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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Living Overseas?

5 Tips for Keeping in Touch with Long-Distance Loved Ones

Amanda Greenberg

Suppose you’ve decided to pack your bags and jump across the pond for some post-retirement adventures. Whether you’re settling down for a peaceful stay near the Irish cliffs or gearing up for a colorful thrill in Monaco, the decision to move overseas is a big one.

Retiring abroad has numerous benefits, including more affordable luxury lifestyles in certain American-dollar-friendly countries, the convenience of moving to an area with favorable tax regulations, and the excitement of an entirely new environment. However, while it looks like a fool-proof plan at first glance, many retirees get caught on one disheartening snag: moving away from loved ones and grandchildren.

Long-distance relationships between grandparents and loved ones can induce stress and loneliness. Nobody— especially loving grandparents— wants to miss out on first words, ballet recitals, and personal milestones. Long-term separation can also put extra pressure on in-person visits and may exacerbate feelings of loneliness and homesickness. Still, you can take steps to mitigate emotional hardships by joining clubs or groups nearby, utilizing social media, or even seeking therapeutic counseling to help with the adjustment.

As you plan your stay-cation abroad, consult these five tips for keeping in touch with long-distance loved ones and evade moving-related woes.

Schedule regular phone calls

While an international call home to your grandchildren can ease some heartache, you could potentially rack up some serious fees. Billing companies determine costs through various factors, like phone plan and provider, landline or mobile usage, and your intended call location.

Despite the charges, staying in touch with adult children and grandkids is of the utmost importance. Making consistent calls will help you provide mutual emotional support, foster a continued familial bond, and ease feelings of loneliness. Look into top-rated cell phones for seniors to get your hands on a device that will allow you and your family to stay close from afar.

Propose an engaging pen-pal project

While writing letters may seem outdated, remotely retired seniors are embracing classic message sending like never before. Handwritten notes allow writers to update family members more intimately through physical photos or mementos. If using Snail Mail isn’t your thing, begin a weekly writing project where you and your loved ones correspond via email. Your grandchildren will love looking forward to their weekly notes, and you’ll enjoy the consistency of connection.

Embrace technology that may feel foreign to you

If you’re more of a scrapbook lover than a Facebook enthusiast, you’re not alone. Rapidly emerging applications and technologies can feel foreign and all-too-difficult to get the hang of, but they may be easier to learn than you think. Ask your grandkids to set up apps like Snapchat for photo and video sending, Instagram for picture documenting, or Facebook for reconnecting with old friends. You’ll feel better connected as you keep up with your family members’ lives and combat the emotional challenges of moving overseas.

Connect with grandchildren in a way that appeals to them

If you have very young grandchildren, they may not understand why you’re moving so far away, and if you’ve got teenage grandchildren, they may struggle with motivation to stay in touch. Regardless of age, tailor your interactions to meet their needs.

You’re probably looking for new ways to make the world a better place for your grandkids, and now you can expand their lives by introducing them to your new life abroad. Help young grandchildren navigate your move by sending pictures of your new home, showing locations on a map, or mailing small trinkets or gift boxes from local markets. If your grandchildren are older, engage in Facebook messaging or frequent texting to keep them up-to-date. When you speak your grandkids’ language, you’ll find that communication will become more consistent and meaningful.

Budget and plan for visits

While coming home to see the grandkids is no longer as simple as hopping in a car and driving an hour or two, putting in the time to prepare and plan for semi-regular vacations home is critical. Since overseas travel is time-consuming and costly, you need to make your visit worthwhile.

Communicate your intentions to visit so family members can prepare and invite relatives to stay with you abroad if they have the means. While digital connection tools like video chat and messaging apps certainly help keep the connection alive, nothing will feel quite as good as a hug from grandma or grandpa.

Wrap up

Moving abroad after your long-awaited retirement is an invigorating experience. However, you run the risk of missed familial gatherings and lost connections. Evade loneliness and detachment by regularly scheduling calls, writing letters, and visiting on occasion, and enjoy the perks of living abroad without losing touch with the people who matter most. 

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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