Home and abroad – the best hot-spots for Brits

If you’re think­ing of re­tir­ing abroad, you could broaden your hori­zons be­yond the usual places. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

BLAME it on the weather, the crime rate or the cost of liv­ing, but in the last few years there’s been a steady stream of pen­sion­ers leav­ing the coun­try.

A stag­ger­ing one in 12 re­tirees now live over­seas and fore­casts sug­gest that one in five will be res­i­dent abroad by 2050.

The ex­o­dus is backed up by a NatWest In­ter­na­tional per­sonal bank­ing sur­vey that re­veals nine out of 10 ex­pats be­lieve they en­joy a bet­ter qual­ity of life.

The largest num­bers of Bri­tish re­tirees are found in Aus­tralia, then Canada, Amer­ica and Ire­land. Spain is fifth on the list of top 10 favourite places to re­tire.

But, says David Cr­effield, coau­thor of The In­ter­na­tional Re­tire­ment Direc­tory, the fig­ures are dis­torted by many thou­sands of Bri­tons who moved to the old colonies decades ago and never gave up their Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship.

He says: “To­day’s re­tirees seek­ing a haven abroad are most likely to look first at the Mediter­ranean, so Spain, Por­tu­gal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.”

While all have their mer­its, prop­erty prices can be on a par with Bri­tain and the cost of liv­ing can be equally as high, thanks to poor ex­change rates de­valu­ing pen­sions.

That’s why, in the book, re­tired jour­nal­ist David, and son Daniel, have given the low-down on more than 60 coun­tries, with case stud­ies and in­for­ma­tion on ev­ery­thing from health­care to travel costs and lan­guage is­sues.

“The book cov­ers the Mediter­ranean coun­tries; it is also aimed at open­ing peo­ple’s eyes to the op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist out­side the or­di­nary.

“What isn’t com­monly known is that dozens of coun­tries around the world ac­tively woo what they see as rich Western re­tirees be­cause of the hard cur­rency they bring in.

“This is not the case in the old

To­day’s re­tirees seek­ing a haven abroad are most likely to look first at the Mediter­ranean.

colonies like Canada, USA, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. They make it tough, of­fer­ing mainly in­vest­ment-based visas, which means you need se­ri­ous money, up to half-a-mil­lion, to get in.

“By com­par­i­son, Thai­land re­quires you to bring in a lump sum of £14,000 and have an an­nual in­come of about the same amount.”

He adds: “Malaysia is a won­der­ful coun­try with a low cost of liv­ing, fan­tas­tic food, charm­ing peo­ple and a low crime rate. More than 1,500 Bri­tons moved there un­der its sec­ond home scheme, which ad­mits re­tirees on a per­ma­nent ba­sis if they have as­sets of about £70,000 and a monthly in­come of £2,000.”

Bali al­lows you to set­tle there if you have a min­i­mum of in­come of £300 a month, but Rachael Love­lock, who has lived there since 1998, says: “Par­adise is hot, wet, dan­ger­ous, ex­cit­ing, chal­leng­ing, scary and won­der­ful. You can ful­fil your dreams here or drown in a treach­er­ous sea.”

There are other desti­na­tions, which ap­pear to be good value, but which come with dangers. In South Africa, you can buy a fourbed­room house with a pool for £100,000, but the rob­bery and murder rates are among the high­est in the world.

David says: “Peo­ple need to con­sider a great many things if they are con­sid­er­ing mov­ing abroad and, un­less they are loaded, they will have to look at prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions.

“The cost of health­care is an ob­vi­ous one as are travel costs to and from the UK, and the lan­guage. Are you pre­pared to learn a new one? You will adapt more quickly, get greater re­spect and in­te­grate more eas­ily into the lo­cal com­mu­nity if you do.”

The In­ter­na­tional Re­tire­ment Direc­tory can be or­dered on­line at www.in­ter­na­tion­al­re­tire­ment­di­rec­tory.co.uk or tel: 01273 648909 for £18.99 (in­clud­ing de­liv­ery).

THE GOOD LIFE: The Costa Del Sol is high on the list of places where Bri­tons re­tire.

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