If you have considered moving from the United States to another country, you will soon be embarking on a life in a land full of culture and beauty much different from what you are used to. Many people have realized that moving to certaom foreign countries upon their retirement is beneficial, as the cost of living is lower than that in the Western Hemisphere. Here are a few tips to consider when making the move to a foreign country from the United States for your retirement.
Rent before Owning
Before you take the plunge and purchase a home in a new country, try a rental for a bit first. This will allow you to try out a few areas to see which community fits your dream home area. You may be able to rent a home and later buy it outright if you enjoy the area where the home it is situated, so take the time to test the waters before making a long-term commitment. Check through real-estate listings for homes for sale which have the option to rent beforehand.
Figure Out Banking
If you collect Social Security money when you retire, you may be limited in how you can obtain these funds when moving to a foreign country. Many retirees will retain a bank in the United States in addition to having an offshore bank account. Direct deposits can be made to your United States account, and you will be able to use an ATM card overseas; however, you will incur fees to make withdrawals, often higher than those in the United States. You will also have daily limits in place on how much you can take out.
Because of this, many people who retire overseas will have money wire transferred a few times a year. A better idea is to transfer the money from your United States bank account to an offshore bank account. This can usually be handled via online services, making it easy to transition finances from one country to another. This also allows you to retain possession of your money at all times without the need for inconveniencing someone still living in the states.
Less Can Be More
When moving to another country, go through each of your belongings before you make the move. It may be more beneficial to ditch some of your items and buy new upon your arrival in your new hometown rather than pay for the cost of transport or shipping. If you move to a country where living is cheaper than that in the United States, you may come out ahead by selling some of your items before moving there.
Know the Rules
Before you pack up boxes to ship overseas to a new address, do extensive research on what is allowed to be imported and what should be left behind. Some countries have strict stipulations regarding the transport of vegetation, animals (including pets), and food items.