Retirees Living Abroad

The idea of Grandma moving to another country is a little scary. Even unthinkable. Once upon a time, women never traveled alone. Well, it’s a brand new day.

Today, both men and women of all ages choose to live abroad. Women travel alone or with a group, and feel perfectly free to move about the planet. Information is just a click away, and groups abound for short trips or excursions that can last for weeks or months.

Women who are experiencing the pains of “dollar stretching”, may find that living in a more affordable country is both a pleasure and a relief.

First Things First

Choosing the country you wish to explore starts with a short list. What appeals to you? Are you interested in your ancestry? Looking for art galleries and museums? Or picture yourself lying on the beach?

By using keywords, you can come up with a list in a short time. Write down the pros and cons and then finalize it to two or three places.

Europe, Asia, Central and South America are good places to start. After you choose the country you wish to consider, and before you pack your bags, find out all you can about the rules, habits, everyday goings-on, and legal issues of becoming a resident. Research carefully.

1. What is the area like? A large, busy city? A beach town? College town? Fishing or farming?

2. What are the people like? Open and friendly to visitors/newcomers? Cosmopolitan? Down to earth? Skeptical?

3. What are the housing options? Apartment, house, hotel. Costs are often cheaper overseas than in the states. Know what you are getting.

4. Legal and financial concerns. What’s required of you for visiting, moving. How to do banking/money exchange. Where is the nearest office for information and legal documents?

Moving Along

  • Visit the area more than once. Go at different times of the year. If there is a “tourist” season, watch for changes during the season and “off”. Observe what’s happening – what are citizens doing. This may include traffic, entertainment, food, rent, sociability of citizen.
  • Connect with a group or organization that specializes in visiting and/or living in another country. You can find them online.  Their body of information can help you make critical decisions, and may save you a lot of grief.
  • Research the legal and practical issues of living in the country on its government website. Cost of living is important, along with cultural and social practices.
  • Talk with family and friends. Explain what you’re doing and why. Answer questions politely. Even though this is your decision, others may be concerned. But at the end of the day, it’s your choice.
  • Access your present situation and make careful decisions. Don’t be in a rush. There will be many changes and patience makes for a smoother move. Anything you’re not taking needs to be sold or re-homed. That list could be very long. Have no regrets.

Senior Women On A Budget

The cost of living abroad is often cheaper than living in the US. It depends on where you want to go, and what you prefer. Comparison shopping is the way to go here. The websites that write about living abroad can give you facts and figures that are current. Make sure you understand social security, Medicare, other forms of insurance – health, travel – and all costs involved. Rent usually doesn’t include utilities. It may not include repairs. Will you have a car? Public transportation is readily available and cheap.

My own journey has been interesting, informative, and often puzzling. I plan to travel over the next couple of years, living in one or more countries outside the United States. I get newsletters from more than one organization that specialize in living and traveling abroad. I also attend conferences. They cost a little, but are chock-full of current, relevant information. The last thing I want are snafu’s.

I love Canada, especially Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise, and visit there every year. I have family in Calgary and have made new friends in the area. Go where you are comfortable.

Thank you for visiting my website. Please leave a comment if you have questions, ideas or want to share your experiences.

Judy

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