Overseas retirement havens too expensive for UK expats

Published:  6 Jun at 6 PM
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Retiring overseas has been the dream of many UK citizens, worked for and saved for over many years, but inflation in favourite destinations is now killing the reality for many.

Experts are reporting that buying a property overseas and living the good life in retirement is no longer possible for the average British couple due to rapid rises in the cost of living abroad. Specialist relocation companies are now branding expat life as a luxury rather than an affordable reward for a lifetime’s work.

The majority of favourite European destinations are now far more expensive than in the recent past, and the cost of living in New Zealand and Canada is far pricier than a comparative lifestyle in the UK. According to this year’s Overseas Living Price index, the UK is still marginally more expensive than hotspots such as Spain and Portugal, but prices in Europe are expected to continue to rise.

Taking the UK as equalling 100, Spain is the best bet with a rating of 64.8, with Italy coming in at 77.3 and the USA and Turkey scoring slightly more. Living in France costs 89.5 of the same lifestyle in the UK, and Cypriot costs of living are just 0.3 points cheaper than the UK.

Canada’s points average 126 on the scale, with New Zealand almost as pricey at 113.6. The survey rates basics in each country, including supermarket shopping, eating out, public transport, utility bills and fuel.

Differentials in the prices of each commodity vary county by country with, for example, food far cheaper in Turkey than in France, which also has the most expensive electricity and gas prices. One communality in all countries is the high cost of medical facilities.

The report follows a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) campaign warning would-be British expats to carefully consider their financial needs and allow for emergencies. Another recent FCO report warned of high hospitalisation and death rates in South East Asian and European destinations popular with British retirees.
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