+44 7393 450837
Follow on

Best Investments for Retiring Expats

We’re going to explore the best investments for retiring expats and discuss what makes them beneficial or risky.

There are a lot of options for expat retiree investments and knowing the top ones will help you narrow down your choices. That’s key to making the most out the investment alternatives presented to you.

It’s important to invest even as you retire so you’ll get to do whatever you want with the rest of your life without being burdened or chained by financial troubles. On top of that, you can also pass on some wealth to your loved ones (if any).

One crucial thing to note before you keep reading is that the best investments for expat retirees will, at the end of the day, depend on your risk comfort and personal penchants, among other things.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

What are the best investments for retiring expats?

Passive Investing

To generate long-term gains, passive investors retain a diverse portfolio of assets and don’t make any conscious efforts to outperform the market. It involves investing in a manner that closely tracks a specific market index or a predetermined set of investment criteria.

These investments offer several advantages, including lower fund management costs and proportional returns that align with the overall index performance.

By investing in passive funds, individuals have the opportunity to diversify their portfolios across a pool of companies or markets, rather than focusing on specific equity funds.

Professional guidance is strongly recommended while investing in the stock market. However, investing in an index fund might provide you with market exposure without the need for active management or portfolio re-balancing.

Such investments may provide profitable returns over the course of many years. Index fund investors expect their funds to grow unchecked for at least five years, maybe longer.

However, it is important to recognize that index funds may not always provide equal diversification, as a few dominant companies within an index can heavily influence overall returns. The returns generated from passive investments cannot exceed those of the market or index, and there is limited ability to respond to market changes since passive funds simply track the index.

This dynamic changes to some extent when considering physical assets like property, as they generate returns through different mechanisms. Real estate investing may help expats diversify their wealth while living abroad, even if it’s not completely passive. Property management is often contracted out to a local agency in these scenarios, with the hope that the asset’s value would rise as the property appreciates over time. The rent you collect each month might go toward your mortgage payment.

Passive investment strategies are typically more suitable for long-term financial planning, as property investments or index funds are often held for multiple years rather than treated as short-term assets.

Best Investments for Retiring Expats passive income

What are the pros and cons of passive investing?

The initial investment needed to begin constructing a passive income portfolio may be larger than it would be for similarly diversified actively managed funds or products. Notable advantages, however, should not be overlooked. especially during retirement, it might be helpful to have a steady stream of income from an investment that is not subject to market fluctuations.

What are the tax considerations?

When considering investments, expatriates should not overlook their tax obligations, as passive income streams and capital gains from long-term investment assets are subject to taxation. This aspect can be complex, especially for expats who hold physical investments and financial products across different jurisdictions, each with varying timelines for generating returns.

For instance, despite spending most or all of the year outside of the UK, a British expat who owns property in the country and derives income from it may still be subject to taxes levied by HMRC. This is typically managed through the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme.

Considerations such as domicile, length of time spent abroad, and income source determine how other investments are taxed. Income, interest profits, and returns may be subject to tax at the rate of the nation in which you are a permanent resident or citizen. Potential tax liabilities can include capital gains tax, dividend tax, income tax on interest earnings, and taxable royalty income.

Although all income is typically reportable, your tax burden will depend on the frequency, size, and form of income received from passive funds such as ETFs that are domiciled in a separate nation.

Additionally, when a long-term investment asset or fund reaches a crystallization event, it triggers an income declaration and an applicable tax charge. This factor should be considered when selecting investment products.

It’s important to consult with tax professionals and understand the tax regulations in each relevant jurisdiction to ensure compliance and make informed investment decisions.


Annuities are contracts between you and an insurance company that compel the insurer to pay you either immediately or in the future. You may acquire an annuity with one or more installments.

 Annuities provide a steady income for a certain time or for life.

The person secures future dividends by paying a set amount to the insurance provider. Tax-deferred growth is possible while the insurance company holds the money.

After receiving disbursements, the person has choices. They may choose a steady income or alter payments for increased living expenses and inflation. They may also opt to receive money depending on their own longevity or a spouse’s.

What are the pros and cons of annuities?

