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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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About the Author
KATHLEEN PEDDICORD is the founder of liveandretireoverseas.com, 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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I would not recomend this book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
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.
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.
The one aspect that I found most enlightening was that while Peddicord emphasizes throughout the book how affordable living abroad can be her examples seem to be people of quite significant means. Although the arithmetic may imply that it is possible to live elsewhere with minimal expense compared to residing in the US, the people Peddicord describes actually doing it seem to be spending far more. After reading this book (in one sitting) I'm now convinced that few people are well enough off to retire overseas without making significant compromises in their accustomed standard of living. While on vacation compromise and accommodation are part of the experience, as a way of life it looks pretty difficult when described by Peddicord.