Moving Overseas to Retire

I intend to do a series of posts which look at the options of moving overseas to retire.  With the devastation of many people’s retirement savings I think we may see some more people looking to relocate to decrease their retirement costs.

The interesting thing is that some parts of the world this is common practice, in other parts moving overseas is very rare.

The British are probably champions at moving overseas for retirement. The reasons aren’t hard to figure out: the notoriously bad British weather and the cultural history of moving overseas as part of ruling the world with the British Empire. These days the British tradtiionally like southern Europe – where the living is cheaper and the EU removes the issue with visas.

Canadians and Americans, particularly from the colder areas,  have tended to migrate south for better weather with Panama and Costa Rica particularly popular overseas retirement destinations.

New Zealanders have traditionally not moved overseas for retirement. Maybe its the universal pension which is only payable if the retiree lives in NZ for 6 months of the year. Or maybe its just the expense of moving from that remote country – particularly before the airfare wars of recent years. Or maybe the New Zealanders just think that the trade of for lifestyle and cost is fair enough in their home.

The Australians too have tended not to move overseas in retirement. Residents of the cooler southern states have been fueling Queensland’s population boom for years. Also Australian’s invented the sea change where downsizing from large expensive captial cities to small, less expensive town usually on a warm coast.

Things maybe  starting to change for Australians though. Most Australians are now funded by their own superannuation savings. And those savings have been heavily reduced in the last few years.

In addition the  boom of coastal real estate and the drop of some city values means that downsizing with a sea-change is not as easy or as lucartive as it was 5 or 8 years ago.

So what are the options for Australians looking to retire overseass – and why haven’t they realised that there is an obvious answer sitting on their doorstep? Well stay tuned for the next post …

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