Stay or Go is UK retiree dilemma

Published:  10 Aug at 6 PM
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EU member states and Spain in particular are still on the retirement agenda for UK would-be expats.

Britons coming up on retirement are still favouring European destinations in spite of the uncertainty surrounding the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations. A recent survey has revealed one in every 10 UK citizens over 50 years of age is still considering retiring abroad, with Spain topping the favourites list again. As usual, reasons for leaving include the British weather, a more relaxed lifestyle and cheaper costs of living.

Portugal, France and Italy are also considered suitable destinations for a happy retirement, along with the USA, Australia and New Zealand. A number of more adventurous responders to the survey mentioned the Far East, with Singapore and Hong Kong checking a good few boxes in spite of their high cost of living. One negative result from the survey was the lack of awareness about the cost of money transfers and currency fluctuations, pension payments including frozen pensions and the perils of a hard Brexit as regards healthcare and the right to remain in the chosen country.

At the same time, the results of another survey seem to indicate a majority of those taking part have decided to stay in post-Brexit Britain rather than retire overseas. The major reason quoted was the need for ’safety and stability’ in later life, with 45 per cent of respondents saying they were now less likely to emigrate, a fall of 41 per cent from the previous study.

One housing group specialising in retirement homes has reported a massive surge in enquiries since the June 2016 referendum, with uncertainty about the Brexit effect the main reason. Some 63 per cent of respondents are concerned about losing access to free reciprocal healthcare should they retire in an EU country, with another 26 per cent worried about the standards of care overseas.

A regular, stable income for day-to-day expenses was another priority with 63 per cent of those opting to stay in the UK, and 62 per cent expressed concern about personal safety. Only 22 per cent admitted anxieties about the effect on the UK’s economy of a hard Brexit.
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