Even if you’re aged 20 something or thereabouts, it’s never too early to plan for retirement, right? How often have you heard that particular piece of wisdom? More importantly, how many of us can actually be bothered to think about retirement with several decades of commuter madness yet to suffer? The answer more than likely is very few of us. Yet, given the changing demographics we’ve all heard so much about, retirement could very well add up to an increasing chunk of your life. So where do you want to spend it? What about the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city of Dubai?
Yes, we all have dreams and climbing the career ladder is probably one of them. So is spending the increased salary on those little luxuries that help to make life rather bearable. Then at some point along comes a wife, or maybe a husband, a mortgage and 2.4 children later you’re struggling to make ends meet. Recognise the scenario? So you temporarily boost spending power a little bit by taking advantage of the credit card offers from HSBC, Barclays and the other major banks which are so hard to resist. As you walk the dog, no doubt thinking deeply about HSBC and personal banking, retirement is the last thing on your mind!
But let’s get serious for a moment. The UAE may be a great place to go on vacation and it’s not hard to find work there either. In fact, it’s an expatriate paradise. Millions of people from around the world settle in the country – and in Dubai in particular – for a year or two, and longer, reaping huge financial rewards in the process. Easy to do given the rather relaxed taxation regime. Who wouldn’t be able to save a little for the golden years when the tax rate is a big fat zero.
But a place to retire? Maybe, providing you don’t mind the searing heat, the crazy traffic, the relatively high cost of living and the frenetic lifestyle. Work hard and party hard appears to be the norm for many US, UK and many of the other expatriates from around the world attracted to incredible cities like Dubai. Would you want them living next door to you? Perhaps not.
Then there’s the cost of healthcare to consider which becomes ever more important as the years progress. A YouGov survey carried out at the end of 2012 revealed that UAE citizens were generally positive towards and trusted the healthcare sector in the country. However, they were concerned about healthcare costs and most would choose to seek treatment abroad if they fell seriously ill. They were also concerned about transient foreign workers.
YouGov says, “It is well-known that a large proportion of the specialized healthcare is made up of passing foreign workers and that the UAE is in close proximity to competitive medical destinations such as India and Jordan.”
Of those surveyed, 61% claimed they were not satisfied with the treatment costs; 60% saw the high prices of medical care as a substantial challenge for the healthcare industry; and 58% said they would choose to seek medical treatment abroad if they were to fall seriously ill.
**Photo by Eugene Kaspersky**