Planning your Retirement Abroad

By : Nick Marr

Who hasn’t dreamed of wandering off into the sunset one day? Leaving your tedious work days and the grim UK weather behind you. Yes – We are talking about the bliss of, one day, retiring abroad. After years of hard work and the grey and gloomy mornings along with the dire British reality TV, don’t you deserve this?

Planning and Finances

As with anything that’s worth doing, retiring abroad is worth doing properly. The key to a happy retirement is in the planning. As soon as you know exactly what you want out of your retirement, it is time to start planning it. The more careful and specific planning, of course, must happen as you start to approach retirement age but there is really nothing wrong with getting a head start.

The first step in your planning centres around the question of ‘when’. You need an end goal, an end state if you are ever going to successfully achieve anything. Once you know your retirement date, it is time to start the planning and preparation.

Unfortunately, the planning can’t all be fun and games… As exciting as the prospect of moving to Spain, Italy or the USA may be, there is a lot to be done, a lot of boring admin, laborious paperwork and saving, saving, saving. Your finances will play a huge part in your choices. Putting money away for your retirement abroad is vital. You will need to budget for your removals, for the kind of lifestyle you want and for any unexpected costs that may occur.


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When you know that you will be moving abroad, you will need to tell the relevant government office that you will be retiring abroad and claiming your state pension. As long as you have made your National Insurance Contributions, you will be entitled to your state pension and it can be paid into a foreign bank account. You will need to get in touch with the International Pension Centre and you may be required to stay in touch with them throughout your retirement abroad.


You must consider the kind of healthcare you will receive or be entitled to in your chosen country of retirement. You will probably be required to pay into another national healthcare scheme. This may actually be one of the requirements of your visa.


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Visa regulations and the process will vary depending on the country you choose to retire to. Visit the Embassy or the website of the nation. There will be advice, guidance and support there and you should be able to apply for your visa online. Depending on where you are going, you may need to prove your wealth so that the government know you will be able to support yourself in your retirement.

Buying a Property Abroad

Be sure to visit the house you are planning on buying abroad, it is not enough to simply rely on pictures. You will need to see the place and explore the local area to ensure it will meet your needs and expectations. It is important that you use a reputable and English speaking estate agent and lawyer for these processes.

The Moving Process

Although there is an awful lot of planning involved in a move abroad, there is also an awful lot of doing. Your retirement will be a long time coming but once it is upon you, there is the small matter of actually moving to another country. For this, you are undoubtedly going to require the assistance of an international removals company. A move of this magnitude is going to be somewhat costly but you can get great deals on international removals by comparing the costs with ‘Compare My Move’, plus, in doing so, you will be using a trusted and verified company.

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This is no vacation, retiring and relocating abroad means you have to take all of your stuff. Many choose to sell, donate or store their furniture rather than get it shipped to their new home country, opting to buy new furniture for their new place instead. This isn’t an option for everyone so if you will be taking all of your furniture then, depending on the country you are going to, you will need a shipping freight service. Even if you are not taking your furniture, all of your treasured and worldly possessions will be going with you and you will be surprised how much stuff you have accumulated over the years. This is why it is important to find the right, professional service to suit your needs.

Onto the Next Adventure

There may be a lot to do in the run up to your retirement and during the actual move but, it will all be worth it, you just wait and see. You have dreamed of this, of sitting on a veranda drinking cream tea watching the dusk roll over another beautiful day, or a walk into a quaint village to buy fresh vegetables of an afternoon or perhaps an evening stroll down a peaceful beach with only the sound of the gentle waves and the memory of a life well lived to comfort you. Pure serenity – If this is the future you want, then make it happen.