Creating Your Own Retirement Destination Cocktail

Treating Your Future Retirement Destination Like A Cocktail

“Kathleen, you recommend so many different places,” began an attendee at last week’s Retire Overseas Conference in Orlando, Florida, “and so many of them seem appealing for different reasons.

“I can’t choose. I think this is likely a problem for a lot of other folks, as well.

“What I’m realizing now, listening to you and the other speakers here these past few days, is that I don’t have to choose. At least I don’t have to choose only one destination. I could create a kind of cocktail of destinations, different places where I’d do different things.

“If you were to approach the idea this way, in the context of a kind of Retirement Cocktail, what would you recommend?”

One way to approach concocting a Retirement Cocktail would be to remember Retirement Planning Correspondent Paul Terhorst’s “US$50 A Day” strategy.

Paul and his wife Vicki have been traveling the world perpetually for the past three decades. They move continually among different destinations of interest, enjoying what might be called the Ultimate Retirement Cocktail.

Paul and Vicki follow what they term the “US$50 A Day” rule. The idea is to average your daily cost of living over extended periods. You can afford to spend time in a higher-end location like Paris, for example, if you offset your Paris days with time in a super-affordable place like Thailand or Malaysia.

Another recipe for a Retirement Cocktail is to plan to follow the seasons, as Lief and I do. More than anything, Lief and I appreciate contrast, change, and diversity, so we’ve concocted a cocktail that has us enjoying springtime in Paris, summer in Istria, autumn in Medellin, and winter on the beach in Panama.

A third approach would be to choose a home base somewhere you know you’ll want to return to again and again over time and then to spend, say, half of each year there and the other half of each year trying out a new location. You could base yourself in Panama for the dry season and then head south to Ecuador during most of the rainy season one year…to Argentina for your off-Panama season the next…and maybe over to New Zealand for six months the following year, etc.

Here are other cocktail combinations to consider:

Argentina in their springtime (September, October, November), Medellin from December to February, Paris from March to June, and July and August somewhere new each year…

Thailand (exotic) for four months, Paris (sophisticated) for four months, and Medellin (sophisticated in another way plus great weather) for four months…

Belize for three months of diving, Buenos Aires for three months of culture, the interior of Argentina for three months of life among the vines, then three months in the Old World, maybe Italy or Spain…

The cocktail combinations are endless.

To create one that works for you, start by knowing yourself (your likes, dislikes, agendas, and priorities). Then take into account the weather in any destination where you’re interested in spending time, as well as local festivals and fairs and the tourist seasons (I’m assuming you want to avoid them).

Kathleen Peddicord

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