Have you thoroughly researched your target country? Well, gee, who would move away from his native country sight unseen? It's one thing to be an escaping war refugee, or a 22-year-old off to an adventure in a new place, or 28 and getting married to someone from another country and jumping in feet first. But retirees? Of course they've done their research. What a question.
Do you know if retirees get special senior benefits? Now you're talking! This we want to know. It's a subject that needs plenty of research, and had Mark and I done more of it I suppose we would have learned, for instance, that Malaysia has an incredible incentive program for foreigners over 50, including easily-obtained perpetual visas. But we found it more fun to learn what our benefits were in Brazil as each birthday passed by. Oh, look, I'm 60! Half-price tickets at movies, shows, museums and sports events. Coming on 65? Free rides on all public transportation. It may not be Panama's unbeatable pensionado program, where they practically pay you to move there, but we're happy.
Should Mark and I have asked ourselves these questions before we started packing? Or any of the other questions regarding crime rates, health care, residency requirements, taxes? Well, we didn't. Truth is we weren't planning to retire here at all. We liked the idea of living abroad, we liked Brazil, it was time for a move so we moved. We did so without any thought to obstacles in the form of visa restrictions, hostile banking laws, or webs of bureaucratic red tape. As I say, we didn't come here to retire but, as time passed and we weren't doing very much in the way of earning a living, we realized that we were de facto retired. I've been grateful for the location we chose. We may not have had all our ducks in order before we moved, but with the luck of the innocents they're quacking away quite happily now.