This doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
You could “retire overseas” and still spend part or even lots of your time back home.
I make the point in case it hadn’t occurred to you already. The idea of moving to a new country, full stop, full time, can be intimidating. Selling your current home… off-loading your car, your furniture, your lawn-care equipment… flying off to a new country where you know no one and where everyone you meet speaks another language?
Boiled down like that, this retire overseas agenda can seem intimidating, even terrifying… and maybe foolish.
So don’t sell your home. Keep your car if you like it. Lock the lawn mower in the garage. Pack a few bags and head off to someplace that’s got your attention for, say, a month or two. Don’t even think about buying a house or anything else. Rent small and modest. Or arrange an extended stay in an Airbnb or guesthouse.
Keep things low key and low pressure. Because this doesn’t have to be like jumping off a cliff. You can ease into the idea.
Then, if you find the place you take for a test spin disappointing in some way, you can return home (remember, your car’s waiting for you in the driveway)… and begin planning your next “retire overseas” holiday. Give someplace else a chance.
You could continue like this for years. You’d be enjoying some of the benefits of a new life in a new country—a maybe dramatically reduced cost of living, better weather, cheap medical care, new friends, grand adventures, plus little luxuries you probably can’t afford now, including full-time household help, for example—but you’d have a safety net.
What you’ll find is that, with each retire overseas foray, your confidence will build. And your plan will evolve.
Next step, maybe extend the length of each retire overseas vacation. You could spend three or even up to six months at a time in each new place, depending on the jurisdiction’s residency restrictions, thereby avoiding the visa issue.
You could begin renting out your place back home when you’re not using it. This income would help to subsidize the costs of your retire overseas wanderings.
You could, eventually, invest in new digs in a place you decide you like well enough to want to return to regularly. Again, rent out this apartment or beach house when you’re elsewhere to further supplement your retirement income.
Maybe, eventually, you find you’re ready to sell your place back home, because, as time passes, your connection there seems less and less important. More interesting are the new places you’re discovering, the new friends you’re making, the new adventures you’re having.
Take it one step at a time and let your retire overseas plan develop organically. Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all overseas retirement haven, neither is there a retire-overseas plan that suits everyone. This idea is infinitely customizable.
I’ve been covering this beat a long time (so long now that I’m increasingly self-conscious about admitting just how long!).
Over the decades and the thousands of conversations I’ve had with readers—via email and one-on-one at conferences, including during the three virtual cocktail parties Lief and I hosted last week for attendees of this week’s Retire Overseas Conference—the thing that has struck me most is the diversity of situations.
Some readers are looking for a place at the beach they can escape to two or three months at a time then return home to see the kids and the grandkids…
Others are looking to invest in a second home they could use for vacation now and then but that, otherwise, could be rented out for a good yield and that ultimately could serve as a full-time residence in retirement… whenever that day comes…
Some want to snowbird it in the Tropics… while others want to clean-slate it, to sell everything and start over, full time, someplace new and adventure-filled.
Some are moving solo… others with a spouse or significant other.
Some want to reinvent not only their lives but the lives of their school-aged children, too. (An agenda that I, having raised two children across three continents, heartily endorse.)
Some are moving with comfortable investment income… others with a Social Security check… and some with no income at all but a great business idea to provide the cash flow they’ll need.
Some are in their 20s and 30s… others in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s…
Many have pets.
All have dreams.
Each agenda I’ve encountered makes sense in context… and none I’ve encountered over the past 35 years might make sense for you.
You have your own agenda.
My point is that you don’t need to commit to any specific plan right now or even before you set out.
To get your dream off the ground, keep it simple. Take a trip.
Founding Publisher, Overseas Opportunity Letter