Weak Pound Forces UK Expat Retirees Home

According to research UK pensioners living overseas are being forced to abandon their dreams of retirement abroad as a result of the weak sterling.

Research published by currency brokers currency.co.uk, has revealed that there has been a 28% increase in the amount of retired expatriates who are returning to the United Kingdom over the past year. The group blamed the value of the pound sterling as being one of the biggest motivating factors, with a large number of pensioners finding that they are unable to adequately fund the lives they planned overseas with their pensions.

According to currency.co.uk, the value of the British pound has fluctuated by as much as 67% during the past five years, with pensioners finding that they do not have sufficient funds to enjoy their retirements abroad.

Talking to UK newspaper The Telegraph, pensioner Paul Ripley described how he has been forced to sell his dream retirement property in Alicante: “A combination of the exchange rate and the economic crisis has meant that we have lost a hell of a lot of money. The catch is we can’t really afford to stay and we can’t afford to buy back home. The worry on top is that Spanish death duties are extremely fierce and we, like a lot of people out here, didn’t really investigate these extra costs when moving out here. Retirement in the sun was a big draw at the time.”

It isn’t only pensioners in Europe who have been impacted by the currency fluctuations, with pensioners all over the world observing significant swings in the amount of local currency their pound sterling can buy them. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that many British citizens living overseas are currently not entitled to a state pension that increases each year in line with inflation. Pensioners who retire to countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, which do not have a reciprocal social security arrangement with the UK, have the value of their state pension frozen at the date on which they left the UK.

Thinking of Retiring Overseas?

When you plan an overseas retirement there are a number of critical areas that you should consider in order to make sure that your new life gets off to the best possible start and your retirement is as enjoyable as it should be. We have put together some helpful advice in our free guide to retiring abroad. Here you will find a wealth of practical recommendations and useful tips to assist you to plan your overseas retirement and ensure that you have the best possible start to your move abroad.

For full and comprehensive details of the cost of living in major cities throughout the world please see our expatriate relocation guides. Each guide contains detailed information about the living costs you can expect across different types of lifestyles and living options, together with full details of the banking systems and social security provisions. Because our guides are written by expats who live and work in the countries themselves, you can be assured that the information is accurate and reliable.