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During the dark days of mid-winter, or even when the rain is pouring down day-in, day-out in the middle of summer, it may seem obvious why such a high proportion of people retire abroad and many others are tempted to follow.

In a recent survey we commissioned of 1,000 people, one third (33%) of retirees (aged 55+) said they would seriously consider a move abroad, while 2% were already making plans to adopt the expatriate life.

So why do people decide to take the plunge once they’ve retired? Here’s what we found:

The British weather

One of the chief reasons given for why many consider to retire abroad was a desire to escape the British climate. The research revealed that almost two-thirds (60%) of retirees were motivated by the prospect of warmer weather. Of course a move to the sun may also bring a financial benefit of lower heating bills given the current wash out here at home. Despite the current political uncertainty surrounding Brexit the chance of getting more sun is proving to be the biggest draw.

A better lifestyle

Two-in-five (40%) retirees believed a move abroad would improve their sense of well-being or quality of life. Away from the stress and pressures of UK life, simply being able to spend more time outdoors, to slow down the pace of life and lead a more relaxed lifestyle was an attraction for many. Also with current concerns about the NHS and social care riding high in the minds of those 65+, many told us that relocating will lead to better health, both physically and mentally.

A different culture

Although some admitted to having reservations about planning to retire abroad, the research demonstrated that almost two thirds (62%) would embrace the opportunity. Prepared to get immersed in a new culture, meet new people and change their way of living. In fact, it appears many retirees feel a move abroad would help to keep them young, provide a host of new experiences and even offer a new and fresh outlook on life.

Seize the day

Around a quarter of retirees we spoke to admitted they had always harboured a dream of heading overseas. Many seemed motivated by making the most of their freedom now that their work commitments were over. It was often a case of fulfilling their goals and aspirations before they were too old, a sense of ‘now or never’. The survey clearly demonstrated that many retirees had an adventurous spirit and firm desire to make their dream a reality.

But it’s not all sun, sea and seizing the day. Retirees recognise the strong emotional ties that keep them at home. Undoubtedly missing family (49%) and friends (25%) is high on the list of factors that might prevent a move abroad. Nevertheless the desire to make the most of their well-earned retirement is strong. Of course, it’s highly likely that retirees need not worry about missing family and friends who are only too keen to visit and get some of that sun themselves!


Planning to retire abroad? We’ve listed some of our top tips to get you started click here to read them now.

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