Whether you’re newly retired or are twenty years from it, you’re never too young to plan for your retirement. Retirement is a time of reinvention. And for some people, this means launching a new life in a new country. Possibly in paradise. But there are numerous things to consider.
Picture Your Ideal Retirement Abroad In The Country of Your Dreams.
Paradise means different things to different people. For some, paradise means golfing all year round in Florida. For others, paradise is spending time with the grandkids who live down the street, no matter where that is.
If you plan to retire abroad, start by imagining your idea of a perfect retirement in a new country. What would you like to see from your bedroom window every morning when you wake up? The beach, the mountains, or a cityscape?
And what would you like to hear outside your bedroom window each night as you fall asleep? The sound of waves, crickets, or dead silence?
Make a list of everything important to you. Community, warm weather, beach, nature, theatre, shopping? Consider all aspects of your life, big and small. What do you enjoy?
What would you miss if it was no longer in your life? For example, would you miss it if your internet connection was down occasionally? What annoys you? Inefficiency? Noise? What would you like never to have to deal with again? Crowds, traffic jams, or snow? Write it all down on your piece of paper.
Here is a list of things to consider.
1. Full-Time or Part-Time Residency
Would it be full-time or just for part of the year if you were to live abroad? If you are thinking of making a permanent move, you need to know the rules for establishing legal residency.
2. Buy or Rent
Do you intend to buy a place or rent if you live abroad? If you are looking to buy a home, research the cost of homes and the costs involved in purchasing a home. Are there restrictions on foreign ownership of property?
How would you spend your free time? Do you see yourself spending more time in the outdoors playing golf, tennis, gardening,, or sailing? Or are you more interested in the arts? Gallery openings, live theater, and fine dining? And what about travel? Would your ideal life include lots of travel? If that is the case, you will want to be within easy commuting distance to an international airport.
Do you prefer to cook your meals or eat in restaurants regularly? If cooking is a passion and a pastime, a fully equipped kitchen becomes a priority. What would you miss if you were not able to find it easily? Such as a good Americano.
How important is it to have access to an excellent and reliable infrastructure? Roads, public transportation, dedicated internet, and cable TV? Access to banks and hospitals?
5. The Weather
Most people think of paradise as sunshine and sandy beaches. But that is not the case for everyone. What would you prefer- sun all year round or four seasons? What about humidity and rainfall?
6. Health Care
Access to good and affordable health care is possibly one of the biggest concerns for most retirees. Would you be comfortable seeing a doctor who didn’t speak your language?
Do you have an existing health concern that could require emergency medical attention? In that case, it’s important to you to be within a, say, 20-minute drive of a hospital that provides care equivalent to what you’re used to. Are you able to get good health insurance? Obtaining healthcare insurance may be more challenging and costly if you have preexisting conditions.
Would you need a car? Do some research on car ownership. If you would prefer not to have a car, it is essential to find out the walkability of your locale and the accessibility of local public transportation.
8. Do You Want To Generate An Income?
If the sources of your retirement are not sufficient to support your new lifestyle, you may want to start an online business to generate more income. You will need a reliable internet connection.
Suppose you’re thinking of launching something more than an online business. In that case, you will need to research the country’s general business climate, such as local regulations governing the industry and the quality and cost of the available local pool of labor.
9. Exchange Rate Fluctuations
If you are thinking of moving abroad, you will have to pay attention to a fluctuating exchange rate between the currency of the place where you’re living and the currency your income or savings are denominated in.
Would you like to move to a place with a significant expatriate population? Or are you comfortable building a community with the locals? Or maybe you’d like to add some exotic to your life, which is why you’re considering making a move in the first place.
Would you prefer to move to a place where locals speak English fluently? Or, does the idea of learning another language excite you? Now that you’re retired, you may have the time to learn a new language.
If you are not planning to work anymore and receive a set income, knowing your living expenses would be essential. Some retirement destinations, such as Belize and Mexico, are inexpensive. Some are a little more costly, such as Spain and Portugal.
Bringing It All Together
Many people chose to live abroad because their money could go further than if they remained in their home country. But costs should never be the only factor in deciding if retiring abroad is for you.
You’re never too young to plan for your retirement. Consider spending at least part of your retirement years abroad. With careful planning, it may the best thing you’ve ever done.
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