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The Challenges to Consider Before Retiring Abroad

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

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Lifestyle Hitches

Jane Walsh moved from Arkansas to Mexico, then moved back 14 months later. In a small town, "there wasn't much to do and there wasn't much shopping," she says. Certain basic things bothered her. The local grocery store didn't refrigerate eggs, for example. The main north-south road in Baja California was dangerous. She couldn't speak Spanish, and summers were brutally hot.

Hugh Leong, in Thailand, advises doing "a part-time retirement abroad first," as he did in Thailand. Spend a couple of weeks, then a month, then three months, making sure you experience the seasons. "If people don't test the waters, they could be in for years of pain and difficulty," says Leong.

Photograph by Getty Images