Do retirement dreams fade after second thoughts kick in

Published:  8 Aug at 6 PM
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Survey after survey indicates that an increasing number of Brits can’t wait to retire overseas, but second thoughts later in life can wreck the dream.

One recent study revealed that around six million British citizens are eager to move to other countries for a variety of reasons. However, many are younger people who find that, the older they get, the less they can face up to the challenges involved.

In the real world, retirement overseas has its pitfalls, most of which can be avoided by careful planning and a large dose of common sense. Information now easily available all over the internet can give clues as to the expat community in the chosen location, the cultural issues likely to cause problems and even a chance to start learning the language before leaving the UK.

Internet forums don’t just point newcomers to the best bars, Western-style eateries and Western-run real-estate agents, they also warn against the dangers awaiting new arrivals, most of which are more likely to be connected with less than ethical expats than they are with locals. Retirement dreams can become nightmares without objective, practical advice, especially on financial matters.

For example, Canada and Australia, both favourite retiree destinations, are two of the many countries covered by the UK’s frozen pension rule, and are comparatively expensive unless there’s a large private pension pot available. Countries with a cheaper cost of living such as Thailand and India give a good lifestyle on even a frozen pension plus a few capital investments, but are packed with illegal FAs lurking in expat clubs and meeting places.

Spain is another hotspot for those looking to part pensioners from their savings, but forewarned is forearmed and, again, the internet is your best friend for checking out dubious qualifications and less than customer-friendly offshore product providers. Retirement abroad can be the dream you’ve always wanted, provided you keep your wits about you and your hands on your wallet.
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