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Expat Retiree Profile: Early Retirement in New Zealand (With Youngsters)


Two young boys walking down a hill

Many vacationers who go to the spectacular nation of New Zealand ask themselves the identical query: how may I transfer right here? With its pure magnificence, infinite alternatives for out of doors recreation, and prime quality of life, it’s no marvel that New Zealand steals the hearts of its guests. This US navy retiree was no exception, and instantly after finishing 20 years of service, he moved to New Zealand together with his spouse and their two younger youngsters. They went from navy life straight into retired life, and two years later, they nonetheless love New Zealand and need to make it their everlasting house.

As a part of our Expat Army Retiree interview collection, right here is our detailed and candid Q&A with this navy retiree, who makes use of the pen title “Grumpus Maximus” (GM) on his weblog, The Golden Albatross,. Learn the way his household discovered a option to transfer to New Zealand, what their life is like as expats, and what they’ve deliberate for the long run!

Contents (click on to broaden)

Why did you progress abroad after navy retirement, and the way did you select New Zealand?

We have been dwelling in Hawaii, my final navy responsibility station, when my spouse and I visited New Zealand in September 2018 and fell in love with the nation. As we traveled round, we requested ourselves and one another if any purpose prevented us from retiring right here.

Once we received again from that journey, I did some preliminary investigating about shifting to NZ and the price of dwelling. I ran some numbers and simulations for our Monetary Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) retirement funds, and the maths appeared to work. So, we began investigating methods to to migrate.

At that time, I had already served 19 years within the navy, so we knew retirement was shut. By the point I reached my terminal go away level in October 2019, we have been effectively into the method of emigrating.

We briefly considered staying in Hawaii, nevertheless it proved too costly for the FIRE funds that I had created. This was lengthy earlier than I knew how a lot I’d obtain from the VA for incapacity, so I needed to be conservative with my projections. My projections confirmed that our funds couldn’t assist Hawaii’s price of dwelling and the parochial colleges we needed to ship our youngsters to.

GM and his sons at Wanaka Lake

Consequently, New Zealand, with its pleasant folks, nice outdoor, decrease price of dwelling, and favorable political surroundings, attracted us. Different international locations like Portugal and Eire additionally seemed enticing, however we eradicated them for varied causes. Solely NZ appeared to have your complete bundle that we have been searching for.

Why did you select town of Nelson?

My spouse and I aren’t huge metropolis folks, so we weren’t drawn to the biggest three cities in New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch, or Wellington. We needed someplace with delicate climate patterns, loads of out of doors actions, good colleges, and a secure surroundings to boost our youngsters. Nelson suits all of these necessities.

Nelson is a small metropolis by worldwide requirements however a mid-size metropolis by NZ requirements. Nelson sits on the north finish of the South Island (“High of the South” because it’s known as). It has been labeled the sunniest place in New Zealand, and climate-wise, it’s just a bit milder than San Diego.

Nelson has quite a bit to see and do. It has every part we’d like, like eating places, a neighborhood polytechnic college, film theaters, and different fashionable conveniences, however with out the site visitors and crime that comes with bigger cities. It’s additionally stunningly stunning, with the ocean and mountains abutted towards one another. There are additionally an infinite variety of out of doors actions that one can partake in in the event that they so select.

Two boys looking at a city from a hilltop
View from Nelson, the “High of the South”

Different causes for selecting Nelson relate to our visa necessities. We didn’t go to Nelson on our first NZ journey in 2018. We solely “found” it on our second journey in April 2019, which was a visit that my spouse and I took explicitly to scout places.

Firstly of that journey, we met with our immigration legal professional in Auckland. We agreed I might apply to a grasp’s or a PhD program, as a result of solely these diploma packages – not a bachelor’s diploma program — gave us the visa privileges we needed.

Lots of the universities and locations on our unique itinerary have been now not match for function. We thought Nelson can be the identical, as a result of I had not seen any grasp’s levels on provide from the native polytech. Nevertheless, we stored Nelson on the checklist as a result of we had heard about how good it was.

Once we visited, it simply so occurred that the college had began a grasp’s program that yr, and due to my work historical past, I may qualify for it. Speak about luck! I submitted my utility that night time.

How did you get the residence visa to reside in New Zealand? Inform us in regards to the utility course of.

We moved to NZ on a pupil visa for grasp’s college students.

