However, while 88% of expats intend to retire abroad, access to UK based family and friends still appears to be important with 57% intending to retire in Europe. Indeed, 10% of expats cited being away from family and friends as a major barrier to retiring outside the UK.
Further afield, Thailand (5%), the US (4%) and New Zealand (3%) are all potential retiree destinations. Expats intend to fund their new lives in the sun through a variety of methods including savings (27%), UK State Pension (23%) and private pensions (20%). Property is a big source of retirement funding for expats with 6% relying on rental income, 6% intending to sell a residential investment and 2% planning to take out an equity release plan.
When considering the key factors that contribute to the chosen retirement destination, better quality of life was voted top (21%). Better weather came second (20%) and value for money third (14%).
However the expats, who intend to retire abroad, do have some concerns about retiring in another country. The quality of medical facilities and dealing with general medical issues – potentially in a foreign language - was the biggest worry for 1 in 5 expats (22%).
Finances were also a concern with 13% worrying about exchange rates and 12% concerned about having sufficient money to survive. Frailty was also a concern with 14% of women citing this as a worry compared to just 10% of men.
Lynette Byrne, Head of Marketing at Alliance & Leicester International, commented:
“It is interesting to see that many UK expats have settled in their new home, with 87% of UK Expats intending to retire abroad.
“However, while some Expats might prefer life outside the UK, they are still very attached to friends and family thus settling in European destinations that are only a low cost flight away.
“This research really highlights the international nature of society today and raises some interesting questions as to how people are going to manage their finances and protect their savings against interest rate fluctuations.
“Expats who bank with Alliance & Leicester International can choose to hold their savings in a Sterling, US Dollar or Euro account giving them not only access to ‘Best Buy rates but also the opportunity to shield their retirement cash from currency fluctuations. They can also be safe in the knowledge that they can access their money using internet banking 24 hours a day no matter where they are living.”
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About Alliance & Leicester International:
Alliance & Leicester International Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alliance & Leicester, itself now part of the Santander Group, which has more than 150 years' experience in banking, and more branches worldwide than any other international bank.