For some families, the end of summer means back-to-school mayhem. But for those near or in retirement, it could be time to move to a warmer climate to enjoy nice weather and a lower cost of living for more of the year.
Kathleen Peddicord (right), founder and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, will be meeting about 250 people in early September in San Antonio to help them carefully consider their options.
Who do you expect to speak with at your Sept. 4-6 event?
What we are finding is that the average age of our attendees is getting younger and younger.
For instance, at one of our events in Panama, where we are based, held about 20 years ago, some 80% of the 100 guests or so would be age 60 and up.
Now, more and more, we meet with people in their 40s and 50s, and even some in their 20s and 30s. For example, a 28-year-old came to a recent meeting in Panama.
These are people who are thinking big picture and long term.
Can you explain how people can live for $1,200 a month or less?
At our events, we have breakout sessions about 22 countries where this is possible and about focused topics, like taxation.
For $700-$800 a month, you can live in handful of locations on such a modest budget, though probably not in Mexico, which is more like $1,200 and up a month.
While there are off-the-beaten-track places in Ecuador, say, or Nicaragua, it’s really Asia where you have the cheapest options — Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, the trend has been for the cost of living to go up, but Asia is one of the most affordable parts of the world to live in. You can budget $1,000 or less if you go really local.
This is about how you live: Do you take public transportation rather than having a car? Do you use your air conditioner some of the time rather than 24/7?
When you talk about places that are some distance from major cities, there are cheap places in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Panama where you can live for $400-$500 a month. But in parts of Asia, you can even live for as little as $200-$250 a month.
If you have a bigger budget, it’s also worth noting that you can get household help — which is a big advantage — at an affordable price, say $100 a month or less in Vietnam vs. $200-$250 a month in Latin America.
How about health care costs?
This is a significant issue, and this is where Asia really shines with medical care that is a fraction of the cost compared with the U.S. and Latin America.
Note we are talking about places in Thailand well outside of Bangkok — say near Chang Mai in a village, where there are no Miami-style hospitals but local health care that you can get for a few dollars.