Apr 3, 2020

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: issues to consider

Many people approaching the age of retirement start thinking about relocating to a warm country when they do not have to go to work anymore. This may be a very good idea but moving abroad is an important decision and haste makes waste, as you know. Please do not hurry too much and find the answers to nine key questions before you decide to spend your golden years away from your home country.

In addition to the nine questions, you will find some useful tips and hints in this article as well as some exclusive offers and other interesting information.

What country is a paradise for pensioners? Well, there are several national states in the world that try to lure wealthy retirees to come and stay on their territories. They offer special immigration programs that give access to high quality goods and services including medical services at affordable prices.

This is why it is not surprising that a great number of pensioners from all over the world look for a place that is peaceful, quiet, and comfortable to live at. What is more, a great number of pensioners do find such a place!

Before you start choosing the country to relocate to, however, you have to ask yourself what kind of life you envision abroad. This is probably the most important issue to resolve.

What is important for you? What are your top priorities? What do you plan to do abroad? What would you be unwilling to sacrifice? What can make you feel unhappy when you change your lifestyle and move to a foreign country?

When you turn these questions over in your head, you will arrive at a better understanding what characteristics the foreign country must possess to make you want to relocate there when you retire. When you have defined you priorities as exactly as you can, it is time to start investigating the immigration, residence, and/ or citizenship-by-investment programs that various countries offer.

Naturally, your thinking will be based on your preferences and your financial means. If you are planning to relocate with your spouse, you have to come to a consensus with him or her when choosing the new country of residence. Please be prepared to engage into long and heated discussions! Below please find some fundamental questions that you have to think about and discuss with your second half before you set about relocating abroad.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: Are you planning to move alone, with your spouse, or with other family members?

According to the statistics, retired couples make up the best part of the retirees who relocate to a foreign country. If you are with the majority, please make sure that both you and your spouse are going to enjoy life abroad.

In case you have retired early in life and your children are not grown up yet, they naturally become one of the most important priorities that you have. You must select the country where they can finish school and probably continue their education.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: How much are you concerned about what your friends and relations think?

Your family and your friends can surprise you when you share your relocation plans with them. Some of them will support you whole-heartedly while others will say that you are crazy to even think of moving abroad.

The latter may send you links to scary online videos showing unlucky immigrants all alone and forgotten in a crime-ridden banana republic at the farthest end of the world. They are also certain to warn you about nostalgia that you will inevitably feel.

Do not listen to other people but take your own counsel. Choose the route and stick to it. You have lived in your home country all your life and now you have earnt enough money to explore the opportunities and move to a more comfortable location. With a nicer climate. With tastier food. With friendlier people. Fret not if others do not understand you. They are not supposed to do so.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: Would you like to mingle with the locals or live in a gated expat community?

The alternative answers to this question are going to send you in two different directions.

There are places in the world where you will find many fellow citizens who have built up their own communities in a foreign country. Residing in such a community would be quite convenient indeed. You can communicate with your neighbors in your native language. You will find that the gated cottage community or the condominium where you reside is kept clean and tidy. You will not have problems with plumbers or repair people as your next-door neighbor will give you contacts of the reliable ones. The shop assistants in the nearby supermarkets will understand you when you talk to them, as they will have had enough experience communicating with your kind. Shortly speaking, life is going to be easy if you put up in a location where many expats from your home country reside.

If you decide that you want to mix with the local people and immerse into a new culture, your experience will be quite different. You will have to learn at least the basic phrases in the local language. You will be subjected to cultural shocks many a time. You will find that you are lost and do not know how to get back home in some instances. There are more chances that your purse may be stolen one day and there is some litter in the streets in your neighborhood.

However, if you are an open-minded person and if you are looking for some new experiences, do dive headfirst into a different culture and a different way of living. You may well find that the lifestyle that you are used to is not the best one in the world. You may discover that your outlooks are somewhat biased when you meet new people and learn about their worldviews. You may be surprised to see how diverse the world really is and how different national cultures can be. Actually, you may start living anew and living a totally new life than the one you lived before. A better life.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: Are you prepared to learn a new language?

The answer to this question is going to be of greater or of lesser importance depending on what part of the world you are considering to relocate to. If you speak English (which you obviously do as you are reading this article), you are not going to have any problems if you intend to move to any country in Europe. Western or Eastern Europe, people in almost all countries will speak English. (Probably with the exception of the Russian Federation: not very many people there will understand you if you speak English to them.)

On the other hand, if you are thinking of relocating to Latin America or to an Asian country such as Thailand, for example, you have to realize that only tourist industry-related companies and organizations will have English-speaking personnel on these continents. Street vendors in Panama, for instance, do not understand the English language: you have to communicate in Spanish with them.

We realize that learning a foreign language may appear quite difficult when you are advanced in years. At the same time, first, there are expat communities in many countries of the world and second, you do not have to master a new language perfectly well when you move to a foreign country. A few basic phrases will most often be sufficient to get by in the everyday life. Shortly speaking again, the foreign language should not be a major problem when you retire to a foreign country.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: Do you have any health issues?

