How to Plan Your Retirement Abroad


Filed under Places to Retire

A growing number of international citizens are contemplating the concept of taking early retirement, escaping the hectic monotony of the daily grind and retiring abroad in a low cost location to make the most of their retirement savings.

If you’d like to live overseas to escape the high costs of living associated with countries such as American and Britain for example, this is a guide to planning your retirement abroad so that you don’t run out of money, you don’t run out of friends and you never lose your adventurous spirit. When contemplating retirement the majority of us seem pre-programmed to only consider the far reaching financial implications of never bringing in an income again! But the fact of the matter is that there are many more things to consider if planning on retiring abroad, not to mention the fact that many retirees overseas pick up odd jobs and part time positions advising and assisting other expatriates with their lives and businesses anyway!

However, as the financial implications of retirement are uppermost in our minds let’s tackle that subject first.

By retiring overseas in a low cost country such as Mexico, North Cyprus or Belize for example, retirement money simply goes far further. Taxes on property and income are far lower in many overseas countries, property prices are amazingly affordable in plenty of emerging destinations, and the abundance and quality of fresh produce in many sun-blessed and affordable retreats means that day to day living costs are quite simply reduced.

There are considerations that those moving to less well developed but cheaper countries should bear in mind though – such as affording a decent level of health care cover  but in a country such as Northern Cyprus for example the cost of receiving quality medical treatment is so low that an insurance policy’s excess is usually higher than the amount having to be paid out anyway!


It’s important to research a preferred destination to discover the true cost of living there as well as the likely realities of daily life, and researching all options and alternatives is an absolute must for those planning an overseas retirement before making a firm commitment to retire abroad to any particular affordable haven.


Other than the financial implications there are a number of social considerations that those planning on retiring abroad should think long and hard about. By moving physically away from friends and family, homesickness and longing for familiarity can be intensified which can make it harder to settle in abroad. This feeling of displacement is entirely natural and will be experienced to a lesser or greater extent by all those who move abroad – but it is a feeling that can be overcome by making an effort to meet new friends and establish new bonds with people  which means that sociable types who find it easy to make friends and acquaintances will find it far easier to retire abroad.

Those with a tolerance for alternative cultures and values will also find it easier to settle in an unfamiliar country where things are quite simply ‘done differently’! Those who are resistant to change and who plan on living abroad in an expatriate community where they hope to be surrounded by familiarity will still have to encounter local people and accept local values, therefore such people should really think seriously about whether they can adapt to a totally new way of life. If they feel they cannot then they will be wasting precious resources moving abroad only to discover that they hate it and have to return home!

This brings me on to my final point  having a Plan B! Sometimes people retire abroad and for one reason or another they cannot settle and wish to move on or move ‘back home’, alternatively some unlucky people are forced to return home as a result of a change in circumstances. Therefore it is always important to have at least the rudimentary workings of an exit strategy or a plan B in mind. If possible squirrel away a little money so that if the worst comes to the worst you always have a way out or a way back home – even though statistics show that the majority of those who retire abroad in an affordable and sun kissed location love every minute of their life and never want to change it!


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