa, living there nice, with good weather and is less expensive.

Thank you - I actually just found another thread about dreaming of retiring internationally - there are so many non-U.S. members of this community I wasn’t using the term internationally and missed that!

My 22-year-old niece is living and teaching in Chile. She loves it! She is due to start a Fulbright Scholarship in Uruguay in the fall - looks like it will still happen. I imagine she will decide to live in South America permanently if she can swing it.

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Thank you for the information. If I was a young person I could easily see doing that as well.
Spanish speaking countries would be favored because the language is probably the easiest to learn (at least for me). However, I was worried about the political stability in Central and South American countries. Being a Boomer, Vietnam conjurs negative emotions but in reading about the country, the friendliness of the people, the climate, and the cost of living…it’s not off the table like I thought it might be. Spain also looked interesting, however, a little worried about the politcal climate there as well.

So many choices, huh? :slight_smile: My daughter studied in Spain. She liked the people but found living there to be a little frustrating. People demonstrate at the drop of a hat. Kids go on “strike” and decide just not to attend school for days. Probably her biggest issue was that people don’t wash their hands! They will use the restroom, not wash their hands, and go straight to the dinner table. She said it can be hard to find soap so she used hand sanitizer. She asked some acquaintances and the lack of hygiene continued even after the pandemic began.

Okay, well that’s a bit disturbing. Interesting, my son had a study abroad in Cadiz and loved the experience and wanted to go back to spend more time touring and less studyijng. But, he didn’t think he would want to live there. I wasn’t aware of the habits - he lived with a nice older family, whose grown childen were doctors and engineers. Not sure he experienced the same thing.

My daughter studied in Cadiz! She went as a tenth grader. She got to to back a couple of years ago and said she’d forgotten how beautiful it is.

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I have often thought of it, as my dad retired to and died in Thailand after years as an expat in Asia. He was thrilled to be there, as his wife still is. My first stop when travel is allowed is Thailand, as am concerned about her being so far from family. As with those who relocate to warmer states in retirement, it often works for decades but when health declines, they return to areas where family is close by. During my dad’s declining years, giving his caretakers relief time meant traveling for 24 hours from my home in the Midwest each way. Not to mention cost. With virus, it would be close to impossible.

Regardless, I’d not let demonstrations or political instability deter me from life abroad. My family has lived through various changes of regime in Thailand, and it has barely affected their life there. Avoiding the center of a city is helpful.

A degree of flexibility regarding societal norms is helpful with those planning life abroad, though hygiene in a pandemic does assume primary importance!

Over the years I have fallen in love with many places and could happily live in many countries around the globe, though have considered a snowbird few months in Mexico to start.


I would live near Kruger National Park in South Africa if I could live anywhere. I’ve been there five times and would be very happy!


The laid back life of most islands appeals to us, but we also love to travel, so I’m not sure if we’ll retire to one or just snowbird there as part of our travels. Many in my family started off snowbirding and ended up moving completely where they liked to go.

Just found this thread and - wow - what great ideas!

Love the idea of living in a smaller/more affordable home in US (hopefully close to kids if they’d want us to!!) and renting overseas one month/ sxi weeks a year at different places. That would be so ideal since I haven’t traveled much outside the US. Think kids would like it too so they could visit. These short-term rentals have really changed the game. So much less pressure to select some permanent location to buy as a seond home.


The risk of political instability can vary based on various personal factors:

  1. Are you a member of some outgroup in that country, or do you appear to be a member of such an outgroup, even if you are not? “Outgroup” means a group that is commonly (not necessarily universally) treated with suspicion or hostility. Common examples are racial, ethnic, religious, and LGBTQ… minorities, but in some cases could include foreigners generally.
  2. Would people in that country or part of country where you would live commonly make assumptions about your politics, whether or not they are correct?
  3. Would you live in an area heavily populated by an outgroup or a particular political alignment, such that the area may be targeted by terrorism and/or government oppression during periods of political instability because of that?

Note that these could also be issues domestically, depending on the location.

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Wondered if anyone here has taken the plunge (presumably, initiated pre-COVID!) of downsizing and doing sequential short-term rentals all over the globe?

I’m thinking I might be missing something - maybe it’s more expensive than I’m picturing? Maybe you don’t get that sense of community you’d have with a longer stay and remain essentially a tourist?

What I’m picturing might be the biggest thing - you have a health emergency overseas and insurance is complicated?

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Don’t rule out South East Asia. Extremely friendly people and cultures.

Funny this thread was just bumped up. One previous less considered reason for reconsidering life abroad has become apparent in the last few weeks-vaccine availability. Expats as well as locals have little access to some of the more effective vaccines as we have had in the USA, concerning as cases climb.

ucbalumnus, as you mention, some of those issues would matter regardless of where one was living or retiring. Heck, my D lives in Washington DC not far from the Capitol.

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