2009 Retire Overseas Checklist, Part I |
Dec. 31, 2008
- Seven Steps To Your New Life Overseas In 2009...
- The World's Top Options For Foreign Residency...
- Best Case Is When Your Gross Retirement Income Is Your Net
Retirement Income After Taxes...
- Health Care Options For The Resident Abroad...
- "Can I Open A Bank Account In Panama In January?"...
- Is That Sponge Bob I See Going Up In Flames? Out With The Old And In
With The New In Ecuador...
Retire In 2009!
This is your chance, and 2009 is your year.
It's time to stop thinking about it...time to stop dreaming about it...time
to make it happen.
Join the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of people just like you who have
realized already that there's a time for thinking, planning, processing,
considering, and deliberating...and then there's a time for action.
The time for action is now.
Make your retire overseas dreams come true
this New Year.
Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
To get from where you are today to the richer, fuller life you're imagining
in the beautiful, safe, and dramatically more affordable overseas haven of
sunshine and sea breezes you've been day-dreaming about for too long, first:
That is, consider, honestly, what's important to you. Detail your
priorities, your agendas, your lists of Things I Don't Want To Put Up With
and Things I Can't Live Without, and, critically, your retirement budget.
How much do you have to spend and what kind of lifestyle do you want to
spend it on?
Then: Take out a map and consider the geographic
possibilities. Where would the would-be retiree, expatriate, and adventurer
do well to call home in 2009? Panama is the land of
opportunity...Ecuador is the world's most affordable
retirement haven as 2008 comes to a close...I'd argue that France
is the most beautiful and most romantic...Argentina offers
a Euro-feel retirement on a developing world budget...
For more Where To Retire In 2009 ideas, take a look
Step #3: Research residency options in the countries that
interest you. For this, you need the help of a local attorney. The critical
thing is to understand your options for a residency visa before you get too
far into your relocation plans.
Most user-friendly in this regard are Panama (which offers
15 choices for how to become a legal resident of that country, including its
famed pensionado program and a
reforestation visa program that gives you a hard-asset investment along
with your visa) and Belize (where you can become a
QRP resident if you're older than 45 and can show a regular income of at
least $2,000 a month from outside the country).
Step #4: Buy a plane ticket, because no amount of Internet
research can substitute for traveling around a place yourself. A country can
make sense on paper but appeal not at all in person. Often, you'll know
within 24 hours of arriving in a new country if it's a possible match...or
not. It will feel right...or it won't.
In addition to a local attorney, while you're in each country on your Dream
Havens list, meet with as many local real estate agents as you can. No real
estate market anywhere is as efficient as that in the United States. No
other country offers a nationwide Multiple Listing Service. And in no other
country do real estate agents cooperate the way they do in the States.
You've got your work cut out for you.
Step #5: Get good tax advice. You don't want to organize your
life according to tax code...but you don't want to make plans to move to a
new country without considering it either. If you're an American, you need
two tax advisors, one in the States (where you never lose your obligation to
Uncle Sam) and one in the country where you're considering establishing
Again, do this work before you have an address in your chosen haven. Certain
opportunities for mitigating your tax burden can be taken off the table once
you make the move.
Your tax situation once you've taken up residence abroad has a great impact
on your retirement budget, of course, and the best case if when your gross
retirement income is your net retirement income after taxes. This is
sometimes possible but requires good planning and good advice.
Step #6: Shop health insurance options. If you're an American,
Medicare won't follow you outside the States (although your Social Security
will). Local health insurance can be your best bet.
Or maybe you go without any local coverage and pay for day-to-day medical
expenses out of pocket. In many of the world's top retirement havens, this
can make sense because health care costs are so low.
In addition, you could invest in a health insurance policy that amounts to
global major medical, through, say, MEDEX, BUPA, or HTH. This would cover
you in case of any catastrophic event.
This is our current approach. We pay for doctor's visits, prescription
medicines, dental check-ups, etc., out of pocket in Panama, where they're
very affordable. But we carry BUPA insurance that would cover us in case of
serious emergency. The cost is 120 euro a month for Lief, Jackson, and me.
Health insurance can be the most challenging item on your Retire Overseas
Checklist, because, long term, it's perhaps the most important. It's also
Step #7: Show up. Woody Allen once said that this is 80% of
Do your research, make your plans...then take the leap.
I've been beating this drum loudly lately, and I will continue.
Over the years, I've met people who've been thinking about living or
retiring overseas for years. They can tell you how to get a visa, where to
open a bank account, how much to budget for rent, and the per-square-meter
price of buying a home in a dozen different countries.
Still, they're deliberating...weighing the options...not quite sure the time
To everyone who's been long planning for a new life overseas...and,
especially, to you, dear reader, I say now: Just do it.
Pack your bags and go for it.
What's the worst thing that could happen? More on that tomorrow...
The Dates Are Firm For The Most Important Live and Invest Overseas Event
Here's how you can be in the room as our guest--that is, free of charge.
And that's only the start of what we're prepared to do to help you realize
your dreams in the world's #1 retirement, lifestyle, investment, and
Go here to learn more.
"This time of year here in Ecuador, on all the street
corners in every town, you notice these
full-sized papier-mache figures and heads for sale," writes
Correspondent Mike Sager.
"It's a curious thing the first time you see it...everywhere likenesses of
everything from local politicians to Sponge Bob. Transformers, the Hulk,
Spiderman, Bart Simpson...some of these things are 10 feet tall.
"My first year here, I couldn't imagine what it was all about.
"The idea is to purchase one of these figures and to cast all your troubles
of the past year on to it. Then, at midnight on New Year's Eve,
you set it on fire. You burn up the bad and welcome the good. You start the
New Year fresh, for, once toasted, these old problems can't revisit you.
"I was in Cuenca the first time I got to experience this tradition, and I
wasn't fully prepared for what goes on. People burn their effigies
everywhere--in the streets, hanging from ropes, propped up against the walls
of buildings... Some are stuffed with firecrackers, and, at any moment, the
things start exploding, throwing flaming bits of papier-mache high
into the air.
"New Year's Day, the streets are like something out of a war zone. The
charred outlines of the burned-up paper bodies are everywhere.
"Last year in Salinas, the effigies, all sizes and shapes, were lined up for
miles along the main drag. Can't wait for tonight..."
"I hope to retire to
Panama in October 2009 and will be there on holiday in January. Can
I open a bank account while in the country?"
-- John S., United States
Yes, if you plan ahead and come prepared. It's more difficult all the time
for a non-national to
open a bank account in a new country. Our recommended legal eagle in
Rainelda Mata-Kelly, can help.
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