Over 20,000 UK pensioners desperate to leave Spain

Published:  3 Apr at 6 PM
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A hard-hitting study has revealed that 20,000 UK retirees are desperate to relocate back home, but are finding it difficult to sell their properties.

According to the survey, the main reasons for heading home are the rising cost of living when set against the low UK state pension, the strain of being apart from families in the UK and a lack of care homes for physically challenged pensioners unable to manage on their own. The survey also showed that, once those wishing to return have done so, the resulting strain on local authorities will be considerable.

The author of the study and 30-year resident in Spain, Dr Charles Betty, spent a year compiling the issues confronting pensioners whose financial problems were preventing them from relocating back to the UK. Backed in his research by Northampton University, Dr Betty states that five per cent of retirees living on the Costa del Sol are attempting to return to Britain.

Given that an estimated 350,000 expats are living in the region, at least 20,000 are bidding to become a burden on the UK state. Dr Betty also believes that, of the high number of expat residents in the Costa Brava, Valencia and Murcia, around the same proportion have the same wishes.

Should they all be able to relocate, more than 50,000 elderly expats would be entitled to NHS services, council tax rebates, free bus passes, winter fuel allowances, social services and extra state hardship payments.The cost of care homes for the needy with little in the way of savings could be considerable, and most will have no option but to throw themselves on the mercy of the state.

Dr Betty believes that issues on the ground urgently needing to be addressed include the protection of personal savings and the access to care homes.
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