International Relocation Services for Seniors and Retirees

Retiring soon? Why not spend your golden years abroad? Every year, thousands of retirees move internationally to seek adventure and a new experience. Read on to learn how InterNations GO! can help your dreams come true.

What are Relocation Services for Seniors and Retirees?

Retiring in a foreign country is like any other international relocation: exciting and complex. While all moves come with the standard hassles of packing, shipping, and finding a home, expat retirees face some unique challenges. For example, senior expats should consider the ease of transportation in their new home, or what it takes to obtain a residency visa without a job.

What to Consider When Retiring Abroad?

When choosing a country in which to retire, it is best to start with a list of places and then narrow your search based on the criteria listed below.


Where do I Want to Retire?

The first step to any relocation is choosing where to go. Should you move somewhere you have visited before, or a brand-new country? Do you want to be on the beach or in the mountains? Are you interested in city-living or a quiet life in the countryside? Do you want year-round warm, sunny weather, or do you prefer four distinct seasons?


The answers to these questions are up to you, but senior expats should also consider the transportation options in a country as well as access to airports. Public transportation around the globe ranges from ultra-modern, expansive metro systems to motorbike taxis and standing in the back of a pick-up truck. Retired expats should consider their own mobility and whether they are able to walk or climb without limitations.


It is also important to check the availability of a city or town’s transportation. For example, how often does public transit run and how widespread is it throughout the country? Are taxis or ride-share apps safe and reliable? Expats interested in having their own vehicle should also look into the rules and regulations of obtaining a driving license in the country of their choice. This information can be found in our destination guides.


Access to international travel is important for all expats to consider, but especially retirees. For senior expats, being near an airport not only serves as an easy and convenient way to see family, but it is also important in case you need to fly home in case of a medical emergency. If you decide to live away from a large city with an international airport, you should look at how to access the airport.


Unsure of where to begin your search? Our global relocation services include a one-hour relocation consultation. Call InterNations GO! to learn more about what you need to consider when retiring abroad.


What are the Visa and Residency Requirements?

Now that you have narrowed your list of countries based on your personal wants, it is time to look into your visa options. Depending on your nationality and the country you want to move to, this can be a great hurdle. For example, EU nationals planning to retire to another EU country will not face any visa requirements. A non-EU national wanting to retire in a country like France or Spain, however, will need to go through a lengthy application process.


One of the greatest visa challenges retired expats face when moving abroad is not having a job. Employment in a country is a standard requirement of more foreigners wanting to move abroad. Luckily, it is possible to find countries that offer visas specifically for retirees who want to live in a country without a job. For example, Malaysia offers renewable ten-year visas to foreigners over 50, and Peru allows indefinite stays to retirees as long as they do not earn a professional income.


In the countries that allow retired foreigners to live without a job, the requirement you will see most often is a proof of sufficient financial means. Visa applicants will need to meet a minimum monthly income (your retirement savings and/or pension check). The required amount will differ from country to country. To verify your finances, you will need to provide a certified bank statement that shows how much money you have, as well as any regular payment you may receive.


If you can secure a visa in the country of your choice, keep in mind that it will require periodic renewal. Renewal varies from country to country. For most, it is required annually or bi-annually, but there are also countries with five and ten-year visas. In some countries, such as Thailand, retired expats must report to an immigration office every 90 days to verify their visa. If you move to a country with similar requirements, check to see where the immigration offices are as this could have a big impact on where you choose to settle, and whether you want to put up with this hassle.


What is the Cost of Living?

If you are a retiree living on a fixed income such as retirement savings or a pension, the next most important factor to consider when moving abroad is the cost of living. The cost of living includes several expenses, such as housing, food costs, utilities, medical services, and extra activities like eating out and travel.


Depending on the country, your retirement savings can provide a more extravagant lifestyle than you would have in your home country. For example, North American and European expats may find their money will go further in Central America or Southeast Asia, simply because of the exchange rate.


When calculating a country’s cost of living, the biggest expense to take into account is accommodation. Over time, buying a home can be cheaper than renting. However, this is not always a viable option for expats, due to restrictions against foreign buyers or the plain uncertainty of how long you will stay in the country. Some countries do not allow foreigners to purchase property. Other countries do allow it, but only after a certain length of residency.


