Thursday, June 19, 2014

4 Countries That Welcome American Retirees

From US News & World Report:
These countries offer tax breaks and other perks to foreigners who retire there...

Belize. Just over a decade ago the government of Belize enacted legislation to allow qualified retired persons to obtain permanent residency in their country. This is a quick and efficient program. As a QRP you could become a full-time resident of the country, but you can also enjoy the benefits if you spend as little as one month a year in Belize.

Belize’s QRP residency program isn’t only for senior citizens. It’s available to anyone age 45 or older, and it grants a host of incentives designed to encourage foreigners to come and bring their money. These incentives include a permanent exemption from Belizean taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax and import tax on household goods, automobiles, boats and even airplanes.

The only requirements to qualify for Belize’s QRP program are that you be 45 or older, consider yourself to be retired and have at least $2,000 a month in guaranteed income to support yourself in Belize. While pension income can be shown to meet the last requirement, the easiest way to prove financial means is simply to deposit a minimum of $24,000 per year into a Belizean bank account....

Ecuador. In recent years, Ecuador has raced to the top spot on lists of the world’s most desirable retirement destinations, especially for retirees on a budget. The country offers diverse lifestyle options, from colonial Cuenca to cosmopolitan Quito and from the sleepy mountain town of Cotacachi to the fishing village of Playas.

Ecuador’s retiree residency program offers the following benefits:

50 percent off all public transportation
50 percent off national and international airfare
50 percent off all cultural, sports, artistic and recreational events
50 percent off electricity, water and telephone service
A special discount on property tax
Relief from Ecuadorian income tax
A discount on vehicle tax
A discount on judicial fees
A refund of value added tax (sales tax) 

And, perhaps best of all, you never have to stand in line. Seniors age 65 and older always go to the front...

Nicaragua. Nicaragua is a land of contrasts at an interesting time in its development. The civil war is history, and Nicaraguans today want nothing more than peace and prosperity. Geographically, Nicaragua is blessed, with two long coastlines and two big lakes, plus volcanoes, highlands, rain forest and rivers. In this regard, it has everything Costa Rica has, while also being less discovered and less developed. It is available for adventurers, eco-travelers and budget-minded retirees at bargain rates compared with costs in the United States, Costa Rica and almost anywhere else in Central America. Nicaragua is one of the most affordable places in the world to enjoy a comfortable, full and rich retirement...

Panama. Panama offers what has become the world’s best-known pensionado program after the once-heralded program from Costa Rica. Panama’s pensioner status offers some of the deepest retiree discounts available anywhere, making it one of the most generous retiree packages in the world.

The government of Panama is fairly relaxed with regard to the minimum age to apply for this visa. Typically if you are over the age of 18 and receive a guaranteed pension from any government entity, including Social Security, the Armed Forces or a private company, then you can apply.

Your pension must be at least $1,000 per month, plus $250 per month for each dependent, including children under 18. Once you’ve qualified, you enjoy all pensioner visa benefits for life.

More details here. 

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