Imagine your best wishes for retirement. Surely they don't include worrying about the closing gold prices or about whether infrared heaters really save you money.
Retirement is the time to consider US savings bonds value and a time to learn why are bonds less risky to buy than other investments
In all likelihood, if you’re looking for the best countries to retire in, you should stop searching. You’re probably in the best country right now - the best country for you, that is. Instead of constantly seeking a greener pasture, think of all the benefits of living in your own home country. (And compare that to the disadvantages of moving somewhere else… like South Africa, for example. Do you really want to get involved in some gold mining companies of South Africa? Do you want to pass each golden day ruminating on the current gold price per ounce? If you answered no to those questions, then maybe it’s time for you to find happiness in your own backyard.) Here’s how:
- Accept the fact that there is no one best place to retire in the world. As a financial planner, I watch people chasing investments because they read an article on the internet (which probably isn’t true). Similarly, I see folks trying to figure out if it would be better to spend their final years in Mexico, India, or the Philippines. Articles and TV shows touting some great place (or great penny stock) often have an ulterior motive. They want to sell you something that you don’t need under the guise of giving you access to the best something or other. Don’t believe it. If you’ve lived in the United States your whole life, there’s probably a reason… You like it! Stay put.
- Enjoy the benefits of your retirement accounts. When people become ex-patriots (leaving their homeland), they often cash out their retirement plans. By taking out money from those tax-advantaged programs (which may be well invested in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) they might also lose another benefit: asset protection. Asset protection and retirement accounts have gone hand-in-hand for a long time. If you get sued, divorced, or go bankrupt, a retirement account might offer you certain protections. But if you take the money out, not only are you potentially subject to various taxes and expenses, but you may also lose those great shelters. Make sure you understand what you’re losing before you turn in your U.S. passport.
- Fortify your savings and pensions while you’re working, rather than living a life of poverty overseas. Though it’s true that the cost of living outside of America may be cheaper (at least for now), wouldn’t you prefer to have a little more money and a better pension and be able to stay at home? Though it’s fun to cut coupons and look for assorted cost-savings techniques, you don’t want to spend your whole life tied up worrying about things like, “do infrared heaters really save you money.” Instead of planning to run away from your homeland, try setting up a retirement savings budget today. This is especially true for young people; but even if you’ve passed 50, you can still be a saver. Study your monthly spending habits and see if you can save. If you think saving might be hard for you, check out the article I wrote recently called, “Bad Genes Cause You to be Bad at Budgeting.” Although the article explains how some people might be genetically predisposed to spend too much, the conclusion is that no matter who you are, you can always save something (and not just rely on getting an inheritance… after all, your folks might just spend it all).
The article I wrote about “Bad Genes” was based on an interview with genetic expert Stephan Siegel on the Goldstein on Gelt radio show. You can view that interview here: http://www.youtube.com/user/BuildingWealthVideos.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for investment advice that takes into account each individual’s special position and needs. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.