Part of the HOME, HEALTH & YOU Series
Most of my readers are traveling through midlife. Some may be retired, others may be contemplating that time in their lives. Considering various options is always smart. So let’s take a peek at the pros and cons of retiring abroad, because no doubt there are a few of you perusing this post who are considering this venture (or adventure!)
For some people, retiring abroad is the ultimate dream. They won’t need to work anymore and can spend all of their time exploring a new country and getting involved with an exciting foreign culture. It’s also a great chance for some people to start again and enjoy a new life in a completely different place. However, is this dream sometimes too good to be true?
Sure, when you think about retiring abroad, it all seems great in our minds. But when you actually put the dream and plans into practice, you might find that it doesn’t go quite as smoothly as what you had originally thought.
In fact, moving abroad once you have retired could throw up quite a few issues, most of which will be financial ones. It’s certainly a decision that you need to spend quite a bit of time contemplating and carefully planning. Get the planning stage wrong, and it could have devastating consequences for your new work-free life abroad.
So, is it really worth moving abroad once you have given up work for good? Here are some pros and cons that you need to consider.
Pros and Cons of Retiring Abroad
Of course, one of the biggest adventures that spring to mind when we think of moving abroad is the better weather that you could experience all year round. You might never have to deal with snow again! There are lots of great European destinations where you can enjoy year-long sunshine and high temperatures. Just think of the likes of Spain, Italy, and Greece, as well as all of the other Mediterranean countries, for instance.
Thankfully, the quality and standard of senior care in our country is good. If you were to stay here in retirement, you could take advantage of some great retirement communities like McKnight Place and the fantastic medical team that work at them. However, this same standard of care might not be available in the country that you decide to move to.
While most Western countries have quite a high standard of healthcare and care options for the elderly, some might not be quite up to the level that you would expect. Plus, their health insurance system might be a lot different to the one in this country, and you could end up paying more for your healthcare once you move. One more reason to do your homework before making the big decision to pack up and hop on a plane.
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After our bumpy passage from Scicily we took a few days break on Lefkada and explored the island on scooters. Green and mountainous with lots of steep climbs and hair raising hairpin bends to provide maximum entertainment on the scooters! #lefkada #greece #sailing #sailinglife #mediterranean #retirement #livingthedream #jeanneau #thesea #yachting #yachtlife #boating #liveaboard
There are some countries that have a much lower cost of living than what you will experience here. For example, some countries in Continental Europe don’t need to import as much food by plane or boat as they can trade with countries that they share a border with or can ship by trucks. As a result, this reduces the cost of the country’s imports, which will help to keep the prices low in the supermarkets.
Many people think that one of the big bonuses of moving to a different country once they retire is that they won’t have to pay any taxes. They think that this will be much like off-shore banking – because they are in a foreign country, they won’t be eligible to pay their home country’s taxes.
It’s true that you won’t need to pay any taxes in the country that you moved from, but you may need to start paying them in the country that you now live. After all, you will be using the services and facilities that your taxes fund. So, you might want to think again if you thought that moving abroad in retirement would be a very tax-efficient option.
Lots of people who were too busy working through their lives to travel see retirement as a chance to see a bit more of the world. This is why European countries are so popular with Americans for retirement. They get to live in a new country but are also very close to others so it’s easy to go traveling and see as much of the continent as possible.
Plus, the Schengen zone in the EU allows for passport-free travel, so you should find that the usual stress of going through an airport is greatly reduced. Some people also like to retire to Australia because it puts them in a corner of the world that they might not have otherwise visited. They have the whole of Australia to explore, and aren’t too far from New Zealand and the Pacific Islands either.
Most retirees prefer to buy a home when they move. This is because it gives them an investment that can help them grow their money, and provides an alternative to renting and dealing with rising rents and landlords. There’s just one downside to this when you move abroad, though, and that is that buying property abroad can sometimes be complicated for foreigners.
There are a few countries that prefer to save their property for their own citizens, so they might have a lot of hoops that you need to jump through first. As long as you are prepared for this and understand that it could be a very long process, then you shouldn’t find it is impossible to buy abroad.
There is no guarantee that your dream of retiring abroad will work out. Thankfully, though, if that is the case, you can at least return home without too many difficulties. For this reason, many retirees like to hold on to a property at home until they are 100% settled into life abroad.
So, where will you retire to? There really is no right or wrong answer. It is, simply, where you choose to hang your hat and enjoy the sunsets!
HOME, HEALTH & YOU is a series of short posts that cover a variety of personal improvement, health, fashion and home decor topics. They include helpful resources, tips and advice. I hope you enjoy them!