So, you want to retire abroad? It can be daunting; you’re moving house, potentially leaving family behind, and travelling to an area which you may have only visited briefly in the past. But why not spend your golden years relaxing in your self proclaimed haven; be it a bustling city or a quiet seaside village? You’ve worked hard, you deserve to enjoy your retirement relaxing where and how you want. However, with significant pensions quickly becoming a thing of the past, and living costs at a high, the cost of relocating can quickly make you reconsider how you spend your hard earned savings. We’re going to explore some tips and tricks which you can use to save as much as you can on your move abroad. You might just decide to retire early.
The first thing to consider is where you want to move to. This is the factor which will have the biggest impact on how much money you’ll have to have saved. Should you choose to move to the capital city of a first world metropolis, you’ll likely need more money saved than if you felt a humble life in the scenic countryside of a developing country was more your style. Based on nothing more than my frequently shared opinion, I’d encourage you to really have a look into countries and locations you may not have otherwise considered. Bali? South Africa? Madagascar? These are all countries that offer stunning surroundings, bustling cities and quiet villages; all with a very affordable living cost. Essentially, the trade off you’ll be looking at is either moving to an area with higher costs of living, which will likely have better public facilities and resources; or moving to an area where the cost of living is lower, but you will likely have access to fewer public resources. Both areas can offer beautiful scenery, lively communities and more than enough exploration to keep your golden years exciting.
Speaking of exciting, there are also a few financial tips which can make the difference between accidentally spending all your savings a week into your new foreign life, or having saved enough to buy a car on top of what you thought was your final budget. Firstly, you’ll want to look at the cost of properties. Often when people move abroad permanently, they like to build their own property. While this is a luxury we can’t all afford, you may be surprised to see how much house you can build in two different countries for the same price. If you're looking to build a property in New York, for example, chances are your personal assistant is probably reading this for you, while you throw caviar at passersby from your penthouse balcony. On the other end of the spectrum, the cost of building a beachside cabin, or rainforest treehouse in Madagascar may be a pleasant surprise for you. Unfortunately, you’re once again looking at a trade off; between building a house somewhere more expensive, but having access to more building materials and construction experts; or building a house somewhere with far lower construction costs, where you might find yourself with an axe and some string trying to remember how you used to build tiki tents in the garden.
Should building a house be a little more expensive than you were bidding for, you can also make a saving when buying a house. Firstly, you might want to consider contacting homeowners directly, rather than using an estate agent. This will likely save you a great deal as you won’t have to cover the company’s commissions. Using sites like Rightmove, you can quickly compare house prices to get an idea of how much each area is likely to cost you. Moving a couple of minutes down the road might save you a significant amount.
Another good piece of financial advice you’ll want to consider is exchange rates. When transferring large sums of money, such as your entire savings, exchange rates are definitely something you’ll want to consider. It’s unlikely you’ll pick your location based on which country offers the most favourable return on exchange, but it’s worth considering the fluctuations in both your local currency and the foreign currency you wish to exchange to. Personally, I would recommend using the Find.Exchange currency price alert so that you receive a notification when the exchange rate is most favourable. Find.Exchange can save you a lot more money still. If you’ve ever had to transfer money overseas, you’ll likely be aware that different companies offer different rates for the same transfer. Tie this in with the hidden fees and finding the cheapest service becomes anyone's guess. Having the ability to go to Find.Exchange and quickly see who’s offering the cheapest, fastest and most secure transfer service is a guaranteed time and money saver.
So yes, retiring abroad is intimidating; but more importantly, it’s exciting. Knowing how to make the most of your savings when doing it can really help you to focus on that excitement, and forget to be intimidated. The world has so much variety to offer, whether it’s food, weather, landscape, community, or anything else; variety is, after all, the spice of life.
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