My thoughts on retiring abroad (Leaving the UK)

I was going to write the following for a blog but decided to hold fire.

We may love England, but after a few decades you might be ready for a change – Britain’s great, but there are certain things it lacks. Reliable weather, more varied terrain and the ability to do several completely different, unfamiliar things within a couple of days may well hold an attraction for you, especially once you have the money and time to do them.

America (in my opinion) is the perfect retirement destination. For a start, they already speak English, so you won’t have to worry about becoming lost in translation. There are also a vast amount of locations to choose between. Want sun? Head to Florida or California. Green fields to remind you of home? Maine, Texas or Wyoming are the places to go to. Fancy a big-city cultural experience while still within direct flight range of the UK? Where else would you settle but New York or Chicago?

There’s no reason for it be a permanent move if you don’t want it to be – you can always schedule a move back after a few years. This simply gives you the opportunity to explore, to take advantage of the healthy living America affords (if you want to) and enjoy new and exciting experiences every day....

A little about me...

I'm looking to retire by the end of next year. I have spent plenty of time in the UK (far too much time dedicated to this tiny island time if you ask me) and now looking for something a little different. I don't have any major commitments, no family, well no immediate family that are UK based,, have done as much as I can in terms of cultural experiences have done all of these walks and more. I Have experimented with the broad range of activities from the National Trust: and yet...nothing! Nothing seems to satisfy me. Do you guys really think America is the way forward. I'm not after an Ex-pat community. I'm after a new lease of life. would be great to hear from you guys.

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. vonMichael

    Hello Simon,

    good blog, interesting information to begin with.

    You offer us a few places in the States that could be an alternative to that what you’ve found here. Good. Let me please complement your list by Sanibel Island USA / Florida but one needs a shedload of money for the daily keep.
    Richmond VA seems to be an alternative too. I prefer small place to visit the big ones and not vice versa.
    In Europe England would be an alternative for a part time living. I would put Portugal on the same line but most of the Brits will have difficulties with the language.
    But all depends on the expectations one has doesn’t it? Now I’m looking forward getting to know other member’s proposals. Michael

  2. starlette

    Hi Simon, well you seem to have done your research, and have more or less decided that America would probably meet your needs, I am not an American so cannot put you in the picture of the pros and cons of moving there……..but I would say go for it, give it a try, nothing to lose……and like you say, there would be no barriers for you to return England should it not live up to your expectations, or when you tire of it……….why not set yourself up with a Huge camper van or Winnebago, then you could explore at your will, not tied down to any City or indeed any Country …… if you decide you may….just may need a companion………my Email is……………….hehe……..just saying……..enjoy your travels and keep us updated time permitting…..

  3. roseinbloom

    Simon, You have not mentioned costs or healthcare, not the type of live you are seeking. In any case, choose a place without too many weather calamities. I think we love Brits in the USA so that is good. Since you are alone, you need a retirement community probably. You will get older here. Northern Florida is good to consider. Daytona Florida has affordable very near the beach. On the beach is first.
    You want to be near a hospital and a university usually.
    You probably don’t want the extreme cold of our northern states.
    Look before you leap. Picture your daily living.
    Costs and healthcare has to be on top of your list. I don’t know how anyone caould afford our healthcare system, if you don’t have our coverage and you don’t.
    I know a woman from my state, who returned here after 30 years and then returned to the UK because of healthcare.
    Our people are different, in different states also, and so is our food. You have a lot to think about.
    If I were you, I think I would be running over to sunny spain or Portugal and Not be so far removed. Home is Home.

  4. cappuccino

    Rose makes a very good point Simon…..I had to give up living in America ,and had to return to Australia,because I developed a non fatal ,but chronic condition that would have cost me mega thousands to have treated in the USA..In Oz, where I still had health insurance plus use of the free health system,initial treatment cost me $800……But…If you want to explore the states,without burning your bridges,I say, Go for it,,,you only live once.

  5. macathy

    Well as you say it is to retire in I think I’ll stay right here in Aussieland thanks.I wouldn’t mind going for trips to ausa and Uk but home to me will always be Australia.

