Expats: Moving to Foreign Countries After Retirement

Post by Sharon

The decision to retire in another country the ex-patriate or expat is a lengthy and guarded decision. Most of us only know the life of the country we were raised in, so customs, legal system, resources, cost of living and much more are turned upside down. 

The recent onslaught of COVID-19 and the worldwide lockdown created a shockwave to the expat citizens. They learned fast about the difficulty of goods, the outlaw attitudes, and other crises that arise in countries that do not have the support that their home country does.

There are a lot of logistics as you are basically starting over in another place. How important is being near family to you? It isn't so easy to travel back and forth and even well-intending family sighs and shrugs at the thought of coming to visit in another country and all the logistics and cost involved.

Weather is often a factor for people who become expats. Going south of the equator and being near warm beaches are the biggest motivators. As lovely as that sounds, there is also a cost of living issue in such communities as they are also resort-tourist areas that means higher cost of everything. 

Some of the advantages of this climate is relief from arthritis pain, lots of vitamin D, fresh produce and fish year-round, and a peaceful beauty that is inspiring. 

The idea of being able to hike, swim, sail, and be active sounds very enticing. Most of our beach-related communities in the US are packed with residents packed into the hillsides, crowded beaches, and noise pollution.

For some, the ability to lift anchor on a yacht and hit the sea during a time of crisis sounds like just another day in paradise.

Factors we often forget along the way are the legal system and policing of the place we are relocating to, the health care system, the social benefits and protections, language barriers, cost of renovations, availability of materials, the compatibility social-wise with locals, and the general reaction by locals to outsiders.
Some resources to learn more about being an expat - 
How to be successful as expat
The pro's and con's