The visa course of took about 4 months, begin to end. This was earlier than the COVID pandemic when the borders have been open, and NZ processed the purposes rapidly. That’s removed from the case now. The truth is, I’m not even positive that grasp’s college students can get into the nation but. The border continues to be closed for non-essential journey with no clear indication of when in 2022 it should reopen.

In any case, assuming pupil visa processing will get again to pre-pandemic regular sooner or later, it might not even take so long as 4 months. Our utility was slowed by the variety of locations my spouse and I had lived (you want a police certification for any nation you lived in for greater than 4 years).

It was additionally slowed by a few of our medical points. New Zealand Immigration desires to make sure that you received’t burden the nationwide healthcare system right here, and worldwide college students should get hold of medical insurance. That was constructed into the worth of my tuition.

Two people paddling in a kayak
Paddling in Cable Bay

You additionally should go to what New Zealand calls a ”panel doctor” in your present nation of residence. Panel physicians are licensed by Immigration New Zealand to display emigres for well being points. Fortuitously, Hawaii had a panel doctor, however we needed to pay out of pocket for his or her providers, and it wasn’t low cost.

The truth is, your complete immigration course of wasn’t low cost. I imagine all informed, between visa processing charges, immigration legal professional charges, and the medical screening, we spent roughly $5,500 simply to get the coed visas.

Now, we didn’t should use an immigration legal professional. Nevertheless, as I discovered throughout my spouse’s U.S. immigration course of, it was simpler on our marriage to pay for the skilled recommendation than analysis it alone.

What advantages/restrictions come along with your visa?

A pupil visa for grasp’s college students allowed our youngsters to go to public colleges as non-fee-paying home college students. It additionally allowed my spouse to work as much as full-time.

In response to the visa situations, I may have labored part-time (20 hours every week), and lots of of my classmates (additionally international college students) did. Nevertheless, that was by no means on the playing cards for me. I used to be incomes three paychecks each month between the GI Invoice, VA incapacity, and my navy pension.

| Associated Studying: Shifting to Eire on a Scholar Visa

The cool factor a few grasp’s pupil visa in New Zealand is that it qualifies you for a 2- or 3-year open work visa in case you efficiently full this system. An open work visa principally permits you to apply for any job opening, and also you’re thought-about a home applicant.

This implies corporations don’t must take additional steps to justify why they employed a non-resident employee. You continue to should apply for the open visa after you end your program and pay extra charges, however until you dedicated an unlawful act or suffered from some terrible medical situation, your utility will get accepted.

Snow-capped mountains next to a lake
Wanaka Lake

The open visa is legitimate for two years for grasp’s college students who examine in Auckland, and three years for grasp’s college students in all different places in NZ. PhD college students are afforded related, and presumably even higher privileges, relying on their course of examine.

Was it straightforward to rearrange using your GI Invoice abroad? Any classes realized or suggestions for others doing it sooner or later?

Sure, it was straightforward. The truth is, it was in all probability the best a part of the a number of bureaucracies we navigated throughout our total retirement and immigration course of. I wrote this text on the way to use the GI Invoice abroad.

The principle steps are as follows:

  1. Decide what abroad college you need to attend and program you need to examine.
  2. Analysis whether or not or not the college and program you need to examine has already been accredited by the GI Invoice authorities by utilizing WEAMS Establishment Search.
  3. No matter whether or not the college and program are already in WEAMS, you need to apply to this system and get accepted.
  4. If the college and program is within the GI invoice system, then all you need to do is ship the VA your acceptance letter as a part of your GI invoice utility.
  5. If the college and/or program should not already accredited, then you need to coordinate with the college’s worldwide enrollments officers and have them apply to the VA. I repeat, college directors should do that, not the potential pupil.
  6. As soon as the college and program are accredited within the VA’s system, submit the acceptance letter along with your GI Invoice utility bundle.

Did the Division of Protection cowl the price of delivery your family items to New Zealand as a part of your closing retirement transfer?

Sure, they did. For my retirement, DoD owed me one final transfer.

Since we have been in Hawaii, that transfer may have been to my house of report or every other location within the continental 48. For abroad retirement strikes, you pay the distinction between what it could price to ship family items (HHG) again to the US and what it price to ship them abroad. Nevertheless, since you may decide anywhere within the US because the vacation spot for evaluating prices, I picked Maine.

So, formally my paperwork exhibits Maine as my retirement location, however I put my HHG cargo location as New Zealand. In the long run, delivery to NZ was cheaper than delivery to Maine, so we by no means needed to pay something, apart from the customs inspection on the best way into NZ.

