Brexit overshadows Covid-19 concerns for those retiring overseas - Canada Life

Almost half (46 per cent) of over-50s planning to retire abroad are reconsidering where they might retire due to Brexit, whilst just under two fifths (39 per cent) have the same concerns due to Covid-19, research by Canada Life has shown.

A further 44 per cent of over-55s stated that uncertainty stemming from Brexit was making them reconsider their plans altogether, overshadowing the number (37 per cent) who cited the same concerns due to Covid-19 uncertainty.

Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully, noted that it was “surprising” to see Brexit concerns “come out on top” considering the ongoing pandemic and ongoing potential for a second wave.

However, he argued that this could indicate that longer-term legislative fears are greater than shorter-term health and safety concerns.

He also emphasised that retiring abroad “remains a popular option for the over-50s” despite the ongoing pandemic, with over two-thirds (68 per cent) of those retiring abroad looking for better weather.

A further 63 per cent sought a more desirable lifestyle by retiring abroad, whilst almost half (45 per cent) are seeking cheaper living costs.

The average monthly income thought to be needed is £1,404, around £378 less than in the UK, although this varied by country, with those retiring in France estimating that they will need the most at £1,562 per month.

Retiring in the UK is still thought to be the most expensive however, with an average monthly income of £1,782 required, increasing to £2,201 for those in London.

The survey also revealed that just a quarter (25 per cent) of those planning to retire abroad knew which countries had reciprocal payment agreements in place, whilst one in five (20 per cent) did now even know that these agreements existed.

Canada Life has now emphasised the importance of considering the potential impact of reciprocal social security agreements, as well as seeking independent financial advice, before moving, outlining a number of steps that savers should take, such as notifying HMRC.

Tully added: “When retiring abroad, there are a number of key considerations, such as which countries offer reciprocal payment agreements, currency exchange rates and whether state pensions will keep pace with the cost of any living increases.

“To help navigate the complexities around retiring abroad, it’s important to seek professional advice. This could make all the difference between living the retirement people have worked long and hard for, or falling victim to the potential retirement risks.”

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