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Spain still topping dream destination for retirees

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01/08/2012
The British love affair with Spain seems to still hold strong as the Mediterranean country still tops the list of favourite places to retire.

Spain is followed by France, Australia, Ireland and Cyprus as the favourite destinations for Brits to head to for retirement.

Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at MGM Advantage, said: “Retiring abroad is a dream for many people. The thought of an easier pace of living, better weather and potentially cheaper property than the UK can prove a strong draw.

“But without the right planning and advice you can quickly get caught out by the local tax laws. And that is before you look at your pension and other financial arrangements.”

Top tips for retiring abroad:

1. Get an estimate of your state pension here

2. Seek independent financial advice

3. Ask HM Revenue and Customs for information about any UK tax liability you may have even though you are living overseas

4. Check what reciprocal agreements are in place with the destination country regarding your UK state pension

5. Find out about your welfare rights while abroad

6. Check the cost of healthcare in the country you are thinking of moving to

7. If you decide to keep your property in the UK you will need to let your mortgage provider and insurance company know if it will be rented or remain empty

8. Do your homework on the cost of living in the country you want to move to

9. Notify utility companies, financial institutions and your local council when you are leaving

10. Contact the electoral register, and arrange for mail forwarding via the Post Office

Tully continued: “One often overlooked aspect of retiring abroad is what happens to your UK state pension. If the country you’re retiring to has a reciprocal agreement in place with the UK then the UK state pension will be paid and increased as normal.

“However where there is no agreement in place, and that includes Australia and Canada, your state pension will be frozen and won’t increase.

“It is vital you seek professional financial advice well in advance of making the move. There are a number of firms who specialise in providing advice to expats, which could make the world of difference between the retirement of your dreams or an experience altogether more challenging.”

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