Why Boomers are Retiring Overseas

Why Boomers are Retiring Overseas

The baby boomer generation is changing the conversation about retirement, with many choosing different models of retirement living – from co-housing communities, to working throughout retirement, to retiring overseas. In this age of information, ease of travel, and global awareness, an overseas retirement is not only appealing, but is also entirely feasible for many boomers.

Benefits of Retiring Abroad

Of course, the appeal of overseas living in the second half of life varies from person to person. Some baby boomers are seeking the excitement and exotic locales they may have missed while working their way up the corporate ladder and raising the kids in safe suburban communities. Some are looking for cheaper real estate, while others may want a peaceful environment and warm or mild climate. Whatever the impetus for exploring overseas options, expat retirees can reap many benefits:

  • Re-imagining your life – Often, baby boomers have spent the majority of their lives pursuing the normal “American dream,” including a 9-to-5 job, spouse and kids, a family home, and all of the normal joys – and stressors – that go along with these things. Upon retirement, some boomers are realizing that they have an opportunity to do something completely new, and to live an entirely different lifestyle in exciting, novel surroundings.
  • A lifestyle upgrade – Many retirees who move to foreign destinations – such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, or Nicaragua – find that they can live a much more “posh” lifestyle on less money than they could in the U.S. The cost of housekeeping and gardening help is low, often international medical insurance is significantly less expensive, and in many areas there are activities and recreation destinations available that can make a resident feel like they are on constant vacation.
  • Lower living expenses – Whether retiring to a European destination or a more exotic locale such as Thailand, many expat boomers find daily living expenses to be much more reasonable. Health coverage, rent, meals, and entertainment can be much cheaper than the same expenses “back home.”
  • Great benefits for retirees – Many countries offer incredible special benefits and discounts to all retired persons, and some offer even more to entice foreigners to spend their retirement years within their borders. Breaks on public transportation, public services, and utilities are available to seniors in many places. Panama, for example, has the “pensionado” – a program for seniors (open to foreign retirees) that gives between 15% and 50% off of such things as transportation, fine dining, theatre and sporting event tickets, medical care, and even domestic airfare.
  • Real estate bargains – Although there are some very pricey foreign retirement locales, a number of places offer real estate at amazingly low cost. Some boomers have even found it possible to own more than one home – such as a quiet rural home with land and a “downtown” condominium – because real estate is so much more affordable in places such as Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Boomers are definitely retiring overseas in increasing numbers as evidenced by the growing number of social section checks being sent to overseas addresses. If you choose to join them and retire overseas yourself, you may find you can live the life you’ve always wanted for much less than you have ever dreamed you could. Check out some listings of overseas destinations, and begin to imagine your own retirement adventure!

Where Will The Baby Boomers Live?

An update on where will the baby boomer live in retirement. This is being answered everyday right now. Here is our take.

where will boomers live

So where will be baby boomers live as they retire? That is the question that is being answered right now as 10,000 boomers a day turn age 65 like I did this year.

I spend a lot of time reading everything I can about the very same thing.  Plus I am living this myself and see my friends moving for retirement. Here is my take.

Where Will The Boomers Live in Retirement?

The options are several but let’s just consider these:

1. move to an active adult community in another state
2. move to an active adult community in your own state
3. move to suitable home in another state
4. move to a suitable home in your state
5. stay where you are living now

From the way it looks now, the majority will stay in their own homes for many reasons, not the least of which is affordability. They make make some changing to their homes to make them more liveable as they ended up aging in place.  This is option 5 above.

The next sizable tier, those who can afford it, may just move in a more suitable home in their own state. This is option 4. They may move from a large home to a ranch with a basement or a townhouse with master on the main and same level living areas. This may be to a location right in their current neighborhood because they like living there but just want a more suitable home for their retirement living. They may move a little closer to their children (grandchildren) and I see this happening quite a bit.

Some but a smaller group will elect to move to one of the 55+ places in their current neighborhood or one of the active adult communities on the edge of their metro area.  This is option 2.  I am seeing more of these 55+ communities being build in the suburbs where people are living now and I think this will become more popular as time goes on. These boomer communities will be smaller because of the land acquisition cost than those large Del Webb type active adult communities on the outer edges of metros.

A very few will move retire to the exciting city living and even fewer currently are moving to a true small town for retirement unless it is in one of the  active adult communities.

Some will relocate to other states especially Florida, Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas and other 55+ places.

Very few will move overseas for affordable retirement living, places like Costa Rica or South America.  Some will move into their second homes which may be vacation or seasonal homes, but not many.

