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Britons Willing To Overcome Brexit Barriers And Retire Abroad Again

retire abroad

New research from overseas property consultants highlights that Brits are coming to terms with post-Brexit restrictions, applying for visas and retiring to favourite European destinations in ever greater numbers.  Your Overseas Home have released new data which shows a return to pre-Brexit levels of interest in retiring to Mediterranean and southern European hotspots. 

After ‘freedom of movement’ officially ended on 1st January 2021 and it became necessary to get a visa to retire abroad full time, the evidence was that many Brits simply abandoned their dreams of retiring to the sun. Some opted to settle for a holiday home instead and restrict themselves to the 90-day rule.

Since we started helping British people to buy property in 2004, around two-thirds said they were retiring and a third were buying a holiday home”, says Christopher Nye, chief editor at Your Overseas Home

“Then, when you began to need a visa many of the retirees gave up on the idea and it became roughly a 50-50 split between retirees and second homers. Now it seems the retirees are back in force.”

The new data comes from a recent YourOverseasHome.com survey which gained over 5,000 responses from people who are in the process of buying a property in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus or Portugal.

Compared with figures from 2022, Greece has experienced the biggest increase in popularity for those looking to retire abroad there. In fact, there has been a 15 per cent increase in retirees looking to move to Greece

There has also been a 14 per cent rise in those looking to retire in France, compared with data from 2022.

Alongside people looking to retire in Greece and France, Spain is another popular option. Interest from residents in the UK looking to retire in Spain has increased by 10 per cent since last year, with 58 per cent of respondents saying that they’d like to retire in Spain. 

Christopher Nye, adds: “Retiring overseas is still popular. As 65 has become the new 50, people are realising that a move to a warmer, more relaxed lifestyle in the sun is an incredible opportunity for fun and adventure in later life. 

“Getting a visa might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually surprisingly easy for retirees in places like Spain and Portugal. And of course, once there, cheaper living expenses more than make up for the small costs. There are really just a few forms to fill in and there is a growing list of companies who will help you if you need it.”

The team at Your Overseas Home have suggested four of Europe’s best locations for those looking for an active retirement: 

  1. Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como, the most famous of Italy’s lakes, is just an hour or so’s drive from Milan (or a most scenic day’s train ride from London). Many will enjoy just admiring the view, however, that’s not all that there is to do there. Springtime is perfect for walking around Lake Como, swimming becomes popular in the summer with the interest switching to skiing in winter and you can even leap on the e-bike in autumn. If you’re looking for an active retirement in Italy, Lake Como is the perfect choice. 

  • Costa Brava, Spain 

Starting at the border with France and finishing some 120 kilometres away with the town of Blanes, the Costa Brava is where the Pyrenees meet the Med. If you love to travel, Barcelona and France are easy to reach for a day out. Retirees looking for something to keep themselves busy are also spoilt for choice here, as there is no shortage of entertainment for the bidy and the brain – from gorgeous sandy coves to ski resorts, golf courses to world-class art galleries, and some of the best restaurants in the world..

  • Cascais, Portugal

If you are dreaming of a retirement that feels like a never-ending holiday, Cascais could suit you well. Way back in the 1870s, it became the seaside getaway of the king of Portugal and since then, royalty and the general public alike have appreciated its charm. Today, it is known for its leading golf courses and picturesque blue flag beaches, such as Praia da Conceição and Praia da Rainha. 

  • Nice, France

Nice is home to a large expat community, so you are likely to find the transition smooth, as you’ll be able to interact with other expats. Plus, from its beautiful waters to its choice of museums and galleries, you will never run out of things to do. If you’re a fan of the sun, Nice benefits from 2,500 average hours of sunshine a year, and even stays warm well into the late autumn too.