Retirement Outside United States More Rhetoric than Reality

The past two years have been tough times for many Americans. If the grass was ever going to look greener somewhere other than the United States, you'd think it would have been after the Great Recession.

There has been no shortage of stories extolling this country or that as a retirement mecca, due to a mix of lower living costs, pleasant climates, and cultural attractions.

Over the past several years, Americans' attitudes about their own country have fallen from lukewarm to cold. Going back more than 30 years, regular Gallup polls have asked people whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States.

As recently as early 2002, more than 60 percent of those asked this question said they were satisfied, and that reading actually hit an all-time peak of 70 percent in December 2001. That was the merriest Christmas we've had in many years. More typical satisfaction scores have been in the 40s or 50s. The lowest scores in the first 30 years of the poll occurred in 1979 and 1992, when 12 percent and 14 percent satisfaction responses were recorded.

Beginning in late 2006 and early 2007, however, the country began sinking into a deep, deep funk. In early 2007, 35 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said they were satisfied with conditions in the United States. The satisfaction numbers began slipping throughout that year and the next, hitting their all-time low of 7 percent in October of 2008. They recovered to the mid-30s in the middle of 2009 but later retreated, hitting 11 percent last fall and rising since then to the mid-20s.

However, despite lots of talk about moving outside the country to retire, there is little compelling evidence that Americans are doing so in large numbers. The U.S. State Department estimates there are 6.3 million Americans living outside the country. A spokeswoman says this is a soft estimate based on an interpretation of voluntary and unaudited data provided by some Americans. The agency stopped producing detailed estimates more than a decade ago. There are firmer traveler numbers that find roughly 65 million of us travel outside the country each year. And a third of all Americans--110 million--have passports.

A more limited documented measure of overseas retirements is provided by Social Security.

It issues an annual report on how many of its recipients are outside the United States and the countries in which they live.

The growth of foreign recipients of Social Security payments was less than 7.5 percent during 2009 and 2010. At the end of 2010, the most recent report on foreign recipients of Social Security payments recorded that more than 548,000 monthly payments were being made to people outside the United States. The total is up 38 percent from 396,000 in 2000.

Most people who do retire outside the United States don't go far. Social Security reports that the two top countries where it sends payments are Canada and Mexico. Here are the top 10 countries for people receiving Social Security payments, with their current numbers and change over the past two years:

Canada: 108,200, up from 105,000

Mexico: 50,800, up from 48,800

Japan: 45,700, up from 37,600

Germany: 38,500, up from 37,100

United Kingdom: 33,300, up from 31,600

Italy: 32,600, down from 33,000

Philippines: 24,500, up from 21,800

Greece: 23,700, up from 23,100

France: 13,200, up from 12,300

Portugal: 12,500, up from 12,300

Gallup also asks people throughout the world whether they'd like to move to another country and, if so, their favorite choice. About 13 percent of the world's adults--640 million--said in Gallup's most recent survey that they would like to move. Nearly one in four--150 million--say their top choice is the United States. The United Kingdom is next highest, with 45 million.

Twitter: @PhilMoeller



More From US News & World Report

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • Bursa caps Teck Guan surge Business Times - 11 minutes ago

    KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia yesterday capped the surge in Teck Guan Perdana Bhd’s share price at RM1.78 after the stock hit limit up for two consecutive days. The surge followed Teck Guan’s announcement of a solid results for the second quarter … More »

  • EPF looking at diversification Business Times - 12 minutes ago

    HONG KONG: Malaysia’s largest pension fund is looking to diversify its investment portfolios in a bid to boost returns, according to chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) planned to invest more in … More »

  • 3 investment lessons from the House of Cards
    3 investment lessons from the House of Cards Truewealth Publishing - 16 minutes ago

    The political drama House of Cards – on Netflix at an internet connection near you – is about the fictitious rise to power in the American political system of ruthless politico Frank Underwood and his wife, Claire. Frank and Claire are fearlessly … More »

  • Sharp says to invest 57.4 billion yen in OLED business
    Sharp says to invest 57.4 billion yen in OLED business Reuters - 16 minutes ago

