For many retirees, where they retire is just as important as when or how. Maybe you’re an adventurer or at heart, or perhaps you just want a change in scenery. Retiring in your current community just doesn’t sound appealing, and you’re looking at other options. Plus, some of you desire the lower cost of living to be found elsewhere.
Those are just some of the reasons that many Baby Boomers are opting for an overseas retirement. Many foreign countries are not only affordable for American retirees; they also offer amenities and recreational opportunities that appeal to this demographic.
However, before you sell off your belongings and book a flight, there is one very important factor to consider: What will you do about healthcare?
Retirees who remain in the country can take advantage of Medicare, but you probably won’t have this option. Sure, you could return for annual visits and address routine care then, but you won’t be able to plan for emergencies or serious illnesses that could occur in the future.
If the cost of healthcare is extraordinarily low in your chosen destination (and it is, in a few countries) then you might opt to self-pay for healthcare. But remember that costs can change, and that a serious illness or injury can be expensive no matter where you live. Make sure your financial plan has enough “wiggle room” to allow for unexpected expenses.
Medigap insurance is another option. It will pay for some supplies and medical treatments outside of the United States. Travel insurance covers emergency care, but not routine appointments and screenings. You could also just purchase an insurance policy in your new country.
Does your chosen country provide universal healthcare? Before relying on that, do your research. In some cases these benefits are only extended to citizens. However, some foreign countries do provide healthcare benefits to foreigners who live there full time.
As you can see, you will enjoy many different options to cover the cost of healthcare, depending upon where you choose to retire. If you’re considering an overseas retirement, we can help you decide which solution best fits into your overall financial strategy.