14 Reasons More Boomers Are Opting for Overseas Retirement

Boomers are the generation born after World War II, specifically between 1946 and 1964. As of 2024, boomers are between 59 and 77 years old. These boomers are retiring and choosing to live outside the US. Some may choose to move permanently but most remain US citizens, especially if they are receiving social security money.

While many factors are taken into consideration before making this extremely personal decision, some common ones are listed below:

Cost of living

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The cost of living is the primary motivator for boomers considering moving overseas after retirement. Many countries like Costa Rica, Portugal, and Spain offer a lower cost of living than the US, which can make retirement more affordable. Life in beautiful Costa Rica doesn’t break the bank. Couples can enjoy retirement here at $2000 per month, while a single person can do so between $1600 and $2000 a month.

Quality of life

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Retirees can enjoy a better quality of life in these other countries than in the US. They offer better infrastructure, cleaner locations, and less stress. The retirees can now afford to spend on various other things like eating out, visiting museums, and traveling which they could not do earlier when they lived in the US.

Affordable Healthcare

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Medical expenses are quite high in the US. Some countries have excellent healthcare systems that are more affordable than those in the US. Many doctors in those countries may be trained in the US and available at a quarter of the US fees.

Climate and weather

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After spending years in areas with snow, chilly, and cloudy climates, boomers want to avoid winters and instead look out for warm, sunny, and tropical climates. For example, just south of the United States border lies Mexico, a popular destination for retirees. It has warm weather, plenty of places to live, miles of coastline, and beautiful cities.

Sense of adventure

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Many people look forward to retirement to live out their adventures. For those with an adventurous streak, living abroad is something they think will give them the thrills and make them happy. Many of these retirees are active well into their retirement years and enjoy activities like hiking, traveling, making new friends, and so on.

Divisive politics

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Many boomers do not enjoy the political situation within the US and there is fear in their minds due to the economic and political situation. They long to go away from the hustle and bustle of the city to some quiet place where they can lead a relaxed life.

Tax Incentives

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Some countries offer many tax benefits to boomers that make foreign destinations attractive to them like lower income taxes, property taxes, and tax holidays.

For Example, Costa Rica does not tax foreign-earned income which includes social security benefits and pensions from abroad. Retirees need to seek expert tax opinions while deciding on settling abroad so that both the US as well as international tax laws are taken care of.

Personal Fulfillment

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Many boomers take the significant step of moving overseas for personal fulfillment and adventure. They want to fulfill their lifelong dreams and aspirations, pursue a new profession, or take up a new hobby. Many boomers want to leave a legacy through contributions to their new communities or through living in an adventurous way.

Safety and Security

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For many retiring baby boomers, safety and security are of paramount importance. Areas with lower crime rates and safe environments become highly attractive to the boomers as they look for places to settle down after retirement. What matters to them is peace of mind, low crime rates, and a welcoming community. Many factors contribute to safety such as government policies, effective law enforcement, community cohesion, and economic stability.

Family Ties and Ancestry

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Many boomers retire abroad to rekindle family ties and explore their ancestry. They want to reconnect with their roots and reunite with their distant relatives and this is a journey of self-discovery and emotional fulfillment for them. They want to make their retirement years meaningful and truly rewarding. Many boomers want to trace their family history and visit the places where their ancestors lived.

Community and Expat networks

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These networks provide essential support, practical advice, and a sense of belonging to make the transition to a new country easier and more enjoyable. These communities provide valuable information on many aspects like housing, healthcare, legal matters, and daily living. They enable boomers to navigate cultural differences and merge with the local society. Some expat-friendly destinations are Mexico, Costa Rica, and Portugal to name a few.

Real Estate Opportunities

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In many countries, buying real estate is more affordable than in many cities in the US. This allows retirees to purchase bigger homes or homes in better localities for less money. Mexico, Portugal, and Costa Rica are some destinations offering affordable housing options to retiring boomers. Real estate opportunities offer boomers a chance to enjoy a better quality of life, financial benefits, and a fulfilling retirement experience.

Cultural attractions

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These attractions play a significant role in attracting baby boomers to retire abroad. Retirees can significantly improve the quality of their lives through activities like exploring historical sites, indulging in local cuisines, and participating in local festivals.

Pension Benefits

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These benefits offered by various countries play a significant role in boomers’ decision to settle abroad after retirement. Pension benefits not only provide financial security to the boomers but also improve overall quality of life so that the boomers can enjoy their retirement peacefully.

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