If your answer is ‘yes’, the problem of selecting the country to retire to actually becomes much simpler for you as your choice range becomes considerably narrower. When you are relocating with your children, you have to find out about the education opportunities for them that are available in the new country of residence. Similarly, when you are relocating with a disease such as diabetes or a heart condition, for instance, you have to make sure that the medicines that you take as well as emergency medical services are easily available in the county where you would like to retire to. It may appear too risky to relocate to some countries with the level of their medical services in mind.

The coronavirus raging around shows with especial clarity how important it is to have access to high quality healthcare. We are not urging you to retire to a foreign country right now, as elderly people are most susceptible to the infection. It is good time, however, to investigate various opportunities to be better prepared for the days when the pandemic is over.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: Do you have a disability?

A disability can be a serious obstacle to relocating abroad. At the same time, we would not like you to think that relocation is impossible for you if you are in a wheelchair, for example. In Europe and North America, you will find that the entire infrastructure for disabled people is in place. It would be no problem relocating there at all! Maybe you will even find that the conditions there are better than those in your home country are.

This said, we do not recommend that you should think about moving to Latin America or tropical islands in the Caribbean, for example. The developing countries cannot offer the necessary infrastructure and healthcare to people with disabilities.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: What are you NOT prepared to sacrifice?

Make up a list of things that are absolutely necessary for you, those you could not live without. When you do, you will probably be surprised to find that there are very few such things, as a matter of fact. However, there still will be some and if you are moving with your spouse, he or she will also have some items to take along.

Do not compromise on these things. Take them with you to your new country of residence. Otherwise, you might find the new life dissatisfactory and want to go back home. You do not want to have this feeling, do you?

A credit card and a family photograph are the two items many people will be happy with keeping when they change the place of their residence. However, if you are deep in love with your house, for example, relocating is not for you. Simply drop this idea and stay were you are.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: What currency would you like to use when you relocate?

If your pension comes in US dollars, it will be sensible to consider the countries where this currency is in circulation or those that have their national currencies pegged to the US dollar. Apart from the United States, these are such countries as Panama, Ecuador, and Belize to think about moving to.

Besides, the currencies of most Caribbean basin countries are pegged to the American dollar. What makes these countries especially attractive for relocation is the warm tropical climate and the least expensive citizenship-by-investment opportunities that they offer. If you would like to learn more about those, please read this article.

If you are an EU citizen, we can recommend relocating to Montenegro, Serbia or Cyprus when you retire. The first two countries are extremely beautiful and very inexpensive to live in. Cyprus, in its turn, is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, which will be a massive plus for some people. Besides, most locals are fluent in English in this country.

In any case, even if you have to exchange the currency at your new place of residence, the small percentage of the currency value that you will lose in the exchange process may well appear nothing in comparison to other benefits that the new place has to offer.

Foreign citizenship by investment for retirees: Are you planning to relocate once and forever?

If you are, we urge you to think again. This would not be the best way to go. Imagine that you receive your last paycheck, sell your house, your car, and your other possessions, relocate to another country, and … discover that you do not like it after some time. When you have nothing to return to, this feeling may be heart breaking indeed!

We suggest that you should take one step at a time. Apply for a tourist visa and spend a couple of months in Dominica or St Lucia, for example. A couple of weeks would not be enough to get to know even a small country and develop an understanding of how it feels to live there. But a few months should suffice for that.

Then go back home, make a pause and visit a different country such as Thailand, for instance. Again, give yourself enough time to become acquainted with this Asian country and then return home. On your next trip, visit Montenegro or Serbia and stay there for an extended period of time. And then pay a visit to another country.

Tourist visas usually allow staying in foreign countries for three months or longer. This time should be sufficient for you to realize if you like the country or not. Let us suppose that you have developed a serious liking for some island in the Caribbean, for example. Visit it at least two times: in the dry season and in the wet one. Find out how much residential accommodations cost there. Try various dishes that the local cuisine offers. Stay at the seashore for a month and then stay at a bungalow in a mountain village for a month. Compare the air, the water, and the food. See if people are friendlier to foreigners up in the mountains or down in the valleys. Get the taste of life on the island.

If you find that there are sources of serious irritation in this country, simply go to another location next time. If you do not like the Caribbean, visit Panama, for instance. This country is very friendly to expats and it offers a Pensionado visa to foreign pensioners that allows legally staying on its territory for an indefinite time. If you find it is too hot for you in Panama, try living in Montenegro for a while, and so on.  

If you are lucky, you will ultimately find a place where you feel better than you feel at home. When you do, go and sell your house, your car, and everything else that ties you to your home country and move out and away. Buy yourself a small hut or a luxury hotel suite and enjoy a new life – peaceful, inexpensive, and carefree. These are your golden years and you have to spend them in a ‘golden’ way.

When you have made up your mind which country you would like to relocate to, please seek our advice. We will be happy to help you with all the legal and administrative issues such as obtaining a residence permit, for example. We will also assist you in finding the most affordable and most secure citizenship-by-investment program. You have to understand that far from all countries allow foreign citizens to stay on their territories on a tourist visa for a long time. Please write to us to [email protected] when you are ready and we will make the relocation process trouble-free for you.