What to do when you retire abroad

30 Aug 2016
Retirement is an incredible time to finally look back on all that you have accomplished in your past, and what you would like your future to look like. You now have the remarkable opportunity, the time and the money to fulfill some of the dreams you may not have had the capacity to achieve in the past.

For example, living an expatriate life in some gorgeous foreign land may be something you have always wanted to do, but now that the time has come where you actually can, it’s understandable that you may be experiencing some proverbial cold feet.


Just remember that everything worth experiencing has a little fear associated with it, that’s totally normal. What we need to focus on is the incredible adventure that lies ahead of you and some of the great practical reasons – you get to retire to a sunny, stress-free place where the cost of living is more than likely cheaper than in the UK, especially post-Brexit. So, here’s a list of what to do when you retire abroad (some of the things you can look forward to!):


Talk the talk

Think about an exotic destination, with a totally different culture and language that you may think you are familiar with, but really you know how to say ‘hello’ in that language. Living there you would probably need to know a little more than that. When wondering what to do after you retire abroad, learning a language should be the first on your list if you are retiring to a place with a different first language. This is not only a phenomenal way to ensure that settling into your new life is that much easier, but it’s also a great way to keep your mind active and to meet like-minded individuals.


What to do when you retire abroad


Do as the locals do

Moving abroad opens up an infinite world of possibilities when it comes to new and exhilarating activities to participate in. And right now, I’m not even talking about the really unique and exciting things. If you are really not sure what to do when you retire abroad, one of the best places to start is to adapt to the ways in which locals live their daily lives. Discover where the local fresh produce farmers markets are and buy your weekly groceries there instead of a store. Embark on a cooking course to learn how to make the local favourites and where you can learn how to best make use of the local ingredients, and implement any other daily habits that they have. For example, if you retire in Spain, you may want to implement the incredible lunch-time rest (siesta).


Start a new hobby

The minute you ask people what to do when you retire, they often come back with ‘start a hobby’. So, we realise that this is probably not the first time you have heard this little piece of advice. But we are not talking about golf or knitting here – you don’t have to start the stereotypical retirement hobbies if that isn’t your cup of tea. We suggest that you take on a hobby that epitomises your new homeland. If you move to the Veneto in Italy, you could take up glass blowing, or if you move to Argentina, learning to tango is almost a must, or perhaps you could try your hand at flamenco guitar in Spain – find something particular to your new country that excites you and see if you can master it.


What to do when you retire abroad


Be a part of the community

While it is nice to hold onto your roots and make friends that come from a similar background and culture as you do, if you really want to make your expat life work, when it comes to what to do when you retire abroad, one of the most important things to do is to make the effort to be a part of your community. Learn the language (as we recommended earlier) to help bridge the language gap (if there is one) and get involved with the local community – is there a community watch you can be a part of? Or any community projects? We also recommend that you get to know your neighbours – make the effort to get to know them and you might even find you have a new set of friends. The more involved you feel and the more friends you have in your new hometown, the smoother the transition into life in retirement abroad.


Indulge in all things local

It’s easy (and normal), especially by retirement, to be a little ‘stuck in your ways’. But if you decide to take the plunge and move somewhere for the high quality of life, the sunshine and the more favourable cost of living, then you have to embrace it wholeheartedly. In our opinion, one of the most crucial things to do when you wonder what to do when you retire abroad, is to immerse yourself in all the things that make that place unique. Enjoy the local cuisine in tiny family-run restaurants, take part in any annual festivals the country may enjoy, indulge in local theatrical productions, try the regional wines, enjoy the longer (and sunnier) days. If you live along the coast, make the most of the glorious beaches – whatever you do, be sure to consciously embrace your new home. You might find that you enjoy it more than you could have ever imagined.

If you are looking for a wonderful place to retire and live the expatriate life, then Spain is the perfect destination and has everything you could possibly want. Contact us to find out more about life along the Costa Blanca and to view our amazing villas in Calpe that will have you feeling right at home in no time.

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