Retiring in a Foreign Country Allows Baby Boomers to Keep Their Retirement Dream And More

Worker skepticism about having enough money to retire comfortably in the USA has taken a nosedive in a new national survey. In the survey of 1,499 workers aged 18 to 66 just 23 percent say they’re very confident about being able to pay basic living expenses in retirement. That’s down from 46 percent in 2008.

The survey by Sun Life Financial Inc., which has conducted its Unretirement Index survey since 2008, shows persistent economic uncertainty and a volatile stock market have workers increasingly doubtful they’ll be able to retire when they had hoped.

The steep plunge in the index comes after three years of stability. “We think that this is a tipping point relative to what we’ve seen in prior years,” said Wes Thompson, U.S. president of Sun Life Financial.

A key finding is that a growing number of workers don’t see themselves as ever fully retiring. Some 20 percent say they think they will always work in some capacity. The majority of respondents, 54 percent, plan to work beyond age 65. Within that group, 11 percent plan to stop working sometime from age 66 to 69, and 16 percent are shooting for a retirement age of 70.

A year ago there was a slight glimmer of hope that the economic doldrums were easing, but workers have lost confidence again and their skepticism has deepened.

Thompson believes the sinking feeling among workers about retirement is the result of the convergence of increased personal responsibility and the fear of millions of baby boomers who are concerned about reaching retirement age without enough money.

Intensifying pressure this year to cut government spending makes it appear that Medicare and Social Security won’t be there at current levels, pulling at least a portion of the traditional security blanket out from under millions.

Those changes come at the same time the first wave of baby boomers turns 65 this year and they’re finding how little they’ve accumulated in their savings accounts.

“They realize that they can’t afford to retire, which is a radical change mentally from where they were just five years ago when owning a 401(k) looked great,” Thompson said.

Workers turning 65 and in good health are realizing that they could live another 20 to 30 years in retirement.

The overall index, which includes economic, personal finance, health, retirement benefit and employee benefits components slipped to 36 this year. It remained stable at 44 in 2009 and 2010. The index was 46 in the first year 2008. An index score of 100 reflects the highest confidence and the lower the score, the lower the confidence in retirement.

According to a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health nearly 4 in 10 people said they have moved the age forward that they are going to retire.  Over half of them said the lead reason is “I can’t afford to retire” and some say they don’t envision ever being able to stop working.

With those kinds of numbers it’s easy to see why so many people are looking at retiring in another country, where the cost of living is lower as well as their taxes.  Where the retirement they’ve always dreamed of can actually be a reality.

The preliminary results are in from the 2011 HSBC Expat Explorer survey and they make interesting reading. The survey was conducted among 3385 expats from over 100 different countries to find out their thoughts and opinions on where they are now living. Thailand in South East Asia once again ranked the highest, particularly in the lifestyle and economic sectors.   Thailand draws more repeat visitors than any other destination in the world.  Thailand benefits from a low cost of living, a wonderful tropical climate, warm friendly people and the high regard and esteem they place on the older generation, Thai’s look up to seniors and treasure them which is the opposite in most Western Countries. For more information on retiring in Thailand visit the website www.retireinthailand.com.