  6. lani36

    What an interesting blog, i studied various places last year to retire too fromAustralia , i initially wanted to go home to brittain , where most of my peopleoriginate from , however a holiday wouldbe great there but after perusing everything there, it is far too expensive ona retirement annuity to live there now … France is an amazing retirement place however , that too is expensive , in places not quite as expensive as England ,Spain on the Costa Blanca and vatrious places is the place to go , inexpensive homes with acreage if you choose for well under 150.000 english pounds or rentals from under Euros 500 a month, yes I said a month. beautiful apartments near the beach or the mountains , plenty to choose from ,360 days of sunshine , food a plenty at very reasonable prices all fresh and abundent , the people warm and friendly and if you don.t speak spanish it doesnt matter , their are plenty of British ex-pats ..Panama is another place that is going ahead for expat americans cheap beautifulnew complexes half of the price of the states and quite a few are retiring there..
    Now as we grow older , i looked into health services all have excellent health services…America is the most expensive… England like Australia has free health services ,, Panama half the price of the states and france is expensive and one has to have that paid up 12 months in advance in france….. AUSTRALIA where i
    live has everything n the world has to offer in different states , the trpoics in the north, the snowfields in the south and south east, the deserts , the outback , the beaches surrounding the whole coast, in;and Citieswith over 100.000 poulation increasing yearly , good schools excellent hospitals , many Universities , but i thas become so expensive , especially in the major cities and the housing is so expensive it would take a lifetime to pay on e’s mortgage ,and i beleive that if a senior wants to emigrate here they have to pay the Government $30.000 to settle here …..that apliesto Singapore as well if youchose Singapore . veryinexpensive to live there but onehas to purchase a house one cannot rent or lease , pay the singapore Goerment $ 50.000 singapore dollars before they are alalowed to settle permanantly …. my greatest choice was Spain it has everything one could want at half the expense of all the other countries , weather beautiful, people friendly , cost of living half of that of other countrie s as is housing , great schools and universities ,your choice of ocean or mountain views wherever you choose to live…
    That is the results of the study i did last year ,for retirees,………….Lani

  7. roseinbloom

    Lani, Many seniors do pick up and leave and I don’t know those or how happy they are. I do know seniors who moved to be close to family. Their decision was necessary. I think seniors need connections and a next of kin. I moved to California, at least 3000 miles away and I always felt stranded. We also need healthcare for sure.

  8. catalpa

    Helpful hint: unless you have done funeral planning, don’t forget to allow finances for body transport after your passing….

  9. sylvestercat

    Hi Simon,I think the first thing you should do is determine the type of lifestyle you wish to lead when you retire and do that in your home country for a while,then if not satified then to see if that is available in any proposed destination.

  10. vonMichael

    Hi Simon,

    best advice for Europe I can give is Portugal. At the time I lived there we had an English society as well as a German society. English is prob. to the Portuguese at all. There was also a British Hospital in Lisbon, the prices for food and accomodation are moderate.
    I would not advice you to stay in Lisbon, better places are Porto, Coimbra ( Uni ) or any other small cities on the way.
    It never get really cold in the winter month but you do you good if you buy one-two gas heater. Life is an easy going one, food can be brought to your house if you ask for and if you are creative you can start any kind of business for your daily keep. Check on medical cover cos that has changed as I can imagine. Michael

  11. CSweet51

    Welcome to the states! If you like a dry heat then I would suggest Arizona although it gets very hot in the summer but because they have mountains you can escape from the worst of it.
    Chicago is an awesome city! People from all over the world visit there. So many things to see and do but rather expensive place to live.
    Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan are wonderful places but the winters are cold and have a lot of snow. The pacific northwest in incredibly beautiful but can be wet and snowy in the winter.
    South Dakota has many great places to visit but not sure I would live there.
    I wish I could speak for the east coast but I have yet to make it out there. The lighthouses are fantastic out there and am hoping to someday make it out that way.
    Southern California is too crowded and busy but northern is beautiful. San Francisco is a great city to visit!! Very expensive to live there!!!
    I love the USA and will live here forever.
    Again, welcome from Wisconsin!

  12. roseinbloom

    CSweet. You would love the east coast. The beaches are wide and warm unlike California beaches. If you haven’t seen New York City and the Statue of Liberty you have missed out on something uniquely American. There is a train out of Chicago to New York city and you would see a lot. I do hope you get to travel to the east after you retire. I was in Kennebunkport Maine and Vermont last May. I am so happy i was. I still want to spend more time in the Northeast, somehow that Is where I feel I belong.