Spain loses position as Brit retirement haven due to Brexit

Published:  18 Apr at 6 PM
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A new study has revealed that Spain, traditionally the favourite retirement hub for British expats, is now losing out thanks to the Brexit vote.

The survey, conducted by Anchor, a retirement care and housing provider, is bad news for Spain, once the most attractive destination for many thousands of British retirees. Almost half the retirees who took part in the study said they were ‘unlikely’ to make the move to Spain, whilst the 41 per cent who had already decided to become expatriates in Spain, France and other EU member states had changed their minds are were now staying in the UK.

Reasons given for their u-turn included the usual wish to stay close to family and long-term friends, but the fear of losing the healthcare benefits of being EU citizens after moving overseas was high on the list. Also a consideration was the hassle of packing up everything and travelling. At the same time, enquiries from senior citizens living abroad about British retirement villages and care homes have soared since the referendum result was announced.

One care company reports registrations soaring by 300 per cent during the fallout from June 2016’s vote. Anchor CEO Jane Ashcroft told Money International she believes the survey highlighted retirees’ needs to feel safe and stable during their older years, adding the uncertainty surrounding post-Brexit life is the trigger for decisions to move back to the UK or reconsider the decision to leave.

Over 300,000 British nationals are living in Spain, with at least a third over state pension age, according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics. At present, 23 per cent have serious worries about their futures in the country, with the remainder simply wanting a safe place to live with straightforward access to healthcare.
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