For many Americans, retirement is merely a pipe dream. While people from other countries are trying to get into America, some here (unable to retire at home or seeking adventure) look abroad for a reputedly cheap option.
What factors should be considered?
Distance is one important factor. If you have relatives in the U.S., you still want to come back for holidays, illnesses, important family events and to visit. So access to the U.S. may make a difference. But it can be deceiving to judge access based on distance alone. For example, it’s only a three hour plane ride to get to the closest U.S. entry point from Panama, but frequently you will need to go through the Panamanian domestic flight airport and transfer an hour away to the international flight airport, increasing the time and cost for this trip.
Money is another important factor. Many people have trouble converting from dollars to the local currency. If that sounds like you, you should consider places that have dollar-based economies, such as Ecuador and Panama. If you need to change currencies there is usually a fee to do this, which adds costs throughout time.
Driving is another important consideration. Many places drive on the opposite side of the street. If you would find that difficult or confusing, you should look at places that drive on the same side as America. While we are discussing cars, check what fuels they use — some places use liquid nitrogen — and whether credit cards are easily accepted if you don’t like to carry cash.