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Retiring in an emerging market

Chris Farrell Jul 21, 2011

For a number of near-retirees the prospect of moving overseas after saying goodbye to workmates for the last time is alluring.

My article in Kiplinger’s–The Growing Allure of Overseas Retirement–looks at how a number of emerging markets are welcoming transplants.

Do you dream of retiring along the Coronado beaches of Panama, settling into a colonial home in Granada, Nicaragua, or calling the melting pot of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, home? Maybe you’d rather spend your retired years in Oaxaca, Mexico, surrounded by the rugged Sierra Madre mountains, living in a city with more than 200 dialects?

Keep dreaming? Not really. Immigration may be a contentious issue in the U.S. and Europe, but a handful of emerging markets have put out the welcome mat for silver-haired immigrants. It’s a safe bet that the competition for retirees and their dollars will increase in coming years. “Foreign retirees bring in outside dollars and they spend them,” says Kathleen Peddicord, author of How to Retire Overseas. “Attracting foreigners can be a really big deal for a developing nation.”

Of course, living abroad isn’t for everyone. Many retirees prefer to stay where they worked and raised families, rather than pick up for retirement enclaves in Florida and Arizona–let alone an emerging market. But if the idea intrigues you I look at a number of factors to consider.

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