If you have a relocation destination in mind, check out our country guides to see whether you should purchase or rent when searching for a new home abroad.


What is the Healthcare System like?

As a retiree, knowing what a country’s healthcare system is like is crucial to your safety and wellbeing while living in a foreign land. Even if we are healthy and only require regular checkups, our bodies become slower and need more care as we advance in age.


When looking into a country’s healthcare system, there are several aspects to consider. The first is your access to health insurance. In general, once you obtain residency in a country, you can no longer use foreign or traveler’s health insurance. This will require you to look into whether or not you can register with the country’s public healthcare scheme. If you cannot, what are the private options available to you?


Senior expats should also look into the overall quality of the healthcare system. Is the care received under the public system just as good as the private? What are the waiting times to see a doctor, and how do you see a specialist? What are the costs incurred with each visit?


Our complete relocation services include country guides that answer some of these pressing questions. We provide information on such topics as the differences between each country’s public and private health services, the documents required to register with a public insurance scheme, and the average cost of medical care.

Moving Abroad?
We Will Help You Through Every Step.


What are the Main Relocation Services for Seniors?

What do you need when relocating after retirement? InterNations GO! offers several relocation services for seniors and expats retiring abroad.


Visa Services

As stated, visa requirements are crucial when deciding where to spend your new life abroad. Unless you are a European citizen moving within the EU, you cannot live in a foreign country without a visa, and this can be difficult to secure without a job. Visa services help you learn which countries allow seniors to immigrate without a job, and the steps required to apply for those visas. We advise on the documents you need to submit, including whether you should acquire certified translations or not.


Moving and Storage

Whether you want to bring the entire contents of your home with you or just a few boxes and suitcases, moving and storage services are essential to an easy relocation. A lot can go wrong when packing and shipping your goods. You risk hurting yourself, breaking a treasured heirloom, or possibly not filling the right customs form when you arrive at your new destination. A trusted relocation company can do all of this for you, so that you can rest assured that your belongings will be moved safely and efficiently from one home to the next.


Home Finding

Home finding can be one of the most stressful parts of an international relocation. As a retiree, you want to be cautious with your savings. Does this mean you should buy a home or rent? As a foreigner without a work contract, are you allowed to take out a mortgage? If you do not want to purchase, what is the rental market like? Home-finding services answer these questions for you, and connect you to qualified real estate agents who will help you find the perfect home for you, based on your budget.


Settling-In Services

Settling-in does not only mean decorating your new home or joining a social group; it also refers to the legal requirements of establishing residency in a new country. This includes registering yourself with the local authorities, obtaining a tax number, and signing up for either public or private healthcare. Depending on the country you are moving to, you may need to fill out forms in the native language of the country. Settling-in services help navigate these formalities with you and find professionals that can assist with translation.

Relocating? Our Essential Relocation Services Make It Easy.


What are the Costs?

As a retiree living off savings and retirement checks, it is imperative that you spend your money wisely. Below are some relocation cost estimates.


  • Moving a two-bedroom home from the US to Europe via boat: 2,000—2,700 USD.
  • Moving a two-bedroom home from the US to Europe via air: 3,700—5,000 USD.
  • Moving a four-bedroom home from South America to Asia via air: 17,000—28,000 USD.
  • Shipping a few boxes and pieces of luggage from Europe to Central America: 500—800 USD.
  • Monthly storage rental for three-bedroom home: 600—1,200 USD.


For more on the costs involved during an international retirement, contact InterNations GO! We know how precious your savings are, and the complications of a move abroad. That is why we are here to help you manage all aspects of your relocation.


How does It Work?

As a full professional relocation services company, we help retirees move internationally by offering all services in one spot. This includes services specific to seniors such advisory service on obtaining a retirement visa and legal advice on receiving your pension or paying taxes while living abroad.


Often, when people move internationally, they need to coordinate their relocation with different organizations: visa advisory services, moving companies, storage facilities, immigration lawyers, etc. We ease this stress by handling all of this for you. We assist with visa advisory, packing and shipping, home-finding, settling-in, and more.

Moving Abroad?
We Will Help You Through Every Step.


