Will Brexit rules affect your retirement dreams? Brits now have to meet wealth requirement

Boris Johnson ‘needs to step up for British expats’ says expert

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Where once Britons travelled freely, restrictions are in place and in order to obtain a Visa or residency permit people must demonstrate financial independence from the state.

The new rules mean that UK citizens can no longer come and go as they please and they are limited to no more than 90 days spent in the Schengen zone over a 180-day period.

The Schengen area comprises 26 European countries and each of the UK’s three most popular destinations resides there – France, Spain and Portugal.

To go for any more than 90 days, people will need to apply for a Visa and to go for a sustained period of time, about a year or more, will require someone to acquire a residency permit.

Aside from these criteria, each European state has rules governing who can travel there. These can include requirements for people to own property or have a minimum amount of wealth, for example.

Jason Porter, director of specialist expat financial advisers Blevins Franks, has given Express.co.uk to low-down on the requirements anyone will face when they want to go abroad.


New Brexit rules will make it harder for people to retire abroad (Image: Getty)


Mr Porter said France uses the minimum wage to establish the wealth required for an individual to reside there, but this is not set in stone as there is some leeway in the system.

Mr Porter said: “For 2021 this is €18,655, but the authorities assume a deduction for social charges, reducing the figure to €14,667.

“The shortfall is only £3,414 (€3,927 at £1/€1.15) compared to the current UK state pension of £9,339 (€10,740), while a couple with two state pensions would be OK.”


Similarly to France, Portugal also uses its own national minimum wage to set wealth requirements.

“Portugal’s current requirement is €7,980 for an individual and €11,970 for a couple.

“Again, the UK state pension exceeds the single level and is only slightly less than the sum for a couple.”


“Spain uses an index. This is €6,778.80 for 2021, but then multiplied four times to get €27,115 (£23,578) for an individual, and €33,894 (or £29,473) for a couple.

“A single UK state pension would be considerably less than the amount required and even a couple would have a shortfall of €12,414 (£10,795) in Spain.

“But financial resources includes general wealth. Cash at the bank, or other savings and investments which can be readily liquidated also qualify.

“As most people planning to retire overseas would only do so with some degree of capital or emergency fund behind them, the vast majority will find this, as well as any income they have, should be enough to qualify.”

For most Britons, then, the overseas retirement of their dreams should still be in their grasp.

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