Pensions, Pensioners, Brexit and pensions’ passporting throughout Europe

Pensions, Pensioners, Brexit and pensions’ portability throughout Europe


From expatforum

British expats living in European Union countries, especially popular ones such as France and Spain, are still trying to come to terms with how Brexit will affect their finances and living plans.

One big area of concern are pensions and Brexit could be a trigger for more people to move their British pensions out of the UK, according to finance experts.

The issue revolves around whether or not the UK tax authority, HMRC, will continue to recognise Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme, or QROPS, which have been popular for expats worried about currency fluctuations.

Brexit will be a trigger for even more people to move their British pensions out of the UK, according to Nigel Green, chief executive of independent financial advisory firm, deVere Group.

‘As the reality of what a Leave result in the EU referendum means for personal finances sinks in, people will now be reassessing their retirement planning strategy. We can fully expect demand for HMRC-recognised overseas pension transfers to be further boosted thanks to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union,’ he said.

‘Due to the huge amount of uncertainty that’s created, more and more people who are eligible to do so, that’s to say expats and those who are considering retiring outside Britain, will be seeking to safeguard their retirement funds by transferring them into a secure, regulated, English speaking jurisdiction outside the UK,’ he added.

The main concern for finances has been the significant fall in the pound following the referendum decision. For those living in the EU and in receipt of a UK pension, a plummeting pound has serious consequences as the cost of living becomes more expensive.

An established way to help mitigate these problems of currency fluctuations, which can seriously erode retirement income, is to transfer a UK pension into a QROPS. However, there have been some questions raised over the legalities of QROPS due to the Brexit decision.

‘QROPS started under EU law, but now there are separate agreements in place between the UK and individual jurisdictions, such as Malta, regarding pensions transfers. This means that when the UK leaves the EU, these agreements will remain intact.

Therefore, the pension funds established in these jurisdictions will still meet the criteria to be recognised as Overseas Pensions Schemes under UK legislation,’ Green pointed out.

‘Considering the wider post-Brexit vote scenario we are facing, we can assume that the wider international financial advisory sector is about to enter a phase of enormous activity and growth,’ he added.

Pensioners are the biggest group of British expats in Europe, and they can use the years they have worked in one member state to qualify for pensions in another. For example, in Germany EU citizens can count years worked elsewhere to meet the minimum requirements for a pension.

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16 Things to Consider When Retiring Abroad….or why MALTA is a the top destination

16 Things to Consider When Retiring Abroad….or why MALTA is a the top destination


MALTA way is your gateway to Malta opportunity to retire with sun shine, stability, great health system, low cost of living, low taxation, security, safety, global community, banking, economic and social growth, residence programme and much more…… the best of North Europe in the middle od Mediterranean sea 

We’ve already listed for you the 25 best places to retire, and we know you’re all dying to move to Ecuador when your careers in tax and law come to an end.

However, before selling your home, keeping your family heirlooms in an acclimatized storage facility and packing your bags, you need to carry out in-depth research to make sure Ecuador (or any other country, for that matter) is the right one for you. Retirement planning is essential to having a happy, relaxing and easy life in your handpicked home away from home.

In order to help you with your future retirement plans, we’ve come up with 16 things to consider when retiring abroad.

1. Don’t Flush Money Down The Toilet: The cost of living in the country you’ve chosen might be one of the most important factors when retirement planning. You want your pension, savings or supplemental income to go a long way and allow you to live a comfortable life abroad. Make sure to do your due diligence in terms of the pricing of housing, transportation, healthcare services, food and utilities, among countless others, prior to boarding that plane.

2. Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Mobility is crucial to your wellbeing when retiring abroad. A solid system of highways matched with extensive and safe public transportation, as well as an international airport with a good domestic and international flight schedule, will grant you greater flexibility when it comes to discovering your new country and heading back to your old one to visit friends and family.
Retiring Abroad: Healthcare

3. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: At the latter stages of life, staying healthy is primordial to one’s happiness. A modern and highly professional healthcare system should be at the top of your list of things to consider when retiring abroad. Pay close attention to the quality of hospitals, the experience and levels of training of physicians and other medical doctors, and the availability and cost of medicine and medical supplies, among others. Also, make sure there are healthcare facilities nearby, say, at most 25 to 30 minutes away from where you live.

4. Put That Gun Away: Safety and personal security is of utmost importance when planning for retirement. You want to avoid at all costs dangerous, violent, and socially unstable regions of the world where your life will be in peril on a near daily basis. Pick cities (or at least neighborhoods) with low crime rates and an established expatriate community that is willing to show you the ropes.

