Tuesday, 7 September 2010
The View from Ireland
British born expats who have worked and retired abroad are less likely to return to the UK with 71% believing that they made the right decision in retiring abroad, new research shows.
The experiences of over half or 58% of expat retirees have been better than expected and the vast majority, some 92% of them do not live in an established expat community, the third annual Nat West International Personal Banking Quality of Life report also shows.
Despite a belief that a significant number of British retired expats are regretting their decision to retire abroad and are planning to return to the UK, retiring abroad is very much still a popular decision, says the report that was carried out in conjunction with the Centre for Future Studies.
It incorporates expats’ real life perceptions and experiences and gauges their personal assessment, including satisfaction or dissatisfaction, with their circumstances abroad.
The study also shows that a quarter of all retired expats rate their quality of life as excellent and the majority, 67%, are happier now than they would have been in the UK.
It also reveals that there are two types of British expats: those who have spent their working lives in the UK and have chosen to retire abroad, the so-called silver expats; and those who left the UK to work abroad and subsequently retired in the country in which they had been living. The latter are often referred to as ‘lifer expats’.
The analysis shows that more than nine out of ten, 91%, of those living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US who are lifer expats do not foresee returning to the UK. However, those living in France, Portugal and Spain that are silver expats are far less certain with 19% saying they are undecided 16% envisaging a return to the UK.
And those expats who worked abroad before they retired seem happier with their decision to continue living abroad yet those who have had no work experience in their chosen retirement country are having doubts about their decision to remain abroad.
Overall, silver expats retire in Western Europe, principally in Spain, France and Portugal. The lifer expats are spread throughout the world, principally in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the US.
When it came to choosing locations, surprisingly, 92% do not live in an established expat community. Of those that do, the majority, 56%, did not consider this to be a determining factor in their decision to locate where they did. This is interesting, particularly when taking into account that silver expats have had no experience of living in the country and are happy to throw themselves into the deep end of foreign life, the report says.