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How to Retire Overseas: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for Less) Abroad Paperback – Mar 29 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (March 29 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296848
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

KATHLEEN PEDDICORD is the founder of, a subscription site offering its members advice on retiring abroad. A full-time expat herself, Peddicord lived in Ireland with her family for several years before relocating to Paris and, most recently, Panama, where she lives now with her husband and son.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Mad Tatter on June 29 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book gets some good reviews I was not overly impressed. The book gives you a very basic idea of how to retire over seas but it's main focus is to give you just enough information to get you interested but not enough to do much with. The book is written for an American audience and it's main purpose is to get you to buy more of her retire overseas products.
I would not recomend this book.
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By Donna Callan on Aug. 1 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent resource for those consider a life overseas where your dollar goes further and life is warmer.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By janice on March 24 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has lots of info, but I found it hard to read. Need more organization and at times it did not give very convincing information on whether one should actually live in these places, Qualifying income to live in some places, what was that really about? Giving out all personal data like this seemed a bit strange. Most of all, this book seemed to be written for people with a large retirement income, not the average run of the mill 75% of us out here. Come on, you guys can do better than this. There must still be some properties in other countries that are cheaper than the ones I read about in here. We all cannot afford nor are we looking for seaside resorts. How about an inexpensive apartment in Paris or in a villa somewhere in Europe where one can live on fresh local food everyday say within a short walk to a seaside or river or cultural centers? I will admit I didn't finish the book as it was not easy reading not geared to my end of the income market.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 105 reviews
220 of 225 people found the following review helpful
Are you even dreaming about moving overseas? Read this first. March 27 2010
By Craig Matteson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of my friends and his wife have just moved to Costa Rica to live more affordably and enjoy the nice weather. Health reversals and newly constrained finances made Ann Arbor less viable for him, but with his present means they can live comfortably in Costa Rica. God bless them. I hope everything is better for them than they had even hoped.

You might also be considering retiring overseas. I urge you to get and read this book to help you think things through before you take the plunge or act on the advice of someone who knows your sister's ex-husband.

Kathleen Peddicord has lived overseas for years and currently resides in Panama with her husband and son. Previously, they had lived in Ireland, and Paris.

I lived in Australia for a couple years as a young man and travelled for business in the 1990s. Now, I stay firmly rooted on the ground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But I can see the wanderlust in many of my friends' eyes.

She covers what you need to know very well.

Section I covers the 10 steps that you should do now while you are at home and considering a move overseas. Think about what you really want and can tolerate by way of change. What a realistic budget would be (this isn't going to be a two week splurge on a vacation). Examining the geography what it means to your connections back home and how you will live there. What would your tax implications be? What about your health insurance? What is the market there for rentals and home sales? What about the stuff you have accumulated for a lifetime? Maybe you want a part-time retirement over there.

Section II lists a bunch of specific topics that you can examine if they interest you. What if you are looking for cheap living? Top notch health care? Great weather? No language barriers? A solid American ex-pat community? These and more are in this section.

Section III lists that author's picks for the top 14 foreign retirement countries. No, my friend's choice of Costa Rica isn't there. And France is, strangely enough.

Section IV provides you with advice on how to settle in once you get there and making the most of your new mode of living.

Section V is very important because I have seen many Americans go overseas only to be disappointed that the new place isn't America. Folks, it won't be and never will be. The author helps you work through the common problems and panic attacks.

She provides a nice and helpful conclusion and an appendix with approximate costs of living in the 14 countries she has selected (in U.S. dollars) so you can understand if you can afford your dream move.

This book is well written, clearly laid out, and interesting if this is a subject that interests you even a little bit.

I think this is a very worthwhile book for those even dreaming about such a move.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
A Great Introduction Aug. 14 2010
By K. Johnson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"How to Retire Overseas" by Kathleen Peddicord is a door opener for tens of millions of Americans that are entering into retirement age. The Golden Years are yours. All you have to do is move.

Retirement is Over in the US - This book is helpful in its information as well as making Americans realize that the concept of retirement in the United States was a short term phenomena in American history that is finished. And it's been over for some time. But even if Americans could retire in the US, living overseas can be much more interesting for some. But the positive is, we have a large and varied world to experience. Often, at the fraction of the cost of retiring in the US. The quality of life can be much higher also.

This book is divided into five sections.

One of the sections lists the top retirement countries according to author Kathleen Peddicord. Interestingly some of these (European) countries are expensive and may have prohibitive or difficult visa retirement regulations. I am surprised that any European nation is included at all, because Americans that can retire in Europe could also retire in the US in my opinion.

"How to Retire Overseas" seems to target the American citizens that have not traveled abroad for more than 2 weeks, nor have lived overseas as an expat. The recent economic downturn (which will last for years) is now causing many to contemplate retiring overseas and this is definitely worth considering.

