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Planning Retirement Online

Moving Abroad in Retirement

Many of us now consider moving abroad when we retire and a sizeable proportion of those who do think about it actually take the plunge.

The traditional locations are Spain, Malta, the south of France and other Mediterranean countries that have a good climate with lots of sun. However, other locations are now becoming more popular. Northern France, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and other countries to the east are becoming increasingly popular. The reasons for going to these countries are because they are cheap and some of them also provide the sun.

We move abroad for a variety of reasons:
  • Climate
  • Cheap property
  • Cheap cost of living
  • To join friends or family
  • Disillusion with this country
  • Love of another country through the experience of having holidays there
  • Just because we want a change. If this is the case, think carefully about whether you are moving positively to something or negatively away from what you have: if it's the latter, the grass isn't always greener...'

The French Property Buyer's Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About Buying a House and Moving to FranceAll of these reasons (and maybe others, too) seem very logical and reasonable when we make the decision and, indeed, for most people the experience turns out wonderfully well. However, for some people it all goes horribly wrong and they live to regret the decision.

It can go wrong for a number of reasons. Amongst them may be:

  • Missing friends and relations
  • Missing those old, familiar things
  • Difficulty in assimilating into a new culture
  • Failure to learn the language, which may not matter for 90% of the time but may prove crucial in times of crisis
  • The death of a partner when the old network of support has been lost
  • Problems with property once it has been purchased
  • Ill health
  • Missing British TV
  • Not liking the new cuisine
  • The new location not living up to expectations
  • Being homesick for whatever reason

So the decision to move abroad should be thought about thoroughly and not undertaken lightly. This Guide should help you to think through the issues and, if you do decide to move abroad, to tackle it in the best way so that you make the right decisions at every stage.

Moving Abroad links

Before you go any further, take a look at our Buying Property Abroad article to give you some initial thoughts. There are some very good links on the page, some good books to read and it will provide you with a sound introduction to the topic.

Then look at the other pages of the Guide as shown in the Links box and make the right decision. This Guide does not go into the details of specific countries; your location is for you to decide and  research. It is more of a Guide to the general issues that you should consider and how you should go about your task.


This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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