Moving overseas for retirement can be a dream for many people. But those who make it a reality can reap benefits that may not be readily available to those who stay local after retirement.
In the United States, retirement might include moving to a neighboring suburb of the larger city you've been working in. Retirees might move from busy metropolitan hubs like Los Angeles, New York City and Miami to smaller, sleepier towns in Arizona, Colorado and Georgia.
But if adventure is in your blood moving overseas after retirement can be your best option. If you're considering moving overseas for retirement, keep these things in mind:
Do Your Research
As with any major life decision, it's important to research your options. There are a plethora of books, magazines and blogs dedicated to retiring abroad and living abroad, so information is readily available.
If you're interested in a particular part of the world, it's also important to do your research on that area as well. Perhaps you've always wanted to move to Paris, but you've realized that your money may not get you as far there. It's always easier to plan when you know what to expect, and retirement is no different.
Test Drive the Idea
If you're planning on moving overseas for your retirement, take a trip to the country you plan on moving to ahead of time, and take an extended trip. Make sure that's the place you want to call "home."
You'll undoubtedly have to make multiple trips there after your initial visit to make arrangements, but make sure that you won't be spending your retirement in a place you hate.
Reach Out to the Community
Moving overseas to work or to study may be an easier transition because you'll be occupied and often employers and schools take care of some aspects on your behalf like room and board. But, when you're moving on your own, you'll be responsible for finding your own way, so having a support system filled with other people in a similar situation will go a long way to make your adjustment more enjoyable.
Check Out Health Clinics
The medical care in other countries might not be what you've become accustomed to in your home country. However, if the country you're moving to caters to ex-pat retirees, chances are their medical facilities are fully staffed or the local hospital may have a thriving international wing.
What is Important to You?
Figuring out your priorities for your retirement will be essential when considering which country you'd like to retire to. If you're a theater buff now and would like to continue to visit the theater make sure that you choose a country that has those things available to you.
Also, think about things that you can't imagine life without whether it's a reliable internet connection or the convenience of having your own car, you'll need to figure out which things you'll be able to part with if you have to.
Rent First, Buy Later
Renting allows you to really experience your new life and figure out if it's right for you. Even if you've chosen the right country, you may still need to choose a different region or city. When renting you don't have to deal with the long-term commitment of buying and then dealing with selling should you decide to leave.
You wouldn't rush into buying a new house in your home country, so why do it overseas? Don't just buy real estate on whim while on vacation. It might seem like a perfect scenario: sipping rum on a white sand beach with turquoise waters, but that "Realtor" you met at the beach bar might give the same spiel about only having one or two beachfront huts to every person he meets. Be wary of the tourist traps!
The most important thing to remember when moving overseas after retirement is to make sure that you spend it how YOU want to spend it. If living a life abroad is what you've always dreamed of, then do it.