How did the youngsters really feel about shifting to New Zealand?

The transfer was quite a bit rougher on my 9-year-old than my 5-year-old. The 5-year-old was simply joyful to fly on a airplane and go on an enormous journey.

For the 9-year-old, this was his third transoceanic transfer and second school-age transfer. He had an excellent group of associates and classmates in Hawaii. Nevertheless, we had been trustworthy with him all through the planning course of.

Two young boys wearing swim trunks standing on a beach
GM’s sons at a neighborhood seaside

Hawaii was too costly for us to remain and not using a dad or mum working full-time, and since I used to be retiring to get away from the stress of navy life and full-time work, I wasn’t going again to full-time employment. Thus, we couldn’t keep in Hawaii.

Nonetheless, it was tough going for the primary few weeks in NZ. And there have been a whole lot of Facetime calls to associates for the primary 6 months. He’s completely adjusted now, although, which he largely credit to his college and the way a lot enjoyable he has together with his group of associates.

It doesn’t harm that NZ colleges are far much less formal than US colleges. As an example, sneakers are non-compulsory most days, and most youngsters shed them on the door earlier than going to class.

How does the price of dwelling in New Zealand examine to the US?

Evaluating the price of dwelling is relative to the place(s) you may in any other case select to reside. For us, that was San Diego and Hawaii. San Diego was our long-time retirement vacation spot, so it was the situation that my unique retirement funds was constructed for. Hawaii was the one different place within the US we would’ve stayed if we may have afforded it.

Nelson is cheaper to reside in than each San Diego and Hawaii. That’s primarily as a result of the lease is much more inexpensive than each of these different locations. Nelsonians wouldn’t comply with that assertion, and if I have been getting paid in NZ {dollars}, I too, would disagree. However for somebody who receives his retirement paychecks in USD, the lease is quite a bit cheaper.

At the moment, we lease a contemporary 7-year-old house with 3.5 bedrooms that overlooks Nelson and the ocean for about U.S. $1,650/month. In Hawaii, we paid $3,750/month for a contemporary 4-bedroom home the place you could possibly solely see the ocean from the second flooring. Granted, the Hawaii home had extra sq. footage, however not twice the quantity, as the worth implies.

A man and his son sitting on a deck, with views of the ocean in the distance
View from the deck of GM’s house in Nelson

For eating out or grabbing a beer, the costs between San Diego and Nelson are largely comparable. Hawaii is costlier than each. I paid NZ $14 (~ US $10) for an imperial pint on the pub final night time

Grocery/sundry costs are cheaper in San Diego than Nelson, however Nelson and Hawaii grocery/sundry costs are related. For our first 11 months in NZ, 01 Feb by way of 31 Dec 2020, my household of 4 spent US $10,603 on groceries and sundries.

Through the corresponding 11 months in 2019, we paid US $10,748 in Hawaii for a similar spending class. Modify these 2019 figures for inflation, and it equals US $10,942 for 2020.

My Hawaii whole contains entry to navy commissaries and Costco, that are non-existent in Nelson.

The place do you get your well being care? Do you’ve got any sort of native insurance coverage plan? Is the native medical care good?

We have now a neighborhood Normal Practitioner that we use for routine medical care. It prices NZ $95 (~ US $65) per go to. We pay out of pocket and declare it again through the TRICARE Abroad Program (TOP), or the VA’s Overseas Medical Program (FMP) if it’s considered one of my rated incapacity situations.

The youngsters at the moment are coated underneath the nationwide healthcare system for many points, primarily based on the truth that we now have an open work visa. Relying on the problem, my spouse and I even have entry to the nationwide healthcare system.

That mentioned, many Kiwis have non-public healthcare insurance coverage as a result of the nationwide healthcare system is overworked and understaffed. We’ve opted for the non-public route as effectively a number of occasions.

As an example, we received fed up with 8-month delays with getting our youthful baby screened for autism spectrum dysfunction and paid NZ $1,100 (~ US $771) out of pocket. TOP reimbursed for about 2/3 of that price.

A rugged beach with large rocks and dunes
Wharariki Seaside

We’re fortunate in Nelson concerning healthcare, as a result of there’s a neighborhood, regional hospital and an honest neighborhood of personal observe specialists.

