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Retire Abroad

This hub page for expats that retire abroad is a good starting point. It will help you understand what tax considerations need to be made and choose a top-tier money transfer service. Furthermore, we share what you need to research about the country where you are moving. Finally, read the entire page to get a balanced overview of what you need to have your finances organized.

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Many expats retire abroad across the world for many different reasons. For example, it might be to experience a different culture or enjoy a warmer climate. Furthermore, there are multiple reasons to send money into the country where the expat is staying. For example, it could be to pay for living expenses or to transfer pension money.

The best way to send money as a retired expat should consider money transfer companies. They come with a few benefits over bank transfers, including faster processing times, lower fees, and better FX rates. Read this hub page guide to the end to learn about a few of the top money transfer companies that you can use today for sending money if you have retired abroad.

Tax implications for retirees abroad

Understanding the tax implications of sending money abroad as a retiree is essential. This means you need to learn what types of money transfers are liable for taxes. In many countries, pension money transfers are seen as a form of income. This means that taxes need to be paid.

It might be difficult to understand the local tax laws. That is especially true when there is a lack of information online in English. Do not expect the tax laws of the country you are visiting to be the same as your own. You can hire a tax account that can help with the payments in the country. It is a cost that will save you time and simplify the process of living as an expat in a different country.

More tax guides

How retired expats can choose the best money transfer service

We have already mentioned that using a money transfer service is an excellent way of sending money. However, there is a lot to consider when figuring out what one is a great choice. This section outlines the top factors that will help you make a balanced choice.

  • Transfer time: It is crucial to receive funds in time to pay for your living costs. Therefore, consider the transfer time and look for instant transfers. For instance, Wise provides balance transfers, which allow money to be received instantly. You can also choose a service that offers cash pick-up since they also allow for quick processing times.

  • Costs: With so many competitive specialist transfer providers, keeping the cost to a bare minimum is possible nowadays. Look for services that offer a fee structure that matches the type of transfers you are looking to make. For example, if you want to send large amounts of money, then a fixed fee makes more sense than a percentage-based one.

  • FX rates: Another way of reducing costs is to get FX rates that match the mid-market rate. It ensures that you will not lose money when exchanging currencies. Check the exchange rate for the currency pairs that are relevant to your country.

  • Mobile app: Check the quality of the mobile app to determine what you can expect. The top mobile apps have a good user interface and the same features as using the desktop. Most mobile apps can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play platform.

  • Worldwide coverage: Make sure the accepted countries include the one where you will be staying. Also, check to see what limitations might exist for your new country. Types of restrictions that might apply are limited payment methods or transfer sizes.

  • Reputation: Check the company’s online reputation to determine if there are any red flags. Visit reviews portals like Trustpilot and social media websites to learn more about a money transfer service.

  • Transfer cap: To ensure you have enough money for living expenses, you need to check the transfer caps. Check the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual caps to determine if they meet your requirements.

More guides about sending money as an expat

What expats should learn before moving to another country

In addition to choosing a money transfer company, expats looking to retire in a different country should do some research. It will help you make the correct preparations and select a country that matches your needs. Here is the list of factors to consider:

  • Weather: Check the weather you can expect by looking at average temperatures and precipitation levels throughout the year. For instance, if you do not want to live in a cold climate, countries like Sweden and Norway should be avoided.

  • Lifestyle: Learn the pace of life and culture of the local country to understand better what your daily life will look like. This will help you choose a country that matches the way you want to live. Also, you can act in a respectful manner and understand the local culture.

  • Banking: Expats who want to have a local bank’s security to hold money should look at the top banks. You may find that one of the popular banks is an international player, and you already have an account with them. Learn the requirements you need to follow when opening a bank account in a different country.

  • Top places to live: Most countries have hotspots where expats gather because the infrastructure for foreigners is better. These are typically the bigger cities where finding a place to live is more effortless. Take the time to research the best places to live and discover the small details to see if they match your expectations.

  • Real estate: Decide if you will buy a property or rent. Also, learn about the average prices in the area where you plan to live. This will help you figure out how much money you need to transfer into the country. Finally, learn if you can legally buy property in the country you have moved to. Some countries have limitations on property purchases for expats.

  • Healthcare: It is vital to have good healthcare throughout your life, especially in later years. Therefore, ensure that you have access to good quality healthcare in the country you are visiting. If you have specific needs that need to be met, look at the available options.

Top 3 money transfer companies for retired expats

We understand that you may not have a lot of time to research a long list of specialist transfer providers to find the best option. Therefore, in this section, you can choose between 3 services that are of industry-leading quality.

1. Wise

Wise is an excellent choice for retired expats because it is easy to use and provides a transparent fee structure. The emphasis on transparency and choice means that you understand the fees you are charged at every step of the process.

Also, Wise regularly matches the mid-market rate for many currency pairs. This is important because most expats will need to convert currencies when moving to a different country.

2. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is another top-tier transfer provider that retired expats should consider. They offer transfers to almost every country on the planet, which means expats can rely on the service. Also, multi-lingual support is strong, which is handy where English is not their first language.

The flexible payout options of WorldRemit are great for getting money in various countries.

3. Instarem

Instarem provides transfers to over 150 countries, which means that the country where you are moving is likely to be covered. Also, 24/7 customer support is offered so that you can enjoy help when it is needed the most.

Instarem matches the mid-market rate, and the fees are low. For most transfers, expect to pay around 0.25-1%, which is competitive compared to most other companies.

More money transfer companies for expats

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April Summers
April Summers
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she's not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.