How to help your elderly parents move internationally?

Senior pair walking on the country road..

Living abroad can be an exceptional experience for many people. If you plan to help your elderly parents move internationally there is research to be done. You should consider important things such as health care, health insurance, banking, and taxes. Knowing solid facts about the place your parents are considering moving to can make their move stress-free and rewarding.

Where to start if you want to help your elderly parents move internationally

Your parents have probably lived in the same place for years. They have probably developed strong roots and have a strong connection to their current community, friends, family, healthcare providers, and daily routines. Moving and leaving their old life behind will not be an easy task. Most often the process of sorting through memories and possessions and packing them is difficult. It’s not always easy to pack and organize your things for moving so you can have professionals do it for you. Be sure to help your parents with this difficult part of their move using some of these tips:

  • Try to go through your parents’ belongings with them and sort which things they need and want to keep. Afterward, you need to decide what to do with the belongings they no longer want. You might want to sell some of them or donate them to charity.
  • Talk to your parents about getting rid of or storing bulky possessions that would be too heavy to carry internationally. The larger and heavier the things you are moving the more costly it will be to relocate.
  • If your parents don’t want to part from their car, you should gather information about the best ways to save money on international car shipping.
  • If your parents own a home, talk to them about renting or selling it. This decision should be theirs alone as it can be an emotional rollercoaster.
  • Make sure you are there for your parents every step of the way and give them your full support. Your parents may have doubts about moving abroad but being there for them can help them overcome these doubts.
  • You can find a specialized company that will help organize a seniors’ move. They will sell or donate furniture and possessions deemed unnecessary by your parents. Having the right international movers can really speed up your move to another country.
A box of postcards and photos, memories that you can help your elderly parents move internationally.
Make sure that your parents take all their important memories with them.

Help your elderly parents move internationally

Finding the perfect place for your elderly parents is a difficult task, but once you find somewhere where they can live a good, peaceful and fulfilling life it can be extremely rewarding.

While researching locations with your parents you could consider the following:

  • Maybe your parents visited somewhere for a vacation and it felt like home, but being on holiday is very different from actually living somewhere. Before your parents decide to move to a new country you should help them find a place to rent in that country. At first, renting is probably better than buying a place as it allows you to try living there for a few months, kind of like a test period. Once your parents experience what life is like in their new country of choice they can decide whether this is where they want to settle long term. Also, look for some senior moving tips.
  • During the first few months of your parents stay in a new country they should consider whether there are any cultural barriers which could make living there difficult for them. Do they need to learn a new language and are they ready to do that if needed?
  • Healthcare is a very important part of senior living. Most U.S. companies do not provide health coverage if you live abroad. You should probably research and find health coverage in the country your parents want to relocate to. The good news is that healthcare quality can be very good and much less expensive in many countries.
Stethoscope, paper heart and ECG report.
When you help your elderly parents move internationally, make sure that they have good healthcare.
  • If your parents are U.S. citizens they will have to file their taxes no matter where they live. However, many countries don’t tax your Social Security. You should get information on taxes for the country that your parents are considering moving to.
  • Your elderly parents are moving internationally, and it would be smart to help them prepare as soon as possible. Together you need to find the perfect location and the right home. Finding the right international moving company, like, is just as important. All of this takes time. The moment you and your parents are sure that you have found a perfect place you should begin with the moving process.
A cottage in the countryside.
Finding the perfect place for your elderly parents can help them live a fulfilling life.
  • You should help your parents look for a good home. Finding a good home in a foreign country can be a complicated process. You shouldn’t do this remotely. Your parents should be in the country that they chose, and they need to have a reliable real estate agent. It is probably best to help them find one. An important thing to know is your budget and you must make it clear to the real estate agent. The agent also needs to know exactly what your parents are looking for in their potential new home. Your agent should do the rest of the work for you.
  • Seniors that are looking to relocate internationally should consider opening a bank account in the country they are moving to. They should do this to avoid excessive ATM charges and currency exchange fees. Also, they should keep their old account in the States open so that they can have their Social Security check deposited there.
  • Help your elderly parents move internationally by helping them adjust to new things and to accept differences they come across in their new place of living. Make them prepare and learn to relax and embrace differences so their life abroad can be stress-free.
  • Never forget to look at some tips on how to save money on a move for your parents’ retirement.

After the move

Moving to a new place and starting a new life is a great thing. Moving abroad to a new country and a new culture can place you in an unfamiliar environment though and this is something you need to learn to deal with. Keeping in mind that your elderly parents are moving internationally, there are some difficult questions to address.

Good and active communication between all family members can be a crucial factor and not only does it make planning and adaptation to your parents move easier, but it is also essential for an effective response to any health issues your parents might face.

There are many reasons for wanting to spend your senior years abroad. From a more relaxed lifestyle, lower living expenses, to better and cheaper healthcare. If you want to help your elderly parents move internationally you need to plan and prepare thoroughly. This transition can go smoothly if you are there to help them achieve their goals and find a perfect place for them.

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