When you begin to approach retirement age it is perfectly natural to begin to consider how and where you’re going to enjoy your Golden Years. Will you stay in your hometown, or move closer to family? Or will you go away to some sunny locale where you can sip margaritas on a beach all day, retiring abroad? This is your time; it’s all about what’s going to make you and your spouse happy. So you can imagine the trouble that may come when two spouses have very different ideas about where their retirement years should be spent.
If you are thinking about retiring abroad, we recommend that you get together, grab a cup of tea or coffee, or glass of something and talk it all over so that you at least know where you may need to compromise
Here is your retirement destination checklist for retiring abroad:
Retiring abroad for the weather
If you can’t stand the heart, but your partner really feels the cold you’re going to need to look for a temperate climate where you’re less likely to encounter extremes. When retiring abroad, we would advise that you visit any potential new home in all seasons so that you have an idea of what you’re likely to encounter.
How “abroad” is abroad?
Deciding how far away you want to be from your hometown is important. If family is hugely important to you you’re going to need to think about how much time you’ll want to spend with them after retiring abroad. Will you want to see them regularly? If so you should stick closer to home. Alternatively, if you’d be happy with them having longer stays less frequently you should try to find a retirement home which has extra bedrooms.
Retiring abroad full or part-time
Will you be moving permanently, or part-time; if you’re seeking to emigrate permanently you will need to choose a country that is open to retirees becoming full-time residents. If you choose to move part-time, however, you will have more options and (if you own your home abroad) the potential to make money from your second home when you’re not in it!
Retiring abroad permanently
Will this be a permanent move? If it is you should think about the healthcare system in your new home, and you should also think about whether or not your new home allows for dual-citizenship (after all you may not want to give up your homeland entirely).
Cost of living in your chosen retirement destination
Consider the cost of living when retiring abroad; if you’re looking to downsize you should consider what rent and utility costs will be like in your new home. In places like Mexico your pension pot may go much further than it might elsewhere.
What lifestyle do you want when retiring abroad? Ease and luxury? Sun, sea, and margaritas? Or would you rather be surrounded by the beauty and majesty of nature?
Are you welcome?
Some destinations are more friendly and accepting of foreign nationals retiring abroad than others; think about how you’re going to fit into the neighbourhood.
Healthcare and medications
Some destinations will offer health benefits; mountainous or seafront locations, for example, may have positive effects on certain long term or chronic conditions. You should also think about the cost of healthcare in your new home… if private healthcare is cheaper it could be a very good thing.
Do you need to learn a new language?
Do you speak the language? If not will you be willing to learn when retiring abroad? And while you learn, do the locals by and large speak English? Serious communication problems will impact the quality of your life and your ability to integrate when you retire abroad.
Some countries are notorious for having a more chilled pace of life than people in the USA and Canada may be used to. If this will be a problem you should consider moving to somewhere more in tune with the lifestyle you’re used to.
The key for getting the best retirement destination when retiring abroad is to know what it is you want and shortlist the destinations that meet these criteria best. Then spend some time visiting the main contenders in all seasons so that you have an idea of what you’d be getting in to! Fractional ownership packages and “try and buy” options are a great way to figure out if a destination is going to be good for you. These are your years, after all; you should get the most out of them.