Sterling crash crushes retirement dreams for thousands of British expats

Published:  10 Oct at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
The dramatic decline in the value of sterling is causing misery for a huge number of British expats living in EU member states and other world countries.

British retirees in Spain, France and Italy are not only facing an uncertain future as regards their rights to stay in their chosen countries, they’re also seeing their spending power eroded at an unprecedented rate. A majority of UK expats living in other EU states are the worst off, as they rely on UK state pensions, private pensions or company schemes, with the pound now slumping by 15 per cent against the euro. A pension of £500 a month is now worth only 555 euros, a drop of 100 euros since the pound first fell after the referendum report was announced.

Subsequent political manoeuvres including Theresa May’s stance on a hard Brexit have sent the currency even further down. For example, Allen Bowen’s life in Spain was more than comfortable on his state and private pension payments of £2,000 a month, until the sterling crash wiped a monthly 250 euros off his income. Although he’s quite a distance from the breadline, he and his wife are now needing to cut down on trips back to the UK and are changing their shopping habits.

Barry Leech lives in France and is the president of a group helping British expats in the region. He’s aware that frustration is mounting, citing many retirees who are trying to survive on their dwindling UK state pension. He’s concerned about the plight of widowers who’ve lived in France for years, adding there are British pensioners who are now relying on food banks for basic meals.

Another expat who retired to France estimates Brexit is losing him around £200 a month, saying he and his wife don’t go out anymore and are limited to buying the bare necessities. He recently sold his French property, but can’t move back to UK as he’s unable to afford to buy a home. The worst thing is, he adds, that no-one actually knows what’s going to happen in the future.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive