You can probably picture it. You’ve finally retired from a lifetime of work, and you’re set to move to one of your favorite places, perhaps a warmer climate or an exciting European city. Retiring overseas is a dream for many Americans—according to a 2021 survey, a staggering 12% of Americans have aspirations to retire abroad. If this is on your bucket list, there are a few important considerations before diving into the process.
Things to Consider When Retiring Abroad
Different countries have specific requirements and relationships with the U.S., which means planning ahead is critical. Once you’ve decided where you want to retire, research their unique requirements, so you’re not caught off guard.
Learn About Visa Requirements
Before you commit to retiring overseas, learn about visa requirements. Having dual citizenship means you’ll be able to freely travel back to the United States, which might be ideal if you have family here.
Some countries let you apply for Citizenship by Descent if a parent or grandparent was born there. Others will allow you to stay on a tourist visa until you can apply for permanent residency.
The CIA World Factbook’s list is an excellent resource for decent citizenship information. You can also look through the U.S. State Department website to learn more about specific requirements by country.
You’re Still on the Hook for Taxes
That’s right. If you plan to work part-time once you retire abroad, you will still have to consider U.S. income tax. U.S. taxes are based on citizenship, not where you live. Different countries have their own relationship – including tax treaties – with the U.S., including Canada, Germany, and Ireland. Even if you don’t plan on working, you’ll likely need to pay taxes on any amounts withdrawn from your IRA or 401(k) accounts. Make sure you do your research ahead of time so you know what to expect. Our team of experts at Trajan Wealth can help you navigate this process ahead of time.
Note: Regardless of where you choose to retire, you’ll still have to file a tax return in the United States.
As a retiree, you want adequate healthcare coverage no matter where you choose to live. Research if you’ll need additional private insurance or if you’re going to enroll in Medicare. It comes down to how much of the year you’ll spend living abroad (if you’ll be abroad permanently, enrolling in Medicare isn’t advisable since you’ll be on the hook for premiums). But you may want to invest in supplemental coverage, such as Medigap.
Fund Your Financial Future
Whether retiring overseas is coming up soon, or it’s still years away, it truly is never too early to start planning. Asking the right questions now will help set you up for success down the road. But remember, you don’t have to do it alone.
Schedule an appointment with one of our trustworthy financial advisors at Trajan Wealth. We help you reach the financial situation you are already working so hard to achieve.