5. Rain or Shine: Would you like to wake up to rain 75% of the year? Or scorching heat hovering near 50 °C? Yeah, we didn’t think so. is your friend, so make sure to study your country of choice’s weather patterns. Personally speaking, it’s hard to beat the climate in San Diego, California: year-round sun and temperatures ranging from 9°C to 25°C. Paradise.

Retiring Abroad: communicating with the locals

6. Je No Parle Español: Not everyone in the world speaks English and not all of us are polyglots. Language spoken should come under consideration when retirement planning. Pick a country where you’ll feel comfortable enough communicating with the locals, be that in English or a second language. In any case, chances are you will quickly become proficient—either by choice or because you have to—in that second language.

7. Don’t Bank on It: Finding a place with a solid banking system is fundamental to retirement planning. You need to locate a reliable, professional and stable bank in which to stash away your money while living abroad. Often, branches of major European and American banks are your safest bet to protect your savings and remain at ease in cases of economic volatility.

8. Expats in the House: Living abroad, it’s always nice to find kindred souls that are experiencing what you are. Look for expatriate communities in the city of your choice and reach out to them prior to making your move. They’ll be able to answer your questions, provide you with recommendations, and make you feel more at home once you make your big move.

9. Big Macs on the House: Don’t laugh but every so often we crave what’s familiar. Living abroad among all the new smells, sounds and flavors can be overwhelming. So it’s always good to know that some of those comforts readily available back home—be it junk food or specific ingredients like, say, maple syrup or chipotle chilies—can be tracked down in your new country.

Retiring Abroad: Place to Live

10. Home Sweet Home: Real estate—its costs, availability, location and quality—might be one of the most crucial factors to consider when planning for retirement. Whether you are renting or buying, you want a comfortable, ample, well-located and affordable place to live. We suggest carefully studying the real estate markets in your shortlist of countries to retire.

11. If You Build It, They Will Come: Access to sturdy, safe and modern infrastructure can enhance one’s life abroad. The availability of good roadways, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, transportation hubs, theatres and museums, efficient utility services, etc., raises standards of living and makes retiring somewhere far away from home a more attractive option.

12. Inflation! Devaluation! Crisis!: Economic volatility is another factor to consider when retirement planning. Inflation, currency devaluations, tax hikes and other types of negative economic fluctuations can make life difficult for you and your bank account. Have a basic understanding of the economic history and performance of the countries on your shortlist and put together a contingency plan so that you’re not caught by surprise when things do go wrong.

13. Residency Requirements: If it’s a hassle to acquire residency to the country of your choice, then it might be better to move somewhere else. Look into residency requirements for your top choices and make sure these are not too burdensome. Many countries—for instance, Panama—offer special visas for retirees that allow them to make use of a wide range of discounts on utility bills, transportation, entertainment and more. These types of residency are highly advantageous and should be explored.

Retiring Abroad: access to the Internet

14. Can You Hear Me Now?: No one these days can live without access to the Internet or a smart phone. A reliable and efficient communications system to keep in touch with friends and family via Skype and log onto your Facebook, Twitter and Taxlinked accounts is a must. Unless what you want is to disconnect from the world and become a hermit up on a hill.

15. Take a Hike: Now that you have plenty of time on your hands, you might want to pursue all those recreational activities you weren’t free for as a working professional. Be it playing tennis, hiking, painting or dabbling in handcrafts, make sure there are facilities nearby for you to practice your favorite hobbies.

16. Don’t Make It Taxing: You cannot run. You cannot hide. Taxes will always be there, waiting for you. Even if you’re living abroad, you might still have to pay taxes back in your home country, so speak to a financial advisor to help you figure out who you owe, how much and when. You wouldn’t want to skip a payment and be penalized for moving to lovely Ecuador.

Malta Ranked Best Places to Retire in Europe

Malta Ranked Best Places to Retire in Europe

Visit Malta and relocate here with the professional global advice and support of maltaway and Malta residence schemes

Half of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire Are in Latin America

Despite all the mainstream’s media scaremongering, Latin America managed to place 13 countries in the top 25 best countries to retire.

Following Ecuador’s first-place finish, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia ranked second, third, fifth and eighth, respectively, while Uruguay, Belize, Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Chile, Dominican Republic and Guatemala also joined the top 25.

Panama came in second thanks to its unique Pensionado Visa, a residency permit for retirees who make more than $1,000 per month in pension.

This particular visa grants holders a range of discounts “including 20% off medical services, 50% off entertainment, 25% off restaurant meals, 25% off air fare, and 25% off electricity and phone bills,” says Jessica Ramesch, IL’s Panama Editor.

Colombia, South America’s numero dos, is praised for its affordable yet world-class healthcare system.

Michael Evans, IL’s Colombia Correspondent, said, “In a 2014 survey, 18 Colombian medical institutions ranked among the top 45 in Latin America. According to the World Health Organization, Colombia actually has better health care than the United States or Canada.”

