Should Britons risk retiring to Spain or France

Published:  28 May at 6 PM
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Many retirees planning a life in the sun in Spain or France are now concerned about the safety of their savings should they take the plunge.

Even although the fallout from the Cyprus savings grab disaster has faded, migration-minded Brits fast approaching retirement age are nervous about trusting their savings and pension incomes to foreign banks. Spain and France are two of the most popular retirement destinations for chilly British pensioners, but many are now balancing the certainty of warmer weather against the risk of future savings grabs.

Economists are now quietly putting out the message that the worst is probably over and the inevitable, slow, steady recovery is now underway. As long as the pension income is safe, they’re saying, there’s no reason to delay the move and every reason to go soon in order to reap the benefits of slashed property prices.

Spain and France in particular, followed by Greece, have seen massive drops in property prices from the peaks of five or more years ago, and cash buyers such as retirees can grab a bargain whilst the chosen country’s economy is still in the doldrums. Once the recovery gathers steam and the buyers flock back, your bargain property will shoot up in value.

Long-term residents in Mediterranean Europe have noticed that local suppliers and workmen are now charging realistic prices in order to make sales or get work, a change from the good old days when the likelihood of tradesmen turning up on an agreed day was a lottery. The purchasing of high-ticket items is now subject to bargaining, especially on cash deals, useful to know if you’re planning on refurnishing.
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