If you are nearing retirement age you may well be deep in talks with your spouse about just how you are going to spend your “Golden Years”; if you have different ideas about the best way to spend this time you could find tensions arising.
Where will you retire abroad? Here are some things to consider:
Snowbird or year round?
Do you intend to move full time when you retire abroad? If so you may be limiting your options a little; not every country is open to retirees becoming full-time residents. If you become a snowbird and move only for the winter, however you will have more options! Eventually you might also need to consider if you would like to become a permanent resident for tax purposes etc when you retire abroad; in which case you should also think about whether there is the option of dual-citizenship or not.
If this is going to be a completely permanent move, too, you should think about things like the health care system. If private health care is more affordable in your proposed retirement destination it could be a good thing for you! Likewise mountainous and coastal locations can be beneficial for people who have certain chronic conditions.
Do you love to worship the sun whilst your partner would rather have tropical rains? Perhaps neither of you is a fan of the cold, or maybe one of you feels it more than the other. If you differ greatly in terms of weather you might be better sticking to somewhere with a temperate and mild climate when you retire abroad- Visit your chosen destination in all seasons to get a real idea of what you’re looking at in the long run.
If you’re very close to your family and would want to see them regularly you should think about staying close to home, or compromising and having a larger retirement home so that (when they do visit) they can stay for longer.
Some destinations are much more accepting of tourists and foreign nationals than others; think about how you will fit into the community you choose. Also do some research on the immigration laws before you retire abroad.
Language and making friends
Do you speak the language of the country you intend to go to? Could you, or are you willing to, learn? If not do you think that this will present a real barrier? If the locals do not speak much English you could be facing a lonely and difficult integration.
Cost of living
The cost of living is something that most retirees will have to consider at some point; if you move to a country like Mexico where the cost of living is lower you might be able to have a better quality of life in your golden years.
Is there likely to be political difficulty in your destination in the near future? What is the current political and economic situation?
Pace of life
Some countries in the world are known for their more relaxed, slow pace of life; if you think that this is likely to frustrate you then you should think about choosing a retirement destination with more in common than your home.
The key to finding the retirement destination that’s just right for you when you retire abroad is to make a list of everything that you need and want from your new home. Shortlist the countries that interest you and compare them to your list. Once you’ve got a few promising options you should visit in every season so that you have a good idea of what you would be facing if you moved there.
Fractional ownership, and “try and buy” options are a great way to make sure you’re making the right choice for you, but the real key is in talking to your partner before you retire abroad to ensure that you’re on the same page!