10 Aspects to Consider Before Retiring Overseas

Aug 29, 2015 | Financial Planning, Insurance Services, Retirement Planning

A Checklist to help you Retire

Retiring overseas is a big move. Depending on where you choose to live you may have to learn a new language, acclimatise to a different culture learning a new way of life. Although the weather may constantly be hot, you could find you are isolated.

This post looks at ten aspects of moving overseas to consider before you start filling up the packing boxes. Consideration now can save a lot of issues further down the line.


Time waits for no one and as you have left the working world behind, time is sadly no longer on your side. As such, the sooner you do your research, take time to mull over the pros and cons of retiring to a different country, the sooner you can make the arrangements and start packing. Do your research now not tomorrow.


Where you move to should be chosen with care. Is it a friendly place for retirees or is it not so good? Is it easy to get to local amenities? How far is it from your family? What was a great place to visit for two weeks may not cut the mustard when you become a resident. Try and visit an area which is off the tourist map, and out of the tourist season to get a better picture of the ‘real’ community you will experience.

Cost of Living

One aspect you need to consider is the cost of living. Unless you have some way of generating a paid income, you will be living off your retirement funds and they have to last. Start looking at tax rates, and the cost of getting your new life established. Visas, property and related costs, utilities, transportation, health insurance (not many countries have an NHS), currency exchange rates, critical illness insurance, and what happens should you or your partner need to go into care?

All of this costs and you need to do your homework to avoid surprises.


One aspect to consider is the politics of the country. This has a huge bearing on the culture where you live, and will have some impact on the quality of your life. In essence you want a country which has a broadly similar political slant to your own. No matter where you live, politics will be present in some form.

Tax Liabilities

Tax will always raise its ugly head unless you’re planning to live on a submarine in the middle of the ocean tax will be an issue. Even if you are ten thousand fathoms below you can never rule out getting an unforeseen tax bill. As such, it is important you do your homework and know exactly how much tax you will have to pay both at home and abroad.

If you are planning to leave Britain permanently you need to complete a P85. If you have an income based in the country, you may be liable to pay tax from that, and if you sell property there may be capital gains tax due.

Regardless of your situation you do not want to be caught out where tax is concerned.


If you are retiring to a place where they speak a different language to you, then you will struggle until you pick it up. Given that the older we are the longer it takes us to learn something new, it might be an idea to start taking language lessons now.

Loved Ones

By the time we retire we often have a small army of children and grandchildren. If you are a long haul flight away from them, going to see them or vise versa is going to be time consuming, expensive and problematic. If you like to check in with your children and love spending time with your grandchildren, then take care with the country you retire to.


We have already mentioned health insurance, life insurance, and critical illness cover but they are worth mentioning again. Different countries have their own ways of handling healthcare, so ensure you are wise to what this is. You can never have too much advice on this kind of insurance, so ensure you speak to a financial planning professional.


Like language, cultural differences can be hard to navigate too. This goes to driving on a different side of the road, to how you dress in public. Different parts of the world have different rules, although the west can be considered broadly similar.

Expat Community

One aspect to look at it is if there is a vibrant expat community. If there is, there will be amenities focused on attracting expats, and in theory you should settle in faster and easier. If there is not, you might struggle until you know the culture and language a bit better.

Financial Planning Advice for Retiring Abroad

If you are planning to retire overseas, having sound financial advice behind you will help you make important decisions, especially where insurances and tax is concerned. These two areas are complex and the inexperienced often make mistakes that cost them dearly.

By clicking here or completing the CALL BACK SERVICE FORM you can access my award winning financial planning services. Together we can negotiate the ‘dangerous’ aspects of retiring overseas, and come up with the best financial plan for your retirement.


For more information, please contact Michele Carby at Holborn Asset Management on +971 50 618 6463 and on e-mail at [email protected]


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