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More Retirees Moving Abroad

Many are able to stretch their pension dollars

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The strength of the dollar against foreign currencies helps retiree’s fixed incomes go further — Competa Village, Costa del Sol, Spain.
Dennis Barnes/Getty Images

There’s a growing trend of retirees moving to other countries so they can stretch their pension and benefit dollars. And some nations are trying to attract more of them by making it as easy as possible for older Americans to relocate.

The Social Security Administration sent out payments to 380,000 retirees living in other countries in 2014, according to the Miami Herald. That’s a 50 percent increase over the previous decade.

In the Western Hemisphere, the top countries for expatriate retirees are Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

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The continuing strength of the dollar against foreign currencies means that fixed incomes go further. Americans in Canada, for example, get the equivalent of 25 to 30 percent off prices, according to Forbes.

One Ecuadoran city, Cuenca, is home to nearly 10,000 foreign retirees, mostly former residents of Texas and Florida, the Herald reports.

One reason is the low cost of living: A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment costs around $400 a month. For $1,500 a month, a couple can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle including lots of dining out and travel. And getting around town is cheap. Retirees can get rid of their cars and travel by bus for just 12 cents per trip with a senior discount.

The publication Live and Invest Overseas picked Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal as the best place to retire overseas in 2017, based on a combination of natural beauty, weather, dining and affordable housing.

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