The thought of retirement is far in the future for me, considering I have only just entered the workforce and have not even reached a quarter of a century in age. However, my parents are very close to that stage in their life, and knowing they will have the freedom to go wherever and do whatever makes me a little jealous. Then I read an article saying that more and more Americans are retiring abroad, and it made me wonder if my folks would ever make the move.
They have talked about buying a villa in Tuscany and living out the rest of their days sipping wine and speaking Italian. To no one's amazement, I would be absolutely ecstatic if they did, but I am not so sure that plan will pan out. They still have so many responsibilities here in the states and a lot to handle after retirement. I am not so sure they could leave it all behind. However, many retirees have packed their bags to spend their golden years overseas. There is not an exact number, but it is estimated that nearly half a million American seniors have moved abroad to retire. According to the Social Security Administration, Americans receiving benefits overseas has jumped 32 percent since 2002. And retirees seem to have no common destination. In fact, they have spanned the global, venturing everywhere from Caribbean islands to the French countryside, from the jungles of Panama to the gated communities in Thailand or Malaysia.
This trend has bolstered an entire industry that makes its profit off selling the good life overseas. The retire-abroad business includes everything from real estate agents, investment advisers and transition specialists, all trying to attract the retired demographic to various shores around the world. Companies like International Living and Escape Artist have magazines and websites that promote good property deals and give advice on how to make the move.
I already know that when I retire, it will be in Italy, on a lovely vineyard in Tuscany. I will spend my days reading, writing, exploring the country, cooking, shopping and drinking wine. It is my ideal golden years scenario. So where will you retire?