Newly widowed, Kay McCowen quit her job, sold her house, applied
for Social Security and retired to Mexico. It was a move she and her
husband, Mel, had discussed before he passed away in 2012.
“I wanted to find a place where I could afford to live off my Social
Security,” she said. “The weather here is so perfect, and it’s a
She is among a growing number of Americans who are retiring outside
the United States. The number grew 17 percent between 2010 and 2015 and
is expected to increase over the next 10 years as more baby boomers
Just under 400,000 American retirees are now living abroad, according
to the Social Security Administration. The countries they have chosen
most often: Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Retirees most often cite the cost of living as the reason
for moving elsewhere, said Olivia S. Mitchell, director of the Pension
Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.