24 Mar Moving Overseas for Retirement: Here’s How to Make It Work on a Budget
Moving overseas for retirement is a big desire for many Americans. Not only is the weather better out there, but you can get much more for your dollars by moving abroad. The cost of living in many overseas locations is much lower than in America so your retirement savings last longer.
But moving overseas for retirement can also be expensive. Keep in mind that you are moving items that you have spent a lifetime accumulating. Moving on a budget requires proper planning and research.
Keep reading for the best tips on how to move overseas on a budget.
Identify Your Dream Retirement Location
The first step you must take when moving overseas is to choose your destination country and city. Each destination will have its advantages and disadvantages so you should know what matters to you. For instance, is weather more important than the cost of living?
Does the flight distance from the States matter to you and your partner? Will the destination accommodate your retirement plans and desired activities? The perfect destination should maintain or upgrade your quality of living but at a lower price.
If your dream city is beyond your budget, consider saving money by moving to a smaller city or town close by. You may find that the smaller town has the same opportunities as your dream location but at a fraction of the cost.
Many developing nations have upgraded their infrastructure but still, have a low cost of living. These include Portugal, Vietnam, Thailand, Ecuador, Colombia, Poland, and Chile.
Check the Visa Requirements
Before settling on your dream destination, check out the visa requirements for expatriates. Some countries allow you to stay for years on a tourist visa. Others will ask you to apply for residency or citizenship.
Some others may need you to invest thousands of dollars before they give you a residence permit. The visa and residency requirements may make your dream destination impossible to retire at.
The best way to find out the visa requirements of your target destination is to contact their embassy and ask. The embassy may have visa details on their page but you may get the most up-to-date information by calling them or visiting them.
You can also check expatriate boards for your location and ask questions about the visa requirements. Expats already settled in your target country are often more than willing to share their local knowledge.
Find Affordable Accommodation
Once you choose a destination, the next step when moving overseas for retirement is to identify a place to stay. But how can you choose a house from overseas?
It’s not always a good idea to choose a property you haven’t seen physically. Technology has made it much easier to find accommodation through Airbnb and other accommodation booking applications. Before you pay a large deposit on a house, stay in an Airbnb for a month or two as you research your new city.
Airbnb’s generally don’t need huge upfront deposits, so they are great for temporary accommodation. This time will allow you to know the different neighborhoods and where you prefer to stay.
Create Extra Streams of Income
If your retirement savings barely cover your costs of living, you’ll need to find supplementary sources of income. The gig economy allows retirees to find creative ways to earn an income.
If you can, try and find a remote job that pays you American rates and in dollars. This way, your spending power is increased when you exchange the dollars into local currency.
Since you will likely be living in a holiday destination, you can rent your spare rooms as Airbnb accommodations. You could also offer to manage other people’s properties for a fee. Other jobs may include tour guiding, taxi driving, online freelance work, travel blogging, etc.
If you’re moving to a non-English speaking country, you can also make a good income as a native English speaker. Countries such as South Korea, Spain, Italy, and Portugal are all great retirement destinations where you can get a lucrative job as an English teacher.
Save Money on Your Move
You can’t relocate overseas on a budget without saving money on your actual move. Do your research and find out the cheapest time to travel. Also, check out which flights to book and how to ship your goods.
It may be cheaper to plan your move during low seasons at your target destination. During this time, both flights and accommodation will be cheaper.
As for shipping, you may find that it’s cheaper to sell or donate most of your bulky belongings. After all, retirement is the best time to downsize and get rid of unnecessary clutter. You’ll be able to buy what you need in your new home.
You’ll still need to shop around for a shipping company to transport any items you don’t want to discard. Get quotations from at least three companies so that you can bargain for the best price. Your items are precious so choose a trustworthy company with years of experience and lots of references.
You can check their business rating online and see if you can find any complaints about them. Avoid any companies that don’t provide a contract or ask you to pay upfront for their services. See our checklist for more information on what to look out for when choosing a shipping company.
Moving Overseas on a Budget
Moving overseas from America to a country with a different value currency could cut your retirement expenses in half. The possibility of living a better life while spending way less money is the reason why many Americans choose to retire overseas.
It may seem crazy to some to retire away from home but it makes financial sense. If this is something you have been thinking about, it may be time to act. The sooner you make your move, the more money you will save.
If you need to ship items overseas, learn more about how UPakWeShip can help you.