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Retiring abroad is a dream that most people would like to bring to life in their golden years. Most retirees take that bold step of moving to another country with different ideas in mind.
Whether it’s to enjoy the weather, the delicious cuisines or a change of environment, decisions matter since they determine how happy or miserable the retirees will be.
Of course, when you act without weighing your options, you’re most likely to suffer. Living in a foreign country for the rest of your life is demanding and it requires that you know all you have to about that specific country.
It requires that you know how to spend your cash wisely. Just because you have millions of dollars in savings, doesn’t mean that you’ll throw around the cash in your new environment. Keep in mind that cash leaves as fast as it comes.
Chances are, it might take some time to recover it. Being a retiree, you probably won’t have the time and energy to start running around to build your life again.
Many retirees have made poor financial mistakes and are paying the price for it. You don’t have to be part of the statistics.
Maybe you’re a retiree planning to move or you have that idea for a later time. Whichever the case, ensure that you put everything in place before switching countries. Here are some mistakes people make when retiring abroad that you should avoid at all costs:
1. Being Closed-Minded
Nothing in life is constant. Age, for instance, is something that you have no control over as long as you’re alive. The retirement process is a breeze to some people. However, others take some time to adjust to it — especially those who have been working for a better part of their lives.
They feel empty and incomplete without their jobs and it can be stressful if not approached in the right way. Retirement is that time to relax and discover yourself.
What are your hobbies? Who are you without your job? Once you’ve discovered that, the next step is to determine what you’ll do with the plenty of time you have as a retiree.
A new country means new hobbies for most people. They might be plenty of new stuff that you’ve found in the new country. This requires change and exploration if you wish to adapt with the greatest of ease.
There’s a possibility that you might not be able to go with the flow while abroad or you’ve gone through the many new activities available but prefer what you’ve always done before- that’s alright.
The problem comes when you lock yourself up and hate trying out something new. This is one way of limiting yourself. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll find what you’ve always loved in your new environment.
That’s why you should always have an open mind. Take all the time you need to adjust to your new home. Then, try out a couple of new activities and see if you like them. Who knows? They could be better and more enjoyable than what you’re used to.
2. Failure to Have an Exit Plan
You may view the country that you’ll move to as the perfect paradise, but the bitter truth is that it isn’t. It’s wonderful to have a positive attitude, but it’s even better and profitable to be realistic.
Disaster can strike at any time. Or you may come across a situation that requires you to move back to your birth country. Do you have an exit plan? Failure to have one makes you vulnerable.
Being open-minded here can also be of great benefit to you. Take your time and carry out some research on your new home. Is it plagued with natural disasters? How’s the security there? These are some of the things that you can identify and plan for in advance.
Some occurrences, on the other hand, are totally out of your control and can happen when you least expect it. An example is the death of a loved one in your birth country.
There could also be political instability or currency fluctuations in your new country. Probably the weather isn’t as perfect as you imagined and you suddenly want out.
Worse, you could be experiencing some health issues, and you need to travel back home. An exit plan can save you from a whole lot of danger.
Having a plan involves sufficient cash. Set aside as much as you can for unseen emergencies. Whether it’s a major or minor crisis, having somewhere to lean on when trouble strikes will give you the much-needed peace of mind. If you’ve never thought about it, now would be a great time to put it into action.
3. Shutting Down the Bank Accounts in Your Birth Country
Starting a new life in another country requires you to adapt to it. The best way to do this is by establishing yourself financially. Opening up a bank account there is a great place to start.
If you still have a business in your home country, don’t close your bank accounts there. That’s the worst mistake you can make. Moving doesn’t mean that you should forget your past life and finances completely.
Your credit cards should remain open too. Whether you have plans of ever setting foot in your first country or not, remember your credit score. You have to protect it.
That’s where the card and bank account come in. Failure to protect your credit score will surely have some negative effects. Some of them are:
- It might have a strain on your relationships.
- Higher loan rates if a bank approves your request for a loan.
- Chances of getting a loan are slim if not impossible.
- You have to pay security deposits on utilities.
You may not be living in the country, but this doesn’t mean you still can’t own your accounts. You could switch it, so it’s registered under your friend’s or relative’s name.
Don’t sweat about how you’ll gain access to your accounts in your first country. There are plenty of means to do this, such as by using a phone or online.
