General Interest / Senior Living

Retiring (Outside the US) on Social Security

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The average Social Security check is $1200 per month. If Social Security is or will be your main source (or only source) of retirement income, then you may need to do some serious thinking about where you’ll hang your hat in retirement. While issues such as climate, medical care, and potential for intellectual stimulation are important, none of it matters if you can’t pay the rent!

Kathleen Peddicord, in an article in US News and World Report, has done us all a favor by identifying 5 locations where one could live well on a $1200/month social security check. That said, each of these locations is outside of the US. Some may find that problematic. You may not be bilingual (which could potentially be an issue) or you may be concerned about living out-of-reach from family and friends. And then there are those who are concerned that this even needs to be an issue. Why aren’t we taking care of our own? Why is it that people who may have lived and worked in the US all their lives need to leave – in order to survive – in their “golden years?”

There are no easy answers. It is simplistic and somewhat of a cop-out to say the system has failed those citizens who may be under-resourced in retirement. Now, if you choose to live outside the US in retirement – because you know you will find it to be stimulating and rewarding, then great! Go for it! We need to think hard – and fast – though, about the tens of millions of baby boomers who are approaching retirement and will struggle for survival within our own borders. What lies ahead for us??? Are there options – in addition to abandoning the country of Lady Liberty?

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