Is retirement in Paradise affordable?

Short term loans and other loans have their place but do we still want to be borrowing money when we are in retirement?

Are you tired of being in debt, of not ever being able to stretch the budget from one pension payout to the next? Tired of having to borrow money, of having to use short term loans to make ends meet? Whilst short term loans and other credit have their place we do not want to have to rely on borrowing money, especially in retirement.

Let’s change our way of thinking. Think…. Exotic places… Panama, Ecuador, Thailand, Argentina… sounds like a honeymoon… when in actual fact these places have become popular retirement destinations. Retirees are struggling to keep up a decent standard of life on the impossibly small pensions and whatever savings they have managed to hold onto. The irony is that by moving to the right tropical paradise it may be possible to cut the cost of living in half.

British pensioners living in exotic places

A million retired British citizens live abroad, a number that is steadily rising, and it is estimated that more than 3 million Americans and Canadians can also be found enjoying a better quality of life. Affordable housing, cheaper medicine and cheaper doctors bills as well as being able to buy groceries for half the price often makes living abroad more desirable. After all, why stay at home in lousy weather, not able to keep your home warm or eat the food you want when you can live three steps from the beach, and dine out twice a week for half the money?

One of the top destinations for Americans to retire to is Panama. The advantages include the proximity to relatives back in the States, making travel costs reasonable for visits. An average three-bedroom, two-bathroom home costs approximately 385 dollars a month to rent. The grocery bill is also generally half of what it would be back home if you steer away from imported goods. For 100 dollars a week you can go out to dinner several times, complete with a bottle of wine. Even running a car is affordable. One retired couple from Florida live in this manner on 1250 dollars a month.

A former civil servant from Toronto, Canada, lives in Mendoza Argentina. He purchased his house with cash in a gated community, but still pays 400 dollars a month on maintenance and security fees. As a foodie, his biggest expense would be dining out. He spends a mere 800 dollars a month enjoying the Argentinean food and wine culture. The only expense that makes a dent in his bank account each year is the travel costs back to Canada.

Thailand is also a very popular destination. There is a large expat community and the country boasts an appealing natural beauty. Although a couple from Seattle bought a large piece of land and are building more housing on it for rental income, they manage to live on 2000 dollars a month. They use Skype to keep in contact with family in America.

In Ecuador, an American couple report that they can live on an all time low of 1100 dollars a month. The rent is slightly more expensive than in other places but on the other hand this couple love to socialize and eat out up to five times a week at about a third of what it would cost them back home. They live simply but happily, not constantly having to stretch every dollar.

With pensioners expecting more out of modern life, its not as easy as it used to be to resign them to a rocking chair, put a blanket over their knees and bring the grand children over every now and then for a treat. Call the movers, Grandma and Grandpa are moving that rocking chair to their new corner of paradise.