“Come on, please stop toying with us about retiring on the cheap to exotic, beautiful lands far away. You get our attention with live on Social Security for US$600 to US$700 per month, but then you tell us how much money we must have in bank accounts and monthly income, etc., etc., to qualify for residency.
“I live in Texas, and this is the cheapest warm weather with beaches and lakes location you can imagine, but I want someplace exotic. Must I be wealthy American to be welcomed?”
— Bridgette M., United States
Yes, some countries require money on account in a local bank, an investment in real estate, purchase of some security, or some other lump-sum investment to qualify for a full-time residency visa.
Some, but not all.
You’re welcome as a retiree in Belize, dear reader, from the ripe age of 45, if you can show as little as US$2,000 a month in income. No lump-sum investment is required. This is the world’s most user-friendly jurisdiction when it comes to full-time foreign residency. It’s also a tax haven…and a beautiful sand-fringed nation with a long Caribbean coast. Where the people speak English.
You’re welcome to take up full-time residency in Ecuador if you can show an income of as little as US$800 a month from a pension, Social Security, or an annuity.
In Panama, you qualify for full-time pensionado status if you can show “retirement” income of at least US$1,000. And Uruguay will roll out the welcome mat if you can show a guaranteed income of just US$500 a month.
Remember, though, that these are the requirements for full-time foreign resident status. Most countries will welcome you as a visitor for up to six months without any of these kinds of stipulations. That is, you can “live” in many countries up to six months at a time with no more than tourist or visitor status.
Be a perpetual retiree (like our own intrepid Correspondents Paul and Vicki Terhorst). Choose two or three exotic overseas havens. Spend three or four or five months at a time in each one. You’ll avoid the permanent resident hassle altogether. And, oh, the tales you’ll have to tell.
Our new Passport To Freedom: The World’s Top Havens For Residency, Citizenship, And A Second Passport program discusses these questions, options, and opportunities in detail. More here.
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