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Spain No. 1 choice for retirement

Tue 23rd Aug 2011

A recent study by Standard Life has shown the most popular areas for expats looking to retire abroad, with Spain taking first place. The report coincided with a data released by Spain's Ministry of Labour and Immigration which revealed how the number of expats from the UK resident in Spain now officially stands at 220'512.

This was followed by Australia, the USA and France.

However, John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy for Standard Life warned : "Retiring abroad is a dream for many people, but does require careful planning and advice. Many people think living abroad is cheaper than living in the UK, but this isn't always the case. Doing your homework in advance of moving, matching your retirement income and expenditure, and making the appropriate decisions around purchasing an annuity or using income drawdown are key considerations. Your retirement income could also be subject to exchange rates and currency fluctuations, as well as local tax laws.

"You also need to think about your state pension and what, if any, reciprocal agreement is in place. A reciprocal agreement entitles you to any increases in the UK state pension, paid for by the country you retire to. However, if there isn't a reciprocal agreement in place, then you need to be very careful your retirement income is sufficient to cover your living costs over a long period of time. Over a 20 year retirement, your basic state UK pension could halve in real terms if a reciprocal arrangement is not in place."

Fortunately, given that it is an EU Member state, those living in Spain can take advantage of a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK whereby their pensions can increase annually inline with any fluctuations in the cost of living.

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