The first thing to realize when you are retiring abroad is that it is not a vacation. This is the place where you will be living for the foreseeable future. A home means lots of different things to many people. You cannot judge the location that you are moving to by the same criteria that you would when you plan to go on vacation for a couple of weeks. Yes it should have some of the same criteria that you look for on a vacation: things to do, sandy beaches, warm temperatures etc. Make your list and tick them off, but also include things like finding a doctor, dentist, hospital, banking, groceries, entertainment, hair stylist etc. This is also part of moving and retiring abroad.
Retiring Abroad – No Place is perfect
Any location you retire to, will not be perfect, however it should meet your retiring abroad criteria sufficiently that you are willing to overlook the other stuff. Some locations are really inexpensive e.g. Mexico, but the lifestyle and culture might be so different that you cannot deal with it. Then there is the language difference to deal with. Many people who retire abroad will simply overlook this angle, embracing instead the warm weather, the local culture etc.
Comfort vs. Happiness is another area that many people strive for. Regardless of how comfortable the new location is, if you are missing the family it might not be that great. There are always solutions to your issues and one is to bring the family with you or at least have them visit often.
The World Is not That Scary – although we here of all kinds of things going in the world, we have to remember that it is a big place and things happen somewhere every day. The important thing to remember is that you need to be street smart, hang around with like minded people and stay away from bad neighborhoods. Just do the same things you would do at home.