Top overseas retirement destinations for post-Brexit Brits
UK retirement: current and looming changes following the June 2016 referendum
The June 2016 referendum has both short-term and long-term implications for current and future British retirees. UK pensioners have oft opted for acquiring property and spending their days in Spain, Portugal or Malta, which have unquestionably comprised the top three EU retirement destinations among British citizens for years. While the greatest single draw of these EU member states is their paradisiacal climates, another major consideration is property values and real estate market conditions. Naturally, the UK’s long-time EU membership meant free mobility between these countries. While barriers to movement will be laid over the next two years, the news is not entirely bad (e.g. Spain’s Golden Visa regime will apply to British citizens). Migration policy aside, however, British retirees do have some immediate worries with which they must contend.
At present, the primary concern facing UK retirees is the changing value of British sterling. The pound’s bearish tendencies in the last few months may well continue, which means that retirees’ savings will be continually trimmed. Pensioners therefore may have to curtail their grand retirement plans and trade them for more inexpensive options. Keeping in mind the UK’s two-year severance with the EU, British pensioners may entertain plans to travel farther afield to seek out more affordable accommodation with less paperwork. In fact, those Brits who are looking to travel to warmer climes while still using their stored sterling may find a retiree’s respite in such British Overseas Territories as the British Virgin Islands or Gibraltar. For those current or future wanderlust-filled pensioners who are still keen to capitalise on sterling’s strength, however, it becomes ever clearer that international travel to non-EU countries is the most strategic recourse to a weakening pound in a post-referendum economy.
Whither the retiree? There is a world of opportunity
Experts at Tranio.com have compiled a nearly exhaustive list of the primary international destinations for travelling UK pensioners. The list below depicts our top 30 non-EU overseas retirement destinations for UK citizens, and it includes an honourable mention category of notable destinations. Tranio’s experts also have a few pointers to share regarding the list’s top three.
Honourable Mention (unordered)
We recommend that UK retirees peruse property in Thailand, Ecuador, Panama and Malaysia when considering a move abroad. Advantages held in common among these contenders include low cost of living (including property prices), retiree-oriented policies, generally high-value and well developed — if not first-rate — healthcare services and infrastructure and warm, wowing and welcoming climates, cuisines and cultures for foreign pensioners.
Thailand tops the list with a comfortable margin: with about 25,000 current British retirees, Thailand capitalises on its low cost of living; generally favourable real estate and petrol prices, especially in up-and-coming destinations such as Chiang Mai; alluring, annually renewable retirement visas for foreign pensioners (available to all retirees with monthly pensions of about $1,800 or depositing about $22,125 in a Thai bank account); a favourable tax regime for arrivals with foreign incomes; exotic natural landscapes and enticing beaches; and zesty local cuisine and culture. While there is still some question as to the quality of public Thai hospitals, British retirees can still avail themselves of western-style and western-quality healthcare services in private hospitals.
Ecuador also offers good value to foreign retirees; in fact, for those who choose to rent, in some cities two-bedroom apartments demand less than US $500 per month. Another draw is the country’s picturesque and well-preserved landscapes, as well as its year-round tropical climate, which enjoys 12 hours of sunlight all year. Unlike in Thailand, however, where a decent number of workers catering to tourists and pensioners have a good command of English, most Ecuadorians speak only Spanish, which means arriving pensioners will need to contend with a language barrier. Some of Ecuador’s perks for retirees include subsidised public transportation for those aged at least 65 and tax refunds on various types of purchases. While foreign pensioners may opt for private healthcare, they may also participate in the national healthcare system for US $70 per month.
Panama and Malaysia
Panama and Malaysia, the contenders for third place, have recurrently been regarded as two of the world’s top retirement destinations. Both of these countries’ policies — ranging from immigration and residence to taxes, healthcare and transportation — have been fashioned over the years to take care of foreign pensioners. Retirees in both countries enjoy a low cost of living (e.g. luxury apartments for less than US $1,000 per month in Malaysia), top-notch healthcare for decent prices (e.g. US $200 per month for private insurance in Panama), well-developed entertainment industries and high-quality urban infrastructure. Both countries are safe and welcoming, with a sizeable number of English-speakers in the tourism and healthcare industries; in addition, the cuisines are tantalising. Both countries also benefit from a fantastic climate and breathtaking natural surroundings, which are replete with pristine beaches, remarkable rainforests and warm, sunny days all year long.
Thomas H. Espy, Tranio.com
Originally published on homebusinessmag.com
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