My 20 year plan: retire to New Zealand

Hell with it all, after 20 years or so, I want to retire. To New Zealand.

Why? Lord of the Rings, I guess. Also Kiwis seem friendly and a bit boisterous like Aussies, but not to the extent they go around crushing beer cans in their cleavage.

So how do I get there? As an American could I immigrate? Would I be bored? How’s the beer? Should I bring some velcro mitts?

I’m with you. I was lucky enough to visit NZ a while back. As soon as I can get some money, I’d love to go back. Hell of a flight though.

You can certainly migrate. There should be an NZ immigration website that’ll tell you what the desired professions are.

Velcro mitts? Depends on whether you have an innie or an outie. If you’re an innie then you might do better with a sheepskin suit.

That should get you started.

My best friend in electronics school’s girlfriend’s family was from New Zealand, and she said that it was very difficult to emigrate there. Basically you had to be born there, or marry an New Zealander, or be rich/famous/talented enough to being some value/investment there.

I was looking into Australia, and I noticed that it’s difficult for independent older people to emograte there; the cutoff age was 45. Unless you were rich enough not to be a burden on the State. Makes sense; they don’t want to be overwhelmed. I’ve seen similar requirements for the UK. Presumably NZ is the same.

So I’d start working on that career. Or go there as a tourist and land a native.

Our family friends in NZ did it the other way around: she came to Canada as a nanny and met a Canadian. A few years ago, they moved to NZ, and now all their kids have charming NZ accents. :slight_smile:

I agree with the first part, but On the second part, I don’t know anyone who can crush cans with their cleavage. However, YMMV.

If you want to retire to NZ, then you really need a long-term plan, because (as others have said) it gets more difficult as you get older. One possible longterm plan is to migrate to Australia now, become an Australian citizen, and then migrate to Kiwiland. (Australians and NZers can freely migrate between the two countries).

To be fair, most of the migration is from NZ to Oz

which raises the average IQ of both countries. :wink:


Actually, I seriously started the process in 2005. (post-election depression.) There is a list of technical and other professions that can emigrate without much trouble. Being a software engineer, I would have had no trouble. At that time, NZ was accepting technical people up to age 55, compared to Australia’s 45 year old cut off.

I actually went there and even had a job offer from one of the premier software companies in NZ (NavMan – they make GPS stuff) – at a 60% cut in salary. And that’s where you may run into problems. Even skilled labor isn’t paid that well, and the cost of everyday things can sound quite outrageous (e.g., $20 for a paperback novel, $100 for a pair of Levis).

Insurance and healthcare are much less, but I don’t know if that makes up for the high cost of everyday things.

My conclusion was that I wasn’t willing to move my wife and I to relative poverty compared to my present living standard.

On the other hand, I found the people wonderful and the country itself very beautiful. If I was independently wealthy, I’d definitely consider moving there.


My husband has wanted to move to the South Island ever since we first visited in 2004. You definitely need to bring some sort of business plan/capital investment. I keep reminding him that the South Island has no need for traffic engineers (my profession).

If I had the money, I would be tempted to move, especially to the Queen Charlotte Sound district. Although it is a long way from my family in Florida, the sticking point for me would be the quarantine for pets. I could sell my horses but I would never put my black lab through six months of quarantine. Leaving him in the States would not be an option, either.

Somewhere up in Ore there is a LotR themed houseing developement.

As to NZ, I suggest a long vacation, 1st.