Retiring abroad? Here is everything you need to know! May 29, 2015 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment Whether you are actively considering retiring abroad or just starting to explore your options, there is no doubt that moving to another country can be thrilling. The new locale, culture, atmosphere and popular activities of another nation will bring out an adventurous streak in anyone. If you have plans to retire abroad, you are not alone. According to a Travel Market Report, more than 3 million North Americans are actively interested in retiring to another country. Overseas living can save you money while you start this exciting new chapter of your life. Does a tropical destination or an urban city draw your interest? International living can be a great choice for retirees, but safeguarding one’s health is important regardless of where one resides. Before you go, make sure you have researched your country’s healthcare system, insurance plans and providers, and have an updated immunization record. Some destinations may have certain diseases that are uncommon in the U.S. However, with the proper precautions, retiring abroad can be relaxing and exhilarating and be the right choice for you! Keep reading to learn more about the top destinations for retiring abroad and some of their common health concerns. Mexico Mexico is a popular place to retire. Properties are affordable, and communities of other American retirees are common in the cities of Puerto Vallarta and San Miguel del Allende. Make sure to have the hepatitis A vaccine if you plan on living here. Viral outbreaks are not uncommon in Mexico and are usually caused by contaminated water or food, making vaccination even more important. Mosquitos are an issue in many regions of Mexico. The small insects can infect travelers with malaria or chikungunya, diseases that can be life threatening. Be sure to avoid mosquitos whenever possible, and use proper mosquito repellants and antimalarials if needed. Mexico also requires a yellow fever vaccination if returning to the country after travel to a nation that is affected by the mosquito-borne disease. If you plan on traveling to nations like Brazil or Peru, it would be advisable for most people to receive an immunization. Ecuador Great weather, stunning scenery and welcoming locals make Ecuador a very popular destination for retirees. Affordable living in the city of Cuenca, which has a large English-speaking population, coupled with a great private healthcare system makes Ecuador a favorite for many retirees. In addition to routine vaccinations, typhoid, and Hepatitis A vaccinations, the CDC recommends that travelers to Ecuador receive the yellow fever vaccine as the risk of contracting this disease is greater in some parts of this South American country. Antimalarial medications may also be suggested. Schedule an appointment at a Passport Health travel clinic to learn more about these potential risks. Europe European countries are popular vacation destinations for many individuals throughout their lives. Unlike many other regions, almost all of Europe if fully developed with few health or medical issues in the continent as a whole. Generally, European countries have very high standards of medical care and have very few endemic diseases. Recently, measles, mumps and influenza outbreaks, however, have highlighted the importance of routine vaccinations if traveling to or living in Europe, especially in regions where vaccination rates have declined. However, hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for some regions, especially in Eastern Europe where some sanitation standards are not yet ideal. Malaysia A booming economy and warm temperatures are just some of the reasons retirees love this Asian country. The healthcare system is reputable, and almost all physicians speak English or have been trained in an English-speaking country. The infrastructure and amenities are top notch, and there is much to do for the adventurous at heart in this beautiful country. Make sure you have updated your routine vaccinations if you plan on retiring here. Malaysia has many mosquitos and the greatest risks are contracting dengue fever and malaria. If you are planning on retiring to this tropical nation, a Japanese encephalitis vaccine would be recommended especially if planning on living or traveling to rural areas. Thailand The attraction of settling down in an Asian country continues to appeal to Americans, with English communities growing in cities like Bangkok or resort towns, such as Phuket. Thailand has authentic Asian cuisine, and the culture has many North American influences. Make sure to have your typical routine vaccinations updated if traveling to Thailand. Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever vaccinations may be recommended depending on what you plan on doing while in the country such as going to rural areas or traveling to nations that have endemic yellow fever. Malaria medication may also be recommended. Be sure to speak with a Passport Health travel specialist about what may or may not be right for you. With numerous exciting options for retiring abroad, make sure to schedule time to discuss your health options with a Passport Health travel medicine specialist. Visit your nearest travel clinic and receive all the proper vaccines and information you need to enjoy your stay in these countries! Have you lived in any of these aforementioned countries? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below or via our Facebook or Twitter pages!