If you’ve recently retired, will do so soon, or have been out of the workforce for a while and feel it’s now time for a change, you might be considering moving abroad in the coming months.
Now, with so many countries facing a health crisis plus major economic fallout from the current COVID-19 pandemic, there could be more reasons than ever to move closer to family, or to a country where living costs are lower.
However, making such a big move isn’t for the faint-hearted because it comes with a certain amount of risk, stress, and uncertainty. So it’s helpful to be strategic in your choices and give yourself the best possible chance of successfully retiring abroad and living the twilight years of your dreams.
Set Your Goals
Start by getting clear on your goals for the move and the future. Do you know exactly why you want to move abroad and what you want to achieve from doing so? For example, you might want to stretch your retirement finances further by moving to a country with cheaper living costs, or you might want to be able to afford to buy a place by the beach.
Perhaps you want to be near to your grandchildren so you can watch them grow, or maybe you’ve always had a dream of living in a European city or learning a new culture? Whatever your reasons, know them intimately so you can be sure you’re moving for the right reasons.
Also, understand what you want your retirement lifestyle to be. Make a list of how you want to live your life when it comes to things like activities, health, relationships, spirituality, and community service. When you know this information, it’s easier to choose the right destination for your move.
Plan and Research
You might be able to arrange a last-minute low-cost vacation without too much planning or research, but the same cant be said for retiring overseas. To make the transition successful, spend considerable time planning and researching, and allow yourself enough time to do this.
Most relocation experts say you need at least a minimum of three to six months to move abroad. If you’ve lived in the same home for decades and want to learn a language or have other aspects to sort out before you leave, such as officially retiring or selling a business, you may need even longer.
Thankfully, though, there are many fantastic resources you can access to help you get yourself ready for a move. Apart from general website and blog reading, also check out retirement forums and social media groups where people who have already retired overseas provide tips for those who are about to. You could speak with a relocation expert for help, or chat with friends who have moved overseas already.
Choose the Right Location
One of the most important aspects of spending your twilight years elsewhere is choosing the right location in the first place. While you might already have somewhere in mind because it has been your dream destination for years or you’ve been going there for vacations for a long time, this doesn’t mean it will also suit a long-term move.
Spend time in the place you think you want to call home outside of vacation season and at different times of the year before you move. This way, you’ll know it will suit your preferred lifestyle. A long-term test run, at least two to three months, will give you a good idea if the fit is right.
When selecting a spot to live, consider things such as:
- Healthcare options
- Housing availability and pricing
- Cultural differences
- If you can easily travel back to see your family and friends and if they’ll be able to visit you
- Opportunities for becoming part of the community
Reduce Your International Moving Costs
When you’re ready to make your move, it pays to look for ways to cut costs on the process, too. For example, investigate the easiest and best ways to send money overseas, so you don’t get charged excessive fees for international transactions when you move savings to a bank abroad. Also, speak with your accountant, financial planner, and other experts about ways to minimize costs when it comes to things like taxes and pensions.
Save money on the move by getting multiple quotes from shipping companies, sending your belongings overseas by sea rather than air, and moving at less busy and, therefore, more affordable times of the year.
Retiring abroad is an exciting yet challenging process. As such, do yourself a favor and tackle the move in a careful, smart way that ensures you minimize the stress involved and get settled into your new life as quickly as possible.
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