Basic information for retiring abroad



Many of us dream of retiring abroad, the thought of departing England for a sunnier relaxed destination is a welcome light at the end of the 9 to 5 tunnel. If you are approaching the age of retirement then you could potentially be on the verge of entering an exciting chapter of life. To ensure that you can settle in your home swiftly and efficiently there will be a host of paperwork to file and red tape to snip through. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to assist you with the niggling little details.

Waiting for take-off

First of all make sure you have a fully valid passport, with at least one year remaining before expiry. If you are not yet receiving a state pension then you should ask for a pension forecast. Then contact your pension providers and request guidelines for a private pension arrangement. If you are planning on driving an automobile in your new country then find out if you will need an international drivers license for one specific country (refer to our expat city guides for such information).

Next, visit a doctor and find out which, if any, vaccinations you and your family will need. Also establish exactly what documents you will need for residency and visa requirements, you can do this by consulting our relevant city guides and speaking to the embassy of your chosen destination. Keep copies of all the standard important documents like birth certificates, passports, bank details etc. The important people to notify of your impending departure are: the Inland Revenue, your bank, doctor, insurance providers, household utilities providers and any clubs or organisations you may be part of.

Finalise what you will be doing about your home, depending on whether you are renting or are an owner. Contact the government to see what benefits options are available on upon leaving, if applicable.

Touching down

Once you arrive in your new country in order to get your residency documents processed you may have to visit a police station, the local town hall, or the department of immigration. Always make sure you have the correct documents and that you make copies of anything important like visa slips and documents given to you by the foreign authorities. When it comes to moving into your home remember to have all important documents, what would seem like a menial task back home can be much more problematic in a different country with different sensibilities and language. Register yourself with a doctor, it is better to get this done when you arrive as opposed to when you fall ill! Apply for a health card or any other medical things that you may need. Set up a local bank account.

The most important thing to do to ensure a smooth transition will be to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, walk around, befriend your new neighbours and most of all enjoy your retirement, once the initial paperwork and admin is done it should be plain sailing.

For further information please consult our Offshore Retirement and Pensions section of the site.