The best reason to retire abroad is to save money and be able to live within your means. Most of our retirees are maybe not on a livable income if they stayed in the US because of the various problems in the American system and Social Security or it could be the economic collapse affecting people's investments or 401K’s. There are a lot of different factors that can result in people not having as much money as they planned when they were saving for retirement.
You can live on a much lower income while maintaining the same quality of life if you move abroad, especially if you're going to a developing country like those in Latin America. You can maintain your lifestyle with less money. You can still have access to quality healthcare, food and properties and everything you need to live, but just at a lower cost. I would say that's a very simple and basic math, but that's what it is.
The second best reason to move abroad would be to have a new adventure. I was very fortunate to be able to this, but I didn't plan to go abroad at the beginning. I just turned 33 recently, so I have spent almost half of my life abroad now.
I didn't ever plan it that way. I was just a normal girl in America with a brother and a sister. My parents are still together. I went to high school, I went to college, and then I went to graduate school. I did everything that I was supposed to do in America. Then I started studying abroad in college. The reason I went abroad was because I got a scholarship through the Rotary Foundation in 2002. I didn't even pick where I went. They sent me to Costa Rica. They said, “You're going to Costa Rica and you're going to learn Spanish." I was terrified. I thought, “How am I going to survive these 3 months?” Those 3 months have turned in to the rest of my life; just falling in love with travel and living in different countries, learning languages and having adventure that nobody ever told me I could do or should do.
Before I moved abroad full time in 2005, I asked everybody for their opinion as to if I should do it. I asked my parents. I asked my friends. I asked my peers. I asked my MBA class. Everybody who was my age told me I was crazy. I should take a job in Lockheed Martin or one of the big corporations that were in Orlando, where I was living at the time. They said moving abroad would ruin my resume. Everybody my age was kind of fear mongering.
On the contrary, all of my parent's friends, my grandparents, and any of the elders in my life told me that they wished that they had done something like moving abroad when they were my age. So I decided to take the advice of everybody who was older than me because they probably know more about what life is about than the 20 something year olds in my classes. So I went, and thank God I did.
I now notice that my clients who are retirees did everything right, according to the rules. They got a job, they got a house, they had kids, they had a dog, and didn’t have time to do anything outside of that. So they were really just starting their adventures at the time of their retirement, as opposed to me. I kind of eschewed and skipped the normal life I was supposed to have early.
So the second best reason to live abroad is to get out of your comfort zone and have an adventure, to do something different. I think a lot of people regretted not doing that sooner. I was able to see both perspectives. Now, all of my friends are still working at Procter & Gamble and all of these big companies, and my life is completely different than theirs. I'm definitely glad that I took this tac. I get a lot of support from my clients and people who are older, who agree with me. Maybe my friends will change their perspective once they get older. They're still pretty young. They're in their thirties and they haven't gotten the larger perspective. Maybe they will become my clients, 20-30 years from now, once they go abroad to do something different.