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"Baby Boomers Opting to Retire Abroad"

"Baby Boomers Opting to Retire Abroad"

posted: 12/01/2017


Central Mississippi REALTORS

620 N. State Street  Jackson, MS 39202

November 30, 2017


"Baby Boomers Opting to Retire Abroad"

Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are approaching retirement in hordes. The Pew Research Center projects that every day for the next 12 years, about 10,000 baby boomers will enter retirement. Conversely, only 55 percent have saved for retirement and most have less than $100,000 1. These statistics beg the questions, “Are boomers prepared to live comfortably post-retirement?”, and perhaps more importantly, “is the U.S. housing market ready for the demand for affordable housing?”

A savings gap: “Age in Place” vs. “Age Abroad”

This 49.2-million-member generation is already facing anxiety about where they’ll live post-retirement. Eighty-percent of boomers surveyed by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies have expressed a desire to “age in place” or modify their existing living quarter to include universal design features like wider doors and halls for wheelchair use. However, only 23 percent of boomers believe they’ll have enough money to last throughout retirement, and only 6 in 10 believe their retirement income will be sufficient to cover basic expenses.

It is projected that most boomers will face an annual income retirement gap between $3,800 - $12,000! A June 2017 snapshot of retirement benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to 42 million retired workers, reports the average monthly benefit at just $1,369.2 With that, economists are forecasting a surge in the demand for affordable housing on the horizon as boomers look to downsize and maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

Living abroad may be the solution to help this generation stretch their dollars while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. In 2016, the SSA estimated that over 400,000 payments per month were sent to overseas residents, and that number has already reached 500,000 this year.  Lower mortgage and rent costs, and cheaper healthcare expenses associated with living abroad are appealing advantages for those who don’t have enough saved to “age in place.”

The “2017 Profile of International Activity,” released in July by the National Association of REALTORS®, collected the responses of nearly 6,000 REALTORS® to provide insight on U.S. clients seeking to purchase property abroad. 3 Thirty-five percent of REALTORS® surveyed reported an increase in the percentage of international client transactions to their business from one year ago.

The survey also revealed that REALTOR® clients had the most interest in properties located in Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Philippines, China, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Belize, France, and the Bahamas. Seventy-percent of U.S. clients seeking property abroad were interested in purchasing a residential property, an increase of nine percent share in 2016.  Twenty-one percent of U.S. clients who were seeking a property abroad intended to use the property as a primary residence

To access additional details about NAR’s “2017 Profile of International Activity,” visit Discuss your options to retire abroad by contacting your local REALTOR®.

1 Insured Retirement Institute. “Boomers Expectation for Retirement” retrieved from . 2017

2 Social Security Administration. “Fact Sheet” retrieved from . June 2017.

3 National Association of REALTORS®. “2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate” retrieved from .July 2017.