“Kathleen, my wife and I are seriously looking to retire overseas but do have an issue that we need your honest input. I have MS and use a scooter or wheelchair to move about. I can do some limited stand/walking but not long walks or stairs. Are we limited or totally restricted in finding a country or location where I could move about?
“Thank you for your time in this matter.”
–Russell D., United States
Yes, your options for where you might retire overseas are limited, but you do have some good ones. Bottom line, you’ll need to focus on cities—not towns and definitely not rural regions.
Central America is out. Sidewalks don’t exist in this part of the world. Curbs, where they exist, are high. Public buildings do not have ramps. Access in general is restricted.
You might be OK with a biggish city in South America. Medellín has decent sidewalks and disabled access in public buildings and could be worth a look, understanding that, while this city boasts top-notch and handicapped-accessible infrastructure, it’s also a city of hills.
Europe is complicated. This part of the world tries to make everywhere accessible, but old towns and medieval villages present special challenges. Still, many cities in Europe likely would work for you. I’d focus here, as, even if your budget is modest, recessed economies and the strong dollar mean more of Europe is more affordable for dollar-holders than it’s been in a very long time.
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