The list will surprise you.
From Market Watch, July 26, 2019:
Of course, the above list doesn’t necessarily mean those are the top 10 countries of American retirees because:
- Some Americans may be retired abroad and not collecting Social Security.
- Others may have their Social Security checks deposited in the U.S. but live abroad.
- Others may live abroad just part time.
How to explain the countries in the list:
- Labor economist Teresa Ghilarducci, an expert in retirement security and a professor of economics at The New School for Social Research, says that people often retire where they have family ties, so the dominance of Canada and Mexico, for example, on the list make sense, as many Americans have family in both countries.
- Jennifer Stevens, executive editor at International Living, says “The numbers lean toward places where the U.S. has a strong military presence,” which helps explain why Japan and Germany are so high on the list.
Few Americans actually retire abroad. According to Social Security Administration data, about 413,000 retired workers get their Social Security benefits abroad out of the tens of millions who receive these benefits.
For Americans who dream of retiring abroad, Cynthia Staton, who with her husband runs a website that helps people retire abroad, says you should consider these factors:
- What is your ideal weather?
- How close do you want to be to your family?
- What level of health care do you require?
- Do you want to live in a city, a town, or off the grid? In the mountains, at the beach, or by a lake?
- What are your deal breakers? Do you need a specific medication? Are there mobility issues?
Staton advises you should visit the country and place, or even temporarily live there to test it out: “Don’t make the mistake of superficially choosing a place that reminds you of where you like to vacation. You go on vacation to get away from daily life, not for it to become your 24/7/365.”