The UK Office for National Statistics reports that in 2019 the average life expectancy for a male was 79.4 years and for a female was 83.1 years. This continues the general upward trend seen since the 1840s, when we could expect to live for only half this number of years.
Not only are people living longer but we are generally living more active lives in our old age than our predecessors. Western populations are very well-travelled compared with previous generations, and so it is no surprise that more and more people of retirement age are choosing to spend their remaining years abroad. Many of us are no longer content with retiring to a bungalow in Eastbourne or Paignton, preferring more exotic spots with guaranteed sunshine and a low cost of living.
Property prices, healthcare, pensions and tax are normally the main concerns of those looking to retire abroad, and specialist companies and websites now exist to guide retirees towards their preferred location. Saga, the company offering holidays, insurance and other services to the over 50s produces a list of the best places for Britons to retire abroad. Predictably this includes familiar locations such as Australia, South Africa and Florida, with their language, culture and lifestyle similar to our own. Spain, Portugal and France will always be popular since many of us are already very familiar with these places, although it remains to be seen how Brexit will affect Britons retiring to EU countries in the long run.
While some locations are easy to predict, others can be quite surprising. High on the list of Saga recommendations is Panama in Central America, praised for its discounts for foreign retirees on phone and water bills, as well as an exemption from property tax. The country has a good and inexpensive health system, low living costs, and two long coastlines. Nearby Belize is a developing nation offering rain forests and reefs, and with English as the official language this former British colony could become your home from home.
Beaches, as well as jungles, feature highly in Malaysia and Thailand, two more Saga suggestions. Both are modern, easy to get to and offer a cost of living at least half of that back home. Malaysia allows ten year residency permits for retirees, whilst the tourist industry in Thailand presents many opportunities for those wishing to work to supplement their pensions.
A more offbeat retirement destination is Ecuador, which offers a mild climate, half price public transport and cheap access to the national health-care system to pensioners. English is not widely spoken, and knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage. This is less of a problem in the Dominican Republic, where western tourism has long been a major part of the economy. Costs are low and it is possible to live a luxurious lifestyle on this lush Caribbean island on a relatively modest pension.
Not all retirees are quite so adventurous and most will prefer to see out their twilight years in the UK, living in familiar surroundings and with easy access to family and friends. Nobody can be sure what the future holds but it is vital to take steps while you are in good health to protect yourself and your family. Contact Bretherton Law to make sure the future is secure for you and your loved ones.
Bretherton Law have been helping the people of Hertfordshire to manage their affairs for over 50 years. Our expert team can guide you through the Will Writing process, as well as dealing with Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, trust or probate services on your behalf. Contact Anne Stockley on 01727 869293 or us the contact form below.