Should You Retire Abroad?

Dear DTA, 

I’m 60 and thinking about retiring overseas. My retirement account has taken a beating, but I’m still in pretty good shape. Looking for warmer weather and a less expensive life. Do you guys have articles on this? Thanks!

-Nathan P. 

Hi, Nathan.

Thanks so much for writing in. It’s always a real pleasure to hear from readers.

Congrats on your position in life.

Being in a healthy retirement position is commendable. You planned ahead.

A lot of retirees in America are relying purely, or mostly, on Social Security income.

It sounds like SS will be icing on the cake for you. Fabulous!

Wanting to move abroad upon retiring isn’t a bad idea at all.

I’m assuming you’re coming from the United States. If so, the US is a relatively expensive place to live.

I actually moved abroad after retiring myself, except I combined that with an extremely early retirement.

I retired in my early 30s, as I recount in my Early Retirement Blueprint.

Then I left the US and indefinitely relocated to Thailand.

I must say, life is good. Better than it ever was in the States.

My real-money FIRE Fund generates five-figure passive dividend income on my behalf.

And that dividend income goes about three times further here than it does in the States, on a like-for-like basis.

This is the power of moving abroad and taking advantage of geographic arbitrage.

Jason Fieber's Dividend Growth PortfolioGeographic arbitrage is where you earn in one currency (like the US dollar) and spend in another currency (like the Thai baht) where the local costs are much lower.

This stretches those dollars out.

Nathan, I put together a lengthy article on the power of geographic arbitrage.

You must check it out.

I discuss how a $600 investment could turn you into a millionaire.

It really is must-read content for you. This piece goes into exact details about moving and then living abroad.

I use Thailand as my example. That’s because I live in Thailand.

However, the basic concepts would apply to many different countries.

In my view, there are two different regions of the world you’ll want to focus on in terms of moving abroad.

The first is Southeast Asia.

The second is Central and South America.

Both offer you the warmer weather and less expensive life you crave. That’s relative to the USA.

SE Asia, in my experience, offers a higher quality of life than the alternatives. And better value for money.

I wouldn’t have moved here if I didn’t feel that way.

But there are many, many options for you to consider.

Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines are some great options in SE Asia.

Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina are fine options in the Americas.

I would recommend to do some heavy research before moving abroad. And maybe even give things an in-person practice run before permanently moving.

You’ll want to know about visas, taxes, crime rates, pollution, infrastructure, food, and all manners of daily life.

It’s one thing to go vacation somewhere. But it’s a completely different thing to live there 24/7. Living abroad is not for everyone.

Now, I don’t know how your investments are structured.

I personally have relied on dividend growth investing to get me to where I’m at.

This is a strategy that advocates investing in world-class enterprises that pay reliable and rising dividends to their shareholders.

I’m talking about world-class enterprises like those that can be found on the Dividend Champions, Contenders, and Challengers list.

Fellow contributor Dave Van Knapp has laid out what this strategy is, why it’s so wonderful, and how to successfully execute it.

He’s done so with his Dividend Growth Investing Lessons.

In order to provide maximum value to our readership, I helm a weekly series that provides excellent long-term dividend growth stock ideas.

Every Sunday, I reveal a high-quality dividend growth stock that appears to be undervalued.

These stocks undergo a rigorous analysis and valuation process. I even include valuation estimates from professional equity analysts.

The ideas are featured in the Undervalued Dividend Growth Stock of the Week series.

These could be very useful opportunities for you. Again, though, that depends on how you’ve structured your investments.

Undervalued Dividend Growth Stock of the Week by Jason FieberYou’re in for a very exciting life change, Nathan.

Even an average Social Security check alone (roughly $1,470/month) could buy you a very nice lifestyle in many countries I mentioned above.

The fact that you also have a 401(k) on top of it, sets you up very nicely.

Assuming you’re American, you only have a couple years before you can start receiving your SS benefit.

This gives you time to do your research, give it a practice run, and make the move.

No matter what you decide to do or where to go, I have one final recommendation.

Take action today. 

I wish you luck and success.

— Jason Fieber

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Disclaimer: Jason Fieber is not a licensed financial advisor, tax professional, or stock broker. Please consult with a licensed investment professional before investing any of your money. If your money is not FDIC insured, it may decline in value. To protect the privacy of our readers, any names published in this article are under aliases. In addition, text may be edited, omitted or paraphrased for grammar or length.