6 Keys to Retiring Overseas
Flexibility goes a long way, too.
"You have to have the patience to deal with different systems, and if you're an American who doesn't know the language, everything is going to take you 50 percent longer," Knorr says.
People who retire abroad are usually seasoned travelers who've spent a significant amount of time "on the ground" in a particular country.
Many people retire abroad to save a lot of money and enjoy the good life for less -- both valid reasons. But Knorr says you shouldn't expect to recreate an American lifestyle in many countries.
"If you like to eat your early bird special at 5 p.m. and in Spain people don't eat until 10 p.m., you might feel a little bit strange or you might have to find another way to eat," she says. "Some cultures appeal to certain types of people."
2. Land ownership issues:Maybe you've found your Shangri-La and are considering buying a home there. Before plunking down a huge deposit on a Caribbean villa or a French farmhouse, try renting first.
If possible, rent for more than one season. This gives you a better feel for the climate, how much utilities cost and what your community is like once the tourist crowd has evaporated.
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