Australia is still a favourite with Brit retirees but its own are leaving

Published:  16 May 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!
Australia is still popular with UK expat retirees, but its own seniors are leaving for more affordable foreign destinations.

The numbers of elderly Australians leaving their home country for a less expensive life overseas have dramatically increased over the past decade, with Oz expat communities forming in Spain, Cambodia and Thailand. In 2016, almost two thousand Australian pensioners over the age of 55 relocated to various retiree hubs in Italy and Greece as well as New Zealand, mostly due to rising property prices and the soaring cost of living in Oz.

Some five years ago, Norah arrived in the quaint Spanish town of Martos, and is still the only Australian resident in the area. Her home is within sight of the region’s millions of olive trees, and the town itself is friendly and traditional. She doesn’t regret her move for even a minute, and advises those struggling to live on the Australian state pension to seek alternatives overseas, especially if they’re able to speak a second language. Norah’s always had an adventurous streak so the move, although daunting, wasn’t as scary as she’d imagined.

Accessing an Australian pension after moving overseas is dependent on several criteria including the length of time abroad, assets and income and whether the pension is provided through another country’s social security agreement with Australia. In some countries it’s also possible to receive a split pension from both the host nation and Australia. In 2013, new rules were brought in and applied to Oz pensioners living abroad, with cuts to the amount paid as and when the recipient relocates back home. From that point on, travelling overseas for more than six weeks every year will trigger a cut.

Australians living elsewhere in the world for more than five years will lose their entitlement to Medicare benefits as well as being exempt from the levy. Given that Australian healthcare is notoriously expensive, this may not deter many would-be expat retirees, but hospital and drug charges in many favourite retirement hubs including Thailand are now creeping up towards the heights seen in the West and Australia, causing corresponding increases in private medical insurance fees.
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