A recent survey asking Brits aged over 18 but not yet retired has found that one in six hopes to spend their twilight years abroad – with Spain far and away the most preferred destination.
Retirement income specialists MGM Advantage asked a varied selection of Brits how they hope to spend their retirement years. According to the survey, more than six million of us wish to retire abroad, with over half of that figure keen to stay in Europe…
Spain easily proved the favoured retirement hotspot, drawing 13 per cent of the vote, ahead of France in second place with nine per cent of the vote. In third place was the USA, with eight per cent of the vote, followed by Australia in fourth (seven per cent) and the ‘Far East’ in fifth, claiming a little over six per cent of the vote.
There are numerous reasons why Spain topped the chart. Although the country is one of the closest to the UK, it boasts a climate that is far sunnier, warmer and more clement – providing perfect conditions for a spot of golf, chilling by the pool, walking along the beach or exploring the many beautiful natural parks, forests and mountains for which Spain is famous.
The Costa del Sol has perennially been the place to which most British retirees are drawn, with an estimated 600,000 British pensioners currently living there. As a result, the infrastructure is perfectly set up for Brits to enjoy: English-language services abound, cheap and regular flights from Málaga airport are plentiful, and a mature network of social clubs and leisure facilities exist, many exclusively for British retirees, making settling in a doddle. Then there is the widest choice of property available anywhere on the planet, with a superb selection of affordable apartments, villas, townhouses and fincas available to suit all budgets and tastes.
Spain’s excellent healthcare is another draw, too, with those of retirement age eligible for reciprocal free healthcare via the NHS.
And as for pensions, the current strength of the British pound versus the euro means that the average UK pension goes far further in Spain than it would back home – heaping on that all-important financial attraction. What’s more, Spain and the UK enjoy a reciprocal agreement whereby the British state pension increases in line with inflation, which is an agreement that does not exist in locations such as Canada and Australia, for example.
This is just one of the many considerations to make when retiring overseas. Handily, we at VIVA have already written an in-depth guide designed to walk you through the process of retiring to Spain.
Although there is a lot to weigh up, provided you do your homework and have the required finances in place, it will prove to be the best decision you ever make. After all, millions of other Britons who have made the same move – or are seriously contemplating it – can’t all be wrong, can they?