Dos and donts of a stress free expat life

Published:  21 Apr at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
The dream of a different lifestyle draws thousands of expats to foreign locations every year, but planning and research are essential to prevent the adventure turning into a nightmare.

In today’s exceptionally mobile world, upping sticks and heading off into the wide blue yonder is a reality rather than just a dream for many. Expat life, especially in retirement, can be infinitely more enjoyable than staying forever in over-familiar surroundings. However, without a clear head, extensive research and planning ahead, the dream can easily morph into your worst nightmare.

Sometimes it’s simply bad luck or an unexpected health emergency, but more often it’s a lack of preparation and long-term planning or the overuse of a large pair of rose-tinted glasses. Either way, it’s avoidable with a large dose of common sense and some knowledge about the chosen destination. For a few, it’s a gradual wearing down of expectations, leading to depression and disillusion.

Living a life of leisure is most retirees’ dream, but it’s all too easy to forget that you’re living on the same planet with all its problems. If you’re on a pension, sticking to a reduced budget can be depressing, and relaxed locations with lower costs of living also tend to include lower salaries of you’re still of working age. The relaxed life itself has its own frustrations, most of which come as a shock to new arrivals, and dealing with unfamiliar cultural norms can be stressful.

Most older expats head for cheaper and definitely warmer locations, hoping the financial side of life won’t get in the way of their enjoyment of sunsets and beaches. Sadly, many are eventually forced back to the home country when inflation sets in and the pension, especially if it’s frozen, doesn’t provide enough to cover.

Renovating or building a home overseas is another way to increase your stress levels, especially if you’re not fluent in the local language. Starting a business, especially in parts of Asia, is a good recipe for losing money unless you have the right contacts, as is finding the (much younger) girl of your dreams and actually getting married!
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive