Expats retirement planning

Everyone looks forward to the day they can retire when your days are your own to do with as you please. Whether you’re an expatriate living in Asia or have spent your work life building your career in your home country, retirement is something that people start to talk and fantasize about when they’re still young. 

One common goal that many expats have their sights set on is an early retirement. Of course, it’s the ultimate dream for many, but it’s often in the nature of expats especially to want to finish work while young and healthy to travel the world or perhaps settle down with a nice property somewhere tropical and warm. Any retirement goals are possible to achieve, especially with the proper planning, saving and investing.

But, as an expat, it might seem a little more complicated to plan for your retirement; there are certain things specific to the expat life to be aware of so that you are prepared and comfortable when the big day arrives. So we’ve come up with a list of questions to help get you on the right path toward your retirement.

Where Is Your Money?

Most expats have been bitten by the travel bug and, as a result, have spent time working in multiple countries. If for example, you’ve lived and worked in China, Brazil, and Qatar, you might have retirement savings accumulated in each of those countries. It’s a good idea to think about consolidating your finances and perhaps put them toward offshore investments. But it can become convoluted when trying to organize your accounts and sort out your taxes, so it might be best to speak with a financial advisor to see which options are best for you.

Are You Saving Enough?

Once you know where your money is and have taken the steps to consolidate your accounts, you can start calculating some projections for your retirement. There are calculators online that will help you determine how long your money is expected to last based on how much you plan to spend per year, and they can be helpful in getting a base idea of where you’re at financially. There are other factors to take into account, however, like whether you have investment properties you’ve been waiting to sell or if you are planning on buying something new. Perhaps your idea of retirement as an expat is to keep traveling the world — whatever your goals are, you want to make sure you will have enough money to achieve them.

Is Your Money Working For You?

An advantage of the expat life is that you have the opportunity for offshore investments, which can help you keep your money organized and centralized as you move from place to place, as well as make you money along the way. But no matter where you put your money, you want it to be accumulating capital. You might, instead, decide to invest in a property that you can rent out while you travel and that will be waiting for you when you are ready to settle down, or that you can sell later at a higher price point. 

Keep in mind that your investment goals might change as you near retirement, there is usually a trend from riskier to safer bets as the stakes get higher when you are ready to stop working. Whatever you decide to do with the money you’ve made as an expat, remember that it should be working for you.

Are You Prepared?

The earlier you start saving a preparing for retirement, the better. Putting money away each month that can go toward sound investments is important and the sooner you get saving, the more bold you can be since you are playing a long-term game. 

And you never know what life is going to throw your way, so it is good to have a sizeable cushion in case you need it. Whether an illness strikes you or your partner or perhaps your sailboat needs its hull replaced, you want to make sure you can cover emergencies after you’ve stopped working.

You are probably looking to retire just as much as the next person, but as an expat, there are things to consider since you’ve been living and working abroad. It’s best to be informed and prepared so that when you hang up your boots, you can enjoy your days exactly as you’d like. You’ve been working your whole life towards this golden era, so take the time to make sure you are prepared.