Personal Finance

Retiring abroad? Check out these IRA strategies

IRA strategies when retiring abroad

I get a lot of questions about retirement in my inbox. I love this retirement question from Alexander about retiring abroad.

Alexander tweeted:

My wife and I want to retire to South America when we retire in 30 years. Is there a point to opening up a Roth IRA?

Retiring abroad, where the cost of living may be considerably lower, is a wonderful idea. But just because you moved to South America doesn't mean that you're exempt from U.S. income tax on withdrawals from a regular IRA. So opening up a Roth IRA, which generally allows for tax-free withdrawals in retirement, is a smart move as long as you follow certain rules.

Read MoreRoth IRAs are the way to go (if you qualify)

Retirement expert Denise Appleby says the big question becomes which of the IRAs will allow you to pay the least amount of income tax—your traditional or your Roth. It doesn't matter if you live in America or if you're in South America or anywhere else. It really comes down to income tax and which one of those IRAs will allow you to pay the least amount.

Consider your tax bracket now, and what it will be when you retire.

Read MoreSurge in 401(k) balances, but not enough to retire

If you have retirement questions, email me at or tweet me at @sharon_epperson and use the #GetAPlan hashtag.