Living overseas safely

Living overseas safely...one of the first concerns people have when considering retiring overseas as a frugal retirement living option... is personal safety.

Been to Chicago's south side lately? You will need a bullet proof vest.

With very few exceptions, worrying about your safety is not something that should keep you from enjoying the economic benefits of living overseas.

The tips that we will give you below are mostly common sense, and procedures you would follow if you are in a strange city here in the United States or Canada.

Living overseas safely, our experience

In 9 years of living from Venezuela to the Virgin Islands we never felt unsafe, never were threatened, robbed, etc.

As well all of our friends that we knew of had the same experiences...no problems.

The only exception that I can think of at the time of writing would be Venezuela... but Venezuela has never been on the the recommended list for a foreign country to live in.

With the exception that gas is still $.37 a gallon, I can't think of anything to recommend Venezuela as a place to live due to their current political situation.

There is no magic to living safely overseas other than common sense.

The countries we lived in were much, much poorer than the US, but consequently afforded us very cheap living.

Our tips for foreign safety

We used the following guidelines if we were in a new city, you should too:

  • Do not wear jewelry
  • Wear comfortable, non flashy clothing
  • Wear a cheap plastic watch
  • In the evening go with another couple to eat
  • Do not stay out late
  • Wear fanny packs to keep valuables, no purses
  • Be polite and smile...duh
  • After sundown stay close to home
  • Try hard not to act or look like a tourist

If you think about it these are precautions you would take in an city in the US until you felt more comfortable in you new surroundings.

Living overseas safely... further tips

Mexico currently has close to 1 million N. Americans living there part-time or full-time.

I would stay away from the border towns due to the ongoing drug violence, the popular retirement areas of central, colonial Mexico...San Miguel De Allende...the Lake Chapala area, Puerto Vallarta, are all fine and quite safe.

Of course,the proper attitude also goes a long way.

In a foreign country, you are the guest, so act like one...this does not require you to be condescending or grovel, just use your manners and smile a lot.

The locals want you to feel safe and spend money, why would they be otherwise?

Thanks for reading living overseas safely, do not let this misconception hold you back from enjoying life overseas.