Examples of Relocation Services for Seniors and Retirees

Every relocation is as unique as the person who is moving. Are you are moving with your spouse, your pet, or both? Do you want to ship all of your possessions to your new country, or will you only bring a few pieces of luggage? Maybe you are moving to a place where you can live on your retirement pension for years, or maybe you want to work.


Whether you are retiring abroad to relax or learn a new skill, we tailor our global relocation services to meet your specific needs.

Carolyn and Greg

After careful consideration of many countries, Carolyn and Greg decided to move from the US to Panama. They have one dog, and Carolyn wants to continue her freelance consultancy work from abroad.

The relocation services they need:

  • Visa services to help Carolyn and Greg obtain the appropriate retirement visa.
  • Pet relocation to ensure their dog arrives in Panama with all the required vaccinations and certifications.
  • Accommodation search, specifically for pet-friendly residences.
  • Settling-in services to register Carolyn’s business with the local tax authorities.


Patrick is a Canadian citizen and has spent years doing business in Portugal. Now he wants to move there for retirement. He is single and wants to bring his furniture with him.

The relocation services Patrick needs:

  • Visa services to ensure he can live in Portugal without a job.
  • Packing and moving services to bring all of his belongings.
  • Storage options to hold his furniture and belongings while he searches for the perfect home.
  • Setting-in services to register Patrick with the local authorities and advise him on whether to use public or private healthcare.


Geraldine is moving from Australia to Thailand. She has a parrot and is interested in learning the local language.

The relocation services Geraldine needs:

  • Visa services to help Geraldine live long-term in Thailand without employment.
  • Pet relocation to ensure her parrot can immigrate to the country and has all the correct certifications and paperwork.
  • Language courses so that Geraldine can adapt more quickly to her new home.
  • Setting-in services to register Geraldine with the local tax authorities and ascribe her to the local healthcare system.

Relocating? Our Essential Relocation Services Make It Easy.


Top Locations for Retired People

There are many top relocation destinations for retirees. Below are the best countries for an international retirement based on cost of living, ease of getting around, access and quality of healthcare, visa solutions, and the ability to live comfortably without being fluent in the country’s native language.


Costa Rica

Costa Rica has long been a popular destination for expats worldwide. Whether you want to live on a tropical beach or in the cool mountains, this country has it. The cost of living is low and expats have access to quality, affordable healthcare in the larger cities.



If you are a non-EU citizen, you will find France to have one of the harder visa processes when compared to other countries on this list. However, given the wonderful food, wealth of culture, and the option to live in a thriving city or quaint French village, many expats find the visa hassle worth it!



Malaysia is populated by several different ethnicities such as Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Thus, you can get a taste of multiple cultures while also being close to gorgeous beaches and many transportation hubs that can take you around Asia and the rest of the world.



Expats retiring in Mexico can enjoy beautiful weather, friendly locals, and a low cost of living. Accommodation costs throughout the country vary depending on if you prefer to live in a city or near the ocean, but everyday expenses, such as food and drinks, are relatively cheap.



Like other Central American countries, Panama boasts beautiful weather and great coastlines. As a popular retirement location for years, it also has a large senior expat community and superb healthcare.



This small European country is quickly gaining popularity as an ideal place for expats to retire. Housing costs are high, but all other expenses are low. Foreigners enjoy a laidback way of life, friendly locals, and perhaps the cheapest, high-quality wine worldwide.



In addition to its delicious food and beautiful scenery, Thailand is a perfect country for expats who want to make the most out of their retirement savings. Expats can easily rent large, luxurious apartments for very little money. Bangkok is also home to Suvarnabhumi Airport, which has direct flights to most other Asian cities and countries in Europe and North and South America as well.

Moving Abroad?
We Will Help You Through Every Step.


Additional Services You Might Be Interested In

InterNations GO! has a range of services that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Whether you are moving abroad alone or as a family, we assess your situation and provide expert guidance to help you make your international relocation as smooth as possible.


We Help You GO!

We offer guidance on visa applications and help you find a home overseas, even before you arrive in your new country.


We Ease You In

Once you have moved abroad, our settling-in services help you register with local authorities. We then make you feel like a local with tailored language and cultural training.


We Bring You Together

From school searches to pet relocation, we help you and your loved ones stay strong together.