As an example, I would like surgical procedure for my neck attributable to a ruptured disc. The VA’s FMP will cowl it, as a result of I left the service with this damage and the necessity for surgical procedure. So, I’m going by way of a personal observe. There’s a well-regarded specialist on the town who does the surgical procedure.

The identical can’t be mentioned for each regional city or metropolis in New Zealand. The truth is, in case you reside on the west coast of the South Island and require greater than routine surgical procedure, you in all probability must go to Christchurch. I do know this as a result of an American physician who practices on the west coast informed me as a lot.

Does New Zealand tax your navy retirement or different US revenue?

No, New Zealand doesn’t tax my navy retirement. Based mostly on the Twin Tax Settlement (DTA) signed by NZ and the US, NZ doesn’t tax authorities pensions. My DoD pension is taxed federally within the US, and my VA incapacity isn’t taxed by both nation.

Conversely, any revenue from working in NZ is taxed by NZ however not the US. For instance, my spouse’s revenue from her instructing assistant’s job is taxed by NZ Inland Income (their model of the IRS).

The tax scenario for a US citizen dwelling in New Zealand is much more sophisticated than merely who taxes your pension if you think about investments and retirement accounts within the US.

Seek the advice of a CPA on each ends of any worldwide transfer you’re considering! It’s cash well-spent, as a result of it should preserve you from making an egregious tax mistake.

Is there something you would like you had recognized or executed otherwise previous to shifting overseas?

I’ve come to imagine within the thought of the hole yr for folks retiring from the U.S. navy. That particularly holds true for folks from my yr group, who spent a lot of their navy profession in a technical state of struggle.

I might have benefitted immensely from taking a yr off to fully decompress and avoiding making huge life choices. Because it was, I began terminal go away in October 2019 and instantly signed a ebook deal to publish my first ebook.

In between engaged on that, I put the ending touches on our NZ transfer plans and all of the required paperwork. I additionally continued to type out my medical points.

Then, in late January 2020 we packed up the home, offered the stuff we weren’t taking, mentioned goodbye to our Hawaii associates, and hopped on an airplane to NZ. By February, I had began my grasp’s program and spent the following 15 months finding out full-time.

There wasn’t a lot downtime, and as a substitute of decompressing, I changed the stress from my navy profession with the stress of acquiring a sophisticated diploma.

Moreover, my household’s immigration standing held on my profitable completion of my grasp’s course. To not point out a worldwide pandemic happening whereas all this passed off.

Two young boys following a yoga video on TV
Yoga throughout lockdown

So, yeah, I feel a spot yr would’ve served me effectively. In fact, had we taken that hole yr, we wouldn’t be in NZ now, as a result of they nonetheless haven’t reopened the borders. So, regardless of the stress and lack of decompression, issues labored out for the very best in some ways.

In hindsight, given the variety of medical points I used to be coping with, we may’ve (presumably ought to’ve) waited to find out my VA incapacity earlier than shifting. I ended up with a 100% completely disabled score, however solely received the ultimate adjudication in March 2020, after we moved.

That additional revenue may have modified the maths for us in Hawaii to a major diploma. It might need made it potential to remain with out working full-time.

Additionally, I would like a whole lot of medical assist due to the accidents that led to that 100% score, which, as mentioned, contains surgical procedure. All of that will have been simpler to coordinate in Hawaii.

That mentioned, once more, had we waited to make a transfer, we’d nonetheless be ready, as a result of the borders have but to reopen to most immigrant visa classes. So, we’d nonetheless be in Hawaii, doubtlessly ready to begin our dream of making an attempt to to migrate to NZ.

Inform us about life in New Zealand! What does a mean week appear to be?

A mean week is centered across the children’ schedule and is much like life within the US.

My spouse drops the youngsters off in school, and I decide them up. In between, we grocery store, have a tendency our backyard, do home chores, and train.

My spouse is great about exercising, each indoors and outdoor, and takes common benefit of the accessible climbing trails throughout us. I spend a whole lot of time within the fitness center, since I must deal with particular areas for power and rehabilitation.

I additionally spend a whole lot of time writing and dealing on long-term initiatives like submitting TRICARE claims!

From time to time, I’ll hop on my electrical bike to run errands or meet up with a buddy. Nelson is tremendous bike-friendly, each within the metropolis for commuting and up within the hills for mountain biking enjoyable. In the summertime months, I additionally take my kayak out sometimes to train on the water.

A boy jumping off a dock into the water
Summer time at a neighborhood lake

Afterschool hours and weekends are sometimes devoted to children’ sports activities. The climate in Nelson is so delicate that it provides sports activities alternatives all yr spherical.

