If the idea of spending your golden years abroad and enjoying warmer weather or a more laid back lifestyle appeals, check out our four tips for getting the most out of your overseas retirement.
Plan for the future
When deciding where to emigrate and what kind of property to purchase it can be easy to let your heart rule your head, but if your move overseas is intended to be a permanent one you need to consider not just what amenities you need now, but what you’ll need in the future.
That idyllic tumbledown farmhouse in the middle of nowhere might appeal to your romantic sensibilities, but it could be a nightmare from the point of practicality (and holiday home insurance) in the years ahead. While you might be up to all the required upkeep at the moment, you may start struggling to stay on top of things as you get older. Similarly, a lack of neighbours or a half hour drive to the nearest village could be a serious issue in an emergency.
By planning for the future and picking a place and property that can cater to all your future needs, you’ll be able to relax into your retirement and avoid the stress of having to relocate further down the line.
Integrate with the locals
Many of the most popular emigration destinations are home to expat communities, where people from the same country of origin band together and create a home from home. While the comfort and companionship provided by people from similar backgrounds can be invaluable, and forming expat relationships is a fantastic way to get settled in a place, it’s important not to cut yourself off from the nation you’ve moved to.
Make the effort to get to know the locals. Visiting places and trying activities on their recommendation could open you up to a world of unexpected experiences. Additionally, if you’re finding the language barrier a struggle, attempting to communicate with people in their native tongue is the best way of making progress.
As a visitor in a foreign country you also owe it to the locals to give something back to the area you’re living in, so get involved with clubs, charities or activities and contribute to the nation you’ve decided to call home.
Save money on your currency transfers
Many people retiring overseas have to rely on their pension payments to cover day-to-day living costs. If you’re going to be one of them, you could get more for your money by taking the time to research different international money transfer providers.
While your bank can arrange foreign currency transfers, there are more convenient and cost effective ways of getting your money overseas.
Using a specialist international money transfer provider, also known as a currency broker, could help you save time and money.
While most banks charge transfer fees, some leading brokers work on a fee-free basis. They also tend to offer you more competitive exchange rates than the banks, which can mean the difference of thousands on larger transfers.
Additionally, the Regular Overseas Payments (ROPs) service offered by some brokers can be particularly useful for retirees. With the ROPs service you can arrange for regular payments (like pension transfers) to be made automatically on a day of your choosing. This eliminates the hassle, and as you won’t have to pay transfer fees you can rack up serious savings over the course of the year.
After working hard all your life it’s understandable if you’ve been looking forward to a bit of downtime in your retirement, but if you spend all your time relaxing you could miss out on some really valuable life experiences.
Living in a new country full of unfamiliar people and previously inaccessible opportunities opens innumerable doors, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to find out what’s behind them.
Now you’ve finally got time to spare, try and challenge yourself by taking up a new hobby or doing something entirely outside your comfort zone. If the first thing you try isn’t for you, move on, give something else a whirl and really make the most out of your new life overseas. (For cover on long stay trips abroad, see our specialist long stay travel insurance).