Pensioners are leaving the popular European hotspots of Spain and Cyprus following the Brexit deal.
The number of UK pensioners living in the EU fell to 463,774 in the last year, down from 474,721 in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum in 2016, according to research by financial adviser Salisbury House Wealth.
Popular destinations among retirees saw some of their biggest falls last year. The number of British pensioners in Italy dropped 10 per cent to 33,435 in 2019/2020, while the number living in Cyprus fell nine per cent to 17,219.
The number is expected to decline as UK residents no longer have the automatic right to relocate to EU countries.
Those looking to retire in Europe will need to apply for a visa which will be a lengthy and costly process.
Salisbury House Wealth’s research found pensioners returning to the UK will face a higher cost of living than in the EU due to the higher costs of housing, food and drink in the UK.
“The last-minute Brexit deal will be a huge sigh of relief for British pensioners living in the EU. However, question marks remain over how this deal will unfold over the next few years,” Tim Holmes, Managing Director at Salisbury House Wealth said.
“Many UK pensioners have already packed their bags and left the sunnier parts of Europe behind in the fear that further complications would arise as a result of the UK’s departure.”
“British pensioners who are returning to the UK run the risk of facing higher living costs than destinations such as Spain, which they may not have factored into their retirement funds.”
“Retirement plans may change course from time-to-time – it’s key that individuals stick to a savings plan so they have plenty of flexibility and most importantly, can achieve their dream retirement when they get there.”