El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Growing financial incentives to retire in Latin America

By Suzi Dixon | Telegraph – Mon, Mar 19, 2012 11:13 GMT

Latin America is increasingly being considered an up-and-coming retirement hotspot for expats, with Mexico, Panama and Ecuador in particular all rated highly in recent polls

Favourable weather, low property prices and pensioner perks are a draw for Brits with a sense of adventure. While the cost of living has risen in recent years, the economies of the larger Latin countries are increasingly stable, making it more viable to put down long-term roots in a warmer climate.

In International Living‘s 2012 Global Retirement Index, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico occupied the top three slots in a report that rated 19 international expat hotspots. Ecuador was top choice in the cost of living category and was dubbed the "world's best retirement haven". The magazine team estimated that a couple watching their spending can live well on $800-$1,500 (about £510-£956) a month, while property prices remain low.

Eight categories were assessed to come up with the retirement report: property prices, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.

The Ecuadorian government guarantees senior citizens access to free health care and medication and exemption from notary and registration fees. For expats considering a move, embracing the laid-back culture is a must, says Gary Phillips, 65, who moved to Cotacachi in Ecuador in 2006 and runs the expat site Pro-Ecuador.com. "Ecuadorians say mañana but mañana doesn't mean 'tomorrow', it just means 'not today'," Mr Phillips told Reuters.

The International Living team also point out that many South American (Frankfurt: A0MLL6 - news) locations have discounts you can access as a retiree, in particular in Brazil, Chile (Berlin: G4R.BE - news) and Panama. Panama has an organised programme of discounts and perks called the pensionado , open to all foreigners. Expats simply apply for a visa that gives them discounts on everything from theatre tickets to public transport to eating out and medical services.

Mexico ranked third in this year's index but occupied the top spot in 2008. The country ranks highly in terms of property prices and entertainment and arts, with many retirement communities ideal for expats.

A Expat Forum poll earlier this year, sponsored by Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) Wealth International , asked Brits about their motivation for moving to Mexico. More than a quarter, 27 per cent, of respondents said that they moved there to retire. The cost of living was the main draw for 24 per cent of expats polled, while a further nine per cent quoted quality of living as their reason for moving to Mexico.

But expats who have already made the move say the cost of living is on the rise and the region may not represent good value for money for long.

Bob Sheth from the Expat Forum said: "Expat living costs in Mexico seemed to have increased by at least 10 per cent over the last quarter, according to members who are discussing the topic at Expatforum.com. The reason for the sharp hike seems to be the peso losing value against the US dollar. Expats in Mexico are reliant on US imports, resulting in some alarming increases in the cost of living."

1 comment:

  1. Everyone should really consider the climate when choosing a retirement community. It is important that you will be able to live there for a long time since this might be your last move. Access to free health care if also a good benefit in Ecuador. My relative are checking out retirement communities new york but I will tell them to read this post.