This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Gringo Retirement: Living Abroad in Economic Refuge

NEW YORK (MainStreet)--A couple from Hendersonville, N.C. always dreamed of settling down in paradise and moved to Belize last year to retire along the scenic barrier reefs.

"Our primary financial motivation for retiring abroad was to achieve a lower cost of living in a tropical setting," said David Wright, 65, who moved with his wife, Elizabeth, 52, to Ranchito Village, an expatriate enclave near Corozal, Belize.

For Americans retiring overseas, places in Latin America and the Caribbean are an economic haven for stretching a dollar and paying less in healthcare costs.

"The strategy is to move somewhere that counts, and the cost of living in Latin America is a fraction of the cost of the U.S," said Dan Prescher, special projects editor at International Living, a publication that focuses on international retirement.

The rising cost of healthcare coverage and limited savings other than home equity are pressuring many baby boomers to consider retirement abroad to lower their living expenses.

Half of Americans have less than $25,000 in total savings, excluding the value of their primary home and pension plans, according to a March 2013 survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Retirement Institute.

"Most Americans are not saving enough for a secure retirement, and an alarming number of Americans do not participate in any retirement savings program," said Ronald, O'Hanley, president of asset management and corporate services at Fidelity Investments.

Only 45% of American workers have a pension or 401(k) plan, according to Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Around one-third of U.S. retirees receive at least 90% of their retirement income from Social Security benefits.

The average annual Social Security benefits for a recent U.S. retiree provides around a modest $15,000 a year.

For stretching a fixed income, a rising number of those Social Security checks are going abroad to expatriates settled in retirement enclaves in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"You can live almost anywhere in Latin America on $2,000 [a month], but we see some people do it for a lot less on $600 or $700," Prescher said. "But, they're living a different type of lifestyle amongst the locals."

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,039.49 +60.36 0.36%
S&P 500 1,992.37 +5.86 0.30%
NASDAQ 4,532.1040 +5.6220 0.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs