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The number of UK pensioners living in EU countries drops to lowest levels in 5 years

Research we’ve undertaken shows that UK expat pensioners living in EU countries have dropped to their lowest levels in five years. It seems that some pensioners have decided to move back to Britain, fearing that they won’t have the right to live in EU countries, or may be faced with high fees for healthcare following Brexit.

Spain has seen the biggest drop in number of UK pensioner expats

The country which saw the biggest exodus of UK pensioners was Spain. Before the EU referendum, pensioners traditionally flocked to areas such as Andalucia, to take advantage of low living costs, not to mention beaches and year-round sunshine. But lack of certainty over their rights may have caused some to finish their sangria, pack up and head home.

Another reason that expats may be choosing to leave is fear of losing access to free healthcare, which would be a particular blow to those aged 65 and above who are no longer working.  Currently, healthcare costs for UK citizens in EU countries are covered by the NHS. However, if the UK and EU fail to agree on who will cover these costs once the UK exits the EU, expats may no longer benefit from free healthcare abroad.

Living costs for expats in EU countries have increased

Sterling’s falling value has also meant that expats who move to EU countries are no longer getting as good value for their money than they would have before the Brexit vote. This has caused everyday living costs, such as rent and groceries become more expensive for those converting their savings into Euros.

Despite costs going up, plenty of UK pensioners are still dreaming of a sunset retirement. Relatively low property prices in countries such as Spain and Greece mean that Britons’ money can go further. Some may even be able to buy a villa with pool for around the same price as a what a modest home would cost in the UK.

Savers should consider adding a small level of risk to a portion of their savings

People wishing to retire to sunnier climes need to take into account costs such as healthcare and consider how they can fund a comfortable retirement. With high inflation, not to mention low interest rates, savers may wish to introduce a small level of risk to a portion of their savings.

One way of doing this is with easyMoney’s Innovative Finance ISA, which offers a range of options to suit different investors, all of which are backed by UK property.Capital is at risk and IFISA’s have a different risk profile to traditional cash ISAs. To safeguard against not being covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme easyMoney employs a manual credit committee with stringent lending criteria that ensures all loans are secured by a legal charge over UK property at a maximum 75% loan-to-value.

Number of UK pensioners in the EU has dropped by 1,896 over the last year driven by major falls in Spain

Country 

Number of UK pensioners claiming state pension (May 2018)

Number of UK pensioners claiming state pension (May 2019)

Quantity change

Spain 

106,791

105,206

-1,585

Ireland 

133,234

131,790

-1444

Italy 

35,318

34,100

-1218

Cyprus 

18,352

17,587

-765

France 

66,748

66,437

-311

Malta 

6,402

6,223

-179

Austria 

5,160

5,002

-158

Belgium 

5,329

5,212

-117

Sweden 

5,874

5,811

-63

Republic of Slovenia 

297

305

8

Republic of Estonia 

118

131

13

Republic of Croatia 

593

608

15

Luxembourg 

610

637

27

Romania 

208

240

32

Finland 

1,620

1,656

36

The Czech Republic 

718

764

46

Greece 

5,924

5,971

47

Republic of Latvia 

289

344

55

Hungary 

883

949

66

Republic of Lithuania 

593

710

117

Denmark 

3,623

3,741

118

Bulgaria 

1,242

1,360

118

The Slovak Republic 

466

596

130

Portugal 

10,904

11,119

215

Netherlands 

12,729

13,272

543

Poland 

3,395

4,324

929

Germany 

41,415

42,823

1408

Total 

468,814

466,918

-1896

Number of UK pensioners living in the EU fell slightly last year amidst uncertainties over the rights of UK expats (000s)

Written by The easyMoney Team

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