Introducing the special issue, this paper provides a state-of-the-art on established and new trends in the study of international retirement migration (IRM) and summarises the five papers that follow. Early studies on IRM were mainly within Europe and drew on the conceptual framework of lifestyle migration, with some reference to the transnational and mobilities paradigms. New frontiers in IRM are presented under three heads. Firstly, new geographical frontiers extend IRM to new destinations within and proximate to Europe, and to new locations in the global South such as Thailand and Ecuador. Secondly, new typological frontiers involve a broadening of the class and wealth backgrounds of the retirees, including the ‘return of retirement’ of labour migrants to their countries of origin, and attentiveness to IRM's gendered aspects. Thirdly, new conceptual and theoretical frontiers of IRM involve a more in-depth investigation of its transnational aspects, exploration of the various regimes of mobility and, most importantly, a political economy perspective which stresses global inequalities and histories of colonialism in shaping access to privileged lifestyles. In the final part of the paper, the original features of each paper in the special issue are highlighted, demonstrating how they are collectively integrated and contribute to the advancement of IRM research.