UK retirees race to settle in Europe before Brexit

With the continuing uncertainty around Brexit and the potential impact on freedom of movement within Europe, many British retirees are moving to Europe while they still can.

With the Brexit deadline of March 2019 looming, many British retirees (in particular) are heading to Europe to settle before it potentially becomes more difficult.

sunset in Mahon in the Balearic islands:

Calasfonts Cales Fonts Port sunset in Mahon at Balearic islands: Shutterstock

Move now – or wait?

Experts believe that it’s unlikely that any Brexit deal will make it as easy as it is now for retirees to move overseas. Unless there is free movement for EU workers in the UK, there is little chance of maintaining retirement rights such as being allowed to use the health systems on the continent, even though these are paid for by the NHS in some countries – Spain for example. This is backed up by research which has found that young immigrants provide an economic boost to most OECD countries, but people turn into a net drain on national finances when they reach the ages of 40-45.

However, some financial advisors have advised that it’s better to wait until after Brexit negotiations have ended to understand what the rules will be around pensions and healthcare.

Concern among retirees: Residence, healthcare and pensions

Other experts remain positive, focusing on the benefits UK retirees bring to countries like Spain, Portugal and France. Blevins Franks, a financial and tax advisory firm for expats, have reported that monthly enquiries to its website have doubled over the past year and actual business has increased by 25%.

As reported by The Guardian and The Independent, Jason Porter, business development director at Blevins Franks, explained that Britons living abroad support European economies through buying property, shopping and eating out in restaurants. However, he conceded there was still concern among retirees.

“The feeling we are getting from our clients is that it is better to be in the country before Brexit than looking to do this after. The main concerns that people thinking about retiring to Europe have are around three main issues: residence, healthcare and the UK state pension triple lock.”

For more details see the reports by The Guardian and The Independent.

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