Despite fears that Britons will not be so well-off, welcome or cared-for in mainland Europe after Brexit, there are signs that many of us still want to find a retirement ‘place in the sun’.
There is a rush to find that sunny home on the Mediterranean while the Brexit talks continue.
Enquiries to a company that helps those moving to Europe have more than doubled in the past year. Blevins Franks, which provides tax and wealth management guidance to British expats in Europe, says that business from those wishing to retire to the European sun has increased by a quarter in the past year.
“The issue is that many thousands of Britons still want to retire to sunny Europe but are unsure how to do so, given the uncertainties of Brexit,” said Jason Porter, director of Blevins Franks and an expert in expat tax and personal finance.
“They have particular questions about their residence and tax status, and access to their pensions and local healthcare facilities – which have been thrown into doubt by Brexit. But they are also considering long-standing issues for those retiring to Europe – such as adapting to a new culture, learning a language, travelling to their new home, affording property, and the local cost of living.”
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between 2005-2015, 144,000 Britons made the move to Spain, with 129,000 heading to France.
The UK government has proposed keeping current healthcare and pensions rights for British citizens living in European Economic Area (EEA) countries after Brexit.
Reacting to customer enquiries on matters such as pensions, tax and healthcare, Blevins Franks has launched a new, fully-illustrated 276-page book ‘Retiring to Europe’ and a website, www.retiringtoeurope.com. The book is co-authored by Jason Porter and well-known travel and property writer Zoe Dare Hall.
The book and website cover the countries Britons most seek out for a retirement in the European sun – France, Spain. Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Malta – but also consider Greece, Turkey and Croatia. There is also a detailed analysis of the UK as a retirement destination if you have been away from Britain during your working career.
The book is available to download free of charge at www.retiringtoeurope.com.