Retirement is a scary prospect for almost everyone living in California. In Los Angeles, you need more than $70,000 a year to live comfortably — an impossible amount for most retirees. The high cost of living will eat away at your pension and leave you with nothing or even in debt. Moving to a retiree-friendly state is a good option, but what if you can move to a tropical paradise and not spend a cent more?
1. Moving is Easy
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to settle in Thailand, Malaysia, or even Panama. The price you’ll pay for a small LA apartment will be enough to buy three or four 3-bedroom houses in these countries. Aside from your house, you can take everything with you. You can even ship your beloved cars through auto transport carriers for around $2,000 each. George Town in Malaysia, Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Boquete in Panama are home to thriving expat communities.
2. No Winter Chills for Your Old Bones
Once you’re over 65, the coldness of winter can be tough on your aching joints. Tropical countries are warm all-year-round. It does get hot in the summer but nowhere near the 120°F heatwaves of LA. Being surrounded by water somewhat regulates the heat — with temperatures in the three countries mentioned rarely breaking 100°F.
3. Make the Most of Your Limited Money
Most retirees have less than $100,000 in their 401Ks and Social Security benefits will be reduced by 2030. The usual $1,400 in benefits can get reduced ta $1,100, which is barely enough to get by in most states. Living in Malaysia or Thailand will cost you around $500-$800 a month while living in Panama will cost $800-$1,000. However, your monthly costs drastically drop if you use your 401K savings to buy a house (or two) or if you opt to settle in more rural neighborhoods.
4. Engross Yourself in Different Cultures
While most of the people you’ll encounter will have no problems speaking English, learning the local language can have profound benefits. Friendly locals will get friendlier and you’ll be keeping your brain a little more active. Studies have shown that learning a language even later in life can ward off Alzheimer’s. Discovering new things is also a source of joy and wonderment, keeping you young at heart and enhancing your thirst for life.
5. You’ll Be on Vacation All-year-round
Retirement is like a permanent vacation of sorts, but now you’ll be lounging on the beach, diving with whales, or golfing 18 holes any time you want. In Malaysia and Thailand, weekend diving trips (2 days) cost less than $100. Tropical countries are also home to a wide array of exotic dishes. Your palate will be surprised by different flavor combinations and even simple fruits will be a lot tastier.
Yes, you can spend your golden years in the tropical paradise of your dreams. Moving might be a big decision. However, you’ll be having the time of your life while ensuring your retirement fund doesn’t dry up.