Consequently, I’ve discovered myself teaching my older baby’s soccer groups and managing the gear for his cricket staff. I additionally caddy for and assist handle my youthful baby at golf classes. On the weekends, we usually attempt to throw a hike, bike experience, or kayak outing on the top of no matter sporting exercise received us out within the first place.

Although we’ve lived right here for practically 2 years, we’re nonetheless very a lot in vacationer mode. So, on three-day weekends or college holidays, we usually go on a trekking journey or go to part of New Zealand we haven’t seen but. There are all the time locations to go and issues to see with such pure wonders as mountains, waterfalls, and scorching springs.

What’s even higher is that a lot of these locations are much less traveled and visited since there is no such thing as a worldwide tourism in the mean time. So, we’re making an attempt to make the most of the alternatives to see areas whereas tourism is low.

Although the pandemic shut the worldwide borders, there all the time appears to be one thing happening in our space. Nelson has a whole lot of retailers, eating places, and nightlife. Additionally, Nelson has a well known Saturday farmer’s market that pulls folks from everywhere in the High of the South.

Though not as culturally various as locations like Christchurch or Auckland, there are additionally festivals for varied teams all year long. The Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough districts (consider them as counties) produce a few of New Zealand’s greatest wine and develop a whole lot of hops, so there are additionally wine and beer festivals.

Do you’ve got many associates from the native inhabitants, or do you primarily socialize with different expats?

It seems that despite the fact that Kiwis have a repute for being pleasant and welcoming, Nelson has a considerably cliquey social scene. Correct born-and-raised Nelsonians are inclined to socialize amongst themselves. A superb little bit of that socialization appears centered round previous cash.

Nevertheless, there are such a lot of Kiwis from different components of the nation that reside right here, and so many international immigrants from everywhere in the world, that it’s straightforward to make associates who journey in several social circles. We met a whole lot of associates by way of our youngsters’ college and afterschool actions.

A man and his son wearing backpacks and hiking through the woods
GM and his son “tramping”

We additionally began tenting and trekking (known as “tramping” over right here) with a pair different households throughout our youngsters’ college breaks. The youngsters have 1- to 2-week intervals between every college time period (there are 4 per yr), so it’s a superb alternative to benefit from the nice outdoor.

My spouse, who’s British, additionally networked right into a “Brits in Nelson” group that helped her set up contacts earlier than we even moved to NZ. We’ve met a number of households by way of that group and turn into shut to at least one household particularly. My spouse additionally volunteers at Purple Cross and sings in a choir, which implies her social circle is way bigger than mine.

My social circle was giant for the 15 months whereas I studied for my grasp’s diploma. It included my classmates and instructors, a number of of whom went on to turn into associates. Now that we’ve accomplished this system, a number of of the previous college students have moved to the bigger cities for higher job alternatives.

For the reason that grasp’s program ended, I socialize quite a bit much less in individual. I’ll seize an occasional beer or espresso with associates each week or two or head to a film with my film buddies.

To extend my social interplay, I joined a Menzshed, composed of a bunch of retired guys, 20 years my senior, who wish to work with instruments and construct stuff. I’ve all the time needed to learn to use instruments correctly, and it’s surroundings for me to study.

Do you are feeling “accepted” in the area people? If not, why?

Quite a lot of that is dependent upon what you outline as the area people and what social circles you journey in. As I wrote above, my spouse and I aren’t seeking to rub elbows with the wealthy or elite. So, I really feel inside our social circles we’ve been accepted simply effective.

Moreover, I haven’t run into a lot anti-American stigma. The truth is, there are various extra People dwelling in Nelson than I might have guessed earlier than shifting right here.

In my case, I feel the most important factor that folks can’t comprehend is that I’m retired in my mid-40s. Everybody retains on asking me what I’m going to do now that I’m completed with the grasp’s program, and it boggles their thoughts that I’m not searching for full-time work.

Not one of the varied solutions I present like “I’m a stay-at-home dad” or “I run a weblog and write books” appears to assuage that confusion both. So, my present reply is to inform folks I’m ready on neck surgical procedure, and extra importantly, the outcomes, earlier than I determine to return to full-time work.

What do you want about dwelling in New Zealand?

