Why Increasing Number of People Retiring Overseas
A United States State Department data reveals about 4 million Americans live abroad. About a half-million Social Security checks are annually sent overseas and the number is growing. Each month, more than 20,000 Americans cross the border on their way to establishing homes to the south.
Why Retiring Overseas
Some people are planning to buy a small condo in Arizona and grow vegetables in the winter months. Or they could perhaps move to Panama and live in an affordable house near the rain forest and grow orchids.
Live Large by Paying Less
In Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ghana, Thailand, or the Philippines, it is possible to live on somewhere around $20,000 or much less a year very comfortably along with enjoying a life with Rummy, Singapore, Malaysia and Ghana gambling industry. Many people can afford luxuries in developing countries that you couldn’t in the U.S.
Health Care and Other Benefits
Health care is the biggest concern for seniors and retirees. Author Barry Golson writes Europe and Latin America medical care, health insurance, hospital facilities, medical procedures or nursing-home care are comparatively more affordable. In many Latin American countries, retirees have privileges ranging from special residence visas to deep discounts on taxes, lodging, and transportation.
Volunteering – Finding Meaning in Retirement
Many people find meaning through volunteer activities abroad. Volunteering is fun and enjoyable. It is a great way to learn about the adopted country, to become part of the community and to give something back to society — teach English as a second language, look after orphans, join the rainforest conservation program, and so on.
Reasons Not to Retire Abroad
There are a few things to consider before moving abroad. How do you feel if you are separated from your family? Are you willing to learn the new language and adapt to the different culture and food? Do you easily get annoyed with long lines and lots of paperwork? Do you have something to do in your adopted country, such as a hobby, passion or job? Sitting on the beach and sipping a drink can make you old fast.
Retired People Struggle as the Average Cost of Living Rises
The over-60’s used to regard retirement as a time to relax and unwind, but money problems mean that this is no longer the case for many retired people. The average cost of living has been steadily rising at the very time that retirement incomes are falling. This has meant that increasing numbers of retired people are struggling with money problems and personal debt. To make matters worse, many over-60’s aren’t claiming state benefits, such as guaranteed pension credits, housing benefit and carers allowance because they don’t realise that they are available.
Average Cost of Living Increases Affect Retired People Disproportionately
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that households run by over-75’s spent 40 per cent of their weekly expenditure of £218 on gas and electricity, food, housing and council tax in 2007. However, those falling into the 65 to 74 age group spent only 30 per cent. A report in January 2009 by the Institute of Fiscal Studies showed that the average cost of living is rising at 5.4 per cent for over 60’s. The average cost of living is only increasing at 0.5 per cent for other age groups, thus explaining why money problems affect over 60’s more than others.
Whilst retired people have often paid-off their mortgage or enjoy lower rental payments, the cost of other household bills tends to be a lot higher for over-60’s. Increasing gas and electricity bills, higher food costs and increased social expenditure mean that many retired people struggle with money problems. An increasing reliance on credit cards and personal overdrafts has increased levels of personal debt for over-60’s.
Household Bills vs. Retirement Income for Over-60’s
According to a 2009 Prudential survey, UK workers are due to receive a retirement income of £17,779 per annum. This represents a fall of £884 compared to 2008; the reduction in retirement income can be largely attributed to falling interest rates on personal savings. The national average salary is £24,908 meaning that retired people receive £7,129 less. Whilst retired people have more time on their hands and incur higher gas and electric bills, household incomes are 29 per cent lower.
Fuel Poverty for the Over-60’s
A recent study by Age concern found that 22 per cent of over-70’s are living in fuel poverty compared to only 6 per cent of the population as a whole. Money problems have been exacerbated by rising gas and electricity costs and the fact that the elderly are at home for longer and feel the cold more. The £200 winter fuel payment used to cover 35 per cent of the average gas and electric bill, but it now only covers 20 per cent. This has placed an added strain on household bills for over-60’s.
Retired People Fail to Claim State Benefits
According to Age Concern, over-60’s fail to claim an estimated £4.6 billion in state benefits, such as pension credit, housing benefit and carers allowance, each year. Retired people fail to claim state benefits because they don’t realize they are available; other seniors are worried by the lengthy and complicated forms. Pension credit guarantees a weekly income for retired people of £189.35 per week. Other seniors are entitled to carers allowance or exemption from council tax. Access to these benefits can help over-60’s avoid crippling money problems.
Retired people can tackle personal debt and boost retirement income. Charities, such as age concern, will help over-60’s perform an assessment of state benefit entitlements. This can lead to pension credit, housing benefit, council tax exemption or even carers allowance for those with disabilities. This can help over-60’s cope with increases in the average cost of living and prevent money problems.
Individuals that have signed-up to credit agreements prior to April 2007 should check to see whether an illegal credit card or unenforceable loan agreement is in place. This could lead to the debt being written-off and any adverse credit entries being removed.
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