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5 Concerns when Retiring Abroad


According to ExpatNetwork, 93% of those who have retired abroad are satisfied with their decision.

Whilst this is a huge number, choosing to retire abroad doesn’t come without its pros and cons and weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of making such big decisions.

In our previous article, we discussed the motivations for retiring abroad. In this article, we cover some of the most common concerns when retiring abroad.


What Happens to Your Pension Abroad?

Depending on where you are moving from, you should still be able to draw your state pension, should you already be receiving one, from any country in the world. 

Often you must tell your Department for Work and Pensions of your move, so make sure to get in contact with them first to make sure you understand if there are any changes to your pension or if you need to take any further action.

Some pensions are frozen at a certain rate if you chose to move abroad, or the rate could be linked to the cost of living where you are retiring to. This is particularly true if you are wanting to draw your UK pension abroad.

When it comes to drawing a personal pension scheme if you move abroad, there may be different arrangements. It is best to contact your pension provider directly to discuss any specific details you need to provide and learn about any changes that you may see in doing so.


Pensions Drawn Abroad May Change Due to Exchange Rates

It is good to remember that the local exchange rate will change how much of your pension you will actually receive in cash, as often pensions are paid in your home rate, then converted to the local currency. Exchange rates fluctuate, so your income could change often.


Claiming benefits if retiring abroad

If you receive benefits in your home country, these too are likely to change as you may not meet the criteria to be receiving them. For example, if you receive Pension Credit in the UK, you are stopped from moving overseas. Some other benefits will be available, so it is best to check all this information first rather than presuming they will not be affected.


Access to Healthcare after Retiring Abroad

Healthcare access for retirees abroad changes depending on where you are coming from and where you are moving to. Some countries have reciprocal healthcare arrangements in places, meaning you could have free access to local healthcare in some countries, in others, there is not. 

For instance, in Thailand, a requirement for obtaining their long-stay visa for over 50’s (the OA-Visa) is to have your own private healthcare. This means you must pay for private medical cover in Thailand, and will not have access to the local, free healthcare. You can read more about the OA visa here.

Where you do have access to the free local healthcare, it is strongly recommended that you do some research into the quality of the local healthcare. Some countries may have very long waiting times in their local healthcare facilities, and some may be of a poorer standard to what you are used to.

One way to be sure to have access to the best healthcare and medical facilities possible is to hold your own private medical policy as a retiree abroad. This ensures you the best possible treatment no matter where in the world you are living. This includes additional too such as transport to medical facilities, 24/7 access to assistance, and even transport if you wish to have your treatment back home.

We have been providing helping expatriates the world over for over 25 years. To find out more about our private healthcare policies for retiring abroad, please visit here.


Your Will as a Retiree Abroad

Before moving abroad, you must check your will. The country where you made your will may not deal with your assets in a different country in the way you wish. This is due to local laws which may override your wishes. 

We recommended you get some independent advice about inheritance laws too, as well as your will and its validity abroad.


In summary, there is no harm in checking the above-mentioned points before taking the plunge and retiring abroad. It is best to be in the know and make sensible arrangements now, rather than be suck or out of pocket in the future.