Retiring abroad to a foreign country may seem like the ultimate extended holiday but you should carefully consider any move you make. If you have spent your whole life working towards this time then no doubt you hopes will be built up, so undertaking prior research is vital to allow you to see the realities of living abroad.
Visiting your LocationNo doubt you will have some idea of where you want to live abroad when you retire. This decision may have been decided on numerous holidays in your intended country. But living permanently abroad is a different thing from taking a holiday. If you can, you should take an extended holiday in your country of choice, preferably within a different season than you took your original holiday. By doing so you will get a feel for the place throughout the year, and your impression may change when you spend a few weeks there during the winter rather than the summer.
You can easily book cheap extended holidays in off seasons through the Internet or through holiday operators. From January onwards prices are drastically reduced and you can book one to three months at a fraction of the price of a normal peak season holiday.
Your Reasons for Retiring AbroadBefore you do move abroad you and your partner should ask some realistic questions over your expectations. These questions should include:
- Are you moving abroad for a slower pace of life or are you moving to be with friends and family abroad?
- Will you be happy to leave friends and family in Britain for an extended period of time?
- Can you realistically afford to move abroad without stretching yourself financially?
- Have you thought about the long term implications of moving abroad if you or your partner become seriously ill?
- Do you know enough about the country and culture you are moving to?
- Will you have language problems?
Doing your ResearchBy far the most useful tool when undertaking any research will be the Internet. You can receive all kinds of advice including financial, cultural, and medical information on the Internet. You will be able to find professional agencies who can advice on selling your home, moving pensions and buying or renting a new home abroad. Sit down with your partner and undertake your research together; two heads are better than one in order to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Getting Involved AbroadTry to get a feel for your chosen country before you go. You should find out as much as you possibly can on the local amenities be it banks, hospitals, leisure pursuits, and transport. Speak to people in the area you are going to live via the Internet. Look up activities you would be interested in and speak to people in the area who are members of clubs. By doing this you will feel less isolated when you first arrive and you may even have someone who will welcome you to the community.
FinancesOne of your main financial concerns will of course be buying or renting your house abroad and selling your present accommodation, for this you will need to employ the services of a lawyer. At the moment properties in some countries such as those in the EU are usually cheaper than in Britain and you should expect more for your money. But that will just cover your accommodation, you will need to think about the long term financing of your life abroad. This should include a plan of living expenses, pensions and investments, and funding for any emergencies. The cost of living may be less expensive compared to Britain but you will still need to make long term financial plans.
Healthcare ServicesAny retirement plan needs to figure in healthcare options, and if you are moving abroad you will need to do your research. You will have to find out your rights towards free or low cost medical treatments while you live abroad. This should also include medical insurance and your rights regarding citizenship once you permanently move to another country.
Retiring abroad is never an easy decision, no matter how financially secure you are. All of the above points should be considered carefully, but if you undertake the research and plan carefully it could be a positive and rewarding experience. Just make sure to plan for plenty of visits from friends and family to your new home abroad.