Retiring abroad is not for everyone. Popular retirement destinations often are not that far-flung. Most people elect to stay within earshot of their family and friends. But some Boomers, after the working chapter of their lives comes near to completion, wish to seek out the next big adventure.
If your version of adventure includes retiring abroad, here are a few questions to explore to determine whether it’s the right choice:
How Far Will Your Money Go Overseas?
One major aspect of retiring abroad is money. Make no mistake—there is definitely an option for every budget, but maintaining the lifestyle you enjoyed stateside may be difficult, if not impossible — it all depends on where you want to go.
Research your desired area before you make the move. The AARP is a good place to start. Don’t forget to look into tax information specific to your country of choice, both for social security benefits and property.
Can You Give Your Potential New Home a Trial Run?
Once you’ve chosen the location for this exciting transition, what’s next? Try to get more of an idea of what everyday life will be before you make the move. Many expat retirees go to their desired country on a vacation well in advance, which is not a bad idea. (It may also be good thinking to plan multiple visits, to get a mental picture of a possible new home.)
Don’t stick to the tourist areas; get a feel for the neighborhoods and residential areas. Plenty of destinations have their own expatriate communities, but you run the risk of insulation from the local culture.
Also, decide on the feel of your ideal retirement spot. Are you in a city, speaking a foreign language everyday? Or are you solitary, fishing on a private beach? Or are you doing a mix of both?
Are You Willing to be Away From Family?
Most people who are curious about living abroad feel that distance from their loved ones is too great an obstacle. And it’s true: the logistics of travel from a foreign locale can be daunting.
You might also miss out on important family events. Sure, Christmas is one thing. But what about birthdays? Grandchildren’s dance recitals? Have a conversation with your family and friends about the possible relocation, and really ask yourself whether you’re willing to consider such a step.
Could the New Home Country Support Your Business?
It is your retirement, but who says you have to lounge around all day? Answer: No one! Many enterprising Boomers use the opportunity of retiring abroad to start a new business.
Thriving start-ups and small businesses are popping up throughout South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Anywhere with internet access is a good work space, and the majority of popular retirement destinations have the public infrastructure to support entrepreneurs.
The usual red tape abounds, so take a look at the nation’s laws first. You may need licenses and permits just like businesses here in the U.S. Start with the local Chamber of Commerce while on one of your test vacations.
With the world connected more than ever before, relocating across the globe is not as intimidating as it used to be. It’s definitely not a right fit for everyone, and requires a serious investment—not just of money, but of time and thought as well.
So start planning now. It is never too early to plan for retirement, especially one in your personal paradise.
Are you considering retiring abroad? Where would you live?