More Americans appear to be interested in moving abroad, a trend that International Living, which provides retirees information on transitioning overseas, has observed up close.
“At International Living in recent weeks, we’ve watched the volume of [web] search traffic surge around the subject of moving outside the U.S.,” Jennifer Stevens, IL’s executive editor, said in a statement.
“The uncertainty surrounding the election, the pandemic and the economy seem to be driving people in greater numbers to seek alternatives for the future,” Stevens explained.
IL noted that it had seen a 1,600% increase in search volume around the term “move out of the U.S.” since May, with 20% of survey respondents citing more interest in moving overseas because of the pandemic.
The publication recently polled its 9,000-plus readers — both before the pandemic struck and then again a few months into it — to get a better sense of their motivations for investigating their overseas options.
Nearly half of respondents said they were interested in retiring earlier than age 65 and overseas in places that offer good value, something that is more possible than it is in the United States.
Cost Savings is Key
For 45% of survey participants, the greatest motivator for exploring overseas options was the potential cost savings.
In best-value countries, IL said, costs are much lower than in the United States — for health care and more — which can allow people to retire not only better, but years earlier, than they could in the U.S.
“In the States today, retirement itself is becoming the prerogative of the wealthy alone,” Stevens said. “But in the right places overseas, a modest income — even a Social Security check alone — can bankroll a truly comfortable life.”
Respondents indicated other motivations for looking to retire abroad: 13% sought a better climate, 10% wanted a new cultural experience and 8% wanted to get away from politics at home.