It is not known how many Americans move abroad a after his retirement. According to data from the Social Security Administration, at the end of 2021, nearly 450,000 people received benefits outside the United States, compared to 307,000 in 2008. According to Kathleen Peddicord, the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas consulting company in Panama, moving abroad, which was once considered a strange idea, is now considered normal.
“The strong dollar makes many countries seem affordable. Many countries have visas for pensioners. They usually require applicants to disclose their income and assets to demonstrate that they will not become a financial burden. We had a thorough conversation with six fellow retirees who moved to France, Portugal, Spain and Costa Rica. With savings ranging from $70,000 to $1.8 million, they prove that you don’t have to spend a fortune to move overseas,” said Peddicord.
As an example, he cites a married couple who moved to Buenos Aires in 2006. After liquidating their interests in the United States, they bought a house in Argentina, but the change of air did not suit them and they moved back to the United States, from where they made their way to Paris a few years later. There, they joined the Association of Americans Living Overseas and other expatriate organizations to learn about things like applying for French visas and renting an apartment. According to the married couple, the disadvantage of living in France is a lot of paperwork. According to them, they take time every morning to fill out forms, tax returns and driver’s license applications.
“In order to be able to rent an apartment, we had to put together a huge stack of forms going back years,” they said.
Others headed further south, to Costa Rica: Susan Wojcik fell in love with Costa Rica in 2001 on a vacation organized for her by her native-born housekeeper. Susan moved to Samara in 2015 and spent $235,000 to buy land and build a small guesthouse with a pool.
In Europe, in addition to France, Spain is also a popular destination. Matthew Coe, 60, moved to Barcelona about 13 years ago after working and traveling abroad. The former corporate lawyer worked remotely from Spain as a legal consultant, also invested in local real estate and started his own business last year. His business, which helps international buyers find and renovate homes in the Barcelona area, takes him an average of 20 hours a week, although there are some weeks when he doesn’t work at all, and that’s fine. This job, which is expected to bring in $50,000 this year, develops his passion for design and brings him closer to the local community. If he lived in Seattle, Coe estimates his monthly expenses, including travel and health care, would be much higher than in Barcelona.
“I’m a lot less nervous in Spain because of the lower cost of living and generally higher quality of life,” Coe said.
Within the Iberian Peninsula, more and more people are choosing Lisbon in Portugal as their destination. About six years ago, Halisi Vinson and Ricardo Crawley realized they needed a big change in their financial lives. The Denver couple, who married about 20 years ago, blamed their excessive spending. They had televisions in every room of their home and spent about a thousand dollars a month on restaurant meals. After talking with other Americans who had moved abroad and visiting for a month, the couple decided to move to Portugal. Crawley said they enjoyed the slower pace and the 75-cent espresso.
Living in Lisbon helped them cut expenses even further. Expenses, including rent and food, come to about $2,600 a month, roughly half of what you would expect in the United States.
However, more and more people are moving not only to Western Europe, but also to Russia. Hundreds of American and Canadian right-wing people are preparing to leave their country behind to move to Russia, where a settlement will be established for them specifically for this purpose, several media outlets reported in recent days. The news, which was not officially confirmed, was first reported by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, citing a lawyer specializing in immigration cases in Moscow.
The American right – and especially the Trump supporters, often called MAGA Republicans – were very disappointed in the 2020 presidential election, and this only intensified during Joe Biden’s tenure.
The growing division of American society already it is also reflected geographically: more and more people are moving to states in which the leadership conforms to their worldview and ideological orientation is in power.
This trend became more and more intense as a result of the closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic, when Americans who wanted a freer life began to migrate from the stricter northern states to the south, mainly to Texas and Florida. The practice has continued ever since, but now mainly republican sentiments are fleeing from the woke ideology. This was also emphasized by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his victory speech following the midterm elections last November.
Cover image: An elderly couple grappling with their bills. (Source: Fiskes)
Source: Magyar Nemzet by magyarnemzet.hu.
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