Follow Expatfinder >

Articles

Top 10 Countries for Expat Retirement

 

As an expat, when it comes to choosing a country for retirement, some countries are more suited than others, and while these countries are great in terms of the basic criteria for choosing a country for expat retirement like easy setup for QROPS, a low cost of living and a safe environment, etc., that does not mean that they are also dull and out of date.

Retirement countries should also be vibrant and energetic enough to keep retirees busy, with just the right amount of comfort. Retire in style in the world’s top 10 countries for expat retirement.

 

1. Panama

Panama tops the charts on retirement countries for U.S. citizens because of its laid back atmosphere, perfect beaches, 1st world economy, the U.S. Dollar used as national currency, and also because it’s conveniently close to the United States. Additionally, the Panamanian government also made a lot of effort to make the collection of pension and visas easier for expat retirees.

 

2. Portugal

If Panama is a haven for U.S. citizens, then Portugal is the go-to country for European expat retirees. Buying property in Portugal is cheaper than most European countries, and obtaining it as a foreigner is not a hassle. Above all, Portugal also has one of the biggest expat communities in Europe.

 

3. Malaysia

If you want to see and experience different ways of living in your golden years, then Malaysia is the best expat retirement country for you. Malaysia has a low-cost of living, so you can be able to rent or buy prime properties for a really cheap price. This country is a melting pot of Asian culture, which can be exciting, as you can meet and experience different kinds of people and culture in almost every neighbourhood. The Malaysian government also has a special program for expats and especially expat retirees called “Malaysia, my second home” to make visas and pensions much easier to process.

 

4. Ecuador

Ecuador is one of the most understated countries in South America. This wonderful country has fantastic scenery and friendly and welcoming communities. This is a country filled with new adventures and opportunities, as well as a very low-cost of living. Retired expats can live in Ecuador comfortably and still be able to experience many new things.

 

5. Spain

1st world lifestyle and environment, low-cost of living, pleasant expat communities and a very beautiful country with a rich historical and cultural heritage; these are just some of the few good reasons why Spain is a good choice for expat retirees. When in Spain, you can also travel through different parts of the country and get to experience a myriad of cultural experiences, find cheap property for rent or sale and enjoy your golden years in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

6. Thailand

One of the best countries in Asia for expat retirees, Thailand offers one of the cheapest costs of living in the world, where pensioners can live very comfortably and enjoy the best things that this country has to offer. The country also has an expanding expat community with very friendly locals and a beautiful relaxing environment— starting a new life in Thailand can easily be a dream come true.

 

7. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a famous destination for expat retirees. The country has a special “Pensionados” program that entitles retired expats with social security, health care, and an easy access to pensions. Aside from the specialized programs, Costa Rica is also one of the most scenic places in the world. Their locals are very friendly and accommodating and the cost of living is very low. Costa Rica offer island living with 1st world accommodations and specialized retirement programs, this country is definitely one of the best retirement hotspots in the world.

 

8. Malta

Malta is another good choice for expat retirement in Europe. This country is one of safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate. Malta also has one of the best weather in the world with over 3,100 hours of sunshine every year. Though the cost of living might not be as low as countries in Asia or South America, you can still be able to live a good and comfortable life on a pension in this country.

 

9. The Philippines

Majestic scenery, friendly English speaking locals, low-cost of living, and a wide range of services and opportunities for retirees who want more than to just sit, relax and enjoy the scenery. This beautiful archipelago is rife with business opportunities and different exciting experiences in every region. Enjoy the best of tropical living and many other opportunities available in The Philippines.

 

10. New Zealand

New Zealand is not only an emerging destination for young expats; it’s also a great place for expat retirees. The country offers good and healthy food, accommodating locals, and a very calm and cool lifestyle. Though the cost of living is a bit high, you can be sure to have top of the line healthcare, services and amenities. The country also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Live luxuriously in style in this scenic country.

 

 

 

 

Get Free Moving Quotes from Trusted Professional Moving Companies

Expat Retirement, Retirement Abroad, Living Abroad, Travel, Expat Lifestyle, Overseas Retirement, Living Abroad

8 World Festivals Expats Shouldn’t Miss

One of the greatest ways to make the most out of the expat lifestyle is by being open to the best experiences in life. There are many celebrations around the world that show the richness in culture and history of different countries. As an expat, you should not be limited to your host country or your own home country’s boundaries, you’ve already made it out of your comfort zone; you’re living abroad, go the extra mile and experience the best festivals and celebrations the world has to offer. 

