Affordable housing, food, and medical care combined with an exotic location and good weather. As populations age in the expensive developed world, retiring overseas has become an increasingly seductive idea. For prospective expat retirees, the Internet has made it possible to research the details of what an overseas retirement could entail. But not all Internet articles tell the full story. For example, how realistic is it to expect to retire in a foreign country for under $500 per month? If you’re thinking about retiring abroad, it’s important to consider not only what may be possible today, but also what might change in the future that could derail your plans.
British expat journalist Andrew Drummmond’s article “The Scandal of Britain’s Pensioners in Thailand” outlines some real-world examples of the difficulties that expats can face when they retire overseas. Some of the problems highlighted include:
- Retirement income not keeping up with retirement costs (due to income levels being fixed, higher-than-expected local inflation, or a currency mismatch between income and costs).
- Lump-sum pensions prematurely used up on local families, land deals, or other non-cash-producing projects.
- Higher-than-expected medical costs, no or inadequate private health insurance, and expat medical policies that discontinue at age 70.
The article discusses some tragic expat retirement cases, including a former British Royal Marine Commando who was found dying an extremely painful death of cancer without pain killers, as well as a paralyzed British woman who was left alone and uncared for. Hopefully these are extreme situations and the expats involved are now being helped by charity organizations. Nevertheless, if you’re considering an overseas retirement, it’s important to develop a detailed plan and consider various scenarios before making the move. With proper planning and realistic assumptions, retiring overseas can be a rewarding experience, but one that should not be taken lightly.
About Creveling & Creveling Private Wealth Advisory
Creveling & Creveling is a private wealth advisory firm specializing in helping expatriates living in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia build and preserve their wealth. Through a unique, integrated consulting approach, Creveling & Creveling is dedicated to helping clients cut through the financial intricacies of expat life, make better decisions with their money, and take the steps necessary to provide a more secure future. For more information visit www.crevelingandcreveling.com.