September 12, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile
If you’re thinking about retiring to Florida for the warm weather, lack of state income tax, and plentiful medical care facilities, you might want to reconsider.
A 68-year old Florida retiree recently filed a lawsuit against Orlando-based Florida Hospital after doctors there allegedly mixed up her lab results and told her she had terminal cancer.
The woman suffered in agony for months believing that she was going to die; then the hospital decided to treat her by removing part of her rectum.
It turned out she was perfectly healthy.
Now, accidents can happen anywhere. It’s an unfortunate part of the medical industry.
But the reality is that Florida has its obvious flaws. And it is by no means the only place in the world that has a claim to all the features of a top retirement destination.
The world is truly a big place, and there are a lot of options out there.
When you retire overseas your money can often go further, so a pension that might have you eating baked beans out of a tin can in the United States can buy you a gourmet dinner elsewhere.
You’ll enjoy a better quality of life in a country where medical costs aren’t at the outrageous levels that they are in the US.
With all that money you save you’ll be able to catch up on new experiences that you missed out on while you were working to support your family.
Here are three options across three continents that each offer their own benefits, but have at least one prominent feature in common—a favorable tax regime so that you get to keep more of what you receive in your golden years.
The Philippines is one of the easiest places in the world to retire to.
Residency is incredibly easy to attain for retirees. If you’re over 35, a refundable bank deposit of just $20,000 – or in some cases even less – qualifies you residency in the Philippines.
If you’re over 50 and have a pension income of at least $800 a month, a bank deposit of as little as $10,000 will suffice.
Income you have remitted to the country from overseas, such as any pension income you may have, is free from tax.
English is widely spoken and almost universally understood, so you won’t have to struggle with a new language.
It doesn’t hurt that the Philippines is an incredibly beautiful place with a low cost of living that allows you to stretch your pension longer there and truly have an enjoyable time
If you were hoping to spend your golden years reading the classics while sipping espresso in a Parisian café, Andorra may be your back door solution.
Andorra is not part of the EU, and officially not part of the borderless Schengen area, but having residency there gives you a low-tax backdoor option to having a de facto Europe-wide residency.
While there’s no official retirement residency program, you can become a “passive resident” of Andorra just as long as you’re not earning a living within Andorra.
Qualifying for Andorran residency comes with a steeper price tag; one option requires an investment of 400,000 euros in the country (about USD $520,000).
This amount can be applied towards the purchase of a home, however, and housing in Andorra is quite reasonably priced.
Andorra is one of my favorite destinations in Europe: clean, safe, and efficient. The food is high quality, the air is pristine, and if you love the outdoors, it’s a tough place to beat… especially if you live to ski.
Panama is increasingly becoming a place to be for retirees due to its yearlong sunny weather, affordable cost of living, inexpensive (yet high quality) medical care, and close proximity to north America.
It’s incredibly easy to gain residency in Panama, and you can technically “retire” on a pensionado visa at age 18.
Panama is also one of a handful of places where US retirees can have their social security funds directly deposited.
If you retire to Panama, you can actually have your monthly stipend sent directly to a local Panamanian bank account. And there’s absolutely no local tax levied on it whatsoever.
Don’t spend your retirement worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills, or making decisions about whether to buy food or medicine.
Consider taking advantage of lifestyle arbitrage opportunities that exist overseas and enjoy a better and more exciting retirement abroad.