You do not have all the countries in the world from which to choose a retirement haven. That may sound enticing at first but there are some places to which you would not choose to go. North Korea would perhaps be an example of this category. Others make it difficult to obtain or simply do not allow permanent residency for foreign retirees. Included in this group are some major western developed nations such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America. The first two mentioned make it almost impossible for anyone with no previous family connection to them to retire there. The last makes it difficult because of a very zealous approach to personal background checks and need for detailed documentary evidence to support an application for residency.
All countries of the World make a point of advising applicants for residents' visas that it would be unwise to begin disposing of real estate and personal property before visas are granted. The GOLDEN RULE is that no irrevocable step should be taken unless one has visited the country which at first appeals at least once and preferably multiple times. A lengthy stay would also be advisable prior to a permanent move. A planned approach to choosing a country in which to retire is better than simply sticking a pin in a map of the world and buying a ticket. Some choice parameters should be set out. Some might be essential considerations, others just comfort conditions.
There is no way that one person can chose one country from all the countries in the World for someone else. It is all too personal. All decisions will be made subjectively not objectively and they will often be the result compromises if couples or a family is involved. The best that can be done here is to list the things which influence lives. Many of the items will be examined in greater detail on other pages. The list will not be exhaustive for some. Not all of the topics in the list will have a meaning for all the countries in the World.
This is well over a score of items. They will not all be on any one person's list of essential needs. The weight given to each will vary with every person. There is one huge caveat with respect to retiring abroad. If the intention is to attempt to create afresh the life style which is being left behind then why leave in the first place? The point is to embrace new people, new ideas for living, new relaxations, in fact a whole new way of life. Retirement is not the end of the world. It is a new phase of life and thanks to modern drugs and medical practices it promises to be an increasingly long period wherein the choices are yours not an employers' or a customers' even if they cannot be from all the countries in the World.
The items on the above list can be loosely grouped under about four major headings. They will be examined briefly on separate pages. Some subjects require particular attention and they add to the four general categories. Again it must be emphasized that the importance of each item is for the individual to assess according to specific personal circumstances. The following links will take you to the appropriate pages.
The "Golden Rule" was mentioned above. No irrevocable step towards an attempted permanent stay in any of the countries in the World should be taken unless one has visited the country which at first appeals at least once and preferably multiple times. Visits should be made at different seasons. Travel brochures and agents will often never mention less attractive features of a country. Such things may include a cyclone, hurricane or typhoon season, a period of high humidity, a dry time which may result in shortages of some supplies or an extended religious observance period which may limit freedom of movement.
If possible at least one visit should be for an extended period. This will permit experience of seasonal variations of weather and of daylight periods. It may be possible to see if any local festivals cause a disruption to normal living. Tourists may enjoy a fiesta. Constant living with one can become tiresome.
Local services, social and financial, can be investigated on a "Golden Rule" trip. Also the need for knowledge of the local language can be appreciated.
In short, nothing beats experience however extensive research has been but you do not have to visit all the countries in the World to make a valid choice.
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