The Golden Years Abroad: Selling Your Home and Retiring Internationally

The Golden Years Abroad: Selling Your Home and Retiring Internationally

Long-awaited retirement! A time when you can finally kick back, relax, and perhaps even turn those long-held dreams of living abroad into reality. Picture waking up to the gentle sea breeze in the Mediterranean, or savoring freshly brewed coffee from your mountainside abode in the Andes. Sounds tempting, right? But before you pack up your life and jet off, there’s a big to-do: selling your current home and sorting out your finances for this monumental move. This blog will guide you through preparing for your international retirement—step by step.

Step 1: Deciding to Sell Your Home

Senior Couple Standing in Front of Home

Senior Couple Standing in Front of Home

The decision to sell your home is not just a financial one; it’s emotional too, especially if it’s been your family hub for years. Start by assessing the market. Is it a seller’s market right now? Consult with a real estate agent who has experience in your area and can offer insights on the best timing and strategies for selling. They can help you price your home competitively and suggest any improvements that could boost its value.

Step 2: Preparing Your Home for Sale

First impressions count! Staging your home can make it more appealing to potential buyers. This might involve decluttering, hosting an estate sale, making minor repairs, or even some cosmetic updates. Consider hiring a professional stager; they know exactly how to highlight your home’s strengths and appeal to buyers’ emotions.

Step 3: Understanding the Financial Implications

Senior Couple Speaking with a Financial Advisor

Senior Couple Speaking with a Financial Advisor

Selling your home and moving internationally comes with its set of financial considerations:

  • Capital Gains Tax: If your home has increased in value, you might owe taxes on the profit. It’s crucial to understand the implications and any exclusions you might qualify for.
  • Costs of Selling: Real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and other fees can add up. Ensure you account for these when calculating your budget.
  • Exchange Rates: When moving funds internationally, exchange rates will affect how much money you end up with. It might be worth discussing strategies with a financial advisor.

Step 4: Planning Your Move Internationally

Once your home is on the market, start planning your move. Research potential destinations—consider factors like cost of living, healthcare, climate, and community. Some countries even offer special retirement visas that come with benefits like tax breaks. Places like Portugal, Mexico, and Malaysia are popular among retirees for their favorable conditions.

Step 5: Managing Your Retirement Funds

Understanding how your retirement funds will work abroad is essential. Will you transfer your retirement accounts to your new country, or keep them in your home country? Talk to a financial advisor about tax implications and the best way to access your money while living abroad. You might also need to set up a local bank account or explore options for receiving your pension overseas.

Step 6: Making the Move

International Moving

International Moving

Moving abroad isn’t just about shipping your belongings; it’s about transitioning your life. This includes everything from securing health insurance to understanding local laws. Consider making a preliminary trip to your chosen destination to tie up any loose ends, like finding a place to live or setting up necessary services.

Step 7: Settling In

Once you’ve moved, give yourself time to adjust. Engage with local expat communities—they can be invaluable in helping you navigate your new surroundings and can offer friendship and advice. Explore, take language classes if necessary, and immerse yourself in your new culture.

Happy Senior Couple Stroll Beside a River in France

Happy Senior Couple Stroll Beside a River in France

Wrapping Up

Retiring abroad is a thrilling opportunity, but it requires careful planning and preparation. By taking the steps to sell your home wisely, manage your finances, and settle into your new country, you can ensure a smooth transition to a rewarding retirement.

Whether it’s the beaches of Costa Rica or the vineyards of France, your dream retirement awaits. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning today!


Q: How long should I expect to sell my home before moving abroad?

A: It varies, but on average, it can take 2-6 months to sell a home depending on the market and location.

Q: What are some of the best countries to retire to financially?

A: Countries like Panama, Portugal, and Malaysia often top lists due to their low cost of living and retiree benefits.

Q: Should I hire an international moving service?

A: Yes, an international mover can help navigate the complexities of customs and international shipping regulations.

This guide aims to smooth out your path from the comfort of your current home to the exciting unknown of international shores. Here’s to your new adventures in your golden years!

The Golden Years Abroad: Selling Your Home and Retiring Internationally

The Golden Years Abroad: Selling Your Home and Retiring Internationally

About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.