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Survey Finds Many UK Over-50s Want To Retire Abroad

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A survey involving over-50s in the UK has found that almost half the total number of respondents would like to retire abroad, and that nearly 70 percent are concerned about the cost of living as a retiree in the UK.

The poll was undertaken by Censuswide for international financial consultancy the deVere Group, and involved a sample of 1,231 participants. It found that 49.5 percent of respondents surveyed have "seriously considered," "are thinking about," or "would be tempted" to live overseas during retirement, with 27.9 percent naming Spain as the country to which they would be most likely to relocate. A further 12.6 percent named France, and 7.9 percent expressed a preference for Italy.

Respondents also identified with concerns about care for the elderly and quality of life in the UK, and agreed that the weather was a factor in wishing to relocate.

The deVere Group's founder and chief executive, Nigel Green, said that he wasn't surprised by the number of over-50s who might like to move, or that cost of living would be the major "push factor." He observed: "The environment of high taxes, creeping inflation, low interest rates and low annuities, plus the scrapping of some age-related benefits, is compounding the situation." By comparison, other countries offer a high standard of living and better weather at "a fraction of the cost."

Green also drew attention to the financial advantages of living abroad, citing QROPS (the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) as a tax efficient pension and investment opportunity that allows expats to mitigate inheritance tax, access flexible investments, have their pensions paid in the currency of their choice, and allows 30 percent to be secured as a tax-free lump sum, amongst other benefits.

He added that over-50s were also attracted by Spain, France, and Italy as countries with better weather, a more relaxed, family-orientated and/or outdoor way of life, and lower crime levels. By contrast, a survey of under-40s from last year showed that preferred destinations included Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Hong Kong, South Africa, Shanghai, Malaysia and Tokyo.

Censuswide complies with the Market Research Society's Code of Conduct, which is based on principles established by the European Society for Opinion and Market Research.