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Technology – What You Need for Retirement Abroad

What Technology Will You Need Abroad?

Technology abroad

If you’re serious about your retirement abroad planning, odds are you’ve started making lists for things like monthly budgets and must-haves for locations (near the beach, mountains, etc.) but have you thought about your technology?

Technology is an important aspect of modern life and it’s not going anywhere after you retire. So, you’ll be happier living abroad if you do a little planning ahead.

This post is going to be one of several that we put together that will serve as a “Master Checklist” of the things we need in order to consider a place as a retirement destination. For us, technology is especially important as we are both professional geeks and we blog and otherwise work online.

OK, so you are ready and excited to pull the trigger and move abroad.
   What technologies will you need to live happily away from your home country?

Well that depends on you. Here is a short checklist to help you figure it out:

  • Are you a techie (like us)?
  • Do you plan on keeping in touch with friends and family via Internet?
  • Will you be managing things back home remotely? – like business, properties, finances

——– if you answered yes to any of the above, you will need a computer ———–

  • Do you have to have English TV channels?
  • Are you a news junkie?
  • Do you have favorite shows you can’t live without?

——– if you said yes to any of questions 4-6 then you will need cable/satellite and a TV ———-

  • Are you addicted to Facebook?
  • Do you play games online?
  • Do you run a blog or online business?

——– if you said yes to any of questions 7-9, then you need a fast internet connection ———

  • Do you love gadgets – as Joanna does?

——– if you plan on bringing them with you, you better consider the power ———–

Here is Our “Must Have” Abroad Technology List:

Computers: Sounds simplistic but we need the ability to buy new computers at a reasonable price. In addition, it has to be a “local” purchase (within 20 miles). We don’t want to have to cross the country and rob a bank to get a new computer.

The reason is simple: I’m a gamer. As such, I need to be able to occasionally upgrade my machine. Joanna is a little easier on her computer requirements than I am but I’m sure she would like to be able to get something new when the old one breaks or is hopelessly outdated.

We’ll also need the ability to get new (not used) computers and parts. Sometimes all you need is a part so why buy an entire computer? I realize we have an advantage in this area (being IT people and all) so when you’re doing your list, you may want to think about locating a computer repair shop nearby.

Internet: We need a fast and reliable internet connection. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • First, we like to stream movies and unless you have a good connection, that can be painful.
  • Second we plan on staying in touch with friends and family via SkyPE to avoid international phone rates. Without at least a 3D/1.5U connection, it will be too choppy to use comfortably.
  • Third, did I mention I’m a gamer?  I HATE LAG and will not tolerate it in my retirement paradise! I’m not as fast as I used to be and need every advantage playing with kids online nowadays.
  • But most importantly, we blog and run an online business.  Can’t do that without a fast internet connection.
[wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]
[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]TV: We like to watch TV. So, it only stands to reason that we would want to be able to buy a new TV every once in a while. Just like the computers, we need to be able to find them locally and for somewhat reasonable prices. Now, we understand that hardware is more expensive outside of the US, but we need to be able to upgrade without breaking the bank.[/wpcol_1half_end]

Cable/Satellite: Remember, we’re going to be (most likely) in a Spanish-speaking country; so, the local offerings will probably be in Spanish. While we want to become fluent, sometimes it’ll be nice to hear English. So, we’ll need to have some English options. Availability of cable/satellite will be a must.

Power: Since we already have a lot of gadgets, it would be preferable if we could get 120VAC power where we move.  That way we can take what we have with us instead of buying Joanna’s kitchen gadgets (for example) anew.

Cell phones: We would like to take our cell phones with us and be able to text and occasionally call home to friends and family.  We also want to be able to stay in touch with each other. Currently we use our cells for phone, text, email, and internet. Although our volume of usage may go down we still expect that we will need at least basic phones abroad. Read our post on Cell Phones in Costa Rica.

OK, so that’s where we are on technology. You may call us high-maintenance but really, we think we are just being realistic.  This may be completely different for you but as I said, we are professional geeks, err techies,  and this is important to us.  I’m sure we’ll refine this list as time goes on but for now, I think this is a good start.  One thing is clear, we are likely going to need to be either in or near a city with modern amenities.


You may also like our other technology posts: http://www.abroaddreams.com/category/technology/

About Tim

is a professional geek. He is a founding partner of JTR Tech and enjoys all things technology. He and his wife Joanna started AbroadDreams.com to help them plan and solidify their dream of moving abroad. After two years in Puerto Rico and Europe, Tim and Joanna are now back in the USA and exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. I fully plan on traveling around the world within the next 10 years … can’t imagine going without any tech, but the idea is compelling. That said, I think I’ll be bringing my computer and mobile.

    Nice post guys.

  2. I would say that if you need to keep a rein on your budget, the cable/satellite and corresponding tv could be optional. If you have a decent internet connection and good computer/laptop screen, you can get all the shows you want – when you want them, as long as you’re not married to watching them live.
    Even with cable packages abroad, I’ve found the English channel selections to be mediocre at best, and if I were paying for those alone, I’d feel pretty ripped off.
    For your English interaction and news, internet can suffice – and in many cases exceed cable’s offering.