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Where Retirees Should Invest

Where retirees should invest if they are going to live abroad

A reader question:

“I’ve heard that one needs to consider where they want to retire when purchasing investments. If someone is unsure, but knows it will likely be a nice warm developing country, how might they want to adjust their portfolio?”

My Answer: Don’t Worry about it!

This is indeed a good question, but it is not something that you should worry too much about, especially if you are so unsure as to what specific country you want to retire in. The way I think about it, a pool of money is a pool of money and once you have a large enough pool, you have a whole lot of choices. You could retire in your home country if you wish, or any country in the world for that matter, as long as the local government regulations allowed for it.

Andrew Hallam does mention (briefly) in his book The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat that it is smart to have a portion of your portfolio in the country where you are living, but since you have no definite plan, it’s hard to do this.

A far bigger factor than location is your age. Remember that the younger you are, the greater the risk you can tolerate, which means that most of your portfolio should be in individual dividend paying stocks or stock ETFs. Then, the older you get, the more bonds (or other fixed income) you’ll want to have.

Smart investing is smart investing, no matter what country you eventually end up in. Money=choices.


  1. Hmmm , interesting. So in terms of bonds, if i’ve got 70% of my portfolio in Canadian bonds, but i’m retiring in Thailand, it’s no problem? There’s not a more ideal scenario?

    • Well, not exactly. Even if I were living in Canada, I wouldn’t have that much of my portfolio solely in Canada! It’s just too small of a place. A basic rule of diversification is to not have too much money invested in any one single country or industry.

      • I see, so in the beginning 30% of Canadian bonds might make sense, but as years roll by and you increase your bond % then one should include US/Global Bonds..?

        • I would always have a mix of Canadian and international bonds. Like if you have 30% of your portfolio in bonds, maybe 10% of that could be Canadian and then other 20% could be international bonds.

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