Over 50s want to retire abroad amid cost-of-living crisis

The UK’s cost of living crisis is prompting a growing number of Britain’s over 50s to consider living overseas during their retirement, according to a poll conducted by one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.

A total of 64% of those surveyed by deVere Group have ‘seriously considered’, ‘are thinking about’, or ‘would be tempted’ to retire abroad – a jump from the 59% who said that they would consider leaving the UK in a similar survey carried out five years ago. 

The top five countries being considered as possible destinations for relocation in retirement are Spain, Australia, France, Thailand and Mexico.

According to the CEO of deVere Group, Nigel Green, the prime motivator for this shift is financial.

The cost of living has been increasing across the UK since early 2021, with inflation hitting 11.1% in October, a worrying 41-year high.

“As Britons struggle to manage the rising cost of living, soaring energy prices, the implications of the Autumn Budget – including higher taxes – the looming health and social care crisis, and the scrapping of some age-related benefits over successive years, relocating abroad in retirement has never seemed so attractive,” he notes.

“Other reasons include better weather, the standard of care for the elderly, quality of life, and lower levels of crime.” 

The deVere CEO continues: “More and more baby boomers seem to be coming to the conclusion that the only way to maintain a comparable lifestyle throughout retirement is by relocating abroad.”

There is also, he said, a growing awareness of the financial ‘pull factors’ amongst would-be British expatriates.

“Not only will expats, in most cases, benefit from lower costs of living and lower taxes, there are specific expat-exclusive financial vehicles that can make them considerably better off than their contemporaries back in Britain.”

Whilst destinations such as Spain and Australia topped this survey of the over 50s, a similar poll which was carried out by the deVere Group focusing on the under 40s – those who are typically looking to further their career – the top destinations included Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Tokyo.

“As well as the increase in the over 50s looking to move overseas, we expect that if we carried out a similar survey to younger cohorts, the trend would be the same due to the UK’s cost of living crisis,” says Nigel Green.

“Another key driver would likely be the rise of ‘digital nomad’ visas. As remote work has become commonplace, many professionals have adopted a ‘digital nomad’ life whereby, with the use of technology, they can work anywhere in the world.”

There are currently 45 countries globally offering digital nomad visas.

“As the painful realities of the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, we expect more and more Brits to consider moving abroad,” he concludes.

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