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp said on Friday it will invest 57.4 billion yen($567.81 million) in its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) business as part of a shift towards the production of displays ... … More »

  • Tokyo shares down by break on Deutsche Bank worries AFP - 25 minutes ago

    Tokyo shares fell Friday morning as Deutsche Bank's woes dented financial stocks while exporters turned down on the stronger yen. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.55 percent or 258.10 points to ... … More »

  • Bank Stocks Decline in Asia as Deutsche Bank Concerns Increase Bloomberg - 31 minutes ago

    Declines in Bank of Communications Co. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. on Friday have put an index of Asian banks on course for its lowest close in two weeks after Bloomberg News reported about 10 hedge funds doing business with the German … More »

  • China says to remove consumption tax on non-luxury cosmetic products Reuters - 33 minutes ago

    Beijing (Reuters) - China will remove consumption tax on non-luxury cosmetic products with effect from Oct. 1, the finance ministry said on Friday. The ministry also adjusted the consumption tax on high-end ... … More »

  • United States investing in Niger air base
    United States investing in Niger air base AFP News - 43 minutes ago

    The United States is investing in a military air base capable of deploying drones in Niger's central city of Agadez, the Pentagon confirmed. The United States already has a military presence in the country's southwestern capital of Niamey, where it … More »

  • Elliott takes 8.1 percent stake in Mentor Graphics Reuters - 44 minutes ago

    Mentor Graphics is the latest technology firm the hedge fund has targeted, following successful campaigns at Qlik Technologies, Riverbed, Informatica and Compuware, which all sold to private equity firms after Elliott invested. Elliott said in a … More »

  • PBOC Seen Switching to Monetary Tightening as Soon as 2017 (1) Bloomberg - 45 minutes ago

    Seven expect the PBOC will make its next broad policy move by guiding interests in a corridor using changes to short, medium and longer-term lending facilities. Just one economist forecasts the next policy move will be a change to benchmark … More »

  • Venezuela expects non-OPEC nations like Russia to join in output cuts
    Venezuela expects non-OPEC nations like Russia to join in output cuts Reuters - 48 minutes ago

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday he expects non-OPEC oil-producing countries, like Russia, to support OPEC's efforts to boost oil prices by reducing crude output. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on … More »

  • Russia aims to keep oil output around current level after OPEC deal Reuters - 49 minutes ago

    Russia is aiming to keep its oil production at near-record levels despite OPEC's decision to modestly reduce its output, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday. Oil producers' group OPEC agreed on Wednesday to limit its output to … More »

  • Ringgit opens lower on falling oil prices Business Times - 54 minutes ago

    The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today on the back of falling oil prices. A dealer said investors questioned if members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would stand by the proposal to cut oil output in … More »

  • Hong Kong Stock Selloff Pares Best Quarterly Advance Since 2009 Bloomberg - 54 minutes ago

    The Hang Seng Index dropped 1.3 percent as of 10:17 a.m. local time, paring its gain since the end of June to 13 percent. Bank of Communications Co. led a measure of financial companies lower, sliding 2.8 percent. Property companies fell for a … More »

  • Hedge Funds Are China’s Newest Export as Quants Flock Abroad (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    Quantitative money managers from the world’s second-largest economy are opening offshore funds at a never-before-seen pace, according to Marlon Sanchez, the Asia-Pacific head of prime finance at Deutsche Bank AG. XY Investments, founded by an … More »

  • Caribbean at Keppel Bay unit selling at 2010/11 prices
    Caribbean at Keppel Bay unit selling at 2010/11 prices The Edge Property - 1 hour 8 minutes ago

    A 1,227 sq ft unit at Caribbean at Keppel Bay is on the market with a price tag of $1.8 million ($1,467 psf), according to a listing on TheEdgeProperty.com. The three-bedroom unit is situated in one of the blocks fronting the outdoor water … More »

  • Unit at Hilltops sold for $2,419 psf
    Unit at Hilltops sold for $2,419 psf The Edge Property - 1 hour 12 minutes ago

    In the prime Cairnhill Circle neighbourhood, a 1,550 sq ft, three-bedroom unit at Hilltops changed hands for $3.75 million ($2,419 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Sept 15. The unit was purchased for $5.54 million ($3,576 psf) in November … More »

