Brexit Factor No Longer Puts Off Retirees

Many pensioners still enjoy retiring to the sun Credit: Kampus Productions Pexels

After ‘freedom of movement’ within most of Europe officially ended on January 1, 2021 it became necessary to get a visa to retire abroad full time.

It seemed that many British pensioners simply abandoned their dreams of retiring to the sun but as time passed there were still plenty of visits and many decided to opt for a holiday home instead and put up with the 90/180 day rule.

New research by property consultants Your Overseas Home highlights that many British people are coming to terms with post-Brexit restrictions, applying for visas and retiring to favourite European destinations in ever greater numbers.

Retiring to the Mediterranean

Their experts have compiled new data which shows a return to pre-Brexit levels of interest in retiring to Mediterranean and southern European hotspots.

According to Christopher Nye, chief editor at Your Overseas Home: “Since we started helping British people to buy property in 2004, around two-thirds said they were retiring and a third were buying a holiday home explained

“Then, when you started to need a visa many of the retirees gave up on the idea and it became roughly a 50-50 split between retirees and second homers. Now it seems the retirees are back in force.”

This new data came from a recent survey which gained over 5,000 responses from people who are in the process of buying a property in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, or Portugal.

Compared with 2022 figures, the most popular destinations are Greece, 15 per cent up and France up 14 per cent.

Spain still popular

Closer to home, Spain is another popular option. Interest from residents in the UK looking to retire in Spain has increased by 10 per cent since last year, with 58 per cent of respondents saying that they’d like to retire in Spain.

Christopher Nye, adds: “Retiring overseas is still popular. Getting a visa might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually surprisingly easy for retirees in places like Spain and Portugal.

“And of course, once there, cheaper living expenses more than make up for the small costs. There are really just a few forms to fill in and there is a growing list of companies who will help you if you need it.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


    • Martín

      06 October 2023 • 07:25

      No change, the 90/180 day rule still applies. People I know have sold or are selling but this is a nice advert with a link to an estate agent with the hope of reviving the housing market. The main problem is proving you have an income of over €35k for 2 people to become a resident.

      • Pete

        07 October 2023 • 01:32

        Yep your right its a big sales advert. I returned from Spain as they made it so hard to stay with the earnings rule, indeed the response i got was basically British F Off.. Despite owning a home and NEVER claiming a euro, but paid in over 200k.. They was so unhelpful and gave us greif over all attempts to stay.

        • John Smith

          07 October 2023 • 11:52

          I can confirm to readers that this was not an advert, simply a report of the findings of that company. The good thing is that whilst the report was positive about Spain, the article is receiving comments which we are happy to post. It’s all about communication and sharing opinions.

        • Martin

          08 October 2023 • 02:46

          Having your own home should have helped Pete, as you would not need to find rent. Apart from such an income required, if you are not of retirement age you would also have to pay for private medical insurance until you are a pensioner which is not cheap if you are in your sixties. Have you thought about trying Portugal? That´s where people with a lower income a heading now. You only need to show an income of €12,690 per couple. Here is some info to compare both countries. Two UK state pensions are not enough for Spain.

          The days of doing little jobs for cash to pay the rent in your caravan are over sadly. Back to the UK with cap in hand because you can’t stay under the radar forever. Overstay 90 days and they can refuse to let you back in in the future. Sad times.

    • Algoz

      06 October 2023 • 10:54

      “Just a few forms to fill in”?????? What planet is he on?

    • Charles

      06 October 2023 • 11:50

      This doesn’t solve the problem of the 90/180 rule be careful

    • Robert Faraday

      06 October 2023 • 12:14

      Indeed ! The days of arriving in Spain with £500 and then disappearing within a caravan “off grid” with an expired or lost passport, have gone. Thus only comparatively “well-to-do” folk will now arrive for permanent stays.

    • Chris

      06 October 2023 • 14:53

      I agree with Martin. What is the point of surveying your own clients. They have already made up their minds to look for a property abroad. I own three properties in Spain, two of which are long term let’s sand one we use as a holiday home fore our family. For what’s it costs and will cost in the future, we could have had some great monthly rents in many different countries. If you are going to live in another country, find out all the on going costs and what you will need to know about medical as you get into latter years. Most go back home.

    • Anne Mitchell

      11 October 2023 • 16:31

      Been there, done that!

    • Anne Mitchell

      11 October 2023 • 16:47

      Without doubt we “Love Spain’ and the people, everything was better there.Wish we had not left.
      Only on a mini break in 2002 turned into our dream of buying a home in Spain. There were many paper and financial cost but those are our happiest memories ever.
      Watching programs showing life in the Sun should forewarn applicants of all the hidden costs,
      Add 20% to the initial 20% purchase and legal costs. ( Check out the Wills are legal and include World Wide assets. UK House prices escalated £200,00 more over the 14 years. Selling of the Spanish property price (Oct 2019) did not even reach our original 2002 costs. Many fellow returnees lost a lot of money!
      Sadly do not think of returning without a large downsizing. It may just be a dream , so hope it is not a nightmare!

    Comments are closed.