Ayuthaya, Thailand

Ayuthaya, Thailand

Malaysia and Thailand: Where to Retire in Asia!

Malaysia and Thailand represent Asia in the top ten, coming in fourth and tenth as best countries to retire.

Malaysia boasts of great cultural diversity and an exceedingly cheap cost of living with rent for a large apartment with swimming pool running at about $850 per month. Its location is also ideal to explore the rest of Southeast Asia and English is widely spoken.

Besides its delectable cuisine and natural beauty, Thailand also appeals to retirees with its low-cost healthcare system. According to IL, teeth can be cared for with $30 and a basic health insurance runs for $300.

Spain, Malta, & Portugal Ranked Best Places to Retire in Europe

In Europe, the Mediterranean dominates, placing Spain (6th), Malta (7th), and Portugal (9th) in the top 10 best countries to retire in.

These countries share many commonalities that make them preferred retirements havens. Even though they are more expensive than the Latin American or Asian countries, plenty of sunshine, culture, and outdoor activities, a wealth of cuisine and reasonably priced (for Europe) real estate make them an attractive option for many retirees.

Who Tops International Living’s List?

(Grades are out of 100)

#1 Ecuador – 92.7

Galapagos Islands Buying & Renting 100
Benefits & Discounts 96
Cost of Living 92
Fitting In 95
Entertainment & Amenities 98
Healthcare 82
Infrastructure 78
Climate 100
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

#2 Panama – 90.6

Panama Canal Buying & Renting 80
Benefits & Discounts 100
Cost of Living 91
Fitting In 97
Entertainment & Amenities 100
Healthcare 89
Infrastructure 84
Climate 85
Panama Canal

#3 Mexico – 87.6

El Castillo (The Kukulkan Temple) of Chichen Itza, mayan pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico Buying & Renting 80
Benefits & Discounts 80
Cost of Living 90
Fitting In 95
Entertainment & Amenities 97
Healthcare 84
Infrastructure 85
Climate 89
Chichen Itza, Mexico

#4 Malaysia – 86.8

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia Buying & Renting 81
Benefits & Discounts 66
Cost of Living 90
Fitting In 97
Entertainment & Amenities 96
Healthcare 94
Infrastructure 95
Climate 76
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

#5 Costa Rica – 86.6

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica Buying & Renting 84
Benefits & Discounts 76
Cost of Living 90
Fitting In 97
Entertainment & Amenities 97
Healthcare 89
Infrastructure 82
Climate 78
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

#6 Spain – 86.1

Leon bridge in the Spanish Square (Plaza de Espana), Sevilla, Spain Buying & Renting 84
Benefits & Discounts 70
Cost of Living 89
Fitting In 84
Entertainment & Amenities 93
Healthcare 87
Infrastructure 100
Climate 83
Sevilla, Spain

#7 Malta – 86.1

Buying & Renting 78
Benefits & Discounts 84
Cost of Living 87
Fitting In 100
Entertainment & Amenities 78
Healthcare 86
Infrastructure 93
Climate 82
St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta in Malta

#8 Colombia – 85.4

San Agustin, Colombia Buying & Renting 84
Benefits & Discounts 68
Cost of Living 90
Fitting In 82
Entertainment & Amenities 91
Healthcare 88
Infrastructure 85
Climate 95
San Agustin, Colombia

#9 Portugal – 84.8

Lisbon cityscape, Portugal Buying & Renting 79
Benefits & Discounts 74
Cost of Living 90
Fitting In 86
Entertainment & Amenities 88
Healthcare 81
Infrastructure 98
Climate 82
Lisbon, Portugal

#10 Thailand – 84.6

Phanom Rung, Thailand Buying & Renting 76
Benefits & Discounts 68
Cost of Living 92
Fitting In 94
Entertainment & Amenities 100
Healthcare 89
Infrastructure 79
Climate 79
Phanom Rung, Thailand

Who Rounds Out the Top 25?

International Living Magazine's 2015 The World's Best Places to Retire.

Source: International Living Magazine’s 2015 Global Retirement Index – The World’s Best Places to Retire.

Best Countries to Retire: BBC Capital & The Telegraph

UK newspaper, The Telegraph, also released its own ranking, which surprisingly does not match International Living’s annual index.

In the UK publication’s list, Malta, Portugal and Spain took gold, silver and bronze as best places to retire. These Mediterranean locations were followed by Barbados, the USA, Australia, Thailand, Jamaica, Morocco and Greece, all countries (except for Thailand) that failed to make IL’s top 25.

On the other hand, BBC Capital listed their top destinations, all of which appear in IL’s annual index. Their unranked suggestions of best countries to retire in include Panama, Thailand, Malta, Belize, France Portugal and Malaysia.

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