 

Pingxi Lantern Festival – Pingxi District, Taiwan

Mid-February or Early March Annually

Originally a part of the Chinese traditional “Lantern Festival” celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar’s lunisolar year to mark the end of the Lunar New Year celebration. It is celebrated in many ways throughout Taiwan and China. In Pingxi, they light thousands of paper lanterns to spread the “Yuan Xiao” folklore across the world.

 

 

Holi —Hindu Towns Around the World (Primarily India and Nepal)

Vernal Equinox, Around first week of March Annually

If your host country has a “Little India” town, then there’s a good chance that Holi is celebrated there. Holi is an ancient Hindu religious celebration of colours and love. Holi starts with a night bonfire with people  gathering to sing and dance, then in the morning, bright colour powders and water are sprayed everywhere for people to frolic and play around with.

 

 

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Last Friday before the Holy Week Annually

This street festival is easily one of the most famous celebrations in the world, frequented by at least 2 million people yearly. It has been held on the streets of Rio since 1723. This Carnival starts before the Lenten season every year and ends on Ash Wednesday.

 

 

Boryeong Mud Festival – Boryeong, South Korea

2nd Week of July, Annually

It’s always fun to get down and dirty with your closest friends and family, which is why this mud festival is one of the most amusing festivals in the world. This festival was originally held to promote “mud cosmetics” made from the Boryeong mud flats back in 1998, but after a few years it started to gain more popularity and is now able to attract 2 million tourists for Boryeong every year.

 

 

White Nights Festival – St. Petersburg, Russia

End of June, Annually

Russia’s international arts festival is held to mark the end of the “White Nights season” in the summer when the sun stays in the sky until way after mid-night. This cultural festival showcases a series of art events such as opera, classical ballet and theatre. The festival ends with the “Scarlet Sails” tradition where a ship with red sails is sent off with a fantastic firework display.

 

 

La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain

Last Wednesday of August, Annually

La Tomatina is a well known festival held on the last Wednesday of August every year since 1945. This may well be the world’s biggest and most celebrated food fight with over 40 metric tons of tomatoes used every year. Some rules are upheld by the city council to avoid injuries for example, the tomatoes used for throwing must be squashed to avoid grievously hurting anyone.

 

 

Songkran Water Festival – Thailand, Southeast Asia

13th-15th of April, Annually

A festival held all over Thailand and neighbouring countries like Laos and Vietnam to celebrate the Thai New Year. Locals throw water with herbs to symbolize washing and cleansing all the negativity from the previous year. It is traditionally held from the 13th to the 15th of April every year.

 

 

Dia de los Muertos  - Mexico, South America

31st of October – 2nd of November, Annually

Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead” is a Halloween celebration observed mainly in Latin America and places with prominent latin cultural influence, to commemorate all their loved ones who have passed away. Many people dress up as skeletons during the celebration that starts on the 31st of October and ends on the 2nd of November. Aside from parades, the locals also visit the graves of their loved ones and celebrate with traditional food and beverages.

 

 

 

Get Free Moving Quotes from Trusted Professional Moving Companies

World Festivals, Living Abroad, Parties Around the World, Travel, Expat Lifestyle

Top 10 Cities for Young Expats

 

When you are a young professional just starting life fresh with a doe-eyed idealistic view, the world is your oyster. More so, if you’re a young professional looking to get out of your home country and start life as an expat and you’re tired of the usual spots like New York, London and Paris, here are 10 of the best cities you can consider to fill your young life with experiences, opportunities and adventure.

 

10. Cape Town, South Africa

This beautiful South African country is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Aside from a thriving local and global economy, Cape Town offers a wide range of activities and places to visit as well as a friendly and active community. The weather is also the perfect “warm-summer Mediterranean climate.” If you’re a bit more laid back and looking to find a new adventure every weekend or even right after work, Cape Town is the city for you.

 

9. Prague, Czech Republic

If you like beer, then this city might be the best fit for you. Beer and Prague has a long history and locals have a very strong connection to their favourite lagers and pilsners. Aside from the beers, Prague is a historical city that managed to adapt really well with modern times. It hosts beautiful historical architecture such as the gothic Powder Tower, as well as the famous modern building— the “Dancing House.” Experience the best of the old and modern contemporary times with a pint of one of the world’s best beers in Prague.

 

 

8. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has been emerging as the hottest new expat destination especially for young people in the recent years. This city has a thriving global economy that opens a lot of opportunities for young professionals. Auckland is also known as the “City of Sails” with a lot of prominent yacht clubs and sailing competitions. This is a city for people who are very active and outdoorsy, especially those who are keen on water sports.

 

 

7. Dubai, UAE

If you are looking for a fast paced and luxurious lifestyle surrounded by mystical deserts and extravagant buildings, Dubai is definitely the city for you. Dubai is a global cosmopolitan metropolis with an impressive skyline, rich culture and booming economy. Whether you like driving through sand dunes or partying in the vibrant Dubai night scene, you’re sure to have a good time that pushes boundaries. What else can you expect in a city where the police drive super cars like Bugatti Veyron and Lamborghini Aventadors.