These methods are beneficial. They also allow you to handle transactions and payments in your accounts easily. It’s way better than having to go through the unpleasant process of using foreign banks.
4. Buying Property with No Due Diligence
Buying property, in general, is no easy task, no matter what part of the world you may be in. But, it’s got more benefits if you’re buying them in your birth country. First and most importantly, you speak the language in your country. Therefore, carrying out transactions is relatively easy.
Second, you’re using the accepted currency. So there’s no risk of having to pay a higher amount if you’re using foreign currency. Expats from third world countries often find themselves in this predicament. Most of them have it rough when they go to developed countries.
Third, you were born in the country, so you understand the property laws of the land. And, you probably know your way around. There’s no way that a salesperson can dupe you.
Let’s now flip the coin and see how difficult these same tasks can be if you’re abroad. Research is everything. Someone comes up to you with a sweet-sounding deal and promises you nothing but the best results. What do you do? Investigate, of course!
Take your time to do your homework. And, learn the property laws too. Every country has its laws. Failure to this increases the chances of people scamming you.
Some people in foreign countries have experience in identifying foreigners in their country. They take advantage of that fact to trick them. Especially if you don’t speak similar languages.
Before buying property abroad, please:
- Record your agreement with the vendor in writing. It helps to nullify chances of them denying the agreement.
- Research if the company or vendor is trustworthy or not.
- See the property first, then buy it.
5. Not Carrying Enough Cash
Most people believe that credit card with cash is the answer to all their problems. To some extent, this is true. But, credit cards have their fair share of drawbacks.
First, with them, the temptation to spend is greater. There seems to be no limit to the stuff you can buy…until you check your credit card balance.
Second, more credit cards mean more debt. It’s easy to charge an item and commit yourself to pay for it in installments. This is mostly the case if there’s a special discount.
Third, if you love overspending without considering the effects, then go slow on that. You might fail to pay previous debts and doing this will minimize future chances of you getting a loan.
When planning to retire abroad, however, you need to weigh your options a lot more. It may be quite a task to carry bundles of money, but depending on where you’re going, it might be a necessity.
Some countries such as Mexico prefer cash to credit cards. Besides, money is easier to get and use in most countries.
Before retiring to your preferred country, confirm that you have sufficient cash to sustain you there. With moving from one place to another, money is never enough.
To avoid any inconveniences, carry out all the research you need. Check how much you have in your bank account. If it isn’t enough, you’re better off waiting and saving until it adds up.
In most cases, once you’ve moved to another country, coming back to your birth country might be quite a task. Especially if you’re broke.
6. Not Giving Culture Any Thought at All
You might be from a free kind-of country where doing things like staring at people and smiling for no particular reason is okay. It could also be alright to drink during the day or kiss your special one in public.
When you’re thinking of retiring abroad, put the culture detail into consideration. It sounds obvious but hey, not everyone sees it that way. The excitement of starting a new life elsewhere often clouds people’s judgment.
Some countries have peculiar traditions and cultures. Breaking even a single one can land you into some serious trouble. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expat or not.
You’re probably lucky if you retired in a country that speaks the same language as you. However, things might get a little tricky if you’re not used to the culture.
The thought of spending the rest of your life doing stuff you’re not used to or don’t like isn’t appealing. You’re most likely to suffer from culture shock.
If you’ve already retired abroad, culture shock may be harmful to some extent. But when you look at things differently, it does help you to adapt. It opens your eyes and allows you to relate with other people.
Trying to adapt is possible if you’re in the best of health and still young. It might prove to be a challenge if you’re a senior.
Also, culture shock may have negative effects on your health like depression, heart attacks or high blood pressure.
That’s why the people’s way of life should be a factor you think long and hard about before moving to a country no matter how attractive it may seem.
7. Overlooking Health Matters
A mistake that most people make is not paying too much attention to their health, especially if they’re not sick.
Whether you’re suffering from various health conditions or not, consider your health. It should always come first. Think of regular health checkups as a way of rewarding your body for the excellent job it does serving you.
That being said, most if not all countries in the world have some access to healthcare. The difference is, some countries are more advanced than others. Mostly when it comes to healthcare.
Plus, some countries have more doctors than others. Some of these factors could make it a little difficult for patients to access treatment when they need it.
On the other hand, a country might have the best facilities and skilled doctors but your insurance company may not cover the services in their hospital. What’s the next step from there? Healthcare services can be costly, especially if you don’t have health insurance.
