Baby Boomers Consider Latin America

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America Baby Boomer Tourist Marketplace Antigua, Guatemala Photo by Richard Spahr

Baby Boomer Tourist
Antigua, Guatemala
Photo by Richard Spahr

Baby boomers consider Latin America as a lifestyle alternative to growing old in the U.S.  Why?  Because at the present time, growing old in the U.S. has become a less attractive choice, particularly for the many who don’t have the means to live and grow old at their current lifestyle.

In addition, quality services are available at a premium but at times they’re simply lacking.

So the question is how are you going to live well in the remaining years of your life?

Let’s face it, life is tentative at best, so knowing that you made it thus far is a good thing to celebrate by living life well now.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America Couple Dancing Antiqua, Guatemala Richard Spahr

Couple Dancing during Santa Semana
Antiqua, Guatemala
Richard Spahr

Although a significant number of U. S. baby boomers consider Latin America a place to live well for less, keep in mind that Spanish or Portuguese speaking Latin America is made up of 19 very different sovereign states plus Puerto Rico.

Of course, not all are equal, so it’s vital to conduct your own thorough research.

The Baby Boomer Challenge

Unless you’re in the upper ten percent of income earners in the U.S., you’re going to have a challenge living well on a fixed income in the U.S.A.

If you have few or no assets (i.e. passive income from real estate, stock, etc.) you may be out of luck.  If you don’t have a close family or are not in an extended family situation, you’re facing alternatives in old age that are not very appealing.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America Hermano Pedro's Hospital Antigua, Guatemala Wikimedia Commons Soman

Hermano Pedro’s Hospital Antigua, Guatemala Wikimedia Commons Soman

Infrastructure that supports the increased numbers of baby boomer retirees is also an issue. For example, although there is a rise in construction and remodeling for assisted living residences, many places are “glorified” nursing homes with some exceptions.

Quality assisted living units will be built, but supply may struggle to keep up with the demand.  The “good ones” are pricey and thus eliminate a majority of the population who will not have the means to pay.

Even if you can afford it, the industry’s quality is not uniform.  The majority of the labor pool is drawn from minimum wage workers who lack the proper education and experience.  It’s rather scandalous that these folks barely make more than labor in the fast food industry.  That may change, but who knows when.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America  View of Cuenca, Ecuador Photo by Denis Molloy

View of Cuenca, Ecuador
Photo by Denis Molloy

An increasing number of baby boomers plan to work until they drop mostly because they believe their savings and retirement funds are not enough.

Many reject the retirement lifestyle of their parents who simply stopped working and did not purse any other creative endeavors.

They became bored and worse, declined both physically and psychologically because of the lack of positive stimuli.

Let’s face it, few persons can play golf every day and make that meaningful.

A number of baby boomers today want to travel according to the Travel Market Report .

A significant number want to produce and create something during their mature years. Corporations are catching on to the benefits of retaining or rehiring skilled and experience workers who have a solid work ethic.  How that will effect the job market is anyone’s guess.

Shifting Demographic

The baby boomer generation is the largest of the 20th century, although the millennial generation is due to past them this year.  Over a fourth (78 million) of the U.S. population is baby boomer born from 1946-1964.  Every day now thousands are added to the Social Security rolls.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America

Panorama of Granada, Nicaragua

Currently, about 350,000 American retired individuals are receiving their Social Security benefits in other countries other than the U.S.A. according to the Social Security Administration.  It’s very hard to determine the exact number since many distribute their income in various ways, but I suspect the number is much larger than published.

The Social Security Administration reported a 48% percentage increase of social security checks being deposited in South America between 2005 and 2012.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America The beach at San Juan del Sur,  nicaragua taken form Christ of the Mercy Biomedeng at English Wikipedia

Beach at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua taken from Christ of the Mercy Biomedeng at English Wikipedia

The majority of these retirees receiving benefits abroad are mostly in Europe, Canada, and Mexico, but the Travel Market Report indicates that nearly 3.3 million baby boomers are planning to retire abroad.

This development is in conjunction with the booming medical travel business.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America

Typical horse cart in Granada, Nicaragua

Therefore, an increasing amount of American citizens are choosing to retire or move prior to retirement to areas in Latin America where they can maintain their current lifestyle for much less money.

They want to live where their dollar buys more, where there is quality food for less, where medical care is affordable, and where they can make a contribution.

Also, baby boomers want to be close enough to the States to travel back and forth to visit family and for specialized medical attention.

The New Sun Belt

Some would say that Latin America has become the new “Sun Belt” of the U.S.A. verses the traditional retirement state of Florida.  Still, those with the means still choose Florida.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America

Peruvian Market
Potatoes and Onions

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America Market in Arequipa, Peru

Market in Arequipa, Peru

A rising number of baby boomers live in Latin America most of the year and travel to and from the U.S.A. regularly.  Sort of like the traditional “snow birds” who travel from north to south (i.e. Florida) for the winter.

Just think if you could travel and live in Central or South America for the winter at a third or even less than the cost of living in Florida or other warm U.S. destinations.

So again, why has Latin America become a viable choice?

Well other than moving to a warm climate, how far the dollar stretches in Latin America is one of the most significant considerations.

Since 2013 Latin American currencies have fallen against the U.S. Dollar significantly, some worse than others.  Just a few days ago Latin American currencies gained back some ground, but not enough.  It’s doubtful that it’s a sustainable trend.

Also quality services have improved along with the infrastructure in some Latin American countries.  Of course, it depends highly on the specific country and city.

Places like Medellín, Colombia, Santa Cruz, Guatemala near Lake Atitlán, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Granada, Nicaragua are just some of the popular places for Americans, Canadians, and Europeans to live or retire.

Baby Boomers Consider Latin America Harbor at Punta del Este, Uruguay Wikimedia Commons

Harbor at Punta del Este, Uruguay
Wikimedia Commons

It’s clear now that Central and South American countries like Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Uruguay have been and continue to be attractive countries to live and/or retire.

It really depends on your personal preferences.  Some folks can live without good roads and certain amenities that are available in the States. To others these items are essential.


Baby Boomers Consider Latin America

Private Golf Club, Montevideo, Uruguay
Photo by Denis Molloy

At any rate, the search is on.   More and more baby boomers are traveling abroad not just for vacation but for research to discover places to live short term and/or for retirement.

If you’re not a well-seasoned traveler, especially in Latin America, click here for our free report called “Ten Important Points to Consider Before You Move Abroad.”  This report may aid you in your decision to live or retire abroad.

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