Finance & Retirement LIFESTYLE  >  Expat Retirement Series: Deciding to Move Overseas

Expat Retirement Series: Deciding to Move Overseas

Expat Retirement Series: Deciding to Move Overseas
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Moving overseas often conjures up unflattering scenes of problems that we see depicted in the media. As a repeatedly transplanted American of almost 40 years, though, I am here to tell you that most of reality is much nicer. People live quite safe, pleasant lives on many parts of the planet that you may not have ever considered moving to.

There are two major aspects to think over initially when considering an overseas move. First are the priorities you personally want met. This may not be as quick and easy as it seems on the surface. There are a surprising number of issues once you begin examining it.

Start by considering, “What do you value in your lifestyle?”   Describe what kind of life you want to lead, what would that look like?. Is golf important? How about church? What about a place to garden?  Many of you are dissatisfied, not wanting the current future you can see stretching in front of you. What would you enjoy more instead?

Look over websites that specialize in helping you create a life plan to help with this. There is also a growing field of books and websites that specialize in overseas moves.  Many of those latter are usually selling workshops that lead you to visit places where they have real estate for sale. I suggest you sort your personal priorities out before you browse through too many of those sites. You need a very thorough idea of what you want as higher priorities.

Once you have thought this out and put it on paper you are ready for the second part: Finding a place where you could have that life.  That, of course, takes another layer of research. With your pages full of dreams, how do you find and sort out all your options? Instantly you know  that this is not quick either. A penchant for dealing with a great deal of data is a big help on this step. Many of us who generally dislike vast data collections find a pocket of fascination in it when our future lifestyles are involved.

If you know people who have already pursued a retirement overseas, you have a great resource. With luck they can supply a great primer on things to do and to avoid. Personal connections are likely to produce better information than strangers. But also start looking around the internet for people who have become expats. What they have to say may open up totally unexpected  questions and other destinations.

Along with this you should research, via internet, every scrap of data that might have an impact on how you want to live. This list can get long if you have specific criteria.

Another key facet to consider is the issue of having less income in the future. The majority of retirees will be in that leaky boat so a less expensive place to live is often needed. Researching this is a part of the “where to go” question. With luck the anticipated income in a new location may put you in the enviable position of living beyond your current comfort zone. Gee, wouldn’t that be nice?

Before being swept away by online sites depicting a ‘perfect’ life do some work on yourself and what you are really going to want from this next chapter of life. Then go for it!

So consider;

1)   What do you want in your new life?

2)   Do some self examination-drag out your old hopes and dreams.

3)   Do some life planning; use websites if you need to. In what locations do they have the things you need?

4)   Discuss with friends who have moved overseas.

5)   Find blogs of people who have relocated.

6)   Access forums with fresh content of people living overseas.

7)   Research every area of interest.

Suzie Hammond is a writer who’s become an expat. Books, websites, blogs, and many an article will help you sort out if this kind of move is for you.  For more, visit


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