How to Retire Overseas

All your dreams come true

This is a cautionary story about how to retire overseas. The grass isn’t always greener, although maybe on the golf course it is.  Know what you want, and don’t want in your retirement lifestyle. 

This is the life?

Imagine getting up on any given morning, enjoying a leisurely breakfast, going to the Clubhouse and playing 18 holes of golf with friends, and soaking in one of the heated pools after the game. 

Enjoy delicious Paella with your family and friends in a specialty restaurant, or some fantastic fish, fresh from the Mediterranean. Rest or play a game of tennis, and relax afterwards, with a fantastic massage in a Spa, in order to be ready at night to celebrate with a delicious Guinness in an Irish pub. 

All your dreams can come true, without leaving the resort. 

The resort consists of apartments, townhouses and villas, all built around a signature golf course. At the centre of the resort is a town centre boasting superb facilities. A vibrant bustling place for holiday makers or permanent residents, with a five star hotel, a huge array of restaurants, fast food outlets, supermarket, shops, health centre, and of course golf courses. 

If you’re a golf fan you can’t afford to miss out on the fantastic experience to be found in this resort. The description above is typical of what you may read on a website or brochure advertising holiday homes in Spain, Portugal, and other locations. 

If this is your ideal image of how to retire overseas then you’re probably on the wrong website! 

However if like the Bard you believe that: ‘If all the year were playing holiday, to sport would be as tedious as to work’, then please read on.

What I learnt from my visit

I went on a golfing holiday with friends to such a resort just last May. Here are my observations: 

The resort had indeed much of what was promised above, especially great weather and excellent golf courses. We had a wonderful 10 days there. OK, so you can’t get a good pint of Guinness outside Ireland, most of the people in the Irish pub were not Irish and Karaoke was the main entertainment. But it was great fun

The resort was unusually quiet, even allowing for the fact that is was early in the holiday season. The majority of the apartments and villas seemed to be unoccupied and many of them displayed Se Vende (For Sale) signs. I did manage to slice a drive into of the few that was occupied! 

It was not a particularly interesting place to walk around, apart from the beautiful golf course, and the “culturally rich region” outside the resort was an expensive taxi ride away. 

One of our party needed some medication and the pharmacy was not within walking distance. A small supermarket was nearby, but a bigger shop would have required a car or taxi trip. In late retirement, as we age, ease of access to shopping and recreational facilities will become more important. 

I observed an aging community of ordinary people, not the beautiful people (models) portrayed in the advertising brochures! 

My Verdict:  How to retire overseas...NOT

Great to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. This is not my ideal version of How to Retire Overseas! 

I want to live where there are opportunities for entertainment (to pursue my interests), service (volunteerism) and some work (my retirement coaching business).

What are your thoughts on how to retire overseas?

For more ideas on how to retire overseas successfully read my checklist

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