“Kathleen, I experienced the panic phase you discussed in your recent article. I was happy to see you address this issue because, for a long time, I thought it was just me that had these feelings! My husband and I are in Seoul because of his job; however, we have always planned on retiring to Panama when the big day comes.
“Within three months of arriving here, I spent days crying and feeling we had made the biggest mistake of our lives taking this job and coming to Korea. As excited as we were to experience this great adventure, the real shock of living overseas hit me hard. What had I agreed to, was I absolutely crazy to try this for three years?
“Thankfully, after meeting some new friends and learning our way around, I started to settle in. I can tell you now, this has been the best adventure of our lives, and Seoul is now home to us! We hate the thought of having to go back to the States as we have a new family here and wonderful new friends we consider family. To avoid having to go back to the States, my husband applied for a new job when his tour was up, and fortunately we will now be staying here for another four years.
“From here, we will retire to our final destination of Panama. This was a perfect way for us to adjust to living overseas away from family, our children, and our friends. We cannot wait to make our final move and settle in another new country with all new experiences.
“For those going through the panic stage, please be patient and don’t throw in the towel too fast. You could be missing the greatest time of your life.”
–Lisa E., South Korea
“Kathleen, my husband and I, who are looking for just that right place to retire outside the United States, were just reading about your sale publications, including the one about health insurance for expats. Having recently lost our parents after long illnesses, we are wondering how the issue of nursing home care and hospice care is handled in the overseas countries that are profiled in your newsletter.
“While most people probably are in good health when they decide to retire overseas, eventually we all face declining health and usually need supportive care of some kind. Any coverage you can provide on this important issue would certainly be a help in choosing a country in which to spend the rest of your life.”
–Cheryl K., brand-new subscriber in the United States
This is an important topic that is just beginning to receive real attention. I believe it presents an opportunity for someone (or several someones) to develop facilities to provide the kind of care you’re asking about in key places where North Americans are retiring overseas.
Right now, the only real option for nursing care is to hire it in the home. This is very inexpensive in Latin America and Asia, where you can hire trained, around-the-clock nursing care for what amounts to a fraction the cost of long-term care in the United States.
Again, though, I believe an industry will develop to provide this kind of care in a formal way. I know three developers considering investing in the idea, one in Panama, one in Nicaragua, and one in Ecuador.
Continue reading: Health care And Visits Home When Living Overseas