As soon as we begin our journey into the world of work, we’re often already wishing our life away and dreaming of retirement. With the UK population living longer it’s also meant we have to work longer too, and if there’s anything that’s drummed into us from an early age it’s to plan for your retirement and it’s with good reason too.
Many of us dream of escaping abroad to enjoy our retirement in new and often sunnier surroundings, but whether you lust after a blissful and relaxing retirement or want a more action packed later life, then where you chose to reside can vastly differ how your later years pan out.
Whatever you’re after, these countries offer some of the best retirement options across the world.
Spain has long been a holiday favourite for many in Europe so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular destinations for those looking to retire too. With hot summers and mild winters, the Spanish mainland and its surrounding islands often come top for retiree destinations.
With a similar infrastructure to the UK, Spain has the perfect home away from home vibe just a little warmer than we’re used to here in the UK. Despite the Spanish property market hitting a rocky patch in previous years, it seems it’s now on the up and is relatively undervalued, making it one of the cheapest places to buy property in 2016.
If you’re after a strong network to socialise with then Spain has a large expat community ready and waiting, with low crime rates, beautiful beaches and countryside to explore you’ll certainly feel at home.
It’s worth remembering your EHIC card won’t cover you if you live in Spain, so you may wish to take out private healthcare to ensure you don’t rack up a huge bill should you fall ill. If you’re a recipient of the UK state pension then you are eligible for the same treatment as a local if you register for an S1 form, you will then need to present this alongside other documents to your local INSS office.
If culture is what you’re after then Portugal has it in bundles, with everything from beaches, golf courses, fishing villages and culture rich towns, Portugal’s long established expat community will all be waiting to keep you entertained.
Costal destinations are naturally some of the most popular with the rugged Atlantic coastline receiving relatively warm temperatures all year round, although it can be slightly wetter in winter when compared to Spain.
Property prices are fairly reasonable and many offer swimming pools or are located on maintained gated complex’s offering you luxury and security all rolled into one. Cost of living is also around 30% lower than in the UK, so you’ll get more for your money there too.
On the subject of money then it’s also possible to relocate to Portugal and pay no tax on your pension, due to a double tax treaty the UK has with Portugal which allows new arrivals who are tax residents to take foreign income sources as tax free for the first 10 years.
English as a first language, average temperatures of 19C and over 3,000 hours of sunshine throughout the year it’s easy to see why Malta is a popular choice when it comes to relocating abroad. Despite being densely populated due to the size of the state, many still choose to flock to the Mediterranean country.
A country rich in culture and heritage, Malta is also home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites so if you’re after a country which backs up its historical status and natural beauty then you should certainly visit Malta. The city of Valletta has also been named the European Culture Capital for 2018.
When it comes to healthcare the country has a good reputation for its services, and if you are a UK citizen then you should be eligible for free healthcare due to a previous agreement the two countries made, however it’s also recommended that you take out private insurance too.
Compared to other EU countries, Malta is one of the cheapest in relation to cost of living. Many nationals shop at local markets which are often cheaper than the supermarkets where the food is imported.
Over half of American citizens have never been abroad and there’s good reason for that, with so much to explore in just one country it’s easy to see why Americans don’t always feel the need to travel outside their borders.
The elephant in the room here is of course the expensive health care costs, but when compared to the other elements that the US has to offer you when it comes to making your money stretch a little bit further it can be almost outweighed.
Bang for your buck will be much better in America than in the UK, with palatial homes in the US only equating to a semidetached 3-bed back home. You’ll need to remember that homes often have different names over in the US so reading up on accommodation styles in America is a must before you pack your bags and up sticks.
From the sunshine state of Florida, Washington and California, the USA has plenty of states which suit many retirees, the hard part is choosing which one you want to live in. Wherever you choose to call home, with over 50 states to visit you’ll be able to explore everywhere from the Golden Gate Bridge, Central Park, Yellowstone National Park and the White House.
Australia is the country which most likely springs to mind when the words retirement abroad are strung together in a sentence, with life down under offering a much sunnier, happier, healthier option for those looking for a change in later life.
Property and the cost of living aren’t cheap but with low taxes and cheap healthcare on offer, Australia has one of the largest expat communities, with around 1.3 million expats. A warm climate all year round and natural beauty hotspots dotted around the country make it the perfect place to live and explore in the warm sunshine.
If the heat puts you off, then you may find that you are better off living in the south of the country as whilst summers are long and hot, winters are cooler and provide a light relief from the hot temperatures Australia is often known for.
Many in Australia chose to rent rather than purchase property, as due to the vast nature of the country and the properties available return on investment is often lower. Like any other country, property prices are often more expensive in the larger cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, so moving further out will get you more for your money.
Wherever you choose to retire to, you’ll often find a large expat community who have done it all before, so do your research, visit multiple times before you move and most importantly enjoy.