Personal Finance

Retiring Overseas

I’ve toyed with the idea of retiring outside of Canada as a way to get more “bang for my retirement buck” or to retire sooner then I’d be able to here in Canada. I’ve met and read about people who really seem to be able to be able to do well by setting up camp in places where a modest Canadian passive income goes a long ways.

A friend of mine has an uncle who retired to Thailand. He’s living the good life with a 35 year old girlfriend (he’s in his late 60’s). According to him he’s able to live like a king on his Canadian pension. Most people would worry about health care in developing countries, but apparently the care is exceptional in Thailand, and its always possible to get evacuation protection where they’ll bring you back to Canada in case of serious emergency complications.

My brother some time ago talked about going to Buenos Aires for 6 months to study Spanish and learn how to surf. They call it the “Paris of South America” and apparently it has gorgeous architecture and cafes with very low prices. I’m tempted to steal his dream vacation and go set up camp there for a while, how sweet would that be?

Apparently some American plan to move to Nova Scotia, buy ocean-front property, and live the good life on the cheap. Being able to sell a condo in Toronto and use the proceeds to buy ocean-front property sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Some people talk about retiring to Mexico, and I think that could be a retirement (as long as you weren’t in an area where they like to kill Canadians 😉 ).

My “requirements” for where I live are fairly basic. I’d need air conditioning if it gets hot at all (I won’t even live in Toronto without AC during the summer). I’d need high speed internet. And I’d like to be able to eat sushi occasionally.

In Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-hour Workweek” he recommends Buenos Aires, Madrid, and Berlin as places that you can have a really nice lifestyle for a comparatively low price.

Anyone have other ideas for places where you get a great lifestyle for a low price?

7 replies on “Retiring Overseas”

You’re missing out… think of the buffets, think of the exotic locations, think of the women 1/4 of your age in bikinis around the pool!!!! 😉

I don’t think it’d work for me either, but its still an interesting idea.

WW: A lot of people like the idea of summer and winter places and moving between them. To my mind it’d add a fair bit of expense to be migrating twice a year, but there definitely are places places that are nicer in the winter vs the summer (and vice versa).

Cabana boys wouldn’t do too well in Saskatoon in the winter poor little devils… 😉

I like the idea of having a “summer” place or “winter” place to retire to, but not permanently- perhaps a cheaper Canadian place (I hear Saskatoon is all the rage these days) and a cheap retirement home elsewhere. With cabana boys around the pool 🙂

If I recall correctly, the Canadian MoneySaver magazine did a feature article on this topic numerous months ago. It was a very interesting read about a couple movng down to Mexico I believe.

In fact, according to their web site (, the CMS is holding a LifeStyle Conference in November in San Miguel de Allende. It is “often called the jewel in the crown of colonial Mexico. You can experience all the amenities that you enjoy in Canada?at about one-third less than the cost of your home region. This small English-speaking colonial city was first established for a North American lifestyle in 1939. This conference is designed to introduce you to the Mexican way of life. Whether you are a one-time visitor, a long-term visitor or become a resident, you will gain new insight into their dynamic lifestyle.”

The description goes on to quote some National Post articles on the subject.

Perhaps someone can head down the conference and give us a full rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of living in Mexico 😉

WE: I volunteer to attend if we can pass the hat around and finance my trip ;-).

1/3 the cost sounds pretty darn good to me!

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