Living south of the border may be a way to live in luxury in your retirement as many countries are welcoming U.S. retirees, according to the Global Retirement Index 2017 from online overseas retirement and relocation website InternationalLiving.com. According to a report by CNBC, many of these countries are luring wealthy Americans with weather, sun sand and a lower cost of living and additional tax breaks, discounts and other benefits, according to said Jennifer Stevens, executive editor at InternationalLiving.com.
“Discounts and preferred treatment for retirees can have a huge positive effect on an expat’s overall quality of life. In some countries the respect and deference shown older folks comes paired with significant savings and convenience.”
An expat who has reached 60 armed with a valid residence permit for Mexico can take full advantage of a plethora of benefits the local retirees enjoy, according to InternationalLiving.com Mexico editor Glynna Prentice. Seniors can get a discount card that can save them anywhere from 5 percent up to 50 percent off a variety of good and services that Prentice said is administered by a government agency called INAPAM, for Instituto Nacional de Personas Adultas Mayores (National Institute of Senior Adults).
“To sign up (which is free), just take your passport and your Mexican residence card to the INAPAM office in the Mexican state you live in. You’ll likely be issued your INAPAM card — complete with photo — right on the spot.”
Belize, an English-speaking nation has developed a unique program — the Qualified Retired Persons program — to attract potential expat residents. This program serves as a fast-track permanent residence program for retirees to cut the red tap in what is usually a long process. Americans as young as 45 can apply for the QPR plan. Expat QRPs Cliver Brewster told InternationalLiving.com was able to save money on moving costs when he moved to Belize with his wife.
“We were able to ship virtually all of our household belongings to Belize duty-free. We also had the option to ship a vehicle but declined to do so and bought a golf cart instead. And since the company in Belize purchased it outside the country, we were also able to get it duty-free, too.”
If you have guaranteed retirement income, including a pension or Social Security, Panama has the welcome mat out. All you have to do is submit an application with proof of income through the Central American country’s much vaunted “pensionado” program and you’re virtually guaranteed a quick residence permit. Simply hitting Panama’s own retirement age of 55 for women and 60 for men will qualify you for other benefits.
Ecuador refers to its retirees as Third Agers and the status can bestow upon retirees respect and a myriad of valuable perks and discounts. Third Agers 65 and older pay half price for public transportation, cultural events, movies and airline flights originating in the South American country. They also enjoy a 50 percent discount on utility bills, discounts on property taxes and rebates on value-added tax on most purchases. Third Agers customarily are allowed to go to the head of the line in government offices, grocery stores, banks and other businesses, according to senior editor Dan Prescher.
“It’s part of the respect for elders that is still a common cultural trait throughout much of Latin America.”