Living Abroad in Your Retirement


Posted on: 16 January 2014 by Chloe Derea

According to the Institute of Public Policy Research, there are over a million Britons living abroad in their retirement, and this number has risen steadily since the 1980s. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office estimates that 38% of over 55s are planning to relocate abroad within the next few years. Retiring abroad can be idyllic, as long as you prepared and plan thoroughly.

Do Your Research

Before you pack your bags and wave goodbye to wet British summers, make sure you know exactly what the immigration and residency laws are in your country of choice. These vary widely and it can be worth seeking legal advice. Being up to date with the laws of the country you wish to relocate in is very important and some places have political climates that are unstable and can change quickly. What civil liberties will you be entitled to? What are the licensing requirements for driving and the leasing procedures for renting properties? This must all be worked out before you arrive to prevent any less than pleasant surprises.

Get in Touch

There are certain official bodies that must be contacted before you retire abroad, including your local council, the relevant benefit offices, the International Pension Centre and HM Revenue & Customs. By doing this you will ensure that you still receive any benefits you are entitled to, you can still vote in UK elections and your UK citizenship will not be affected. There is more information about receiving your pension when you retire abroad available online.

Financial Planning

Whether you’re relocating abroad or not, it’s helpful to know what your budget is going to be. Think about what you’re hoping to see in terms of returns from any investments and plan how much you want to spend on things like leisure activities.  If you wish to make international payments or send money home, you should do this via a convenient and reliable service like Currencies Direct.

Access For Those With Disabilities

If you are disabled or have mobility difficulties, it’s important to do some research into accessibility before you choose accommodation abroad. Your place of residence should be equipped with wheelchair access and the local facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and public toilets must be able to accommodate your needs. If you are relocating to an area with a high population of retirees, this will be less of an issue.

Don’t be Fooled

Unfortunately, there are some people who prey on retirees who have moved abroad and make false promises of friendship, romantic interest or financial gain. Although retiring abroad may initially be lonely, don’t be fooled by one of these scams. Criminals will usually contact you via email or phone and they are attracted by the promise of retirement funds. Stay safe and reject offers that seem too good to be true, because they probably are.

Image courtesy of Ambro/

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Chloe Derea

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