Have you ever thought of retiring overseas? This thought may have crossed your mind for a number of different reasons. Perhaps you are looking for adventure? It would certainly be very adventurous to take up residence in another country you might be mostly unfamiliar with. That could be pretty exciting. The reason this idea has crossed my frugal mind is because I think I could retire earlier in life by living somewhere my dollar goes even further.
I have come to the conclusion that if I was ever to retire overseas the Philippines would be my first choice. English is widely spoken, crime seems to be fairly comparable to the U.S., it has many beautiful beaches since the country is made up of thousands of islands, the people appear to be welcoming and friendly and (best of all) it's extremely affordable. I've seen various examples of the cost of living in the Philippines, and in general I think it's safe to say it's about half the cost of living in the United States when you compare apples to apples.
There are drawbacks of course. You'd have to navigate visa issues and managing finances from another country could become troublesome. Currency fluctuations could add risk, especially for a larger portfolio. Currency exchange rates could also make small, but additional, dents in your monthly income. One of the larger problems for me, personally, would be the prohibitive cost of flying back home to see family and friends. Even one annual trip back home could add $150/month in costs, when you average it out over the year. If I were to retire here in the U.S., there are many cheap transportation options like a bus or train. Flying to and from states is also much cheaper than international flights.
I've seen various examples of people living in the Philippines for ~$1,000/month. This isn't exactly impressive for me, as I'm pretty close to living on that now...and I haven't left the country. I think these examples, when dissecting the expenses, are actually closer to a middle-class lifestyle. My lifestyle is not nearly as extravagant, as my expenses trend pretty close to the U.S. poverty line. I could probably get by on $500-600 in the Philippines and live a slightly better lifestyle than I currently enjoy.
I wanted to write about this to see what you, the readers, think about retiring overseas. It's something that is still in the far back of my mind, but I see some great benefits to something like this. I don't necessarily dislike living as frugally as I do, however I wouldn't mind living a better lifestyle. If that lifestyle could be attained through no additional costs then I might be open minded to moving somewhere like the Philippines.
Are you considering retiring overseas? Why or why not?
Thanks for reading.