In comparison with the U.S. or the U.Okay., New Zealand is an exceptionally well-run nation. In case you analysis it, you’ll discover that it’s one of the vital democratically freemost secureaffluentbusiness-friendlyhappiest and stable international locations on this planet. All of that is is plainly on show to us every day, despite the fact that COVID has been ongoing for everything of our time right here.

What are a number of the challenges of expat life in New Zealand?

Thus far, my household’s largest problem in New Zealand has been the shortage of permanence. As a lot as we’d like to remain right here long-term, in a post-COVID financial surroundings, there are few paths to everlasting residence that don’t embody working full-time.

Moreover, attributable to my work historical past and present grasp’s diploma, it’s wanting more and more like that full-time employee is me. With out worldwide tourism, the probability that my spouse can discover a job that meets everlasting residence necessities is slim, since tourism is the place her experience lies. As a FIRE adherent and somebody with a whole lot of medical points that may intervene with full-time work, that’s tough for me to swallow.

Even when considered one of us did work full-time, the kinds of jobs my spouse or I may land might not be the sort that simply qualifies us for everlasting residence. There’s a long-term expertise checklist that Immigration New Zealand runs that outlines all of the professions the nation is wanting. Immigrants with these expertise have a a lot simpler time acquiring everlasting residence. Neither mine nor my spouse’s work historical past clearly maps to a kind of professions.

There are alternate options, after all, like an investor visa. Nevertheless, in the mean time, we don’t have sufficient investments to qualify. Furthermore, the retirement visa is designed for conventional retirees (i.e., 65 and above). We’re presently analyzing choices for my spouse to re-skill into early childhood improvement as a result of it’s on the long-term expertise checklist.

Fortuitously, we nonetheless have over 2 years on our present visa, however the clock is ticking. It weighs on us every day — largely as a result of we don’t need to rip the youngsters from their new life and make one more worldwide transfer.

Another excuse everlasting residence issues a lot is as a result of you may’t purchase a home till you’re a everlasting resident in New Zealand. So, very like we did within the navy, we’re renting a house.

In fact, dwelling inside our revenue stream of two pensions checks means we don’t fear about making lease. Nevertheless, we’re not constructing any fairness by proudly owning in what’s presently a super-hot housing market.

Thirdly, underneath present COVID restrictions, we will’t journey out and in of NZ on our visas. So, if tragedy struck within the US or the UK, and considered one of us needed to journey again to are inclined to our household’s affairs, we couldn’t get again into NZ upon return.

Conversely, everlasting residents could make such emergency journey preparations underneath COVID restrictions. That final half will hopefully change as soon as COVID restrictions finish.

Moreover, the pandemic has prevented my spouse and me from seeing our mother and father and the youngsters from seeing their grandparents for nearly two years now. That’s been tough. Our transfer right here was predicated on the idea we may journey to the UK or US as wanted (or our relations may journey right here), however COVID nullified that assumption.

What recommendation would you give to anybody who’s considering of shifting overseas?

  • If you’re considering shifting proper after navy retirement, possibly take a spot yr as a substitute. Decompress, do some sluggish journey, however don’t make large life choices. In fact, you might want to save sufficient cash so you may afford that hole yr!
  • Plan effectively, however keep versatile. Have a backup plan when the primary plan fails.
  • In case you plan on staying in your nation of alternative long-term, perceive all potential main and tertiary visa pathways, particularly to your backup plan.
  • Count on the immigration course of to price some cash, and save accordingly. This isn’t nearly processing charges, however shopping for the issues you might want to reside however couldn’t carry with you, like vehicles, fridges, TV’s, and microwaves.
  • Spend the cash on CPAs who may also help detangle the tax implications of shifting overseas. It’s price it ultimately.

What are your longer-term plans? Do you plan to remain in New Zealand for the foreseeable future?

Our plan is to determine a authorized option to keep. New Zealand provides the approach to life we all the time needed and the very best surroundings to boost our kids. The one purpose we wouldn’t keep is that if we will’t get hold of everlasting residence.

Alternatively, we might in all probability have to depart if tragedy strikes a member of the family within the US or UK earlier than the COVID restrictions finish. In fact, staying long-term relies on the concept the borders reopen to common worldwide journey sooner or later in 2022. In the event that they don’t, then we have to make some robust choices about alternate places to reside overseas.

* * *

If you’re a member of the U.S. navy neighborhood and wish to trade recommendation, experiences, and details about dwelling in another country as a civilian, be a part of Poppin’ Smoke’s Fb group U.S. Army Retirees and Veterans Dwelling Abroad.

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