Retirement decisions for location independence

RetirementAs of today I am officially retiring from Intermountain Healthcare where I have worked for sixteen years. It has been a record for me to have worked anyplace for that long, and luckily that did make me eligible for a pension since I am now over 55. I haven’t earned a very large pension, but it’s better than nothing! I had to decide what to do – to take a lump sum payout, or take an annual annuity. Given our goal of ultimately having a location independent lifestyle, after some deliberation, we ultimately decided to take the annual annuity, at a slightly reduced rate so that my husband will get it if I don’t live long enough to collect it for long! The reason for this choice is to keep adding to our sources of monthly income (the others being our online passive income through YouTube and our apps, etc) so that in the future we won’t need a day job to keep us going, especially if we eventually end up somewhere with a lower cost of living than the US. There are some countries with residency visa requirements where you must be able to document a set amount of income from a guaranteed source such as a pension or Social Security.  I don’t think they would count our other sources of income since they aren’t guaranteed. So my thinking has been that if we have that monthly pension income, and then by age 62 we also have monthly Social Security income, then we might be able to meet residency visa requirements in countries we have been considering. I did debate the lump sum payout though, since I have heard that Spain is considering offering residency visas to people who buy a home there, but overall decided against it since we are not too interested in owning another home again at this point, especially one we might never be able to sell due to housing market problems (which is why Spain is considering this in the first place).