BOSTON (CBS) – Sounds so good, retire somewhere warm, or exotic, or really cheap or all of the above. And some retirees do just that; move far away.  However, it is not always the good life.

According to one survey, I found half of retirees move. But the reality of it is more than 80% of retirees are still in their home state after retirement. Some are heading to retirement communities and some just downsize and move down the road.

And some do have wanderlust and want the exotic. According to an article in Kiplinger’s magazine close to 600,000 Social Security benefit checks are being sent overseas.

The Kiplinger article talks about how much cheaper it is to live South of the Border and indeed it is cheaper. And I am sure for some folks it could work just fine. What about the negatives?

Often times when you move to these exotic places, you move to a gated community with security guards. You don’t travel out at night for its not safe and you really don’t experience the local culture because you are so far removed from it.

There is a delightful movie out The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It is about English retirees moving to India because it is cheap! Before you sign up to go someplace exotic, go and see the movie.

Language Barrier: When you are traveling in a foreign country a language barrier does not seem to be a problem for everyone wants to help a visitor. But where do you find help if you are trying to negotiate a speeding ticket, buy groceries, or you are trying to describe your chest pains in an emergency room?

Health Care: No matter where you move to in retirement you need to be concerned about health care. Could be Panama, Florida or a retirement community in Missouri. So often the community gets built up quickly and the health care lags behind. Do you want to be coming back to Massachusetts for routine visits?

Visitors: Are you moving some place where your family and old friends will want to visit? In talking with retirees on the Cape I often hear “we wanted a place where the kids would want to come and visit”.

Weather: This is such a biggie with retirees. Everyone wants to live in a place with perfect weather because you deserve perfect weather in your retirement! Make sure you can take the heat if you are moving south. That could be the U.S., east and west, could be Panama or Mexico. How hot is hot? Some are tolerant of 110 degrees and others long for Maine when it reaches 75 degrees.

I have a friend who wants to retire to Spain. Her kids do not want her to retire in Spain. They have listed all of the negatives! She still wants to go.


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