Brexit puts the brakes on dreams of retiring abroad

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Brexit has scuppered Britons’ retirement plans as they shy away from a move to Europe and explore alternatives in the UK.

About 45% of people over 50 now say they are less likely to consider retiring abroad.

Meanwhile, nearly 41% of Brits who were previously considering retirement in Europe say the Brexit vote has poured cold water on their plans, according to research by housing and care provider Anchor.

The survey found that 63% were worried about losing access to the NHS, which finances healthcare for citizens in the EU, while about 26% were anxious about a lack of suitable care options abroad.

But concerns over settlement rights and access to healthcare after Brexit have boosted interest in UK options.

Anchor says that enquiries about its retirement properties - which include care homes and retirement villages - soared by 641% between June 2016 and March 2017, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, registrations surged 198% over the nine months to March.

Spain has been a major destination for sun-seeking retirees, hosting more than 308,000 UK citizens - 101,000 of whom are over-65, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

However, Anchor found that while 27% of respondents listed warm weather as an important consideration, it did not top the list of retirement priorities.

Anchor chief executive Jane Ashcroft said: “Our research shows that people thinking about retirement want to feel stable and safe in older age.

“With so much uncertainty around Brexit deterring people from retiring abroad, we’ve seen a huge surge of interest from people wanting to retire in England.”

Britons have also seen their purchasing power diminished as a result of the pound’s collapse in the wake of the referendum, with sterling now 17% weaker against the US dollar and down 10% versus the euro.

That has raised concerns about the value of sterling-denominated pensions.

Anchor’s survey - involving 1,011 over-50s - found that 63% of respondents said that one of the biggest priorities was to have a stable income for day-to-day living, while 23% said they were most anxious about the unclear future of Brexit negotiations.

About 62% said they were concerned about feeling safe and secure in their home and neighbourhood, 30% were worried about good access to transport, while 42% wanted loved ones living close by.