Assisted Living Communities outside US

Retirement is a phase of life that we look forward to with a lot of excitement as well as with a little bit of apprehension. The question that concerns us most is, "Where do we go from here?"

You may have already formed your retirement plans. May be, you are already into your retirement and you are enjoying yourself. The latest trend is that more and more baby boomers are choosing to retire outside the US.

Why should you consider assisted living communities outside the US?

A number of factors are responsible - the leading one among them is the factor of "cost of living." There are quite a few regions outside the US that can offer you a great lifestyle at a much lesser cost compared to what you would be spending if you retire somewhere in the US. Isn't this temptation enough? One of the popular retirement options outside the US are the assisted living communities for seniors. Assisted living communities have a definite edge over others because they take care of your medical and personal needs. As you age, it may not be possible for you be as independent as you were and this is where choosing as assisted living community is a big help. 

What exactly do we mean by assisted living communities?

Often people are under the impression that an assisted living community is the same as a nursing home. Well, the two are not the same and very broadly, the differences are: 

Nursing Home Assisted Living Community
A nursing home is meant for those who are very ill and have a lot of healthcare requirements. It is those who are really infirm and need constant care. An assisted living community, on the other hand, is a set of residential facilities that are designed for seniors who can take care of themselves but, at the same time, need "limited care."


Popular Assisted Living Communities

Here is a list of few Popular Assisted Living Communities outside the US.

  1. Mexico

    Paseo de los Cocoteros 56 Sur, Nuevo Vallarta Nayarit 63732

    Sunnybrook Village
    Brunswick, ME 04011

    Ledgeview Assisted Living, LLC
    Cumberland Foreside, ME 04110

    Atria Kennebunk
    Kennebunk, ME 04043

  2. Panama

    Nuare Boquete
    Alto Boquete, Panama

    This retirement community has a private environment where you live peacefully. The healthy environment is the major temptation for the seniors settling here.

    Recently, some retirement communities are developed in the mountain communities of Boquete, Sora, Bocas del Toro and El Valle, which offer assisted living to the retires choosing to stay here.
  3. Costa Rica

    Pura Vida Continuing Care Retirement also offers assisted living to the retirees buying home here. This beautiful retirement community in Costa Rica has a separate health center to look after your personal and medical needs.

    Valle Verde retirement community at 4013 Atenas in Costa Rica has some common health care facilities. It also offers a small golf course, a tennis court and other recreational activities.

  4. Canada

    Rutherford Heights Retirement Residence
    949 Rutherford Road
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Summerwood Village Retirement Residence
    4255 Clover Bar Road
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

    Sunrise of Fontainebleau
    50 Boulevard des Châteaux
    Blainville, Quebec, Canada

    Résidence De La Gappe
    465 boulevard de la Gappe
    Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

    Choosing an Assisted Living Community outside the US is becoming a popular trend. New Zealand, Spain, Croatia, and Thailand are also among the popular retirement locations outside the US.
  5. New Zealand

    Bettina Residential Care Home offers long & short term stay and family care facilities to you.

    Dannemora Gardens is where you can go for assisted living. Besides having a heated swimming pool, spa pool and gymnasium, it has activities room, library, and a lounge area.

    Elizabeth Knox Home & Hospital serves the physically disabled ones and also offers assistance to the seniors.

    Grace Joel Retirement Village has separate apartments where you will be given all kinds of personal and medical assistance.

    Maygrove Orewa Village is a well-known assisted living community providing skilled care for those in need of specialized support.

    St Andrew's Village, Sylvia Park Rest & Retirement Home and the Caughey Preston Care Facility are some of the assisted living communities that serve seniors efficiently. 

  6. Spain
    Most of the assisted living communities in Spain are concentrated in the peaceful neighborhoods of Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Costa de Almeria and Costa del Sol.

    Camposol, a coastal town near Mazarron, has grown into a favored destination for the retirees. The retirement communities of this pleasant neighborhood tempt you to settle here. Many active adult retirement communities are present in this town which assists you in your personal and medical needs.

  7. Croatia

    Split is one of the top spots for the growing retirement communities in Croatia. You can find plenty of assisted living communities in this town on the Adriatic coast. Settling down in this peaceful town is rewarding.

  8. Thailand

    Andana Retirement Communities are chains of assisted living residential areas where you can have quality healthcare. Medical staff is available on-site with facilities like, massage, recreational activities and regular medical check-up.

