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1 in 3 UK expats who have retired abroad expect to return home to the UK.

For those bored of grey mornings and rainy afternoons in the UK, a place in the sun in a foreign clime is the perfect escape – a warm reward after decades of hard graft. While the majority of UK expats who have retired overseas are enjoying their new life abroad, though, new research reveals that one in three expect to return home.

A recent analysis discovered that one third of Brits intend to head back to British ground at some point in the future. The survey, the first comprehensive poll of how long British retirees plan to stay expats, highlights a range of reasons behind the 32 per cent’s homecoming plans.

For those over the age of 50, returning home is a chance to settle any final business and legal matters, while 99 per cent of overall retirees intend to return home to address financial concerns. Indeed, 97 per cent cited rising cost of living as a factor pushing them back to Britain, although for many, it was simple homesickness for family and friends that prompt the plan to go back. That yearning for familiar comforts apparently gets powerful the older retirees get, with three out of four Brits saying they missed British culture more as they spent more time overseas.

69 per cent of those surveyed by the expat financial advisory firm vowed never to go back home, while 10 per cent said they would consider it and 21 per cent said maybe.

British expats are not cutting all ties with the homeland, with 72 per cent still regularly sending money back to family, but with 23 per cent relocating for work reasons and 87 per cent saying they are able to save more in their new overseas home, there is little incentive to go back to Britain.

The research interrogates expats currently residing in the US, Australia, the UAE, Hong Kong, Spain, France, Germany and South Africa.

The number of Britons living outside the UK has grown in recent years. Officially, there are approximately 5 million Brits now living overseas, although the real figure is universally acknowledged to be considerably higher as many expats do not register themselves in their new countries of residence with the relevant authorities.

Extrapolated to the total number of (only officially) identified British expats, that amounts to 3.5 million Brits abroad swearing never to return to the UK.

The survey underlines that for most people living abroad is an advantageous and satisfying experience. This outcome is likely down to several key factors including better or more lucrative career chances, lower cost of living, higher quality of life, high quality childcare and education, lower crime levels, and good weather.

While living an international life is a hugely positive experience for most people, it is imperative not to rule-out the possibility of returning back to the UK or moving on somewhere else in the future.


If expats fail to plan for such eventualities by not considering all cross- border financial options now, they could be compromising their longer-term financial security.

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