While we’re not ready to call the egress of retired Americans to areas around the globe that are more affordable the intersection of our Cash-strapped Consumer and Aging of the Population themes just yet, it is something we are watching. The “just under 400,000 American retirees now living abroad” is less than 0.5 percent of the US population, but with citizens moving to Texas, Florida, and South Carolina in search of more affordable living, we could see more retirees leaving the US in the years to come as a growing number of baby boomers retire. The impact could be rather interesting for consumer product and personal care companies that have yet to make meaningful inroads abroad.
Just under 400,000 American retirees are now living abroad, according to the Social Security Administration. The countries they have chosen most often: Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.Retirees most often cite the cost of living as the reason for moving elsewhere said Olivia S. Mitchell, director of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
“I think that many people retire when they are in good health and they are interested in stretching their dollars and seeing the world,” Mitchell said.
McCowen’s rent in Ajijic, a community outside Guadalajara near Mexico’s Lake Chapala, is half of what she was paying in Texas. And since the weather is moderate, utility bills are inexpensive.
In some countries, Mitchell said, retirees also may find it less expensive to hire someone to do their laundry, clean, cook and even provide long-term care than in the United States.