After receiving responses from 7,100 individuals now living the expat lifestyle, the report reveals the impressive potential financial benefits of moving overseas.
Online publisher Best Places in the World to Retire recently sought to discover the economic realities of living overseas.
Is it like one long holiday, with all the associated luxury spending of eating out regularly, visiting tourist sites and so on, or do the lower costs in many countries enable a lower cost of living?
First the headline statistics. As it turns out only 3.1% of the respondents actually claimed that they spent more money while living abroad. Twice as many people – 6.5% – said that they spent roughly the same to live overseas. What this means is that the remainder enjoyed lower costs of living as an expat.
Indeed, the largest figure stated was that 43.1% of all the 7,000+ respondents spend between 25% and 50% less living overseas than they did back home.
This is an incredible figure and just goes to show that one doesn’t need to put up with the cold and the damp at home, nor struggle on a small pension. In many cases retiring to the sunshine not only results in greater health and happiness, but also helps to make your money go much further than it would do in your home country.
Even more impressively, fully 34% of respondents said they spent less than half of what they did back home in order to achieve the same quality of life.
Of course, this won’t necessarily be a surprise to everyone; of those expats who decided to retire abroad, 86% agreed that they did so at least in part to benefit from lower costs of living. What is perhaps more interesting is that over 84% of those taking the survey agreed that the reality really does live up to their expectations in financial terms.
The survey also sought to identify those particular countries enjoying consistently low costs of living. As it turns out, Central America seems to have won this competition time and again.
Of those individuals who claimed that their current life costs less than half of what it did in their home country, Nicaragua is far and away the winner. Here over 60% of respondents agreed that they spent less than half of the same lifestyle in the US or Europe. This is closely followed by Belize and then Panama.
If there’s one other benefit of this lower cost lifestyle it’s that expat retirees seem to worry less about money than the average population. Over a third of respondents said they worry “much less” about money than they did in their home country while only 10% claimed to worry about their finances more.
So there you have it; a few more reasons to move abroad. If you’d like to make your pension go further, to save money every month, live in the sunshine and worry less about money than you do now you could do a lot worse than consider a move to beautiful Central America.