When Home is in Two Countries: Splitting Your Retirement

photo of exotic coastline for reversemortgageloanadvisors.com article when home is in two countries and splitting your retirement

Immigrants to the United States and expats living here have a vantage point that life-long U.S. citizens may lack: They appreciate that there is a world beyond U.S. borders that has much to offer. The good news is that you don’t have to be a young, bohemian college student backpacking across Europe or finding your true north with an Indian guru; many seniors – U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike – are selecting overseas retirement living to continue living out their lust for adventure without the pressures of their careers. And with a little planning, you can do it while maintaining a retirement home in the U.S. for an idyllic retirement life that includes the best of both worlds. Read on for guidance from Reverse Mortgage Loan Advisors:

Advantages of dual retirement homes

Relocating your retirement completely overseas can involve more sacrifice than some U.S. residents are willing to make. If you moved to this country with family members, for example, a complete relocation – or return – to a life of retirement in another country may mean leaving those family members behind for far longer periods of time than you’re willing to endure. Keeping a U.S.-based retirement home can help keep frequent travel costs down, or you can even use it as a short-term property rental in your absence. 

For expats, working in this country for years often provides them with valuable work – and social – connections that can be valuable in retirement. After all, many retirees still enjoy part-time consulting work or even owning their own part-time business to keep their minds active, augment their retirement account, or continue to have money to send to family in their native country to offer a little extra support.

On the flip side, returning to your native country for part of each year is appealing if you have family there, as well. Maybe you still have a family home in your native country, but don’t want to completely relinquish your established U.S. life and ties.

Dollars, Euros, Kunas, Pesos, and more….

Retirees may want to avail themselves of the advantages of splitting retirement costs between two countries. The U.S. is not known for being easy on retirees’ pocketbooks in terms of housing and especially health care. Many of the most desirable climates in the U.S. are typically the most expensive places to retire, whereas many overseas locales offer welcoming year-round climates that are appealing in your golden years.

Still, wanting to do something and being able to swing it financially can seem like a hurdle to the two-country retirement dream. A first step is to review your assets, including any you can sell. If you raised a family in the United States, for example, and have found your voice echoing around a large house in your empty nest years, you may be able to use the sale proceeds from your current larger home to purchase the perfect smaller home or beachside condominium to serve as your U.S. retirement digs.

You’ll want to take a look at the current housing market to ascertain average sales price, average number of days homes stay on the market, and whether sales prices have increased in the past year. If it’s a seller’s market – with more buyers looking for homes than available inventory – you’re in luck! On the other hand, if buyers have plenty to choose from, it may make sense to wait a few months or more before putting your home on the market. In both instances, you’ll need to balance the timing with your own plans to purchase your smaller, U.S.-based retirement home.

Bon voyage, and welcome home!

Being able to enjoy retirement in two countries is not something only the truly wealthy can do. With some pre-planning and determination, you can continue to call both your adopted and your native countries home as you’re living out your next childhood in retirement.

Photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis on Unsplash

Author – Chelsea Lamb

Chelsea Lamb has spent the last eight years honing her tech skills and is the resident tech specialist at Business Pop. Her goal is to demystify some of the technical aspects of business ownership.