Annuities offer several benefits for retirement planning. First, they guarantee retirement income independent of market conditions. This means you can count on receiving regular payments to cover your expenses.

Additionally, the growth of your money within an annuity is not taxed until you start receiving payments, allowing it to potentially grow faster. This tax-deferred growth helps maximize your retirement savings. Annuities also offer flexibility. You may save for retirement and get your money anyway you like. This lets you adjust your annuity to your objectives.

Furthermore, annuities can provide a continuation of payments to your beneficiaries after you pass away, ensuring financial security for your loved ones.

However, the guarantees provided by this investing option is dependent on the financial position of the insurer that underwrites them. It’s fundamental to pick a credible and financially sound insurance business to curb risks.

Another factor to consider is that annuities may have limited liquidity, meaning accessing your money before a certain age could be difficult. Early withdrawals from annuities may also incur a 10% tax penalty if you’re under a certain age.


While many investors primarily seek capital appreciation when investing in stocks, there are certain equities that also generate income through dividends. Publicly listed firms provide income to shareholders as dividends. Some equities pay dividends, although the amounts might vary greatly.

Typically, stock dividends are distributed on a quarterly basis, although there may be occasions when companies provide special dividends under unique circumstances. Nevertheless, these special dividends do not occur often, and so you should not count on them as a regular source of income. Unlike most bonds, stock dividends can fluctuate from one period to another, introducing some level of uncertainty.

If you want to invest in the stock market for income, you should look closely at the company’s track record of issuing dividends. Stocks that have a reliable track record of consistent or steadily increasing dividend payments are usually more appealing for this purpose.

Investing in dividend-paying stocks can serve as a means to diversify your income sources and potentially achieve competitive yields.

Best Investments for Retiring Expats equities

What are the advantages and disadvantages of equities?

These stocks offer a steady income since firms with good profitability pay dividends. For investors wanting steady revenue, this might be a reliable source. Income-producing equities also provide capital appreciation possibilities. This means you may earn consistent income and see your investment grow.

Income-producing stocks provide a return on equity investments independent of market performance. Dividends are steady regardless of stock price, which may stabilize your investment results.

Income-producing assets may diversify your retirement income. Investing in stocks, bonds, and other assets may reduce risk and improve portfolio performance.

However, these investments pose certain risks too. These equities have more principal value volatility than bonds. It’s important to study and choose firms with a good dividend track record.

Interest rates might also effect stock dividends. Investors may choose alternative assets with larger returns when interest rates increase. Finally, dividend income is taxed at higher conventional income rates.

Publicly Traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real estate is a popular investment for retirees. REITs provide an alternative to direct ownership and management of rental properties for many investors. Income-producing real estate assets are the primary focus of REITs. Investors may purchase and sell publicly traded REITs just like any other stock listed on a major stock exchange.

Keep in mind that the value of REITs might change on a regular basis. In addition to the intrinsic worth of the real estate assets held by a REIT, the price of that REIT is affected by external events that have an impact on the broader investment sector.

REITs often focus on one particular property type, such as homes, offices, or factories. Tenants pay rent to them, and that’s how they make money. Equity REITs, which focus largely on rental income, make up most of the REIT market. If properties are offloaded at a profit, capital gains may be realized. Meanwhile, Mortgage REITs generate profit by providing credit to real estate investors and constructors. Hybrid REITs use the best parts of both models, generating revenue from rentals and interest on loans.

For retirees looking to supplement their income with real estate gains without taking on the responsibilities of property ownership, REITs are a viable option. However, before investing, one must be informed of the price fluctuations and the unique emphasis of each REIT.

What are the upsides and downsides of publicly traded REITS?

Reliable, consistent income in retirement may be generated by investing in publicly listed REITs. It’s an alternative for expanding an investment basket beyond stocks and bonds. REITs provide investors liquidity and versatility since they may be bought and sold quickly and easily on the open market.

Investors may choose a REIT that fits their needs and targets among the many that exist. However, there are certain risks to think about when putting money into publicly listed REITs. The value of an investment may fluctuate daily for causes unrelated to REITs’ assets. The pricing may change based on a variety of other market considerations.