 

 

6. São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo is Brazil’s largest city and also the largest economy by GDP in Latin America. São Paulo offers a cultural melting pot that opens doors to a myriad of opportunities. This beautiful city has over 30 parks and holds more than 10 major events like the Carnaval, the Brazilian Grand Prix, and the festival of electronic art. This year they took centre stage as one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

 

 

5. Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is one of the super cities of Asia and definitely a good city for young professionals who are keen on experiencing the contemporary Asian lifestyle. Seoul is also becoming one of Asia’s premiere techno hubs with world famous modern infrastructure and the highest fiber-optic broadband penetration in the world. Good opportunities and experiences are definitely in store for expat yuppies in Seoul.

 

 

4. Tel Aviv, Israel

This rising metropolis is the 2nd largest economy in the Middle East right after Dubai, and has been gaining a reputation as the up and coming “place to be.” As a growing metropolis, expats worldwide will have a lot of opportunities to excel in Tel Aviv’s growing economy. Aside from its economic success, Tel Aviv is also dubbed as the new “Los Angeles” with its fun and exciting atmosphere.

 

 

3. Perth, Australia

Australia’s newest “it city,” Perth is now gaining a worldwide buzz as a place where you can work on the weekdays and relax effortlessly on weekends. This once remote city that largely offers suburban areas that houses a rising economy and some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches.

 

2. Shanghai, China

As a brilliant city and one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world, Shanghai offers a promising opportunity with their rising economy and strong global corporations. Shanghai can give any young expat a head start and a good experience when it comes to local culture and customs.

 

 

1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam has always been the popular choice for young professionals. This city is included in most of the lists for young people to live in at least once in their lives. Amsterdam is the best depiction of a youthful city, but it is also one of the oldest cities in Europe. Not only will you have a lot of fun while living here, there’s also quite a lot of culture, heritage and history that you can learn from. Amsterdam is still the best city for young people and even the young at heart.

 

 

 

Get Free Moving Quotes from Trusted Professional Moving Companies

Jobs Abroad, Jobs Overseas, Best Cities for Young Expats, Expat Lifestyle

5 Startup Ideas for Expats Abroad

There are many opportunities that open up once you start living abroad. You may have started out as an expat employee or even as an intern, but living abroad can help widen your perspective about your career and your life.

There are many reasons why venturing on a startup business while you’re living abroad can be a good thing, for example, finding cheap local talent can help you and your service or product be a little more diverse and you will have a wider reach in terms of partnerships and opportunities due to your global experience. Franchising can also be a good way to start your business with enough backing from the big guys in the industry you want to pursue. To get you started, here are 5 startup ideas for expats overseas.

 

1. BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)

The BPO industry is a thriving industry among global companies particularly around Asia and Eastern Europe. BPOs relies heavily on manpower, so there is an advantage in starting up a BPO as an expat, because you have knowledge about the local talent in your host country, as well as an international vantage point. BPOs can be a simple call centre for local businesses in your host country or it can be as big as a web development or software development team for big clients. If you would rather start with a big name on your door, you can also reach out to BPO giants that offer franchise opportunities.

The key to a BPO startup in your host country is to know the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the local talents, so that you may know what type of businesses you can promote to outsource for your future clients.

 

2. Social e-Commerce

Social e-Commerce is basically the selling or retailing of product, goods and services through electronic media (social media). E-commerce can cover retailing of items such as books, DVDs, clothes, shoes etc., as well as services such as food and flower delivery, advertising, auctions and travel assistance. Social e-Commerce also has a lot of franchise startup opportunities. Merry Maids is a good e-commerce service company that offers franchising startups abroad with franchise opertaions in the US, UK, Australia and even all over Asia.

As an expat, not only will you have good knowledge about the local talent, but you will also get a good look at the local market. You will have a better understanding of things that will work in a different culture, as well as having a view of the market from your home country. You get a wider range of ideas and a wider reach for partnership opportunities as well. You may have a bit of an edge for global partnerships just by having a much diverse perspective and approach about your business.

 

3. Software Development

Software development can be a very lucrative startup business in your host country if you have the right background and team for it. This can also be a part of a BPO or a specialty BPO company— if you want to ensure clients that your focus is for software development. First of all, you have to gauge the local talent if they have an apt for software development. As of the moment, countries in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia, and countries in Asia such as China and India are the world leaders when it comes to software development and software development outsourcing. Companies like Focus4IT and many other companies also have good franchise opportunities if you decide to go in the franchise direction for your startup.

