Top Tips to retiring abroad
A great number of those buying property abroad are pensioners wanting to live out their twilight years in sunnier climates, or somewhere with a slower pace of life. If you are one of these people, take note of our top tips for retiring abroad:
Research– Before you actually make the move abroad, the more research you do is really the better – find out about your chosen new country (or even countries!), the people, the culture. Speak to a relocation specialists and look online for people who have already made the move there – find out what was easy and what was hard!
Choose carefully– work out whether you will be happy in an area that is very local, or somewhere that is full of British expats. You will need to ascertain if you should begin learning a new language – and if so, how difficult it will be to organise. It’s also a good idea to work out exactly what you will need from your new life – the types of amenities you want, and will need later on, such as nearby medical facilities.
Climate – don’t presume that everywhere in your new country has the same climate; look at historic weather statistics for your chosen area. Generally, the coastal areas are the most temperate, but in some areas you will still experience summer humidity or chilly winters which can be uncomfortable.
International travel facilities – bear in mind that you are more than likely to feel homesick at times, and miss your family, friends or even just the British culture! It’s a good idea to check out the transport links back to the UK, whether this be by plane, boat or anything else. Assess travel times and make sure you have transport points within commutable distance from your new home – not only so you can get back to the UK, but also so your family and friends can visit you easily!
Lifestyle – whilst you may choose your new home country planning for a slower way of life, you may find this frustrating as you begin to settle in to your new life. It’s a good idea to step back and think other ways to spend your time, instead of getting frustrated by the things that take a long time. Even aside from pace, your life in your new country will be very different than back in the UK and this may seem very alien at first. Try and celebrate these differences!
Tax and issues – speaking to a financial advisor and other local advisors about your worldwide estate must be one of the first things that you do. You will need to let HMRC know that you are leaving, especially if you are renting out your UK property to help fund your new life. You will need to register with your local tax office and make sure you fully understand your tax obligations to both the UK and your new home, and it is advisable to hire an English-speaking solicitor. If you are purchasing your new home, it’s also a good idea to make a will in your new country as soon as you can, as inheritance laws will be different to those in the UK.
Health –You will really need to research healthcare in your new country, and the facilities in your new region. UK retirees are covered automatically in all EU countries, but private healthcare may still be the best option. If you do take this route you will need to decide whether to go with a UK company or one local to your new country.
Have fun! Don’t spend so much time worrying about all of the above and not enjoying your new location! Make some friends through expat associations and try new things – especially things unique to your new home!