Brexit leading UK's over-50s to reconsider overseas retirement plans

Half (50 per cent) of UK over-50s who planned to retire abroad are reconsidering due to Brexit concerns, up from 46 per cent in 2020, according to research from Canada Life.

As reported by our sister title, Pensions Age, the firm found that Brexit was the issue causing the most problems for those aiming to retire in other countries, while two in five (42 per cent) of the over-50s planning to retire abroad said they were reconsidering which country to retire too and a further 39 per cent were now rethinking whether to retire abroad at all.

Additionally, many of those planning to retire abroad were found to have gaps in their knowledge.

Canada Life recommended that people looking to spend their later life overseas consider the impact of reciprocal social security agreements, which would see the state pension increase every year for expats in the same way that it does for domestic retirees if they live in a country that has an agreement with the UK.

However, the firm’s research revealed that just one in five (19 per cent) of those planning to head abroad knew which countries had reciprocal payment agreements in place, and one in four (25 per cent) did not even know such agreements existed.

Of those seeking to retire in another country, 69 per cent said they were seeking better weather, 62 per cent were attracted by a more desirable lifestyle and 45 per cent cited cheaper living costs.

Spain was the location of choice, attracting almost half (49 per cent) of the group who wanted to head abroad, while France and Portugal trailed behind with 21 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

Canada Life MD and executive director, wealth management division, Sean Christian, commented: “Despite Brexit and the ongoing global pandemic, many over-50s continue to harbour the dream of a retirement which includes better weather, a more desirable lifestyle, or cheaper standards of living than the UK.

“There are a number of key considerations when planning a move abroad, such as which countries offer reciprocal payment agreements, thinking about the impact of currency exchange rates and whether state pensions will keep pace with the cost of living.

“To help navigate the complexities around retiring abroad, it’s important to seek specialist professional advice. An expert in expatriate finance will be able to help and ensure you make the most of the retirement people have worked long and hard for.”

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