The best ways to settle into retirement abroad

Contributed by Expatriate Healthcare, 16 September, 2019

Moving abroad to retire is a dream for many and the thought of a quiet life in a new and exciting setting is all too tempting. However, settling into this desirable life can often be more challenging than expected especially when moving away from loved ones or if you're used to a high-powered career environment.

It can take a while to wind down and get into the swing of a relaxed life overseas but it's important that you throw yourself straight in to your new life so that you are more likely to be happy there. Here are a few things that can make the transition easier:

Adopt a new routine

Getting into a new routine once you have retired abroad can be one of the first steps to becoming accustomed to your new life. You most likely had a specific routine before you made the move so adopting a new one is a great way to start your new journey. However, this new routine will probably not include getting up at 7:30 and completing an 8-hour day at work. Instead, your routine will include waking up and walking down to the local shop to get some fresh bread followed by a gentle stroll along the beach.

Whatever you decide to include in your new routine, it will help you to develop positive habits that match your goal, which will help you to settle into your new life.

Find some hobbies or interests

If you have any existing hobbies or interests, continuing these once in your new location is advisable. Focusing on something you enjoy will keep your mind occupied and help with the adjustment to your new life. Alternatively, if you have no previous hobbies, now is the time to find one. Not only will this fill your days, but it will also give you the opportunity to meet new people that you have things in common with.

Make the most of your new and improved climate with rounds of golf in the sun or hikes in the spring air.

Start learning the language

Moving to a new country is daunting, especially if you don't speak the language as this can cause issues in everyday life. Therefore, learning the country's language could make daily tasks easier and increase your ability to feel comfortable in your new home.

This will not only assist you when shopping, eating out, opening a bank account or attending a health surgery, but it will also enable you to interact better with others which will increase opportunities to make friends and join community groups.

You may want to start learning the language even before you move abroad. This will give you a head start and it's one less barrier to break down during the transition period.

Immerse yourself in the culture

When arriving in your new home the culture and local customs will be very unfamiliar and these can cause you to feel on edge. Immersing yourself in the new culture straight away will help you to understand your new surroundings and immediately make you feel more comfortable.

Make all necessary arrangements

Making arrangements such as setting up a bank account, sorting out internet and utilities and getting international healthcare insurance may not be fun tasks, but getting all these things in order either before or as soon after arrival, will be a weight off your shoulders and will help you to relax.

Go in search of other expats

If you're moving to a popular destination it's highly likely that there will be other expats living in the area, seeking them out and making friends can be really reassuring as they will have been through the same thing. As a result, they will be able to offer recommendations, tips and support during the settling in process.

There are lots of expat forums online that you can join where others share their experiences and offer help to those who need it. Also, in popular expat areas there are bars or restaurants where expats will hang out or that will be run by expats. If you find one, make this your local for a while, it can act as a safety blanket until you are ready to venture out of your comfort zone.

Explore your new home

Make the most of all the spare time you're going to have by exploring your new home country. Take walks around the parks, visit different shopping centres, visit nearby cities or even do weekend trips away to other parts of the country. Discovering the beauty, traditions and tastes of your new country will help you to embrace and enjoy the experience.

Give it time

Settling in won't happen overnight, it will take time and it very much depends on how prepared you are, who or what you're leaving behind and how easily you can adapt to change. You just need to keep an open mind and try not to book a flight home the moment you encounter a hiccup. Patience is key when it comes to settling into retirement abroad.

Tags: Healthcare | Lifestyle | Expats | Health Insurance | Healthcare | Lifestyle | Insurance |



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