Q: What are the benefits of retiring overseas? 

Harmer: Expats report a wealth of benefits from retiring overseas. Making a move to a destination offering a lower cost of living brings the opportunity to upgrade your lifestyle and significantly reduce – or even eliminate – money worries. Unexpected health benefits, such as lower stress levels and weight loss are also commonly reported. In the destinations we cover, expat communities are thriving and discovering newfound friends and interests is another welcome benefit of a rich and rewarding overseas retirement.

Q: Any downsides or potential pitfalls to watch out for?

Harmer: It’s important that you do your research when choosing an overseas destination to call home. You need to consider what is most important to you, e.g. proximity to home, cost of living, and establish what could be a deal-breaker for you, e.g. language barrier, climate. That’s why International Living Australia compiles the annual Retirement Rankings – it ranks and rates each of the destinations we cover in categories ranging from healthcare to visas and residence so you can determine which is the perfect spot for you.

Q: Is this an option available to anyone – it seems you still need a certain amount of money, for instance, to move to another country. 

Harmer: This will depend on the destination you choose. Some countries visa programs will have financial requirements attached, in others you can get set up and settled with very little outlay.

Q: Is it still feasible when you are very elderly/infirm? Or better for younger/more active retirees?

Harmer: We have readers from all walks of life and at all ages and stages who have made the move and never looked back. Again, selecting the right destination for you and your individual needs, be they access to healthcare, excellent public transport, home help, etc., is key.

Q: I notice New Zealand doesn’t appear in the top 15 – can you say where it ranks/why it’s not an ideal destination for Australians?

Harmer: New Zealand doesn’t currently appear in International Living Australia’s Global Retirement Rankings but we do have a scout set to put boots on the ground there in the coming months.


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