21st century technology helps expat retirees stay in touch with family

Published:  22 Mar at 6 PM
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Most retired expatriates take the huge step of moving overseas in order to live in a location which is more affordable, more relaxed, warmer and more fun than their home country.

After years of being stuck in one, however pleasant, place due to the demands of career and family, the freedom to emigrate gives the heady possibility of a perfect lifestyle in a perfect location. As long as there are few financial constraints, the entire world is open to expat retirees at the end of their conventional careers. Less than generous monthly budgets can be halved or even quartered simply by moving to a country where everything costs a fraction of the price in the home country.

Nowadays, provided you’ve led a relatively healthy lifestyle, you’ll live far longer than was expected in the past, giving you time to enjoy the positive aspects of retirement and even to move between several overseas locations when the mood takes you. Retirement isn’t the last stage of life any more, it’s simply one of several stages in which older people are finally in control of their own lives.

However, for many would-be expatriate pensioners, the biggest obstacle to a happy overseas retirement is the thought of leaving their siblings, children and grandchildren in order to create their new lifestyle overseas, especially if finances don’t allow for regular trips back home. Fearful of being considered selfish and uncaring, many older couples give up on their dream destination without realising the 21st century has so many technological options which can help them stay in touch.

The internet age hasn’t just revolutionised business and shopping habits, it’s totally changed the way we relate to our nearest and dearest, wherever they’re located. Formerly limited to expensive phone calls, the modern expat retiree can now use Skype and many other apps and programmes as well as video calls to see and speak with their loved ones on a daily basis. The majority of overseas expat hubs support wi-fi, so there’s no longer a need to install and pay for pricey internet cable services.

Another welcome 21st century development means it’s far cheaper and easier to visit family by air, thanks to the proliferation of low-cost, budget airlines. Browsing price comparison sites and online booking apps gives the best prices and the most convenient connections, and although the experience can be somewhat basic, it’s affordable even for those on basic pensions.
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