It’s a dream that many people have – to escape the cold winters and short summers of the UK and to move to warmer climes once you’ve retired.

You’ve worked hard all your life, and now it’s time to enjoy the benefits of some sound financial planning. Or, it could be that you’ve already built a successful career overseas, and you want to spend your retirement in a country you’ve grown to love.

Either way, it’s all about planning. At Holborn Assets we’re always talking to clients about the need to think about their financial goals, and to thoroughly go through their plans to achieve their dream. So, if that is moving somewhere overseas, here are our top tips for getting there:

  1. Start early

It’s never too early to start planning your move abroad, but typically we suggest you start looking at your options a couple of years before you plan to leave these shores. Paperwork can take a lot longer than you think it will – particularly related to visas and to property, if you’re buying a home abroad. Once again, be methodical, and be realistic about what you need to do to achieve your goal.

Often, people who retire abroad are inspired by their experience of having spent their holidays in a place they love – our advice is to remember that planning a holiday and planning a permanent move are two very different things. For example, you’ll need to take into account healthcare provision in your new home – every country is different, so we recommend checking out the NHS overseas healthcare guides to start with.

  1. Decide where you’re going to go

An obvious one maybe (and a simple decision, if you already live and work in the country you want to retire in) – but it’s well worth making sure you understand all the implications living as a retiree in a particular country. Also, be very clear about why you’re moving abroad – is it for the weather, the lifestyle, the culture, or even the financial benefits? For example, it’s well worth finding out if the country you’ve chosen has a double taxation agreement with the UK – popular countries like France, Spain and Australia all have, and it means that you’ll get double tax relief when your income is taxable in both the UK and your new home. Factors like this can make a real difference to your quality of life, so be honest with yourself and do your research to ensure that the place of your dreams really does live up to everything you hope it will be.

  1. Understand how much it will cost you

You’ll need to properly explore the financial situation in the country you choose – not least how your hard-earned savings will be taxed. You’ll be able to claim your UK State Pension while you’re abroad, but you might also need to consider bringing together all the savings you hold in different places (especially if you’ve moved from country to country in your working life) in order to make the most of your funds once you retire. As a non-UK resident, you won’t usually pay UK tax on your State Pension but you might need to pay tax in the country where you’re living. Also don’t forget to factor in that you might still have UK tax to pay on any investment or rental income you get in the UK.

Once again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to start early, particularly if you’re buying a property abroad. Moving house can be enormously time-consuming and stressful at the best of times, so give yourself at least 18 months to complete the process.