5 Reasons To Retire Abroad For A Lifestyle Upgrade

Why settle for a mediocre retirement when you can have an extraordinary one? Discover how retirement abroad can change your life.

Retiring abroad isn’t just about finding better weather – it’s about creating a better life for yourself! Retirement means you finally have the freedom to choose your ideal climate, location, and lifestyle. And if you plan well, retiring overseas can bring about more positive changes than you might expect.

You’ll be amazed at the wonderful opportunities and choices that will open up to you. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider retiring abroad:

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1. Get better value for money

Retiring abroad can save you big bucks! Countries like Spain, Mexico, and Portugal have lower living costs than the US, UK, and Northern Europe. With intelligent planning, you can live well for much less. It’s like getting a pay raise just by crossing the border! 

Of course, much depends on the country you choose. Living in Monaco might not be the most affordable option.

If you choose to retire in Northern Italy or Germany, then the difference in the cost of living is insignificant, with more swings and roundabouts than any strong gains or losses either way.

But places like Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, and many Central and Latin American countries offer great climates, high standards of living, and a pleasant reduction in the cost of living. And you can enjoy the perks of retirement without breaking the bank.

For example, with some careful planning, a move to Portugal should see you, on average, 32% better off than someone with a similar lifestyle back in the UK or in the USA, with sunshine thrown in at no extra charge whatsoever.

Tip! If you want to do some country cost of living comparisons, check Numbeo – it’s a brilliant site to use for number crunching to get a feel for your monthly living costs overseas.

2. Enjoy better weather

We all feel happier on sunny days. We’d never choose holidays that put us through the pain of traveling through busy airports and wedging ourselves into cramped, uncomfortable aircraft seats if the reward of warmth and sunshine wasn’t waiting for us.

Retiring overseas gives us all chance for some long-term climate enhancement. 

With a hugely diverse world, you can choose from a variety of climates, the one that makes you feel better and healthier. 

Don’t just pick a location that you’ve only been to at the height of the holiday season. Do some climatic research and choose a retirement location based on your ideal overall climate that will be beneficial to your health. 

If the place you love most does have a few months of extreme cold or heat, don’t rule it out. Instead, plan around it. We all need to take time to visit family and friends back at home –weather extremes can be just the right time for a bit of traveling.

One advantage of retiring overseas is that you are free to choose the best climate to live in

3. Benefit from cheaper healthcare

This benefit is only applicable if you come from a country where healthcare isn’t free at the point of use. Alas, UK citizens, you will have to get acquainted and deal with premiums and coverages.

However, with careful consideration, it is possible to retire with high-quality and affordable private healthcare and bid adieu to the long queues of the NHS. 

If you come from the USA, the cost of healthcare in many popular retirement destinations can be only a pleasant surprise!

Whether you live in Cyprus, Andorra, Panama, France, or Chile, the healthcare services available for expats won’t let you down, provided, of course, you have suitable medical cover.

You may even want to consider healthcare retirement when you deliberately choose your new country of residence for high-quality quality, affordable private healthcare. It’s almost like healthcare tourism, only permanently.

If you are snowbirding or live between two different countries, the best way to secure your healthcare is to have international health insurance. International health insurance can be quite expensive. To make sure you get the best value for money, compare international health insurance options from various providers to find the best deal. 

4. Do what you’ve always wanted

Regardless of where you live, retirement always heralds the start of a very different lifestyle. Whether you plan for that new lifestyle or not, your life will change dramatically in retirement. Therefore, it’s always much better to make that plan.

It may well be the first time in your life when you really can put yourself first.  When was the last time that you had the freedom to plan your life around your passions, hobbies, and interests?

Whatever it is you are dreaming about doing, retirement abroad could make it a whole lot more accessible and affordable. Whether it’s scuba-diving, gardening, playing golf, sailing, cooking, or dancing salsa on the beach, – a well-planned retirement abroad can give you the perfect opportunity to do it all.

Invest some time investigating and comparing countries, and choose a location that will contribute best to your ideal lifestyle. Do what you have always wanted to, and enjoy your new-found freedom of retirement.

A well-planned retirement abroad will give you greater freedom, a healthier lifestyle, and generally a little more money to spend on the things and people that you love most.

5. Benefit from low-taxation regimes offered to foreign retirees

Retiring abroad can give you more control over your personal wealth!

By becoming a non-resident for tax purposes in your home country, you can access more financial and pension options. And the best part? Many countries are eager to attract wealthy expats like you.

Independent expatriate retirees are valuable to any nation’s economy, so some countries offer incentives and special deals to make it easier for you to move there. These incentives often come in the form of lower taxes on income, capital gains, wealth, and inheritance. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your new country!

As an example, if you retire to Cyprus, there is an optional special rate of 5% on your foreign pension income that you will pay in Cyprus as your income tax, which is extremely low. Find out more in our Taxes in Cyprus guide.

In Turkey and Northern Cyprus, expat retirees live practically tax-free.

The list of countries that offer tax incentives to retirees is extensive. Here are just some of them: Portugal, Italy (certain regions), Cyprus, North Cyprus, Turkey, Panama, Greece, Costa Rica, Ecuador, The UAE, The Bahamas, etc. 

You can find more information on various low-taxation offers in our Best Countries To Retire Abroad guide.

Living abroad often enables you to manage your wealth more efficiently by paying lower taxes and using a wider range of pension investment and income opportunities. 

Final thoughts on retirement abroad

Retiring abroad can be a life-changing decision that offers numerous benefits. From enjoying a better quality of life and discovering new cultures to unlocking financial opportunities and maximizing your money, the possibilities are endless. So why settle for a mediocre retirement when you can have an extraordinary one?

With careful planning, you can make your dream retirement a reality and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Take the leap and start exploring your options today – your ultimate retirement lifestyle awaits!

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Ola Degteva
Ola Degteva

Ola is a Content and Research Director at Expatra. Coming from a teaching and research background, she has been working in online publishing since 2010 when she became an expat. Having done 3 major international moves herself, Ola knows exactly what relocation and settling down in a new country involves and how important it is to plan ahead to make moving abroad less stressful.

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