Retire Abroad Checklist 

A Checklist for Retiring Overseas

A retire abroad checklist requires careful planning.  If your dream is to retire overseas here, are the things you need to consider.  Money, health, access, security...which ones are essential for you?

Retiring abroad-do your homework


  • How much money will you need? What disposable income will you have from your pension, social security and investments? How does the cost of living compare to your Home Country, and what are the likely future trends? You will have to consider currency fluctuations if you live outside the Euro zone or the US Dollar area.
  • Taxation: You've worked hard for your money and you've paid your taxes in your home country, you don’t want to have to pay on the double. It is vital to plan the taxation implications of your move. You need a lawyer well versed in the taxation laws of your country of choice.

Health and family

  • Healthcare: What are your entitlements to healthcare abroad? Does your Country have reciprocal arrangements with your new retirement location? What is your current state of health, and potential future needs? How would you cope with the dependence of yourself or your partner on home help or a nursing home? What are the health standards?
  • Family and friends: Do you wish to be close enough to “home” to visit, or receive visits from - children, grandchildren, siblings other family members and friends? Budget Airlines, the Internet and mobile phones have made it easier to stay in touch. 
  • Is your social style (personality) gregarious or reserved? A decline in sociability and reduced interest in making new contacts is a common feature of the retirement life stage

Must have on your retire abroad checklist

What are you passionate about, what do you love to do, what is a must for you? Knowing the order of priority you place on your Values will enable you to evaluate the locations you are considering. Here is an example of a list a client shared with me during a retirement coaching conversation:

  • Health
  • Family Happiness
  • Security
  • Fun
  • Adventure
  • Friendship
  • Continuing Personal Development
  • Spirituality
  • Community Service.

Best place to retire abroad

  • Country of choice: Prepare a list of the 10 best places to retire overseas. If you already have a preferred retirement location in mind, what is it that attracts you to it? Is it the climate, or the cost of living, the low crime rate, the presence of communities and clubs from your homeland? 

What are you prepared to trade off? For example South Africa has a great climate, low cost of living, but a high crime rate and political instability. 

How reliable is your information, have you visited for prolonged periods and at different times of the year - how appealing is it in winter/summer, peak/low season. I couldn’t live there July/August", a client commented. Have you talked to other expatriate residents? Do you plan to live there permanently, or just part of the year? 

I’m sure you’ve already had the experience of saying about an area, Great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Read my story Se Vende.

  • Cui Bono - Who Benefits? When you are weighing up advertisements or brochures for retirement housing and locations, ask yourself Cicero’s timeless question: “Who benefits if I act on this pitch? One answer is the Real Estate Developer. What does he know about your retirement needs? What assumptions does the advertisement presume about your ideal retirement lifestyle? I know how advertising works - I was a marketing director!

What would you miss about home?

What would you miss about home if you retire overseas? When I asked myself that question, here are some of the answers I came up with:

  • I would miss sport, both national and local events, especially Irish Football.
  • I would miss the local community and the network of people and services that support me - the Postman, the Parish Priest, the taxi and bus service (they know me), the checkout girl at the local supermarket, who always has a smile and a greeting for me, my neighbors, my best friends, my golf club membership, Patrick's Street on Christmas eve ...

The list goes on and on...what would you add?

It's so easy to take for granted the network of friends and services, which we have built up over a lifetime, which watch over us and support us.

What are YOU grateful for? What would YOU miss?

A retire abroad checklist can clarify if you are the retire abroad type.

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