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The Challenges to Consider Before Retiring Abroad

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-28T14:22:26Z

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Be Aware of Pitfalls

Online banking makes it possible to control our finances from anywhere, and Skype and Internet phones let us call someone halfway around the world without racking up huge bills. So retiring abroad should be a breeze, right?

"Retiring abroad works well on paper, but the reality is different," says Milo Benningfield, head of Benningfield Financial Advisors in San Francisco. "There are lots of hidden costs." It may be cheaper to live in Costa Rica, but flights home, accountants to handle cross-border tax issues and lawyers to untangle local red tape are among less obvious costs that whittle away any cost-of-living advantage. Here are common challenges of retiring abroad and how retirees handled them.