So as I see it this is what is happening right now answering the question where will the baby boomers live in retirement.

Priorities For My Baby Boomer Retirement

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed. My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation. Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

retirement list

In my earlier years, I dreamed about the day that I would retire.  I would sit on my front porch with that special person and munch on grapes, while reminiscing about the good things in life.  We would travel to places such as Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii and enjoy all the sights.  Our children would bring our grandchildren to visit during the holiday season.  Retirement life as a baby boomer would be filled with rest, relaxation, laughter, peace and serenity.  The days of having to do would be gone.  There would be no more sixteen hour shifts to work, no alarm clocks to set, and no rushing on week ends to get the lawn mowed before a work week would begin.  Our children would enjoy visiting us.  The grandchildren would play in the backyard.  Jake, the dog, would lay lazily underneath the Elm tree.  Jake would always be ready to play catch with us with his favorite ball.  At night we would retire to our bed, pat each other on the bottom, give a hug, and fall off into a peaceful contented sleep.  Our boomer life would be about not doing after all the years of hard work that we both had done to finally get to this place.

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed.  My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation.  Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

  • I will not worry about tomorrow.  Worry keeps me from enjoying the things in life that can be enjoyed for free such as a sunrise, a sunset, music, art, a cloud formation, the sound of rain, the beauty of a snowfall, the taste of a freshly baked cinnamon roll, the softness of a babies hand, or the sent of a lilac that has just bloomed.
  • The television will not be my top priority each night for entertainment.  I will not waste countless hours watching soap opera’s and sitcoms about other peoples lives.  Instead, I will be utilizing my time to make my life one of purpose that is encouraging to others that may follow me.
  • Since there is no special someone in my life today, I will not spend hours trying to change that person or any other person to my way of thinking.  Trying to control another is not in my plan today because it is a time sapper and a selfish way to live.  Each person has earned his own right to think and be just as I have earned mine.
  • Even though it is important to look our best, I will not spend hours in front of the mirror trying to make sure every hair is in place to please another human being.  Instead, I will enjoy the feel of a fresh shower, place a smile on my face, and be grateful for the person that I have become.  My days of people pleasing are over.  Yes, I am over it!
  • Shopping will not be an obsession in order to compete with the Jones next door.  I will not shop until I drop, spending money on a credit card for things that will only bring a moment of pleasure and sore feet.  Instead, I will appreciate what I have and reassess my needs.
  • I will not compare my life to that of others and feel regret.  Instead, I will live in the moment and keep a positive attitude toward the future.
  • I will not plan my meals around greasy french fries, hamburgers, salty hot dogs, and mounts of unhealthy foods that will leave me feeling guilty right after my feast.  Instead, I will love myself enough to eat a more balanced nutritional meal.  I might break those rules on occasions though just because, I can. 🙂

There you have it, a not do boomer retirement list!  It might seem a little silly to many but as I review it, I can see where it will bring about a lot more valuable ways to spend my time and enjoy the time that I do have.  Who knows, maybe someone will enjoy doing the not doing with me. Then we can still take those trips without arguments and time busters.  🙂

As usual, I will end this by saying, “Enjoy the journey!”  It is in your hands what you will not do so I hope that you share your not do with us.

Baby Boomers Retiring to Tastiest Towns

Retiring to one of the 10 tastiest towns in the South according to Southern Living Magazine.

Today I was in Decatur Georgia having a blueberry muffin and a Coke at a cafe when I noticed a sign on the table.  It said Cast Your Vote for The South’s Tastiest Town Awards.

The thing I noticed right away as I scanned the names of the 10 towns on Tastiest Town list was I know these towns from somewhere.  I think almost all were on our best places to retire lists.  I haven’t noticed good food being on the list of factors in deciding where to retire, but maybe it should be.

1. Birmingham –  I remember there was a famous hot dog hole in the wall place in downtown Birmingham everyone raved about.  According to SL: Frank Stitt changed the South’s culinary landscape. His restaurants Highland’s Bar and Grill, Chez Fon Fon, and Bottega showed us that in the right hands, a humble staple like grits can become a tourist destination.  I know they made downtown walkable and closed off some streets.  Must have some good eats somewhere.  More on Alabama 55 Plus Retirement Communities.

2. Louisville KY – I remember some of the best ribs I ever had was in Louisville. Per SL:  In Louisville, saddle up for amazing food and art (often in the same spot), a shrine to artisan hams (heaven is a single barrel bourbon and seat at a “ham bar”), perfect mint juleps, and buzzy hoods like Frankfort, NuLu, and Bardstown Road. I know one thing, they sure know how to party during Derby week.  Kentucky 55 Plus Retirement Communities.

