The current strength of the pound means that British pensioners who have retired overseas have had a ten per cent ‘pay rise’ in the space of a year, with Brits retired in the Eurozone among the best off.
Expats who have headed to Australia are around five per cent better off in 2015 than they were in 2014, whereas retirees living in New Zealand are seeing their pension stretch 13 per cent further. In Canada, British expats are nine per cent better off, while those who retired to the USA and Switzerland are currently worse off as the pound struggles against the US dollar and the Swiss franc.
However, according to figures from foreign exchange pension experts Equitini, around two thirds of British expat pensioners are currently worse off today than they would have been a decade ago – largely because of exchange rates.
“Expat pensioners are always at the behest of the currency exchange rollercoaster and the pound strengthening over the last 12 months has been a welcome relief for most, especially those in the Eurozone,” said Equitini Director, Andy Brown.
“However, many pensioners are still much worse off than a decade ago, especially those that retired in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.” The hardest hit, Brown added, were those British expats who have retired to Switzerland, Thailand and the Philippines.
Despite the threat of currency fluctuations, it seems that more and more Brits are considering retiring abroad. A recent poll by financial advisory organization deVere Group found that 59 per cent of over 50s surveyed would seriously consider retiring overseas, with Spain touted as the top destination, followed by Australia, the USA and France.
As it happens, financial factors play a big part in the decision by many to consider retiring abroad, with the UK’s high cost of living, low interest rates and expensive elderly care provisions cited as the main ‘push’ factors.
Pull factors include higher quality of life, better weather, fewer crime concerns and convenience, placing Spain top of the pile as the most ideal option for Brits looking to enjoy their twilight years in peace, prosperity and comfort.
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