How to Retire Abroad – 7 Key Considerations

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Making the decision to retire overseas is one thing; actually putting the practical steps in place to facilitate your relocation is quite another. Today we’re going to focus on a practical action plan to turn your dream of moving abroad to live in retirement into reality.

We’re going to take it as read that you’re certain about the decision to go – however, if you do require some guidance and advice relating to whether the decision to emigrate is right for you, we have many resources to help you elsewhere on

An increasing number of global citizens are making the decision to become internationally mobile in retirement, because they’re aware that they can access a better quality of more affordable life abroad for example.

The Internet has certainly assisted many retirees with their plans because it allows everyone access to information, advice, opinions and even the personal experiences of those who have made the move to a given nation already. However, what the Internet cannot do is give you a personal feeling of what life will be like abroad for you.

As a result, it’s imperative that you spend some time in your chosen retirement destination getting to know it up close and personal before you up sticks and relocate there permanently. Additionally, in order to be able to retire abroad you need to actively consider the following 7 key criteria in order to be able to make the move comfortably and securely.

1 – Where Will You Live? – Having decided upon a chosen nation it will be very important to give consideration to where within that nation you plan to set up home. You are likely to be able to make this choice a more informed one if you heed the above advice and actually spend some time getting to know your chosen retirement destination ahead of your ultimate relocation.

If you look at where you’re living currently in relation to other areas, towns and cities in your current nation you will be able to see why it is important for you to actively consider where you set up home abroad…

In your current nation there are likely to be highly expensive and unaffordable neighbourhoods, areas riddled with crime and poverty, industrialised sectors and some places too rural to possibly call home. In other words, those who are happiest have planned where they are living, with the planning based on what constituted a good environment for the individual at the time. You therefore need to spend time looking at your chosen retirement destination in order to find out where you could and where you would feel most at home.

Consideration should be given to aspects such as crime, the local economy, locally available amenities and facilities, whether there is an expatriate community, (which is desirable for some but not all relocating retirees), affordability, the quality of real estate, and even the local microclimate.

In order to be able to set up a new home abroad you need to ensure you get your location right.

2 – What Will You Live On? – Many retirees are fortunate in that they can live on income from investments and plans such as a 401k, however even those who have worked hard to ensure they have a strong retirement income need to be sure that their money will go far enough abroad to allow them the quality of life they dream of in retirement.

Consideration has to be given to the cost of living locally, incorporating housing costs as well as day-to-day grocery costs – with taxation another important factor to include. All too often would-be expatriates return from a holiday overseas having spent far less than they thought in the local bars and restaurants, and this gives them the false sense that it will be very cheap for them to live permanently in this nation.

However, as we all know, it’s the likes of taxation, utility bills, fuel and insurances that ratchet up the cost of living – and this is also true for all countries globally. Do careful research to assess how much you will need to live on, and then ensure that your retirement income will be strong enough for you to afford to live abroad.

3 – How Will You Make Friends? – John Donne wrote “no man is an island entire of itself” and we should never forget this. However, in the excitement that builds surrounding a relocation overseas, it seems inevitable that all too often one can forget the friends that are being left behind, and the incredibly central and important role they play in our lives.

Perhaps we only realize how much we value our friends when we’re alone – and any would-be expatriate who fails to consider how they will create new friendships in their new environment will suffer the double pain of having left old friends behind and having no known way of filling that void now that they’re retired in a strange land abroad.

Are you contemplating retiring to a nation where other expatriates have already made a home? Or are you planning on being a pioneer? Perhaps you have no desire to make friends with fellow compatriots currently – or you’re convinced the locals will love you. Whatever thoughts you have about connecting with new friends abroad, you should spend time and effort looking at your real options for making friends when you move overseas. The sooner you establish friendships the sooner you will be able to enjoy life more.

Without friendships you risk feeling lonely and isolated – so please don’t overlook the importance of this consideration.

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