What should you think about before retiring abroad?

Retiring abroad is a common ambition. You’ve paid your dues for many years and you feel you deserve your time in the sun – quite literally.

But moving overseas in later life isn’t quite as simple as just packing your suitcase and jetting off.

There are plenty of things you should think about beforehand, so you can be confident you’ll get to enjoy the quality of life you both want and deserve. For example:

Savings and income

Having enough money in the bank and a steady income is vital if you are to enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. After all, you want to meet your basic living costs, access vital services and enjoy pastimes and hobbies without it being a struggle.

So before you move overseas, you need to look at how you’re going to generate an income. Will your pension and savings cover your costs, or will you need to continue working?

Answering these financial questions will be critical if you are to have the kind of retirement that you wish for.


Once you’ve worked out how much money you have to live off, you need to look at how it will be taxed. Some countries have much tougher tax regimes than others, so you need to research what you’d be liable to pay in your chosen country.


As a resident of the UK, you’re entitled to free healthcare courtesy of the NHS and perhaps are in a position to afford private healthcare when and where you need it.

You won’t want to compromise on healthcare provision in later life, when you might perhaps need it more than ever, so it’s worth looking at what you can access in your chosen country from the state, whether you need private health insurance and how much this will cost.

What you want from your new home

Before committing to moving overseas, it’s important to establish specifically what you want from your new home. Do you want low living costs? Good weather? Peace and quiet? Proximity to sport and cultural events in the city?

And do you want to go somewhere completely new, or relocate to a place that you’ve visited before on holiday and already have some familiarity with?

It’s important to determine what you want so you can pick a destination that truly ticks all your boxes.

Do you know what it’s like to live abroad full time?

Going somewhere on holiday isn’t the same as living there full time, and that can give you a false idea of what it’s like to be a permanent resident. So it’s well worth committing to a trial period in your chosen destination to experience a more realistic impression of what day-to-day life will be like.

You can spend that time accessing the amenities you want and need, enjoying your chosen hobbies and activities, and using the local services from transport to healthcare.

At the end of the trial period, you’ll have a much better idea of how easy or difficult these things are, and whether the place you’ve planned to retire to really is somewhere you’d like to live permanently.

What do others think?

Go online or speak to friends and family who may have moved abroad, so you have a good idea of the challenges they faced, the benefits they’ve enjoyed and specific issues relating to the place you’d like to live.

How often should I review my finances?

The only certainty is change. As your situation evolves over time and the economic environment transforms, you need to be sure your financial arrangements remain fit for purpose.

Many people who move abroad fail to consider this and find themselves with a declining income as a result, so it’s well worth committing to reviewing your finances every few months to ensure your money is working as hard as it can for you.

If you have any questions about retiring overseas and what steps you can take to achieve this goal, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to speak with you.

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The guidance and/or advice contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore primarily targeted at consumers based in the UK. Welby is a trading name of Welby Associates Wealth Management Ltd Company Registered Number NI630504 who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA register number 697372. The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren't able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

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