3. Houston – Well this is a city not a town.  Per SL: We heart its incredibly diverse ethnic scene (from extraordinary interior Mexican to some of the best Vietnamese in the country) and the red-hot Lower Westheimer hood (including El Real, a Tex-Mex shrine from star chef Brian Caswell and Robb Walsh, and Chris Shepherd’s new Underbelly).   I know Texas escaped the housing downturn like the rest of the country is suffering through.  People seem to like living in Texas and keep moving there.   More on Houston Retirement Living.

4. Raleigh NC –   I just passed through the Raleigh area and haven’t spend any time there since my Dad used to go to the furniture mart there (I think they make furniture in China these days).  Per SL: it’s the kind of place where local pork sausage from the farmers’ market finds its way into queso in a sports bar. With an obsessively local food scene (courtesy of Carrboro Farmers’ Market) and forward-thinking chefs like Ashley Christensen (her three new concepts Chuck’s Burgers, Fox Liquor Bar, and Beasley’s Chicken & Honey preserve their culinary heritage with a point of view and a sense of humor), Raleigh is rich in homegrown ingredients–and attitude–with a proud sense of place.  NC has many small towns great for retirement and is one the hottest retirement spots.  Best small towns in North Carolina

5. Decatur GA –  As I said it does not good places to eat. Just outside of Atlanta, Decatur is an ever-emerging mecca for young foodies who adore pristine farmers’ market produce (from Love is Love Farm and DeKalb Farmers Market, among others). It has transportation (Marta rail station) and neat older homes.  It was named one of the best places to live. More on retirement communities in Georgia

6. Charleston SC – This one I have experienced and the seafood is excellent.  Per SL: There is no shame in planning a vacation around shrimp and grits—an increasing number of culinary tourists who flock to this red-hot restaurant town do just that. Charleston needs no introduction, but we’ll give a Lowcountry shout-out to smart, passionate chefs like Sean Brock at Husk (a forthcoming cookbook and ongoing dedication to heirloom American ingredients ensure he’ll continue to influence food trends), Robert Stehling at Hominy Grill, and Mike Lata at FIG. Chaleston has history, the beach and a good climate. South Carolina retirement communities.

7.  Lafayette Louisiana – This is the one place on the list that I may have not visited.  According to SL: A new batch of homegrown chefs is delving deep into the region’s robust culinary roots, with stellar takes on Acadiana classics.

8. New Orleans –  I remember going to the Court of Two Sisters on my honeymoon 38 years ago and have been back many times.  There is nothing better than New Orleans food.   According to SL:  There are several (hot sauce-soaked) reasons why New Orleans is one of the most important and seductive food cities in the country. Consider, among other things, its iced Abita and oyster meccas (Acme, Felix’s, Casamento’s, and Bourbon House, for example), time-honored landmarks that should be on anyone’s bucket list (Friday lunch at Galatoire’s, brandy milk brunch at Commander’s Palace), life-changing muffulettas and po’boys, a posse of power chefs like Donald Link, John Besh, and John Harris, and dangerously delicious cocktails (from historic sazerac bars like Napoleon House to new spots like Bouligny Tavern) make it an essential, irresistible food destination.   Well they sold us didn’t they!  As far as retiring to New Orleans, I am personally not so sure about, but I would love to visit again.

9.  Charlottesville Virginia – We visited Charlottesville and just loved it!  It sure is a nice and interesting place to live and I bet Charlottesville is a great place to retire.   The downtown area has the streets closed off and there are many nice restaurants there.   Per SL: Blame it on Thomas Jefferson, the original heirloom farmer—this wine-soaked region still celebrates farm-to-table goodness in everything from seriously authentic Spanish tapas at Mas Tapas to backyard spirits (pass the artisan moonshine). Take Harrison Keevil, the chef/co-owner at Brookville Restaurant, who cooked at nationally acclaimed Fat Duck in England and sources more than 90% of his menu from within 100 miles of his restaurant. 

10.  Baltimore – I guess Maryland is in the South but that always surprises me.  I attended a convention there for few days right downtown and loved the crab cakes and the Italian food in Little Italy.  Per SL: Baltimore’s fierce sense of place mixed with iconic dishes like Cast Iron Crab Cakes at Thames Street Oyster House earns our adoration as a must-visit food town.  I agree on the food.  More on Baltimore retirement living.

Anyways it does make sense to check out the food scene before picking a town to retire to. Bon appétit!