“Do any retirement bargains exist in any English-speaking countries, such as Australia or New Zealand?”
— Charles L., United States
The trouble with Australia and New Zealand is establishing residency. The rules change often, but, bottom line, neither of these countries is clamoring to attract foreign retirees.
Because of the restrictions and hurdles to full-time residency, part-time living makes more sense in both these places. You could live here during their summer, then return to the Northern Hemisphere during their winter.
Options in New Zealand range from Auckland for city life to Christchurch for midsized town life to Queenstown for high-end expat life… and everything in between. Cost of living could be cheaper than in the United States, depending where you’re coming from in the States. But neither New Zealand nor Australia is an extraordinary bargain.
Tasmania could be an interesting option. It’s beautiful, peaceful, and safe and is increasingly popular as a retirement destination among Australians.
“Thank you for your letters. I wonder, though, if they are directed mainly at U.S. citizens. I am a U.K. citizen.
“Panama sounds tempting. I am currently living in Spain and have property in the U.K. also. If I were to become resident in Panama, do you know if I would still be liable for taxes over here, inheritance tax, for example?
“If I were to put money into a Panama bank, could I keep my deposits in sterling? Would the interest be paid gross? How much interest is being paid at the moment?
“I am considering taking a trip to visit you there, but the answers to these questions in advance would help.”
— Peter S., Spain
You’ll need to consult a tax advisor, dear reader, but I’d say that your U.K. property likely would be liable for inheritance taxes in the U.K., depending how it’s held (in your name, in a corporation, etc.).
Yes, you should be able to keep funds in sterling in an investment bank in Panama.
The sterling interest rates for an account in Panama or elsewhere would be tied to the rates in the U.K. and should be similar to what you’re earning there.
Continue Reading: Retirement Overseas Is Cheaper Than You Might Think