Retiring to an affordable place in the sun

Retiring to an affordable place in the sun

Retiring to an affordable place in the sun

Nowadays, retiring to your very own place in the sun usually involves expatriation.

Unless you’ve planned and saved carefully for your retirement or recently won the national lottery, you’re likely to be worried abut making ends meet on your government pension. Of course, amounts vary dependent on your home country’s provisions, with Americans getting a far better deal than UK citizens. Another important aspect of retirement overseas is choosing the safest country and hoping it’s also affordable! In addition, the price of real estate also features strongly in retirees’ choice of destination.

If you’re not obsessed with high temperatures and great weather overall, Ireland is a friendly, safe choice even although it doesn’t have a retirement visa as such. However, the D visa allows a stay of up to 13 weeks, with your next step to apply for permission to stay after showing proof you’ve enough financial resources to cover expenses. Although homes in the cities are now valued at an all-time high, rural properties can easily sell for less than £75,000. Hospital care is excellent, but you’ll need private medical insurance.

France doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a budget destination, but property in smaller towns and the countryside can be measurably cheaper than in many other expat favourites. Renting is also affordable provided you avoid the major cities. France is another country which doesn’t offer a retirement visa as such, leaving expats wishing to stay long-term relying on their local French consulate. Requirements are bureaucratically heavy and include proof of pensions, investments and cash in hand.

Thailand has been touted as retirement paradise for years, but the military junta’s takeover removed several advantages for expats. In addition, inflation over the past decade has taken its toll, and the private hospitals once considered inexpensive are now charging expat patients amounts which bring total costs far closer to Western rates. Also, the political climate isn’t as stable as some would have prospective retirees believe. The one-year, extendable retirement visa requires 800,000 Thai baht ($25,000) to be left untouched in a Thai bank account for three months prior to every annual renewal, and expats must report to their local immigration office every 90 days. The visa also disallows any work, or even volunteering.

Italy combines great weather with fabulous food, wine, song and extremely affordable properties in its historic towns. Again there’s no retirement visa, with the elective residency visa your only option. For this, proof of an annual state or private pension of around $35,000 a year plus private medical insurance and a rental agreement. Once you’ve your residence permit, you can join Italy’s highly respected national healthcare system.

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