How To Prepare For Retirement Overseas

Have you been dreaming of retiring overseas? Perhaps you are enticed by the sense of adventure found in living in Kuala Lumpur or the relaxed lifestyle in Phuket, Thailand. Regardless of where you choose, retiring overseas offers a refreshed sense of adventure and discovery. However, there’s a little more to it than packing your suitcase and booking your flights. We’ve created a guide that breaks down everything you need to know about retiring overseas.

Overseas retirement


People often think about retirement as a closing chapter in their lives, but in reality, it's the beginning of a new adventure! Free from your previous responsibilities of work and raising a family, retirement offers increased freedom to travel and the perfect opportunity to live overseas. 

Not only is retiring abroad sure to inspire a renewed zest for life, it’s also a smart financial decision. Depending on where you choose, you can have a better quality of life on a tighter budget than in your home country. Whether it be a bigger house, living by the beach, or eating out every week, retirement overseas offers an exciting opportunity to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. 


So, you’ve decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, but with the world as your oyster - where should you go? Choosing the right destination is crucial and isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. 

Do your research

If you're having trouble choosing where you’d like to relocate then create a basic checklist for your ideal home. Consider whether beautiful landscapes and a slower pace of life is more appealing to you than culture and architecture. It’s also helpful to think of some deal breakers. If you are looking for peace and quiet, retiring to a city such as São Paulo in Brazil isn’t going to be a great choice. 

While preparing for your move, we also recommend doing some research. Budget tends to be a huge deciding factor in retiring overseas, so research the cost of living, transportation and entertainment in a few locations. 

Researching and organising your visa and residency requirements is essential. Every country will have their own specific requirements when it comes to longer term stays and retirees. These may include annual passive income proof (such as a pension or the ownership of stocks), proof of adequate savings or even requirements to purchase real estate. 

Keep in mind that not all countries will have easy nor straightforward visa or residency processes. By researching incentives for retirees, you’ll find a country who is keen to attract more foreign residents and will offer a simple and appealing residency application. Examples include Costa Rica, Panama, and Italy with their exciting one euro house program

When it comes to safety, it’s best not to compromise. Doing some research about the safety and political stability of your chosen country is recommended. Mexico can be a great place to retire, however various regions are listed with ‘Do Not Travel’ recommendations by the U.S. State Department. Consider your chosen region carefully and observe its local news to stay abreast of any changes in the social or political climate. 

We’d recommend getting in touch with the foregin consulate to receive accurate and up to date information on your chosen country’s safety and state of political climate.  

Visit before you retire 

Get an accurate understanding of whether your chosen location is the right fit by taking a visit. Scoping out countries and cities that interest you is a great way to get a feel for your potential new home. In person, you’ll get a strong sense whether your chosen location will meet your criteria. Take the time to see all different parts of your location, not just the touristy areas.


You’ve found your ideal location to retire to and are ready to begin preparing for your relocation. But, it’s not quite time to pack up your belongings and begin your move yet. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, but taking the time to research the finer details of your international relocation will make things easier down the road. Besides, this isn’t just a four week holiday, it is the beginning of a new chapter in your life! You need to invest the time and energy into making it a smooth transition.

We’ve compiled a list of things you’ll need to investigate and organise before your move. 

Rent or Buy?

The question of whether you’ll rent or buy in your new country is an important one. As mentioned earlier, some countries require you to invest in a local property as part of your residency application while others may have restrictions surrounding foreign ownership. 

If you have the freedom to choose, it’s recommended that you rent before you buy. Renting allows you to test the waters of living in your new location, you’ll gain insight into daily life at your new home and can see if it’s a right fit for you. Renting can also provide the flexibility to try different cities and regions within your new country. 

However, why not take the plunge and purchase a home? If you’re feeling ready and confident about your move, purchasing a home can provide a great sense of security. Moving overseas is already a significant commitment so buying a property is the next reasonable step. Purchasing a property is especially recommended in an appreciating market, hot properties tend to be snapped up so be prepared to act quickly. 

Foreign and local taxes 

Depending on the laws in your home country and your residency status, you may be required to pay taxes both locally and overseas. These combined taxes can end up costing a significant amount so we’d recommend seeking professional financial advice specific to the country you are planning on retiring to. It's also wise to discuss how best to handle your savings with exchange rates and ask questions on specific financial regulations with your professional advisor. 


Having access to reliable and affordable healthcare is crucial during retirement. Even the fittest of us still need a regular check-up. Make sure to research the state of your new country’s healthcare to avoid any nasty surprises down the road. Although many retirees flock to Florida in the United States, their lack of universal healthcare means a small procedure could cost thousands. 

Every country and their healthcare will be different so ensure to research any specific medicines or treatments you are currently receiving and enquire if they are available in your new country. If you’re opting for a quieter relocation in regional or coastal areas, check to see the closest hospitals and other medical facilities. 

We’d also recommend arranging medical insurance as it can help prevent the possibility of going into debt due to medical bills. 

Other factors to consider before retiring overseas

Wanting to drive overseas? Check the rules regarding international drivers license at your specific location and investigate whether it's required to apply for a local license. 

Will you want to work or volunteer during your retirement? There may be restrictions depending on your type of visa. Make sure you double check the fine print before you start up that side hustle or start teaching English at the local school.

How will you communicate? We recommend making an effort to learn some basic phrases or words in the local language before you move. Not only will it make life easier for you, but it’ll also be appreciated by the local people. 

Declutter and pack!

There’s no doubt you will have a mountain of stuff acquired throughout your life. Relocating overseas presents the perfect opportunity to declutter and focus on the essentials and precious items. Take the time to sort through your belongings and sell or donate any unwanted items. Our storage service is a great option for those wanting to leave some items behind. 

Our handy moving checklist makes it easy to pack methodically and prevents you forgetting any important tasks. 

Hire the experts

Moving overseas can be a difficult and stressful experience. In between organising your visa, financials, and saying goodbye to loved ones, coordinating a huge move can be exhausting. 

By hiring experienced and professional international movers such as Allied, your move will become easy and seamless. Allied offers the full end to end relocation service including packing and unpacking, transportation, and pet relocation and car relocation

With our global network of movers, you won’t have to worry about your items becoming lost on the way or needing to deal with another local moving company. Make your move of a lifetime a stressful and smooth transition with Allied.