Two Expenses Expats Forget When Choosing A Place To Retire Overseas

by Admin on May 28, 2013

With all the leads that come through my company’s website, many clients are trying to compare the cost of buying a property in a variety of countries. The main Central American destination Atlas International sells in is Belize. We constantly get compared to very low priced destinations like Ecuador. A client will say something to the effect of “I can get a really nice two bedroom condo in Ecuador for $75,000.” I respond in a polite manner by saying you get what you pay for. I’m not saying property in Ecuador is substandard or not of high quality. Unsophisticated buyers don’t realize it’s not just the price of the property that will determine if living in that particular country is for you or not. You have to evaluate all the costs involved.
The two most important expenses expats forget to calculate are flight cost for return trips to their home country and medical care. If you are someone who likes to travel back to your home country a few times a year or more, it can get really expensive. Let’s say you live in Seattle. The average ticket from Seattle to Ecuador is between $1500 to $2300 round trip per person. Some expats consider maintaining their U.S. health insurance while abroad. They will fly back and forth multiple times for checkups on top of visiting family and friends. You can see how this starts to add up.
Health care has advanced a lot throughout Central America. In Belize, a married couple can get full coverage medical insurance for around $1400 a year.
If your health condition provides you the opportunity to use medical care overseas, it can save you a tremendous amount of money, on top of the unnecessary flights back home for checkups.
When you factor in all the costs you’ll be saving in medical care and travel, that two bedroom condo on the beach in Ambergris Caye, Belize for $185,000, doesn’t sound so bad compared to the $75,000 condo in Ecuador.

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