Are you considering retiring abroad? It seems to be a topic that’s getting more attention lately. Whether it’s to stretch your retirement dollar or to enjoy the allure of living in a foreign land, there are many folks currently considering (or already living) a retirement life abroad.
Today, we bring you Top Tips For Retiring Abroad, a guest post from my friend Ross, a man who’s living this lifestyle firsthand. Ross relocated to Nicaragua last year from the USA and is loving his life as an Expat. He also works in the import/export area, so he knows a lot about how to move things around the world.
In the interest of providing a variety of topics to you, I’m sharing this post to give you some insight into considerations for retiring abroad, from one who knows what he’s talking about. If any of you are currently retired abroad, or seriously considering it, please join in with your comments on your firsthand experience to add to the conversation.
Top Tips for Retiring Abroad
There is simply something very alluring about spending the retirement years living abroad. No matter where you are planning a move, living abroad can change your life.
Retirement, for many people, is the perfect opportunity for fulfilling a lifetime desire for adventure, romance or just a simple life with less stress. The world is yours, whether it’s living in a coastal paradise, a winter ski haven or an exotic jungle where you can be surrounded by lush flowers, woodland animals, and majestic waterfalls.Are you considering retiring abroad? Follow these tips to make it a great experience! Click To Tweet
Besides the necessity of knowing where you want to spend your retirement days, you also need to determine whether you will bring along personal property from your home, including a decision on whether or not to ship your personal vehicle. Take the required time to research requirements such as the steps you must take to obtain the correct visa for your move, if required. With a little determination and some careful planning, you can help ensure that your retirement move goes smoothly.
Here are some of the top tips for retiring abroad.
Before heading off on a plane to the tropical woods of the Brazilian rainforest or to spend your days skiing in New Zealand, be sure to check with your health insurance provider to make sure you will be covered when you move. If your insurance will not be valid in the new country, it is wise to check and see about the healthcare laws in the country.
In retirement, healthcare is an important factor to consider and you should know what basic care, emergency care, and other services will cost. Medicare does not cover services that are not in the U.S.
You should check into obtaining overseas healthcare even if you never get sick. Accidents do happen and people do get sick when least expected. Being able to get quality treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
Cost of Living
One of the appeals of retiring abroad is the lower cost of living in many countries, which helps to stretch your limited retirement income while maintaining a higher quality of life. If you plan to live on a retirement pension or social security retirement funds, it is imperative to check the cost of living in the area you’re interested in before you finalize your move. You will want to be able to live within your budget now that you are not working.
Check rental rates but also check into what dining out will cost as well as groceries, clothing and other necessary supplies. It is not wise to live beyond your means when you make a move abroad, especially if you have a budget that must be adhered to.
The Human Connection
A big part of retirement is the ability to have a strong social life. Whether this means taking time to scour the new area for local restaurants or popular night spots or even places where you can meet and mingle with new friends in the great outdoors, it is time for you to start digging into information about the local area so you know what to expect.
You should also make sure your cell phone or tablet or computer will be able to access the internet so you can stay in touch with friends and family back home. Living abroad will be a fun adventure, but to combat homesickness, finding a way to stay in touch with those you leave behind will be very important.
Many people fail to consider taxes when they retire to a new country. You should seek advice from a financial advisor before moving abroad to see if you need to pay taxes to the country you are moving to.
It is also important to see if you will be able to set up a bank account in the country you are moving to. You will need a way to manage your money and some countries even require you to make a hefty deposit to a local bank account before approving your stay in the country.
Online Expat Groups
Checking into expat groups online ahead of your move can really help you learn more about the country. For instance, you may have a list of restaurants from a brochure, but without seeking information from others, you may not realize that you need to dress a certain way to be served.
Expat groups are also a great way to meet others who are in the country who have retired or started anew and are seeking friends. Having a friend when you move can be very beneficial, especially if you are moving alone and would enjoy having a cup of coffee with someone. It’s also a great way to get advice on homes, things to do and much more.
Planning a vacation ahead of a retirement move abroad is a critically important thing to do. A few months before the planned move, you should plan a multi-week vacation so you can spend time in the country you want to relocate to. Pay attention to what things cost, and get a sense of the area. This isn’t a “vacation” like you’ve taken during your working years. Rather, this is a first-hand look at the country you’re considering moving to. Make it a priority to do your homework before you finalize your move.
Check out local neighborhoods, hire a realtor, check out housing opportunities and really get a feel for the area you will live in. It also gives you a chance to cement your decision to move, or even to start considering another location entirely. Moving abroad needs to be something that you are certain of, and if you are having any doubts, a vacation ahead of time will allow you the time to gain a better understanding of the country and all that may change in your life when you move.
Retiring abroad in beautiful places can seem like a very exciting thing to do, and overall, it may just be the best experience you have ever had. To ensure your move is all that you want it to be, however, you need to do your homework and really understand what living abroad will be like. If you’re excited about the prospect of living overseas for a portion of your retirement, give it a shot! You’ll have no regrets, and you’ll add some spice to your life!