How to Retire Abroad Without It Costing A Fortune

How to Retire Abroad Without It Costing A Fortune

A couple of weeks ago we published the post – Plan to Travel After Retirement? What Will It Cost? which we hoped helped you think about the little changes you can make now to ensure you can still travel once you retire. However, if you are like many people, again including us, you might dream of moving away and living abroad when you quit your job for good and retire, which may seem like a long time off for many, closer than you may like for others.This kind of change and adjustment might make you nervous. Of course, retiring to a foreign place can be very expensive if you aren’t careful, and there are many other considerations to take into account, including housing, destination, family and more. Moving abroad can be a great way to retire, and one of the best parts of your life. Try not to let insecurities stop you. If you follow these tips, you might find you can retire in Europe without it costing you a fortune or making you feel lost.

Get Your Finances in Order

If you don’t get your finances in order before you pack your bags, you can plan on finding yourself in a lot of financial trouble before too long. If you’re in a lot of debt already, you might find that seeking advice and assistance now in order to get back on an even keel, could benefit you when it comes to retirement. It’s also important to contribute to your retirement savings now and look for other ways to save up as much money as you can, which can be easier said than done in today’s economy, however, the more money you can save now, the more money you will have to help ensure you have a happy and comfortable retirement no matter where you end up.

Choose the Right Destination

If you aren’t sure of where you want to retire, you should know that some places in Europe are a whole lot cheaper to live in than others. Wherever you are from, choosing a place with a lower cost of living can help you live the lifestyle you want, without spending more than you can afford, it is also very important to consider, amongst other things, exchange rates, local inflation and taxes as no-one wants their lifelong dream turning into a nightmare.
Of course, it pays to do your research, but you may want to look into places like Croatia, Malta, and Portugal. You may find these places are perfect for your retirement and that they are affordable as well, allowing you a perfect balance that will help you live a happy life after you have retired. These countries along with others such as Spain, France and Greece, although slightly more pricey to live in, also benefit from warm weather and winter sun which is always welcome, especially if you are from the UK or somewhere similar which seems to only see 3 days of summer per year.

Avoid Living Like a Tourist

Many of these beautiful European areas are also popular tourist destinations. Aas with most tourist destinations, prices can be inflated the closer you are to them. By avoiding living like a tourist, and instead, living, shopping, and eating in the same places where the locals do, you can save a significant amount of money. Plus, it can help you enjoy the culture in your new home in a much more authentic way.
If you dream of someday retiring abroad, you should know that it might be more of an option for you than you realise. If you put some careful thought and research into your plan now and choose the right destination, you could find that retiring somewhere in Europe can be even more affordable and than you ever thought, allowing you to enjoy your non-working years to the fullest and living your dream.


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  1. November 18, 2017 / 7:15 am

    I think the ‘Avoid Living Like a Tourist’ point is a good one.That, together with leading a more simple life, is the way to do it. We sold-up in UK and retired, lock, stock and barrel, to Hong Kong which is not exactly the cheapest of places for rent but things balance out when you factor in the very low cost utilities and public transport.And you soon learn where and how to get things cheaper. Funnily enough we met some folk from Glasgow the other day and they reckoned it was more expensive to live there than here. A great time we’re having, living in one of the world’s most exciting and visited locaions what’s not to like? After a period of procrastination we finally made the move in 2015 (by cruise ship !!) – no regrets, would advise and encourage those thinking about it to do it !! If anyone’s interested in how we made the move the article I wrote here for ExpatFocus reveals all:

    • November 19, 2017 / 9:56 am

      Thanks for the comment Ben. It’s great to hear the balance in Hong Kong too, as people who have only visited as tourists we found it to be so expensive but I think that is because we were staying in Lan Kwai Fong and we certainly were living like tourists (we were only there for 5 days). I can only imagine it is a great place to live and a great base for travel in Asia. Thank you for sharing your article, it’s very insightful and I am sure it has helped a lot of people take the plunge. (Early) retirement abroad is something we would love to do (still got a while to go), but it is nerve-wracking – we’ll probably talk ourselves in and out of it at least 100 times before actually making our decision! Although it sounds like it’s the best one you have ever made 🙂

    • November 19, 2017 / 9:43 am

      Thank you, hope you found it useful 🙂 Safe Travels!