The Retirement Dream Board
Long-term planning and inspiration for your golden years.
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Is determining your investment allocation by using the 100 minus age rule a smart approach to investing your retirement money? Research indicates this rule of thumb may harm you more than help. You should plan for the worst and hop for the best rather than live on this right rope.
Malaysia is a bit far from the U.S., but the affordability it offers may be well worth the trip. A city dinner will set you back all of $3, gas is $2 a gallon, and a furnished 3-bedroom apartment can be had for as low as $250 a month. The country has a great transportation system complete with air-conditioned buses and an efficient, comprehensive health care system.
Beyond beautiful beaches, Uruguay’s Golden Coast has a lot to offer retirees. The cost of living is so low you can easily live well there for $1,200 to $1800 a month if you purchase property. The government health care system is available for foreigners as well as neighbors, but private insurance is also an option. Uruguay is stable and safe and the residents are warm and friendly.
Once upon a time, Ireland was an expensive place to retire. Now, due to a struggling economy and low housing prices, retirees who dream of a thatched cottage amid rolling green hills and sheep farms won’t be disappointed. A lakeside cottage can be had for less than $150,000. The people in Ireland speak English and love Americans. They are warm, friendly and, some say, among the most easy-going folks you will ever meet.
It may be on the other side of the world, but in New Zealand, everyone speaks your language. The island country offers absolutely stunning landscapes and a wonderful year-round climate. Health care is affordable, and while you won’t get the low cost of living you would in Uruguay or Ecuador, you can live modestly there for under $50,000 a year.
Nicaragua is a safe, beautiful and exciting place to retire. A casual atmosphere, a warm and welcoming culture, and year-round great weather offer a higher quality of life, while the low cost of living makes everything more affordable. In addition, you will find a large and growing expatriate community.
Your dollar will go a long way in Mexico. It is also just a hop and a skip from the United States, making visiting family an easy prospect. The health care system in Mexico is very good, and far more affordable than it is in the U.S. There is a large community of expats in many places, and the culture is warm, friendly and laid-back.
Panama is easily accessed from almost anywhere in the U.S. The country already uses the U.S. dollar, which makes purchases much simpler. Rent, home prices and general cost of living are very low, and foreigners have the same property rights as citizens. Panama also offers many incentives for and makes it easy to acquire residency, which probably explains its growing expat community. Best of all, you’ll have easy access to turquoise seas, where you can sunbathe on the beach, fish and swim.
France is more than pricey if you’re planning to move to Paris, Lyons or Provence. However, if you head south to the Languedoc-Roussillon region, you’ll find affordable rents, as well as idyllic scenery and plenty of old world charm. While you may have to travel a bit to get to a major airport, flights to the U.S. are easy to come by. The region welcomes foreigners, and health care is reasonable and easily available.
Ecuador boasts one of the lowest costs of living in Latin America, as well as high-quality, inexpensive health care. History buffs, sun-seekers and those who dream of settling in a quaint mountain village will love Ecuador. American dollars go pretty far in a place like Cuenca, where you can rent a furnished apartment for less than $600 a month or buy a small condo for around $40,000. A home right on the beach can cost less than $150,000.
✈️ Travel does not have to be expensive. Senior home exchange allows you to look at creative ways to take vacations by swapping homes with people all over the world. You can even swap motor homes. You can also search sites like VacationRentals or Airbnb to find a hotel alternative. Or, if you're feeling rather adventurous, check out CouchSurfing.