    Reed Siam Villa Park Thailand is a retirement village community which has attracted retirees like you who are seeking assisted living. Beautiful and healthy surrounding is an added advantage of the community.

    Paradise Retirement Villages is one of the most sought after assisted living communities which offer long term care to the seniors.

Assisted Retirement Community outside the US

You might need to do some homework if you want to retire outside the US. There are a few points that you need to look into:

  • The political situation in the country that you are planning to retire in.
  • The cost of living.
  • The policies for foreigners residing in that particular country.
  • The healthcare system.
  • Transportation system.
  • The crime rate of that particular country.
  • The language- - for example, you are looking for an assisted retirement community in Spain, and you have no clue about the Spanish language.
  • The tax structure of the country that you have chosen.
  • It may be a good idea to contact the embassy or consulate of the country that you are planning to relocate to.

Even before you start doing your homework on the country of your choice, make sure that you really want to leave behind all that you have known and loved for all these years. 

A Few Popular Retirement Locations Outside the US

Recent trends have shown that certain locations, outside the US, are becoming increasingly popular with seniors and retirees. Some of the popular locations for retirement living among the US retirees are:

  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Croatia
  • Thailand

Essential elements of a good assisted living community.

Before you settle down in any of the assisted living communities outside the US, it is important to get a clear idea about the following factors:

  • The convenience of the location and its easy accessibility.
  • The quality of the staffs and nature of the residents.
  • The professional treatment of the staffs and the percentage of the occupants. The staff to occupant ratio is also very a very important factor. Choosing an under staffed assisted living community may be a bad idea.
  • The hygiene level of the residence and the amenities that the community provides its residents.
  • The security facility and the furnishing of the rooms.
  • Your rights and responsibilities, and the availability of 24-hour assistance.
  • Monthly fees and the specific costs for various categories of services.
  • Availability of pharmacy, barber, beautician, physical therapy services within the community.
  • Frequency of the checkups done by the physicians.
  • On-site healthcare facilities.
  • Kinds of recreational activities offered and the supplies for social activities.
  • Accessibility to televisions, telephones, computers, and the internet.
  • The presence of fitness facilities like gyms and spas, and the opportunity of regular exercises.
  • The behavior of the staffs and the residents
  • Efficiency of the administrator of the community
  • Supply of nutritionally balanced meals on a regular basis.
  • If you can request special menu of your choice.
  • The dining room environment and the time when the meals are served. You need to find out if "room service" is an option.
  • Presence of any governing body which listens to your complaints against the management of the community.

Common Mistakes to Avoid while choosing a Retirement Location

Recent surveys reveal that nearly 80 million baby boomers are preparing to retire in the US. And if you're one of those retirees who have never given retirement a serious thought until now, you're not alone!

Here is a list of some of the common mistakes many retirees make while investing in a retirement home:-

Buying a retirement home in the same town as your adult children

Sounds good, but may not be practical in the long run since most adults in the US are not "settled" in one town for long and may relocate several times for jobs. 

Buying a retirement home in any place that has plenty of "sunshine"

While that could be "one" of the reasons, it certainly isn't a "good enough" reason for you to invest your hard-earned cash in a place just because it is warm and cozy. Besides the weather, there are other important factors like living costs, healthcare facilities, senior transportation, etc. that need to be taken into bconsideration. 

Retiring in your summer vacation home

Seems like a tempting idea, but don't forget-the 6 weeks you spend in your summer home may not give you the best idea of that location with regards to climatic conditions, transportation, etc round the year. For example, a place that is paradise in summers could be a living hell in winters! Or maybe the local shops don't sell any of the "brands" of herbal foods you can't do without (and which you've been bringing to the vacation home all this while. 

Buying a retirement home in a golf course community

Settling for a brand-new retirement home in a golf course community where you live out your dream - 18 holes at least four days a week - seems to be the new buzz among most retirees. But you know what's truly amazing-most retirees who dream of playing golf everyday after retirement have never picked up a golf club yet! So how do you know you're going to "enjoy" it? What if it isn't your thing and you're bored after a while.

Also, if you're planning on working after you retire, chances are you won't be walking to work if you're living in a golf course community. Most golf course communities are build on remote edges of the suburbs, since the land is cheap enough to make these projects economically feasible. So you will have to depend a lot on driving to get everywhere!



 Last Updated: 08/18/11