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We scoured the globe and came up with 11 spots a couple or a single person can retire for less than $30,000 a year. But before you pack your bags, make sure to do your homework. “Prepare well,” says Julien Faliu, founder of expat-blog.com, a blog for expatriates. “Economic and political stability in the country you are considering are key. Understanding the language, the currency and the health-care system is important, too.”
Once you've picked a country or two, pay a visit for a few weeks and get a good feeling for daily life. Contact the country's embassy here in Canada and find out what paperwork you need to complete to permanently reside in the country. Also consider taxes. In general, property taxes are very low in Latin America, but capital gains taxes can be hefty. It's best to consult a tax expert on your particular situation.
You'll also want to look into the health-care system in your destination country. In Latin America you'll find private, low-cost care in and around big cities. Keep in mind you can join most national health-care systems, often after a three- to six-month residency, and most times there is no age limit. A nationalized plan can be a very low-cost way to cover basic health costs, which generally are about $100 a month for a couple and $50 for a single person. You can also get reasonably priced international insurance that will cover you for serious problems. (Cigna Global Health Options is one.)
If you find a place that suits your needs, you could be in for a retirement packed with more luxury, fun and adventure than you enjoyed during your working years. —Julie Cazzin