Expat Retirement Planning

expat retirement planning

Expat retirement planning is a big deal for anyone, but it’s especially important for expats. In addition to considering the kind of life they want to lead abroad, these folks have many other considerations including how to maintain connections with family and friends back home.

Some countries offer attractive incentives for retirees. For example, Panama’s Pensionado program provides a modest pension and health care at a fraction of what it would cost in the US. And in Europe, most citizens of the EU are required to pay only a nominal premium for public healthcare. But before you move, research how these benefits apply to your situation.

Expat Pension Advice: Understanding Your Options and Making Informed Choices

Another factor to consider is taxation. Some countries tax Americans on withdrawals from retirement accounts and pensions, while others—particularly those in the EU—have enacted laws to attract retirees by offering favorable tax rates. “In most cases, you should consult with an expat-focused tax professional to optimize your situation and ensure that you’re fully leveraging the benefits of your new location,” says Ingrim.

Regardless of where you live, it’s critical to understand how your Social Security and pension benefits will be affected. If you’re an American expat who has paid into Social Security for at least 10 years, you’ll be eligible to receive a monthly check once you move abroad—as long as you continue to pay taxes in both the US and your country of residence. It’s also important to make sure that your financial institutions will continue to work with you while you’re overseas.