Three Central American countries (Nicaragua, Belize, and Panama) are among “The world’s fourteen top retirement havens,” as listed in HOW TO RETIRE OVERSEAS: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for Less) Abroad, by the long-time editor and publisher of International Living (until 2007 when she started another venture, Live and Invest Overseas), Kathleen Peddicord. As the title suggests, the book is a guide for those looking find the means and the location in which to earn their retirement.
The sections on each country are short, but they are concise, practical, and packed with helpful statistics. For example, the book includes information on the new law in Nicaragua to benefit retirees, which was just passed in June, 2009, and estimates the monthly cost of living in a city like León at about US$1200. This is a lot more affordable than a lot of US cities, where people can find cost of living soaring, especially after they lose their income stream. At US$1200, the cost of living in Nicaragua is definitely affordable for those who have not been able to save a large retirement budget.
With the effects of the economic downturn and the destabilization of 401k plans and pensions, many people are looking for other means of financing a comfortable retirement. Many have looked up how to invest in facebook or bitcoin tokens in the investment sector as a means to achieve this. Investment is not without its ups and downs and can be difficult to master in order to turn a profit for a retirement plan. It has often been likened to having a second job as predicting trends and looking at forecast articles like “Prognose für den DAX” are often commonplace practices. What the book stresses is that budgets and financing like those discussed do not need to be stressful or extreme, even when they go wrong. One can choose another country to retire comfortably in without the need for life-changing frugal tactics.
Other important sections of the book include how to set up finances and insurance overseas in each country. For example, even if people do retire abroad, they are still able to claim their social security benefits, so it’s worth checking in with your local social security office, such as the Utah Social Security office, before you go and getting some help. There are also general information chapters to help the reader rent or buy a home overseas, understand your tax liability, and how to avoid common mistakes. Many people don’t really understand their options when it comes to pensions or retirement at all, and may need to view some calculators and guides to get their heads around the concept. Books like this can help people plan for the future, to know what options they have and to explore things they may not have known were open to them. Overall, this is a helpful resource, especially for comparing countries and narrowing down your choices. After all, the first question any potential expat must ask is, “Where should I go?”