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Top Expat Retirement Destinations Revealed

Increasingly over the last few decades more and more Brits have considered retiring to a foreign country.

After a long career, working hard and carefully saving money for a long and enjoyable retirement, is it little wonder that so many of the over-50’s are considering a retirement destination with rather more reliable weather than the UK?

Once famously nicknamed “Pudding Island” by author Gerald Durrell, an increasing number of those nearing retirement seem to prefer the idea of warm, sunny winters and beach-front properties (not to mention the more reasonable real estate costs seen in many other countries).

But which destinations appeal most to Brits soon to be retiring?

That’s a question asked by UK-based retirement experts Retirement Advantage. In a survey of 1,001 British adults aged 50 or over, they asked whether their respondents are considering moving abroad for retirement, and if so where? While this is a small sample size, the YouGov-run poll still reveals some interesting findings.

Within Europe, the top destination of choice was Spain, with 24% of those planning to retire abroad considering it their first choice.

This is hardly surprising; Brits have long had a love affair with Spain’s reasonable costs of living and year-round sunshine. The fact that there is also a growing expat population in many parts of Spain also means that meeting new people and making new friends is rarely an issue.

Even good old-fashioned British pubs aren’t difficult to come by in some parts of the country.

Second within Europe comes France; at least in part no doubt because nowhere in France is too far from Blighty. As a result, while die-hard Francophiles can enjoy more reliable weather and quaint old rural properties filled with charm, they’re only a short flight away from family, friends and the NHS. All important considerations when moving abroad for the long term.

Third within Europe comes a group of countries that the survey defines as “South East Europe” – notably Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Here the economic turmoil of the last few years may have led to fewer employment opportunities for locals and expats alike, but those planning to live on a pension need not be fazed.

Indeed, the problems experienced by Greece, for example, can actually be a blessing in disguise for those of independent means. Instead of worrying about job losses, they can instead benefit from the low costs of living and cheap properties that are to be found in this part of the world.

Such benefits can help to make a British pension go much further than it might in the UK – together with the improved quality of life that many retirees enjoy abroad.

However it’s not just Europe that is tempting retirees abroad; many Brits are considering travelling much further afield. Top of the destinations outside Europe comes North America, with 22% of those surveyed considering it as s possible retirement destination.

While it comes as no surprise that some potential expats are being tempted by the Caribbean region (12%) it is perhaps more interesting that the Far East actually ranks even higher. In the past, retiring to Asia would have been considered most unusual, but in today’s global environment even such destinations have appeal.

Thanks to cheap flights, the power of the Internet to stay connected and the low costs of living, perhaps we will see the Far East rise even further in popularity in the years to come.

Whatever option you select for your retirement, remember the importance of receiving the very best healthcare in your twilight years.

Rather than relying on local healthcare (which can be expensive), the smart money is on expat health insurance, which can facilitate treatment in private healthcare facilities (meaning shorter waiting lists for treatment).

To learn more about the policies offered by Expatriate Healthcare please click here.

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