The survey found that the cost of living is the primary motivation for quitting Britain and that 49.5% of those surveyed have ‘seriously considered’, ‘are thinking about’, or ‘would be tempted’ to live overseas during retirement.
An overwhelming 69.9% of the 1,231 of those questioned cited living costs as the number one concern regarding retiring in the UK.
Other reasons included standard of care for the elderly, quality of life and the weather.
The majority of respondents - 27.9% - said Spain would be the country to which they would most likely relocate in retirement. 12.6% and 7.9% answered France and Italy, respectively.
Of the findings, deVere Group’s founder and chief executive, Nigel Green, said: “With the UK’s burgeoning cost of living crisis, it is perhaps not surprising that this is the major ‘push factor,’ and that almost half of all British retirees and/or those on the cusp of retirement would consider a move overseas.
“The environment of high taxes, creeping inflation, low interest rates and low annuities, plus the scrapping of some age-related benefits, is compounding the situation.
“It would appear that many of the UK’s over 50s, ‘babyboomer’ generation, feel that they might need to consider downsizing their lifestyles should they remain in Britain in retirement.
“As such, many are now thinking about leaving the increasingly expensive UK and heading off to countries where a high standard of living - and usually better weather – comes at a fraction of the cost.”
Green said that it wasn’t just lower living costs that could attract retirees abroad but also the financial advantages that come with expat status.
He said: “There are a number of financial ‘vehicles’, including tax efficient pension and investment opportunities, exclusively available to those living abroad that can allow expatriates to become significantly better off than their contemporaries ‘back home’.”
Amongst these ‘vehicles’ are HMRC-recognised QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme), which allow expatriates to mitigate liabilities of inheritance tax which can be up to 55% in the UK, to access flexible investments, have their pensions paid in the currency of their choice, and the chance to secure 30% as a cash free lump sum, amongst other benefits.
Green added: “As this survey focused on the over 50s, the main ‘pull factors’ of an overseas country are lifestyle ones such as better weather, a more relaxed, family-orientated and/or outdoor way of life, and lower crime levels.
“Subsequently, places like Spain, France and Italy topped the poll.
“However, when deVere Group carried out a similar survey last year focussing on the under 40s – those who are typically looking to further their careers – the top destinations included Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Hong Kong, South Africa, Shanghai, Malaysia and Tokyo.”