Over the years, an estimated half a million Americans (and counting) have been compelled to retire abroad. While some move overseas to get the most out of their retirement funds, others relocate to live more comfortably.
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This is what Omaha, Nebraska, native Dan Prescher did. He now enjoys his retirement dream in a town in Cotacachi, Ecuador, where he and his wife thrive in a community overlooking the Andes Mountains. All year round, they eat fresh fruits and vegetables and spend time off work going to hot springs and dining in local restaurants. To top it all off, they take advantage of low-cost living and enjoy great food at reasonable prices. They don’t have a car, but they can take a bus ride on a date night for just 25 cents. They have no plans of returning to the US.
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Just like thousands of other Americans, the Preschers opt to move in a foreign land basically because of money or the lack of it. “Every now and then, [my wife and I] think it would be nice to have a place in the states, so we run the numbers,” explains Prescher. “But because of the high taxes, medical costs and insurance, we just can’t figure out a way to live as affordably as we do here. The cost of living is half of what it would be in the US.”
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Meanwhile, medical expense is one of the most compelling reasons for retirees to migrate since healthcare costs have significantly increased without signs of dwindling. Medical travel executives and practitioners, like Steven Lash of Satori World Medical, Derek McMinn of WorldMed Assist, and Paata Ratiani of MedNet Georgia, would agree that a retiree needs an estimated $240,000 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses, which would be too much for an average American retiree.
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