  • Alarm Bells Sound in New York as Duterte’s Audit Roils Mines (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    The threat to shutter about three-quarters of the nation’s mines risks savaging the country’s reputation among investors, according to the head of a company whose operations face suspension. “I just came from New York, and investors are very … More »

  • Senator: Education Dept. mishandling Corinthian student debt
    Senator: Education Dept. mishandling Corinthian student debt Associated Press - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    The Education Department is pursuing debt collection — rather than debt relief — for nearly 80,000 former students of Corinthian Colleges, despite federal and state findings that the now-defunct for-profit ... … More »

  • US-Philippines military alliance 'ironclad': Pentagon chief
    US-Philippines military alliance 'ironclad': Pentagon chief AFP News - 1 hour 22 minutes ago

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said America's alliance with the Philippines remains "ironclad" even though the Asian ally's leader has vowed to end joint military exercises. The Pentagon chief's remarks came as he headed for a security summit … More »

  • China Inc. Sells Unpaid Bills to Banks as Debt Web Spreads (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 35 minutes ago

    Resorting to a method of raising cash faster known as factoring, Sany Heavy Equipment International Holdings Co., a Chinese machinery maker, said in earnings reports that it began selling receivables at a discount. Rival Zoomlion Heavy Industry … More »

  • Global equity deals rise in third quarter but down 30 percent year-to-date - Thomson Reuters data Reuters - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    Global equity fundraising rose in the third quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed on Friday, but failed to make up for the sharp slowdown of the first half of 2016, when volatile markets deterred listings. Bankers said a robust pipeline of deals may … More »

  • Yen Halt Near 100 Signals Japan Doesn’t Need Direct Intervention Bloomberg - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    Japan’s currency has appreciated to within 0.1 percent of 100 three times since it last traded stronger than that level five weeks ago, then retreated. Traders say it is running into waves of sell orders every time it approaches, spurring … More »

  • Oil prices down on profit-taking after two-day jump
    Oil prices down on profit-taking after two-day jump Reuters - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Oil prices dropped on Friday on profit-taking, after rising 7 percent in the past two sessions, amid doubts that OPEC's first planned output cut in eight years would make a substantial dent in the global crude glut. The Organization of the … More »

  • Windfall in District 20
    Windfall in District 20 The Edge Property - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    The bigger profit of $6.1 million accrued to a two-storey bungalow at Windsor Park Estate, which was sold for $8.6 million, or $1,203 psf on land area. Since the seller purchased the freehold property with a land area of 7,147 sq ft in June 2006 at … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.156-0.004-2.50%
    N21.SI
    0.117+0.010+9.35%
    40F.SI
    0.114+0.002+1.79%
    40E.SI
    3.96-0.06-1.49%
    Z74.SI
    0.7450.0000.00%
    G13.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.164+0.016+10.81%
    40N.SI
    0.117+0.010+9.35%
    40F.SI
    0.69+0.04+5.34%
    BHU.SI
    0.215+0.010+4.88%
    1A4.SI
    1.65+0.07+4.43%
    BVA.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.20-0.06-23.08%
    AWI.SI
    0.2350.0000.00%
    BTF.SI
    0.255-0.020-7.27%
    F86.SI
    0.13-0.01-7.14%
    5MQ.SI
    0.45-0.03-6.25%
    T55.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.3656+0.0017+0.12%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5318+0.0018+0.12%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7706+0.0025+0.14%
    GBPSGD=X
    74.2910+0.22+0.30%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.6774-0.0066-0.12%
    SGDHKD=X
    3.0329+0.01+0.33%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,521.8594-20.8535-0.22%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.8852-0.0018-0.04%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0410+0.0001+0.01%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,326.90+0.90+0.07%
    GCZ16.CMX
    19.17-0.01-0.07%
    SIZ16.CMX
    95.01-0.66-0.69%
    ^XAU
    2.18-0.01-0.32%
    HGZ16.CMX
    43.85+0.41+0.94%
    CLV16.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.12-0.01
    ^FVX
    1.56-0.01
    ^TNX
    2.28-0.01
    ^TYX