retire overseas

Retire overseas

So you want to retire overseas? Living abroad didn't occur to our parents' generation, but it's a common idea among baby boomers.

In July 2006, Clerical Medical, a British company providing pensions and insurance, conducted a study that shows what Britons plan to do after they finish working.

Fully 30% expect to retire overseas. Only 10% of those surveyed know someone of their parents' generation who retired abroad.(Of those who plan to live at home, 80% expect to travel abroad.)

It seems people want
  • warmth,
  • lower taxes, and
  • a taste of the exotic.
Some who currently work abroad plan to stay when they retire.

The survey lists the dream destinations. . .
  • Spain -- 20%
  • Other European countries -- 29%
  • Australia -- 9%
  • USA -- 6%
  • Other
Although retiring abroad is easier for Britons because Europe is so close, attitudes to living in a new country are changing throughout the English-speaking world. It seems the grass is greener almost anywhere.

If you are planning to retire overseas, emphasize the planning. To make this more than a dream, carefully consider financial, legal, cultural, and psychological factors.

Be sure that your pension and other income are sufficient and accessible. Moving money from country to country is not always simple. Check into the tax laws in both countries. Each situation is different and you will want professional advice. Investigate your medical coverage and the rules regarding how long you can be away and still make successful claims.

Find out what your relationship is to both your home country and your adopted country in a crisis if you retire overseas. The situation in Lebanon recently highlighted this issue to many Canadians living there. Which country will be responsible for you in what circumstances?

Think carefully about how much of your own culture you have to keep to feel comfortable. Visit the country you plan to retire to. Stay as long as you can afford to stay. If possible, go during both the on and off seasons. Do you need to be surrounded by compatriots, or are you the adventurous type who wants to fully embrace another culture? Read and pay attention to books on culture shock. There is no way to avoid it. Being forewarned mitigates the discomfort.

What about your family? If you have grandchildren, how comfortable will you be leaving them behind? Or, if you are moving to be with your overseas family, how sure are you that they will stay put? You don't want to retire overseas to be with family only to have the family move back home.

So many people want to retire overseas that the chances are that you will consider it, too. No one can tell you whether to go or to stay.

If you have left your home country to retire elsewhere, your story could help others. For that matter, if you're like me and you plan to stay put, that story can help, too.

If you are thinking of retiring in England instead of escaping to an exotic location, consider Sidmouth.