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Some people will have firm ideas about retiring abroad and have a country, maybe even the precise village, town or city marked out. But, if you are amongst those who haven’t quite made your mind up yet, here are some pointers to help you.



Make a list of appealing countries

If you plan on retiring abroad, first, make a list of the countries that really appeal to you as retirement spots. They might be places you’ve already visited, but don’t be afraid to include those you haven’t, but have heard they are good for retirees.

Is retiring abroad a good fit for your finances?

What is the cost of living in the country of your choice? Before considering retiring abroad, it’s best to find out the answer to this question. For example, you can use a website such as Numbeo, one of the world’s largest databases of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.

Another important question to ask yourself if you plan on retiring abroad is will your pension be adequate? Figure out a monthly budget based on your pension income and savings and don’t forget to factor in any taxes you’ll be liable for. Once you know your monthly budget, you’ll be able to decide which countries will work for you financially and which need to be deleted from your list.

How affordable is the healthcare?

If you plan on retiring abroad, how much might you have to pay for healthcare? This is an important consideration for retirees. Countries in the European Union have a reciprocal healthcare agreement, which means that if you’re retiring to another EU country and you already live in one, you should be covered for state-provided healthcare. Outside Europe, countries like Thailand offer excellent private medical care at low costs. On the other hand, the USA has high costs for medical treatment.

What’s your lifestyle?

There’s little point in moving to a country where you will find it difficult to pursue the activities you plan to enjoy in your retirement if they don’t offer them. Golfers will not want to move somewhere with no golf courses. What kind of social clubs for expats already exist in the country of your choice? Is there enough to keep you stimulated where you’re planning to move to? Research beforehand will prevent disappointment later on.

How safe is it?

This is a difficult one to assess, but it is possible to make educated assumptions based on the historical and current security situation in the city, region, and country you’re considering. It’s worth trying to talk to locals to get a truer picture of this than you might get in the media.

What are the residency laws?

Finally, before considering retiring abroad, ask if you will be able to comply with the residency laws and how much might it cost you to be resident in another country? This information should be available online through the country’s consulate or embassy, and it should be online. Will you need a visa, and will certain visas prevent you from working if you want or need to?

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Some other things to consider include your willingness to learn another language, although in many retirement destinations you will probably meet other expats who speak your language. And, will it be a good cultural fit? When you’re on holiday cultural differences can seem very attractive, but when you’re living there full time, you may find that they are extremely irksome, such as high levels of bureaucracy.

Wherever you choose, try it out first and not just for a two-week holiday. You may find that a country you thought ticked all the boxes doesn’t quite live up to your expectations. If you discover this before buying, you’ll have saved yourself time and money.

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