An expat’s good advantage when it comes to a startup software development companies, is the assessment of needs from different cultural and social point of view. You may also have cheaper labour costs and good local talent if you launch this startup business overseas.

 

4. Local Expat Consultancy Firm

Maybe the act of setting up a startup business can already be your startup business. Consultancy firms have been quite trendy in recent years, especially with global businesses, which can help if you want to tap into global consultancy firms. If you are an expat who is familiar with setting up a business or hiring foreign and local employees in your host country, then you can start a firm with the right mix of local and foreign talents that can help you organize and setup new businesses for foreign investors looking to enter your host country’s market.

The important key in opening a consultancy firm is the legitimacy of your information. If you're not too confident with your own team or getting your own startup, you can opt for a business consultancy franchise to aid you with starting up your business. You have to be very particular when it comes to information and process and make sure that you only hire credible and experienced local and foreign talent.

5. Global Recruitment

Recruitment is an extensive industry that can really be profitable when you have the right skills and people for the job. Companies like Hays, Adecco and Robert Walters plc have a global reach when it comes to recruitment, but there are still innovations that you can strive for in your startup, which can catch the attention of global recruitment giants. For example, social recruitment like networking on and offline still hasn’t been fully utilized and explored by big companies. As an expat in your host country, you may already have the adequate information when it comes to hiring and finding employment for foreign and local talent. Use your own experiences as a tool to give you an edge and make your startup standout.You should also try to compare the difference of starting a recruitment franchise vs. building your own recruitment network.

 

The expat lifestyle is a good platform to develop more ideas to make your startup marketable in the local and global community. You should weigh your options well and arm yourself with proper knowledge about the industry that you want to pursue. At the end of the day, being able to see and experience different cultures and markets abroad will give you an edge to attract investors and partners for whatever type of startup you wish to launch.

 

 

Get Free Moving Quotes from Trusted Professional Moving Companies

Startups Abroad, Jobs Overseas, Business Ideas, Expat Startups

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters Overseas

Natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. As expats, you might experience other forms of natural disasters that you’re not used to. So how do you prepare for natural disasters while living abroad? Here are some of the best ways to prepare yourself and your loved ones for natural disasters overseas.

Gather Information

Before you move, one of the things you should know about your host country are the types of natural disasters that are commonly expected in the country, e.g., earthquakes, snow storms, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes and the like. You can prepare for natural disasters better once you’ve determined the type calamities that are common in your host country. It will also serve you well to research about the expat community’s movement of in your host country during times of disasters. Enter some forums and read blogs, information about other expats’ experiences can be very helpful especially if you are moving to a country that has many possible natural disasters.

 

Have a Worst-Case Scenario Plan

Having a plan for the worst-case scenarios does not mean you are paranoid. What this means is that, you just need to have the basics in case there is an emergency and avoid once you’re faced with these situations. This is something that you should not take for granted especially when you are with your family. Have an exit strategy for worst case scenarios in your house and brief your family about it. Gather all the necessary phone numbers— the Red Cross, your country’s embassy and all the needed emergency hotline numbers—have them somewhere accessible at all times. Keep an old phone charged with emergency numbers and contacts that you may use in case your phone runs out of batteries.

Always have torchlight and batteries ready for use in every room and have a stock of food and medicine in your house.

 

Watch the News

Always be on alert during disaster season in your host country. Don’t take the local news for granted. Stay tuned and take notes when they are giving information about shelters and emergency contacts to have more information when disaster strikes. It also pays to have a connection to the local expat community to have your own group to fall back on, in case you need it.

 

Know Your Surroundings

Asses the area around your house or apartment. If you are living in a country where typhoons or hurricanes and tornados are common, it’s better to keep any large trees in your yard or around your house trimmed. If you are living in a condo apartment or something similar, and earthquakes are prominent, pay attention to emergency exits in your building and check the emergency evacuation procedures in the building. Ask the management if they have a specific guide for earthquakes and other natural disasters.

 

Be Completely Covered

 

When you are living overseas, there are many things you can experience, and sadly, it’s not always going to be good. It’s always best to have insurance like international health, property, home and car insurance and the like, especially if you are living with your family abroad. International private insurance might be a bit more expensive, but you will definitely have a peace of mind once you have the basic types of coverage for you and your family.

Natural disasters are inevitable no matter where you are, but that doesn’t mean that you just have to take it as it comes. There are many things you can do to prepare and be ready for any kind of disaster even when you are living in a foreign land. It is better to be 5 years early, than a minute too late.

 

 

Get Free Moving Quotes from Trusted Professional Moving Companies

Natural Disasters, Expat Lifestyle, Be Prepared for Disasters Overseas