Moving Abroad To Retire
Taking the decision to retire to a different country is a big step. Apart from obvious considerations regarding your family and friends, you should also be aware of issues concerning pensions, tax and healthcare costs that could be affected. Read our tips, checklist and guidance to moving abroad and make your move a smooth one.
If you hold a British passport and are therefore a UK National, you are entitled to live in any European Economic Area (EEA) country. These include Spain, Portugal and France, all of which are popular retirement destinations.
Here is a list of all the EEA Countries
Iceland Norway Finland Sweden Ireland United Kingdom Denmark Germany Netherlands Belgium Luxembourg Austria Portugal Spain France Italy Greece Liechtenstein Czech Republic Estonia Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Hungary Malta Poland Slovenia Slovakia Bulgaria Romania.
If you are intending to move to a country outside of the EEA, then you are advised to visit the website for the British Embassy of that country for more information. You can find links to all the British Embassies here
Before you move, you should look into the following:
By using the Government’s website you are able to estimate what you are likely to receive as a state pension if you were to leave the country now and not pay any further National Insurance contributions. You can get an estimate of your State Pension by following this link.
Tax Liability On Earnings From Abroad
You can find out from HM Revenue & Customs information regarding your tax liability on any income over the UK personal allowance, UK tax payable from abroad can vary depending on where it is you decide to live.
You can find out who to contact at HM Revenue & Customs here.
When retiring abroad you should seek independent tax advice about the benefits of offshore banking. Depending on where you retire to, it may be possible to reduce your tax liability with offshore banking.
Here are some of the things you are advised to consider doing in order to protect your healthcare needs:
- Find out what you can about welfare rights abroad. Not all of the benefits you receive in the UK are payable outside the UK. Some apply only in the EU or in countries which have agreements with the UK. You can find more information about benefits whilst abroad here.
- Look into the cost of healthcare in the country to which you are moving.
- If you think it is appropriate, we strongly advise you take out health insurance to cover any private medical and dental treatment you may need, plus medical repatriation to the UK if required.
- Don’t forget to inform your and your family’s doctor, dentist and other relevant practitioners.
Here are some reminders on other things you may need to do:
- If you have decided to keep a property in the UK and rent it out, or indeed leave it empty. You should let your mortgage lender and insurance providers know.
- Protect your property from fraudsters by making sure your property is registered with the Land Registry and by updating your contact details with them. For further information visit The Land Registry.
- Let your local council know you are moving. Their Council Tax department and electoral registration unit will need to know the date you are leaving and your new contact details.
- Arrange for final bills from your gas, electricity, and water suppliers and let them know your forwarding address so you can make your final payments or receive any refunds.
- Let your bank, building society or any other financial institutions you may have accounts with that you are moving abroad.
- Arrange for your mail to be redirected. You can do this by completing a re-direction form which you can get over the counter at any post office. Be sure to do so in good time as it can take a number of weeks to put in place.
- If you are moving abroad with children of school age, you will need to notify the school and the local education authority of the date when you will be taking them out of school.
- If you have children, ensure you have the other parent’s permission to take the children overseas – you might be breaking the law by taking your children out of the country without permission from the other parent or the UK courts.
- When retiring abroad you need to inform HM Revenue & Customs Charity, the International Pension Centre and Assets and Residence (Residency). You will need to provide your date of moving and your new contact details.
- Consider updating your Will to take account of your changing circumstances.
We hope this article has been useful and helps make your move abroad a smooth one.