When comparing countries as you try to figure out which one best suits you, don’t leave out healthcare. As a matter of fact, it deserves to be number one on the list.
Factors you should look for when considering hospitals in other countries include:
- How fast they respond to emergency calls.
- The state of their equipment.
- The type of medicine they offer.
- The level of training of their doctors and nurses.
- What type of conditions they treat.
- Their reputation among patients. A great way to find out this bit is reading customer reviews online.
- How much they charge for various services.
8. Moving to the Wrong Neighborhood
When it comes to settling down, location is essential. Despite your lifestyle and what kind of home you prefer, there’s one thing that everyone can agree on. That is: a neighborhood that meets all expectations sells like a hotcake.
Even when you’re choosing a country to retire, there are loads of stuff that you should consider about a neighborhood. Here are some of them:
Its Overall Appearance
How clean is it? Is the vegetation adequately taken care of? Pay close attention to the state of the houses. If possible, identify an empty home and get in it and inspect it. If you love what you see, you’re free to move in if you wish.
Especially those who’ll be living next to you. Are they friendly? How do they relate to each other? Can you easily interact with them? If you’re retiring alone, you’ll need all the right company you’ll get if you wish to stay healthy for long.
The neighborhood might be clean, and the neighbors easy to get along with, but is it safe? Are there cases of crimes or murders? Do all the digging around you can before settling for it. That kind of inconvenience is the last thing you need.
Ease of Access to Shops, Hospitals, etc
If you’re an active person, you’ll need all the space you can get to move around. In addition, you need to access services you need in a fast and convenient manner. A neighborhood that offers you such privileges is a great pick.
An important point to note: try as much as you can to avoid relocating once you’ve settled in your new neighborhood. This saves you plenty of cash and energy as well.
9. Paying No Attention to the Cost of Living
Sometimes when choosing another country to live in, you need to view it from a broader perspective.
If you’ve been there before, you’re probably attracted to it because of the great things it has to offer. It’s important to check your budget and let it determine the kind of place you’ll live in.
In some countries like the U.S., the cost of living is incredibly high. Especially in states such as Massachusetts and California. You might have the cash to support a lifestyle in such places. However, how you spend it determines how long you’ll live there.
It’s wiser to look for places that are a little lower than your budget but comfortable for you. A great way to find a place that fits your budget is placing a price tag on your expenses.
Have a list of stuff you’re most likely to spend cash on per week and month. You could also add how often you need them. This helps you determine if they’re necessary or not. Include things like healthcare costs and local taxes.
Then, go online. Find out how much you’re likely to spend on them in your desired country. There are benefits of being a retiree. One of them is you get access to state pension if you received employment in your younger years. To make things better, you can receive it no matter where you may be in the world.
There’s a way to benefit more. If you choose to retire in a country with a reciprocal social security agreement with your birth country. When there’s an increase in pension rate, your pension will be higher than it usually is.
10. Not Putting the Ease of Transport into Consideration
Retiring abroad can be lonely if you’re doing it alone. However, it’s never advisable to retire in a foreign country on your own. Even if you’re with your special one, you’re sure to miss your family back home.
Online chats and phone calls may not be enough, especially if you’ve not seen each other in a long time.
That’s why it’s crucial to move to a place with excellent transport links. Go for a location that’s close to the airport.
It’s also important to consider when it’s ideal to travel to your country of choice. Additionally, you could also do some research on the number of airports there are in that country.
The number of times you and your loved ones would like to meet up depends on when it’s convenient. If possible, you can meet more than twice a week.
Ease of transport also comes in handy if you have health issues. Traveling back home to your family is will be easier.
You not only have to consider transport when thinking about your loved ones. At your new location, you need to move around quickly to places like the grocery store.
What’s the state of roads in your preferred country? Is it safe? If you have a vehicle, can it use the road with no problem? How crowded are the roads? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
Do things Differently
The world can be beautiful if you make it to be. The best time to enjoy all these is during retirement when you have all the time to kick back and relax.
There are plenty of extraordinary places to visit. But you have to prepare yourself financially; that is if you’d love to spend your golden years in style.
If you desire to retire abroad, you have all you need to make a smart choice. Take all the time you need.
Do all the research you require to do. You’ve worked so hard for your money and that’s why you deserve to enjoy and live a peaceful life.