Many people look forward to retiring, but not many consider the option of retiring overseas. However, with proper consideration and planning, the potential locations to spend your golden years open up to beyond your home country’s borders. The key is not only to make sure you can afford it, but also, is it where you want to be?
“Retirement should be a relaxing time of life with little to no financial worries,” says Richard Cayne of Meyer International. “And sometimes, the best place is in another country.”
Is retiring abroad for you?
Maybe you’ve travelled extensively for work and on holidays, or maybe you’ve watched a lot of travel shows, and found what you think is the perfect little spot for you. But how perfect is perfect? Is this somewhere you want to budget for a regular vacation, or are you ready to make the commitment of building a home there?
The main thing to remember is that visiting somewhere, even for an extended period, is not like living there. Living on the beach may seem dreamy, but do you want to deal with all that sand all the time? Also, if you chose an overseas setting, you may not have the option to work if your retirement funds turn out to not be enough. Of course, you can always move, but that’s probably something you want to avoid.
What to consider when deciding where to retire
Now that you’ve determined your ideal locations to retire, whether home or abroad, there are practical considerations. First and foremost, can you afford it? There are plenty of resources to research how much you’ll need to get by. And you’ll probably want to give yourself a little wiggle room for inflation or unforeseen expenses. Speaking of which, will you be able to access and move around your money if need be? Certain countries only allow foreigners with certain types of visas and permits to open local accounts.
Along with access to money, you also need to consider medical care. You may come from a country with generous nationalised health services, but what about your dream retirement locale? Health insurance after a certain age can be expensive, so this could become quite a chunk of your disposable income.
Many countries welcome retirees
From Costa Rica to Thailand, from Spain to Malaysia – there are countries around the world that have special visas just for retirees, often with a minimum application age of 50 years old. However, most will not allow these visa holders to work, so you need to make sure you’ve got enough to live there. Also, if you have family, you’ll want to see how easily they can visit.
You may also want to find out how easily you can communicate and get around. Will you need to get a car? Is learning the local language necessary? Having a financial expert with years of experience living as an expatriate, like Richard Cayne, can come in handy if you decide to retire overseas. Not only can he help you plan your retirement savings and spending, but he has lived abroad for decades, so he is in the know.