A cost of living index for each country listed in the book is included and very important. The index is listed in US dollars, which is equally important, but it should be noted that the US dollar is on dubious ground. Many British retirees in Spain and elsewhere had to return to Britain after the British pound declined in value. Many of them sold everything in the UK, but later had to return. Diversifying investments out of the USD should be considered.

Of course, the quality of medical care must be evaluated, and those forgoing medicare can get top-quality care in many foreign countries. The (retirement) visa situation is something that may or may not change, but when it does, it's usually with short-term notice, or no warning at all.

In addition to this book, a person or couple should research online and most importantly, go to the country they're considering and spend a couple of month there, and learn "how things really work."

"How to Retire Overseas" is recommended for the curious, casual, and the serious.
125 of 142 people found the following review helpful
OK if you just decided to retire outside the US yesterday... Jan. 25 2011
By R. Kelly - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...but of little value if you have been thinking about it for a while and done *any* amount of research.

I have been thinking about retiring to France, so I bought this book based on the good reviews. I thought I would get a good overview of the topic of expat retirement and get some real info about retiring in France. No such luck.

In the France section, I was rather stunned by how little information was provided, almost nothing beyond expected rents! For instance, under the topic of income tax in France, the author states that the rate is 0-40%. Without giving some idea of the tax brackets, this information is absolutely worthless. She touts the benefit of buying a place to live in France, but never indicates if the mortgage interest is deductible under French Tax code--this is really potentially important.

She never writes about the ease or difficulty of getting a French retirement visa, prerequsites, disqualifications, monetary requirements, costs?? For example, Australia demands $750K be given to the government to hold in order to retire there, my question is "is there something like this in France"? No discussion at all.

And no discussion of what it costs to have a car in France. She indicates that she did not have one and did not feel the need for one. I could not imagine this.

And finally, the geek in me takes objection to her listing expected rents and other costs to as much as 4 significant figures when 2 would probably be appropriate.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Future Expat Information Sept. 25 2010
By Andi - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really up-to-date book on places that are safe to relocate for those of us hoping to make our retirement dollars go a bit further! Very honest assessment of the cost of living overseas in many different countries. Well worth the money and time to read it from cover to cover. After reading it over and over we made the decision to relocate to Ecuador. It wasn't covered well in this book but had enough information to research other options and decided on Ecuador from that. Not sorry at all and this book started it all!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
It's all about the trade-offs July 6 2012
By Robert - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have done quite a bit of researching the topic of retiring overseas on the cheap so that much of what is in this book is a review. Or, put another way, one could read this book first and save many hours of researching.

I was a bit surprised about the author's perspective. She is married to someone who has been transferred because of job assignments to Ireland, Paris, and Panama City. Her perspective is more from a well-do-to viewpoint. While she talks about living cheaply, she herself has chosen a more upscale lifestyle. The author has developed a network of friends around the globe for whom she seems very indebted for much of the information in the book.

Initially, I was attracted to the book to see how to live the good life on social security income. This book, instead, seems to have a theme that given the same amount of income, say $40,000 a year, one could move to a different country and experience approximately the same lifestyle for a bit less, or a better lifestyle for about the same amount. The same principal applies if you're talking about $20,000 a year or $100,000.

As my title suggests it is all about the trade-offs one is willing to make. Just like retirees moving to Tucson, Arizona, they trade in something they like for something they don't like. In Tucson I'd say it would be the frequency of 95 plus degree days. Overseas, in the places that are relative "bargains" the trade-offs may include, isolation, very poor infrastructure, lack of reliable electricity, little to no local healthcare, and extreme expenses for vehicles and their maintenance. Most the places mentioned in this book, however, only suffer from one or two of these things. I'm kind of fixated on La Barra, Uruguay, which may be more expensive than the current hot spot of Cuenca, Equador, but lays next to the ocean rather than 8,000 feet up in the mountains.

Some of the places mentioned really want foreign retirees and offer several benefits, from cheaper food and entertainment, to lower cost airfares, to cheaper health, to even tax incentives.

I am a little disappointed in the author stating that all the places she recommends are safe. I've read several accounts of very nervous ex-pats in Morelia, Mexico and the Ajijic region regarding gang turf warfare. Too bad, it is suppose to be a great area and I like the idea of it being fairly close to the U.S. However, at this time, that is not a trade-off I'm willing to make.

The author writes primarily about 14 areas in which she briefly goes over the cost of living, cost of housing, climate, health care, infrastructure, accessibility to the U.S., Language, Culture, Taxes, Special benefits to foreign retirees, and education. In a couple of these places, the U.S. dollar is used as the local currency which makes financial considerations easier to grasp.

If you haven't done much research about moving overseas then I recommend reading this book. Then do further research into the ares(s) you may be interested in. Just because I mentioned unrest in Morelia, don't take my word or any one else's word for it. About Morelia or anywhere else. Do your homework. Political climates do change. Morelia might be perfectly safe by the time you are thinking of moving. Some other place might not be.