For many retiring overseas is a dream they want to realize sooner rather than later. While for most expats who go an adventure to a new place end up happy and content, there are others who find themselves in wrong places and with no escape plans get stuck to a foreign destination left nothing to do but to curse and lament on their decision.
So why do many overseas retirement plans go wrong in the first place:
1. The first and foremost reason why an overseas relocation goes wrong is because you arrive at the destination without knowing anything about it. Somebody told you that it’s a cheap place and so you thought of relocating there. You sell your property and uproot yourself from your country of origin and when you arrive at the new destination, you find that not all things are cheap here. And more surprisingly you don’t get certain things that you can’t imagine life without. Plus, the place was not what you had expected.
2. You relocated because you thought the good climate of the destination your friends were talking about stays the entire year. Many expats get frustrated after a particular time when the tropical climate gets sweaty and incessant rains drive people indoors for days together. So you must remember that no country will have a perfect climate all round the year.
3. You thought you will easily get a job that could fund your retirement. Many expats embark on an overseas retirement plan because they keep hearing that jobs are easily available. While most Asian destinations have provisions for expats to work in their country, but without the right skill or demand for the skill you possess, you might end up not getting a job of your choice. With your heart somewhere else and doing a particular job just for the money, you are certainly to get frustrated.
4. In a new environment you’re getting exasperated in the initial months. Sometimes dealing with and overcoming new and unfamiliar situations becomes quite impossible for some expats. They find themselves is a totally new environment and a huge change in their lives overnight. Trust me, it requires a little patience to establish a routine that looks a lot like your old one back home and the realization to sink in that the new life is more or less like your old one, albeit with better climes, nicer scenery, and a lower cost of living.
5. You compare everything with that back home. If you are still doing that then you are certainly in the wrong place. A progressive expat instead will try to explore the good things that didn’t exist in her/ his country of origin. Any country will have something unique to offer. So if you want to make your retirement overseas work, then drawing comparisons between the two countries must stop.
6. You had expected everything to change once you arrived. You thought that there are lots of expats in the city and it will be an extension of your old social circle. But when you reach the place you find that these people have changed and have adjusted their lives according to the needs of the social fabric here. This might disappoint you a lot and when you thought you would have a good social circle you find yourself lonely and alone.
7. Within one week of arriving at the place or even before you set foot on the new country you bought your house. Many expats do this and regret later. You had sold your house in the country of origin and you bought a house in the overseas location. But after staying in the place for some time you realize that a different location in the same city or island was better. Buying and selling on distress ideally clouds your judgement and thus incur losses. So it’s better to stay in the new overseas destination on rent for a couple of weeks and then buy a property after you have visited all the main areas, spoken to expats who have bought properties and thoroughly considered the pros and cons.
The trick to avoid these mistakes is to have a clear mind of what your expectations are from your overseas retirement plan. If you don’t get what you had expected or staying in an overseas destination is making you miserable, then it won’t make much difference if you’re sun bathing in a pristine white-sand tropical beach. You’ll still be unhappy!