The first question to ask yourself is exactly why you want to retire abroad. Do you wish to live abroad permanently or spend only part of the year abroad? For example, many retirees spend the winter abroad in a warmer country, returning to their home country for the summer. Do you enjoy good health? If you planning to retire abroad for health reasons, the climate will be an important consideration. Do you primarily wish to live somewhere with a lower cost of living? Do you want to make frequent return trips to your home country, to visit your family and friends? What does your family and friends think of your plans to live abroad? The fewer family ties you have, the wider your choice of countries and possibly the more difficult it will be to make a decision. Can you afford to retire abroad? What of the future? Is your income secure and protected against inflation?
You will need to take into account the availability and cost of accommodation, communications, travelling times (and cost), security, health facilities, leisure and sports opportunities, culture shock, the cost of living and local taxes, among other things. Many retirees wishing to retire abroad are North Americans or northern Europeans, who can often buy a home abroad for much less than the value of their family home. The difference between the money raised on the sale of your family home and the cost of a home abroad can be invested to supplement your pension, allowing you to live comfortably in retirement, particularly when a lower cost of living is taken into consideration. However, if you plan to buy a second home abroad, you will need to maintain two homes, although the running costs can usually be offset by letting your home(s) when you're absent.