Furthermore, because publicly listed REITs are mandated to share 90% of their income to investors, there may be less money available for reinvestment, so reducing the possibility for capital gain. REIT investment income is taxed at the higher regular income tax rates too. Furthermore, management costs for REITs may be greater than those for other managed assets like mutual funds.

Non-traded REITs

Non-traded REITs lack liquidity since they are not traded on public exchanges. Until the management team sells off the trust’s assets, investors tend to sit on their money.

A non-traded REIT may own vacation homes, apartments, hotels, data centers, medical facilities, offices, retail centers, self-storage units, warehouses, and woodlands. Mobile phone towers, electricity pipelines, and fiber optic cables are all examples of infrastructure assets that might be purchased by non-publicly listed REITs.

Expert managers take responsibility of these accounts and charge clients an annual management fee. REITs often engage property managers for handling their assets. After deducting operating costs, they provide the remaining dividends to investors.

The value of non-traded REITs does not fluctuate on a daily basis like that of publicly quoted REITs. But they could face difficulties too during economic downturns that have an effect on the general real estate sector. Because of real estate’s inherent risk, non-traded REITs should be considered investments for the long term.

What are the positives and negatives of non-traded REITs?

Investing in non-traded REITs offers the opportunity to earn income from real estate without the responsibility of managing the properties yourself. You may partially own many properties of various categories to diversify your investing portfolio.

Non-traded REITs often provide a regular stream of income to investors. However, these investments typically involve high management and transaction fees, which can affect your returns.

You can’t readily sell your interest in a non-traded REIT before its term ends. If you need to withdraw your money early, there may be penalties involved.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that non-traded REITs focus on a specific market sector, limiting your investment to that particular sector. It’s also possible for national, regional, and local economic circumstances to affect their performance via factors like inflation and interest rate shifts.

Non-traded REITs are complex investments that have certain requirements for investors, such as meeting income and net worth guidelines.  Before investing, you should understand these assets and their dangers.

Comprehensive Return Investment Strategy

Comprehensive return investing seeks income from interest, dividends, and capital gains. To create a diversified portfolio, this strategy invests in equities and bonds.

Instead of focusing on specific yearly profits or relying solely on portfolio income, the total return approach involves using a portion of the average annual rate of returns over a longer period of time, typically up to 20 years. The goal is for the total return to meet or exceed the rate at which you withdraw money from the portfolio.

This strategy has the potential to outperform other retirement investing plans.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of comprehensive return investment strategy?

A comprehensive return retirement income strategy lets you fulfill your cash flow demands and save for inflation-driven future costs. This strategy provides flexibility by allowing you to utilize a broader range of assets in your investment portfolio compared to more traditional retirement income strategies.

A total return method generates most of its profit from capital appreciation, which is tax-advantaged. Be aware, however, that there’s no assurance your money will endure during your whole retirement. There is no set withdrawal rate since investment gains vary year to year.

If your investments plummet in the first few years of retirement, you may run out of money before your retirement even ends.

Overall, while a total return approach offers advantages such as flexibility and potential tax efficiency, it also comes with the responsibility of managing your withdrawals and ensuring your funds last for the duration of your retirement.

Best Investments for Retiring Expats: Final Thoughts

Consider your timetable and risk tolerance while planning for retirement. This will help determine the investment options that are most suitable for your retirement income strategy. Financial advisors can help you understand these options and choose the best one.

It’s important to realize that everyone’s investment products, portfolio mix, and strategy are different. Tax situation, residence or citizenship status, and financial objectives influence investing strategy.

By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your options and assessing your overall financial situation, you will be better prepared to enter or continue your retirement years.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

smile beige jacket 4 1024x604 1

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

This website is not designed for American resident readers, or for people from any country where buying investments or distributing such information is illegal. This website is not a solicitation to invest, nor tax, legal, financial or investment advice. We only deal with investors who are expats or high-net-worth/self-certified  individuals, on a non-solicitation basis. Not for the retail market.



Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Get more strategies every week on how to be more productive with your finances.