BBC licence fee: Pensioners ‘concerned’ over axe says expert
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For these very reasons millions of people have been retiring to sunnier climates for decades and despite Brexit it doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon. In fact, according to global health insurer William Russell, there has been a 30 percent rise in British citizens moving abroad from the UK following the Brexit vote.
William Russell has conducted extensive research on the best countries to move to for British expats post Brexit and in its latest round-up it names Spain as the number one choice.
Around 750,000 British expatriates already live in Spain according to latest research, making it the most popular country in Europe for British expats moving abroad.
Approximately 120,000 of these are pensioners – to retire in Spain, individuals need a Permiso de Residencia which proves they have enough money to support themselves in retirement.
Popular because of its sunny climate and laidback lifestyle, British pensioners also find it attractive because they are still eligible for the UK state pension and the cost of living is estimated to be 20 percent less than the UK.
Expats head abroad for better weather and more comfortable lifestyles (Image: Getty)
Spain’s popularity is closely followed by the USA which is currently home to 600,000 British expats, but it’s not easy to emigrate to America after the age of 65.
The most popular way to retire in the United States is by working in the country beforehand in order to earn a Green Card.
If this isn’t a viable option, individuals can apply via the EB-5 program, which requires a minimum investment of $500,000 in a US business.
If that sounds out of reach, France might seem like an easier bet, around 150,000 British expats are currently living in France.
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Of course, people would have to apply for residency now that Britain has left the EU and to be accepted they would have to prove they have a certain level of income and a basic knowledge of the French language.
It’s estimated that 50,000 of British expats in France are retirees and the good news is that the UK state pension is counted as income.
After France, Dubai is the fourth most popular country to retire to for British people and it actually has one of the highest proportions of expatriates of any state in the world, accounting for around 80 percent of the total population.
Workers don’t pay tax on their income but this could be a false economy as it’s an expensive place to live, meanwhile retirees aged 55 can apply for a special retirement visa if they have savings of one million AED (£200,000).
What are the best and worst places to retire in the UK? (Image: Getty)
If Italy is someone’s choice, and they are hopeful to retire there, they must apply via the Italian Embassy or Consulate for an elective residence visa before moving to the country.
In order to be considered, they will need to demonstrate that they meet the minimum income criteria of €31,000 for an individual, €38,000 for a married couple, plus an additional €20,000 for each dependent or child.
Post Brexit, the UK no longer has special status with other European countries but people can still stay in one or more EU member states for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
To move permanently, people would have to look into securing a visa and meeting the specific requirements of the country they are looking to move to. And it’s a good idea not to forget to tell the council, benefits office and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
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Meanwhile, some European countries are paying people of working age to relocate which could save younger families a fortune.
While some places in Spain are packed with expats, traditional Spanish villages are empty in comparison leading some local townships like Rubia, in the mountains of Galicia, to offer to supplement people’s income with an extra €150 (approximately £128) per month for moving there.
And the Greek island of Antikythera is paying new families to move there if they are willing to build a new property.
As part of the incentive, families are in line to receive free housing and a plot of land to build on. They will also be offered a monthly allowance of €500 for three years.