Although I am curious about U.S. expat retirement life in foreign countries, it’s not something I have a strong interest in. There is plenty of diversity to experience in the U.S.. On the other hand, some foreign countries can offer a substantially lower cost of retirement living. But how do folks rate the quality of life in some of these foreign countries?
Another resource for evaluating quality of retirement life in a foreign country is the book “Retirement Without Borders.” I have not read the book yet but this interview of the author is intriguing. I particularly find it interesting how much the author – who lives in Mexico and the U.S. – now favors renting over owning. It does make sense, even though inexpensive real estate is a prime attraction of many foreign retirement destinations. If you can have a home base here in the states, retirement living in a foreign country can be like taking really long vacations. If you don’t like the your experience and are renting rather than buying, you just leave and try another destination. That seems like the ideal compromise.
Relying on quality of life assessments of foreign countries by others is a risky proposition. I’m sure there are plenty of folks who think I’m crazy to be critical of France as a place to live, for example. So try it yourself, but don’t overlook the practical issues. I’m not the kind of person who can tolerate a bureaucracy where it takes weeks or months just to get Internet access. Others may not care.
Now back to my retirement dreaming ….