How to Live Self-Sufficiently Abroad

Solo female traveller with map in a city
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It’s thought that more than 5.5 million Brits currently live abroad, with this representing a little less than one-in-10 of the total UK population.

Interestingly, quite a large portion of this number are also retired and living self-sufficiently, particularly in EU member states. In fact, the number of British pensioners living abroad in the single bloc peaked at around 475,000 in 2017, although this number has decreased incrementally in the wake of Brexit.

But how exactly can you live self-sufficiently abroad? Here are some tips to help you get started.

Tourist on hill overlooking Dubrovnik city in Croatia
Europe is a popular spot for expats despite Brexit

Why Live and Work Abroad? 

Of course, the UK’s protracted decision to leave the EU has created some inconvenient complexities to living and working in the single bloc, but it’s still far easier to achieve this objective across the globe than it has been in previous generations.

In addition to relaxed border rules and an increased focus on global collaboration, the changing nature of the labour market has also made it easier for Brits to start working and living overseas.

More specifically, there are now multiple digital ways to make a living, meaning that it’s increasingly possible to work overseas while retaining full-time employment with a British business. It means less office space is needed, cutting costs for employers, which can make a huge different to their annual outlay.

This trend is also becoming even more prevalent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as remote working becomes increasingly popular and employers allow staff members to operate more exclusively from their home where possible.

Digital Nomad - working on the beach with a laptop - remote working
Digital nomad jobs are increasingly popular

What About the How? Living Self-Sufficiently Overseas

The diverse and fast-growing digital sector currently contributes £149 billion to the UK economy, while employing a huge number of people nationwide.

Operating in this space makes it easier to accomplish your goal of working overseas and living self-sufficiently, although you will have some flexibility in terms of how you choose to work.

For example, those of you with significant experience and expertise in a specific sector can become self-employed, affording you greater freedom in terms of where you work and how you structure yourself from a tax perspective. This is a particularly viable option when you have a specified and in-demand skillset, such as copywriting, digital marketing, online sales, or website development and design. You can find out about how to set up your own business abroad if you decide you want to stay long-term, and there are often several incentives and benefits from operating a company outside your home country.

Couple working on laptop on sailling boat - digital nomad remote working
More jobs than ever before can now be done online, and remotely

If you do have a direct employer and want to relocate abroad, it’s also important to speak with them before you make formal plans. After all, this may cause issues even if you currently work remotely, particularly in terms of accountability and time zone differences. Plus, you may want to return some day so it’s important not to burn any lf those all-important bridges.

Have you relocated abroad in the last couple of years? We’d be delighted if you would be happy to share your experiences with us in the comments below.

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