Renting Vs. Buying In Retirement: Why I Decided To Do Both – TravelAwaits

Renting Vs. Buying In Retirement: Why I Decided To Do Both – TravelAwaits

As you consider retirement or semi-retirement, you’ll give serious consideration to whether to rent or buy if you don’t stay in your family home.

Especially when considering overseas retirement, where the U.S. dollar may stretch further, it’s important to give special attention to each possibility.

  • Do you know with certainty where you want to live forever? Or do you want to explore the world? 
  • Do you have family somewhere that you want to be near? Or maybe you have multiple family members you want to see throughout the year?

Each lends itself to one choice or the other.

family home (Photo Credit: Gail Clifford)

Coming Up With A Plan

The most judicious thing to do when you start considering the moves you’ll make during retirement is to create your own Pros and Cons list based on what matters to you most.

Climate? Cost of living? Availability of healthcare? Proximity to family? Beach life? Urban culture? All matter.

As you create your own top 10 items that matter the most to you in retirement, you’ll develop a better idea of where in the world you’ll want to live.

But there are options within options that need to be explored.

Do Your Research

One of the choices you get to make is whether you’ll do your research from the comfort of your own armchair or get out on the road and “try” out places.

If you’ve decided, for example, that you want a great climate and good beaches, you’re bound to consider the Caribbean.

But what about Thailand and other parts of Asia? They could be a great fit for you, too.

You can access information online by checking social media and YouTube but it’s a lot more fun to go visit.

Trinity College (Photo Credit: VanderWolf Images /

Where I Went And Why

For me, I started with Dublin. My daughter graduated from Trinity College — Dublin and we’d purchased a tiny home a block from school. We renovated the kitchen immediately and then were blocked from travel during the pandemic.

So that was our first purchase.

While unable to travel to Dublin, I went to the easily accessible Central American country of Belize and rented for a couple of months.

I’d received information from expats who lived there and took their advice. Starting in Ambergris Caye and having all imaginable fun, and then moving to Placencia where the peacefulness of the village exudes from its pores.

I chose to rent in Placencia, both for the peace and for potable water. Turns out that needs to be on my Pro/Con list. Bottled water may be necessary but leads to other challenges.

Casco Viejo, Panama City (Photo Credit: Matyas Rehak /

What Worked

Purchasing the Dublin apartment will ultimately work out. It was purchased outright, with cash, so the expenses are extremely low, just utilities and property taxes and management fees.</…….


Kitchen Renovations