If you’re a recent retiree, like me, you might be casting around for the perfect place to call home during your golden years. Retirement means freedom! Not least of all is the freedom of not being tied to geography like a serf in feudal Europe. You can live anyplace you choose (subject to a possible veto by your significant other.)
Here in the U.S., retirement locales that come to mind first are Florida and Arizona. For those with a little more imagination, nearly every place in the U.S. probably has something special. It all depends on what you like.
For the adventurous retiree, the possibilities are boundless. You could live on a mountain top, in an abandoned lighthouse, on an island. You could live in Alaska or New Orleans, or a thousand places in between.
But why limit retirement life to the U.S.? Yes, I know, you plan to travel during retirement, including international travel. You’ll travel as frequently as you want, depending on your degree of wanderlust and, of course, your budget. But I’m not talking about travel, I’m talking about your home base. Why limit yourself to the USA? Canada offers many agreeable retirement options, at least for part of the year. Plenty of Canadians are snowbirds, living North in Summer, and going South to Florida in Winter. As good as that sounds, we can be more imaginative than that.
You’ve probably heard about people who’ve retired in Mexico, for the climate and the cost of living. You might be able to live pretty comfortably on your Social Security check in Mexico.
I’ll let you in on a secret: The U.S., Canada, and Mexico are only the beginning. You’re retired, you’re free, and your Social Security and pension dollars are welcome EVERYWHERE!
And what good luck: the folks over at “Above And Beyond Travel” have done the research for you. The information in their post, “The Best Countries To Relax And Retire,” written by Chelsea Petersen, will take your breath away and set your imagination on fire.
“With the cost of living rising every day, everyone dreams of a comfortable retirement. We compiled a list of some of the best places to retire to, taking into account several factors; including living costs, healthcare, and community.”
Some of the “Best Countries” are Panama, Malta, Spain, Thailand and Ecuador. Click over to “Best Countries” for more.
I’ve heard that Spain offers retirement real estate deals that are beyond belief. You could check out this NPR report: “In Spain Entire Villages Are Up For Sale And They’re Going Cheap.” Hard to believe, but would NPR lie to you? Many villages and individual homes within are said to be available at rock-bottom prices, by American standards. Seems that times have changed and so has the economy. NPR explains what happened:
“Many local Spaniards just don’t want to live in villages anymore. They migrate to bigger cities for jobs, education, access to public transit and health care.”
I won’t bore you with the details. If you want details, read the NPR story, or listen to the radio version.
But here’s an idea: Some retirees like the concept of living in an “intentional community.” This might be particularly appealing to those who fondly recall the hippy communes of the 1970s. Some enterprising senior citizen, possibly a former hippy who’s now a retired Realtor, could buy a village in Spain and sell shares to like-minded retirees who’d like to live in a community where they might actually know their neighbors. You have to agree that a village in Spain sounds more romantic than, say, a suburb in New Jersey. (Sorry New Jersey.)
Is your passport up to date? You could organize your travel itinerary to check out possible home bases. Remember, it’s as much about the journey as the destination.
I’ll be talking a lot more about searching for the perfect place to live in retirement. I’m in the hunt a home base myself. I need a place with an affordable cost of living. Enjoy the search.