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Retiring Overseas Isn’t About Escaping… It Is About Discovering and Living Your Passions

By Sixty and Me November 03, 2019 Interviews

In the not-too-distant future, will you exchange life centered on your workplace for the life of a retiree? Or have you already made the transition — and find that it’s not quite as blissful as you were led to believe?

Maybe winters seem longer and colder each year, or your costs of living – especially health care expenses – keep climbing. But your retirement income just isn’t keeping pace.

Instead of having your savings fund the travel, hobbies, days out with friends or occasional non-necessities you’d love, are you depleting them monthly just to stay above water?

Whether your retirement’s around the corner or a fait accompli, the reality is that funding living expenses as well as your dreams isn’t guaranteed. But does it have to be that way?

Not at all, if you’re willing to consider retiring overseas! 

In today’s Sixty and Me video, Margaret Manning mines the expat expertise of International Living authors and senior editors Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher. Their topic is how retiring overseas can help you pursue your passions while preserving your nest egg.

 To learn if becoming an expat could work for you, read on. And be sure to watch the video!

Retiring Overseas: Escaping Your Old Life, or Discovering Your New One?

Spending your retirement abroad can reward you with perks like year-round sunshine and a lower cost of living. But there’s much more to consider.

The secret to making a go of it, Suzan says, is that,”… you always move toward something instead of away from something. You’ll be much happier and things will work out far better for you.”

She stresses that most people who choose the expat life do it from a “… sense of adventure… this desire to try new things and live new experiences.

In Live Richer, Spend Less: International Living’s Ultimate Guide to Retiring Overseas, Dan and Suzan have compiled a comprehensive pre-move checklist to help determine if an overseas retirement would be right for you.

The biggest favor you can do yourself, Dan suggests, is to answer the checklist’s final question: “What are you going to do when you get there?”

Retiring Abroad Successfully: Matching Your Destination to Your Dreams

What’s the most important factor in choosing a retirement destination you won’t regret? As Dan puts it, retiring abroad “… could be your chance to realize a lifelong dream… That would be a pretty good thing to do, and you, you want to make sure that the place you’re going will facilitate that for you.”

In other words, he continues, if you’ve dreamed of making pottery, retire to a place with ready access to clay and a kiln. If there’s a culture you long to study, what better way than to immerse yourself in it as an expat?

And if you’re so inclined, why not turn your passion into a business? In an earlier interview, Dan and Suzan mentioned, the requirements and costs of setting up a business in many overseas countries are much easier to manage than in the U.S. 

Retiring Overseas: A New Opportunity to Serve

Retiring doesn’t mean the end of your ability to contribute to the world! When you move to a new country, you’ll bring your talents and work experience along. So why not put them to use as a volunteer?

Use your skills to help out at an orphanage, day care center or community medical clinic. Or find a way to help the locals create and market their own businesses. If nothing else is a good fit, Suzan suggests joining them in efforts to raise funds for what they see as their most pressing needs.

Dan adds that volunteering is a great way for a newcomer to hook up with the local expats. In his words, “Community service is huge in almost every expat community… it’s mostly the women that form those community service networks.”

 And Suzan shares the story of an expat woman who purchased acreage in the Yucatan jungle, used it to build a day spa and staffed it local women skilled in the art of ancient Mayan massage.

Her employees also sell their handicrafts at the spa. As a result, they can now afford to keep their children in school. And tourists to the area enjoy a “hands-on” encounter with the authentic Mayan culture!

It’s a shining example of how one overseas retiree put her talents and passion to work improving life in her adopted community.

Get all the info you need to retire abroad with this FREE report from our sponsor, International Living.

What passions have you been putting on hold until retirement? What in this interview has led you to think retiring overseas could help you realize them? Please share in our conversation!

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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