Seniors Living Overseas

One of the options which many retirees in some western countries have decided on is living overseas. A number of Australians have moved to countries such as Bali, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.  For Americans; Ecuador, Panama, Belize and even Spain, are currently favoured.
The reason for people leaving their lifelong homes are in most cases driven by economics.  The higher cost of living in Australia is certainly a major factor. With the highest real estate costs in the world, this has become a tipping point for many Australians. 
So let’s look at the pros and the cons of retiring overseas.
1. Living in second or third world countries can be a fraction of the cost of living in cities such as Sydney or New York. One couple we know are living in Malaysia. Their 3 bedroom apartment near the ocean cost $130,000 with food and other amenities costing a fraction of that in Australia.
2. You can live an oceanside tropical “paradise” lifestyle which includes domestic help at an incredibly cheap price. Imagine never having to deal with cold or snow.
3. You get to explore and experience other cultures without the rat race of western style city living.
4. If someone has had major family discord, it can be a way to keep things at arms-length by living overseas.
1. Some of these idyllic locales are unfortunately, more prone to civil unrest, including terrorism and insurgencies. The twin Bali bombings, which killed many Australians are a reminder of this problem.
2. Other countries don’t necessarily share the same values as Australians or Americans. Many countries have corruption and bribery as a normal way of doing business. In addition, in many of these countries you may not have the same freedoms that you are used to in your home country.
3. The level of healthcare is often not of the same standard as in your home country. It’s not only the training of doctors that is the issue, but also the level of cleanliness and support staff. In addition, alternate forms of care such as chiropractic, may be in short supply.
A friend of ours had to undergo surgery in an overseas country. While the surgeon was very competent, the postoperative care and rehabilitation services were substandard compared to what we are used to. In contrast, when we were travelling overseas in the USA and Adele needed hip replacement surgery everything was top notch from the doctors to the rehabilitation staff.
4. If you have a family, this is a big move. You may not see your children or grandchildren for extended periods of time. This actually deters many from making the move.

In the final analysis, each person has to decide for themselves what is most appropriate. For some, it is the best decision that they have ever made. For others, it is not long before they decide to return to their home country, because living in “paradise” was not what they thought it would be.

What is a Seniors Lifestyle?

This article was first published on After Fifty Living. You can read the article here.

Many people view the senior years or their “retirement” with some degree of trepidation. 

When we think back to our parents’ generation when it seemed that there wasn’t a whole lot to look forward to past 65. Life expectancy 40 years ago was 67 for men who were the primary income earners in those days. How times have changed!

Today, for men, life expectancy is near 80, while for women it is over 80, and women are just as much a part of the work force. Many are living well into their 80’s, 90’s and beyond.

So the question is, what are we going to do with all those extra 20 or so years? In our time as chiropractor and medical doctor, we have seen too many people bored, grouchy and just so uninspired in their senior years, while others are discovering a whole new world. For us, in our upper 60’s, the world is just opening up in so many different ways.

One of the things that has been so valuable for us is identifying our values. What is most important in our lives? Many people don’t actually stop to assess this and their lives are not congrent with their values.

There are 7 areas of our lives from which we derive our values and these can change over the span our lives. This is especially true when seniors find that they no longer have a job to go to, no more children at home and suddenly they may feel like lost souls.
For us, our top 3 values are our relationship, travel and finances. You may wonder where travel comes in on the chart. Travel can be a very spiritual endeavour in addition to being social, physical and mental. So one activity can actually transcend several areas of life. Since we have been travelling extensively, finances are important.
Stop and look at your life, and see what is most important to you. When you identify that, life becomes inspiring and fun. When you are living life at odds with your values, you find life a drag and full of stress.
Live your life with passion!