White sandy beaches, lazy strolls through the night bazaars, relaxing with a cool, refreshing drink after an activity-filled day – all this sounds like a great retirement plan, right? More and more people are successfully finding their retirement home in a foreign country – from the low cost of living to the scenic views and ideal weather, these circumstances create the perfect atmosphere for retiring abroad.
Expatriate Destinations to Retire Abroad
With the globalization of commerce, the fluctuating economy in many counties and the accessibility of international travel, the idea of retiring abroad is an exciting and attainable goal. The current trend for many successful couples is to retire early, if possible, and retire cheaply above all else. The top retirement locations, according to Forbes, due to their financial bonus of the cheap cost of living, are:
- Central America and the Gulf islands (Panama and Costa Rica, respectively)
- South America (Ecuador and Colombia)
- Asia (mainly Malaysia and Thailand)
As people search for their ideal international retirement residence, they seek breathtaking views, a variety of activities, and a community in which they can live and contribute to. It is very important, when considering any of these beautiful places, to thoroughly research some of the following concerns in respect to what health care looks like and how insurance will be able to assist you in your destination.
Expat Insurance Challenges for Retirees Abroad
In the thrill of finding a wonderful retirement location the rest of the logistics are often forgotten. There are some challenges to retiring abroad. Just because a place has a low exchange rate, this does not mean it will fall within your budget and retirement income. Be sure to check what the actual cost of living looks like. Another important item to remember is that you may have to continue paying taxes in your home country, it is worthwhile and essential to be aware of your home country obligations. The third and most daunting piece of research is that of expatriate insurance. Moving to another country is exciting, growing sick or becoming injured while living in another country is very much the opposite. When finding international health insurance for retirement, the following aspects are very important in finding the right one.
Age and How it Affects Insurance Costs for International Retirees
Individuals typically receive more benefits the younger they are when they apply for expatriate health insurance. Starting to plan for worldwide health insurance early in your retirement planning is definitely a step in the right direction. An individual that is over sixty will find higher premiums and possibly even more expensive medical care in their country of residence. Be assertive and watchful, for there are a variety of insurance plans that will only accept new members up to a certain age. Be sure you fully understand what your benefits, premiums and processes are for expatriate insurance at any age close to and exceeding sixty. As you age, there are policies that will exclude your pre-existing conditions or deny you coverage due to your age. Don’t wait until you sick or injured- the prime to purchase is when you are healthy.
Consider: Compare Expatriate Insurance Plans
Pre-Existing Conditions and Expatriate Insurance
As you continue your international health and medical insurance search read carefully on what is covered regarding pre-existing conditions. These days, there are some common conditions that will be included in a policy since more and more, many conditions are considered ‘manageable’ and therefore, lower risk than in previous years. Most expatriate insurance companies will look at each application on an individual basis and acceptance is quite possible with these and other conditions. Read thoroughly about what your potential health insurance plan states when it comes to pre-existing conditions. When moving out of the country, it is recommended that going through the underwriting process and completing the waiting period before going overseas will make the road to coverage much smoother. Also, explore the list of exclusions and thoroughly understand what your benefits are with your worldwide health insurance plan.
Some Typical Exclusions on Expatriate Insurance
While you may be surprised by what you find is covered when it comes to your health insurance for retirement, you may be just as surprised at what it does not cover. It is common for your policy to exclude any drug addiction therapy or the like and to also often exclude alternative treatment options—such as yoga or acupuncture. Keep this in mind as well, especially if you are planning a retirement to a community specializing in alternative therapies.
Coverage Depending on Retirement Location
What is covered in your international health insurance policy will vary depending on your location. For example, if you’re retiring to Ecuador, your potential medical needs may be very different than if you were retiring to Spain. However, at the same time, you will find that the treatment you receive is comparable, due to the fact that most of the doctors in retirement locations have attained their training in the United States or in Europe. Wherever you go, the healthcare will look different than what you received at home, and it is important to ask your insurance provider specific and thoughtful questions to learn just what they will offer you in the policy.
Finding your perfect retirement location is possible and it will happen as long as you are thorough in your research and planning. Along with finding international health insurance for retirement, visiting your potential healthcare institutions at your destination will also give you a good idea of what care will be available when you need it. Taking these steps will ensure a fun, relaxing and well-deserved retirement.
Expatriate Insurance Plans for Specific Countries
- Expats in the USA – American Health Insurance
- Insurance for Expats in Germany
- Spain Expatriate Insurance, Health, and Safety Advice
- Hong Kong International Insurance, Health, and Safety Tips
- Singapore Expatriate Health Insurance Advice
- For Expatriates in Belgium, Health and Medical Insurance Plans
- Senior Travel Insurance Plans