Many older people around the world long to retire to the tropics where the temperature is comfortable and the living is easy and often less expensive than in their native lands. Who doesn’t look at a travel brochure of a beach and enthusiastically yell, “I’m outta here?”Most people agree that a tropical environment is unusually friendly and beautiful. The opportunity to enjoy nature and a simpler, freer way of life is very appealing; however, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind before pulling up stakes and traveling to the tropics to retire. Read on to learn more.
When you live in the tropics, you will find that your life savings or your social security check goes much further than in many other parts of the world. Your utility bills will be lower due to the temperate weather. Food costs are generally lower although, your choices in foods may not be the same as you are used to. Health expenses may also be less thanks to a healthier way of life and lower costs of health care.
When you move to another culture, you can expect to experience culture shock. This may be especially true for older people who move from their lifelong home to a tropical culture. It may be hard for many retired people to accept even the most pleasant aspects of tropical life such as a casual attitude toward punctuality and a generally relaxed attitude toward life in general.
Of course, customs in the tropics are different than in the Northern Hemisphere, and some older people have a very hard time adjusting to more casual and revealing forms of dress, different manners and many other small differences. When added together in day-to-day experience, small differences can be quite overwhelming.
It is important that you adhere with all the legal requirements of a country when you decide to move there. You must decide what sort of residency you want to apply for and then make sure you qualify. In some tropical countries, you can apply for permanent residency as a retiree. You may have to prove that you have a specific amount of income or savings at your disposal. You may or may not be allowed to work, and if you are allowed, there may be a limit on how much you can earn.
You may be able to set up an online business from your location in the tropics and earn unlimited income from around the world. You will want to be sure you understand all the tax requirements that apply to your income, no matter where it is from so that you can avoid trouble.
It may be possible for you to invest your income in land or in business enterprises in your tropical paradise. Investment income will enrich your retirement and make life easier for you. Again, it is important that you learn and adhere to any tax laws that may apply to your investment income.
One of the most important things you should do before selling everything you own and moving to a tropical paradise to live out your remaining years is take a test trip. Travel to the tropical destination of your choosing and plan to stay for a significant period of time. In this way, you can learn about the culture, weather, housing, food and more without having let go entirely of your security back home. Many people retire to a dream and do not enjoy the reality, so it pays to be smart and give your tropical paradise a test drive before you commit to it.