7 Crucial Questions to Ask Before You Retire Abroad

1. How will you find quality health care?

Older woman with doctor
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Medicare coverage typically ends when you move outside the U.S., so you’ll need to budget for medical expenses in your adopted country. According to the U.S. State Department, many foreign medical facilities require cash payments and don’t accept U.S. insurance plans.

People often buy health insurance policies that will cover them during their time abroad. In some countries, the cost of medical care is so reasonable that many expatriates decide to pay out of pocket, says Dan Prescher, a senior editor for International Living who lives in Mérida, the capital of Mexico’s state of Yucatan.

Throughout the world, the closer you live to major metropolitan areas, the more likely you’ll be able to find quality medical care, he adds. While small towns offer a lower cost of living, they typically have fewer medical facilities.

Prescher notes that many countries that provide government-supported health care benefits allow foreigners to participate once they’ve met residency requirements. Be sure to check out the government health care regulations of the country you choose to retire in.

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