Steps for Retiring Abroad



Are you thinking about spending your retirement years in another country? If so, you’re like many working adults who want a change of scenery, the chance to travel, and all the other benefits of overseas retirement. But, what’s the best way to start a real plan for making it happen? That’s the point where so many get stuck in neutral and never turn their dreams into reality. Fortunately, several tried-and-true methods exist to get off square one and create a plan of action. In nearly every case, the wisest way to begin is to do in-depth research on the best places to live.

The good news is that there are plenty of options for those who want to spend their golden years abroad, so you’re not limited to just one or two locations. The other positive factors include the chance to purchase a foreign vacation rental now and live in it later. But, like all great plans, the core component is a detailed budget, so that’s a must for anyone searching for properties where they can reside as they grow older.

It’s also imperative to create an extensive personal network to gather information, make relevant contacts, and build a support system for living in another nation. Consider joining one of the many online discussion groups to meet people with the same goals as yours. Finally, there’s no substitute for getting competent legal advice about how to buy a property and reside outside the US. In no specific order, the following steps spell out the essential tasks and practical actions for anyone who aims to retire abroad.

Consider International Vacation Rentals

Figuring out how to locate and purchase short term rentals is a central part of building a retire-abroad plan. A majority of homeowners view second residences as wise real estate investment opportunities. Many who aim to acquire a second home opt for long-term rental properties for several reasons. Even better, prospective buyers who take the time to research choose vacation rentals in resort towns or faraway places they enjoy visiting. The clever thinking behind this maneuver is that you can rent a foreign-based vacation property and live in it after retirement. That’s a typical win-win situation: earning a steady income as an owner until a decade or so later when you move into the place and call it home.

Others buy and use overseas vacation rentals as part-time income generators during the off-season. They rent the properties for several months and vacation in them whenever they need a long-term getaway. Even owners who currently have spare bedrooms to rent can earn extra income by putting them on the market. All around, vacation rentals can be the ideal investment opportunity for people who plan to retire abroad.

Research the Best Locations

There’s no substitute for online research to find the best retirement place. Use the information you gather to create a shortlist of destinations. From there, consider digging in more, learning about each location, and perhaps visiting two or three of your favorites. Even a short in-person inspection of a city or region can offer insights into what it would be like to reside there full-time. Many look to avoid the cold winters up north and head south to live a more active lifestyle. Just keep in mind the summer can bring about hot and humid months, so taking your daily walks in the morning will be vital to avoid the heat.

Make a Detailed Budget

Moving overseas can be a complex enough task with all the details, schedules, research, and making contacts. But a detailed budget is at the heart of what makes any realistic plan a success. The central component of your worksheet should be typical monthly living expenses. Use a current budget as a guide, but include items unique to the target destination, like local taxes, potentially higher food and fuel prices, regular regional or international travel, and more.

Build a Large Personal and Professional Network

Why should every prospective retiree focus on developing a vast network? Because living in a foreign country means maintaining contact with people who still reside in the US. That list includes friends, neighbors, relatives, former coworkers, healthcare professionals, bankers, brokers, financial consultants, and others. Many who reside in faraway places come to rely on their networks to a great degree, so now is the time to start adding names and contact information to your list.

Get Competent Legal Advice

Speak with a lawyer with experience with retirees living in other countries. Fees are reasonable, and you can learn much in a short consultation session. Ask about laws affecting your banking, spending, and savings habits. Note that some nations have very lax rules about certain activities but quite strict ones about others. It’s crucial to find out all the unique legal characteristics of where you intend to spend the rest of your life.

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