Every year, magazines like Forbes, publish lists of the “best places to retire.” These publications typically look at important factors like the cost of living, safety and climate of each location. But, when you think about it, the question “what is the best place to retire?” isn’t really fair. Why?

The Best Place to Retire Depends on Your Lifestyle

Because lifestyle plays a huge role in determining our level of happiness in a new place. This is especially true in retirement, when we have more time to explore our passions.

To help explore this topic, I turned to overseas property expert, Kathleen Peddicord. Kathleen has helped thousands of older adults to find their dream property overseas. As a result, she has seen first-hand how the criteria that we use to select a new home impact our future happiness.

I hope that you enjoy my latest interview with Kathleen. Please don’t forget to join the conversation at the bottom of this article when you have finished watching it.

Here is some of Kathleen’s advice for choosing an overseas home that is a perfect fit for your lifestyle.

Start with the Big Things

While the “big things,” like weather, safety, cost of living and healthcare shouldn’t be your only criteria, they are a great place to start. Why? Because they can help you to eliminate countries right away. If you have a particular medical condition that requires specialized help, moving to a developing country with limited healthcare resources is probably a bad idea.

Infrastructure is another big issue for many seniors. Unlike the unfair stereotypes that you often see in movies, our generation is well and truly wired. Many people are surprised by the lack of reliable Internet in their target countries.

Once again, this comes down to how important fast Internet access is to you. If you are running an online business in retirement, you probably can’t afford to be offline for even a single day. If you just need a way to check your email, you can probably put up with the occasional service interruption.

Once you have created a short-list of potential countries, it’s time to turn to lifestyle considerations.

Don’t Forget About Accessibility

How many times a year do you plan on traveling back to your home country? It’s a more important question than it might seem on the surface. Some countries are super cheap to live in, but, extremely hard to get to. As a result, you may end up spending thousands of dollars a year simply getting back home to see your family.

When you are calculating your potential yearly costs, don’t forget to add in travel costs. You may find that it is cheaper to spend slightly more on your rent if it means being closer to home.

What Kind of Lifestyle Do You Want in Retirement?

There are so many things that I love about the “Exotic Marigold Hotel” movies. One of my favorites is watching how the various characters respond to being thrown into an entirely new culture. Some of the characters dive in and find themselves having a great time. Others are more cautious – or even hostile – to the local way of doing things. There is nothing “wrong” with any of the characters in the movie. They just see the world in different ways.

The best advice that Kathleen, or anyone else for that matter, can give you about moving to a new country is to visit it first. In fact, to be safe, visit several times throughout the year.

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself as you look for a retirement destination that fits your lifestyle:

How adventurous am I? Will I hate it if the hot water stops working for a day or two?

Do I enjoy learning new languages and experiencing exotic cultures?

Are there specific activities that I love to take part in? Will they be available locally?

Which creature comforts can I survive without? Which ones are essential?

Am I patient? Can I put up with small inconveniences?

Do you want to live around locals, expats or a mix of both?

I hope that you find this interview with Kathleen Peddicord useful as you look for your dream retirement property overseas. If you have any questions for Kathleen, please add them in the comments section below. You can read more of her articles at Live and Invest Overseas.

Are you planning on retiring abroad? Do you agree that lifestyle considerations are just as important as the “big things” like healthcare, cost of living and climate? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.

Let's Have a Conversation!