Whether you’re on the brink of retirement, or you’re just planning ahead, finding the perfect destination to spend your overseas retirement in can be exciting, but it can also have its challenges.

You’re less likely to want to relocate again as you get older, so making the right choice, first time, is important to many people.

If you’re drawn to the idea of emigrating, but you have no particular country in mind, a good place to begin is considering the top-ranking countries to retire to, as listed in the 2017 Annual Global Retirement Index.

According to the study, published by International Living, the top 5 countries to retire to are:

1. Mexico

Boasting a mix of exotic foreign culture and first-world lifestyle, Mexico often gets recognised as the country with the easiest expat life around. With its friendly locals and plenty of fellow expats to engage with, it’s no wonder this beautiful country wins the title.

2. Panama

A modern setting paired with a simple lifestyle awaits expats in this Central American location. Famous for the canal flowing in-between the skyscrapers, this elegant city will surely ease you into the next phase of your life.

3. Ecuador

This underrated South American destination has become increasingly popular with expat retirees over the years. Not only is it a great place for overseas retirement, the country offers huge discounts on flights departing Ecuador, making it simple and cost effective to travel. Discounts are available on public transport and utilities for over 65’s too.

4. Costa Rica

Life is good in Costa Rica – according to the country’s official motto Pura Vida anyway. With a safe and stable environment, complete with a year-round tropical climate, you’ll no doubt have a stress-free existence spent relaxing on the Caribbean beaches or exploring the tropical rainforests.

5. Colombia

A country once notorious for heavy crime has, in recent years, shed its scathing reputation and is now a thriving first-world location with one of the best healthcare systems in the Americas. This beautiful country has something for everyone, including pristine beaches, lush green coffee plantations and charming colonial towns.

Rounding out the top 10 destinations for overseas retirement were Malaysia, Spain, Nicaragua, Portugal and Malta.

Nurture the overseas retirement piggy bank

Many people would argue the most important part of retirement is your pension. Having enough money saved in the bank is fundamental in supporting your lifestyle once you stop earning.

If your retirement plan includes emigrating to another country, you’ll need to consider how you will access your pension from the location it’s being paid out from.

Banks will most likely charge you fees to make a personal transfer, which can add up to a substantial amount over time. There are ways to avoid getting caught in this trap, however, by using foreign exchange specialists instead of a bank.

For personal transfers, WorldFirst won’t charge you any fees and once you’ve opened your account, one of our specialists will work with you to find the right solution for your needs.

We’re here to help reduce any hassles or worries about exchange rates and market fluctuations.

Just tell us how much you want to send, which account you want to pay and which currency you want to pay in. Then we’ll quote you a competitive exchange rate.

Once the rate is booked, send us the money by bank transfer or pay by debit card and we’ll take care of the rest.

Are you ready for a new way of life?

If you do choose to retire overseas, take time to appreciate that you’re about to make two huge life changes in one go. Hanging up the hat on your career and suddenly becoming an expat in a foreign land will completely shake up your current routine, something you need to question whether you’re willing to tackle.

The initial process of the move will keep you busy and occupied, however when the dust settles, be ready to experience a rather significant culture shock.

You’re going to be away from your current social network and while communication is much easier these days than decades past, it’s not the same as having physical interaction.

An attractive quality of retiring, is being able to relax in this next phase of your life. Consider if overseas retirement is right for you, if the idea establishing a whole new network fills you with anxiety.

Healthcare options

The older we get, the more likely it is we will need to seek some sort of healthcare. Make sure the country you choose for your overseas retirement has a reliable system in place and one which is available to non-citizens.

According to International Living, the country with the best healthcare system available to expats is Malaysia. In fact, in 2016, Malaysia was visited by more than 1 million medical tourists from around the globe, a figure that is certain to rise in 2017.

Keep in mind that your current healthcare system (for example, Medicare in Australia or NHS in the UK) won’t be accessible once you leave the country.

Get started today

If you’re ready to begin the process of purchasing property for your overseas retirement, WorldFirst are ready to assist with transferring your funds.

With a dedicated currency expert, who will personally guide you through the transfer process, you can make the most of your money and save it for the next chapter in your life.

Get in touch with a WorldFirst currency specialist today on +65 6805 4380 or visit us at worldfirst.com/en-sg/



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