Are you dreaming of retiring abroad? It’s never too early to start planning.

Have you started thinking about where to enjoy your well-deserved retirement years? Is moving overseas a possibility?

Living abroad has many attractions, not least the quality of life in a warmer climate. But there are potential pitfalls to work around, particularly unfamiliar local bureaucracy and a foreign tax system.

In particular, you should research and consider the following:


Tax regimes in other countries are generally very different from the UK’s. The earlier you familiarise yourself with the tax system the better, both to calculate how much it will cost you and to make sure you do not miss out on tax planning opportunities. Note that tax-efficient arrangements in the UK are not usually tax efficient in other countries.

Implications for your UK pension funds

After working hard to build up your pension funds, you need to carefully weigh up your options on retirement to establish which would work best for you.  This includes understanding the tax implications in your new county and taking them into account. Expatriates also have the option of moving pensions out of the UK into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

Estate planning

It is also important to understand how the local succession regime could affect your family. Countries like France and Spain, for example, impose high succession (inheritance) taxes in some cases.  Also, many countries have strict ‘forced heirship’ laws, restricting how you divide up your estate.

Investment capital

It is also a good idea to review your savings and investments as they may need to be adjusted to suit your new life abroad and retired status.  For example, you may want to think about holding some capital in the local currency and re-assessing your risk profile.

Specialist advice for moving abroad

Blevins Franks can help with all these issues.  For decades now, we have specialised in advising UK nationals moving to and living in Southern Europe and have a network of offices across Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta as well as our UK head office.

Our key services are:


Blevins Franks has a deep understanding of the financial planning needs of British expatriates in these countries, and the local tax and succession regimes.  Our advisers can talk you through all the various aspects you need to be aware of and plan for and discuss solutions to protect your wealth, for yourself and your heirs.

It is never too early to start planning.  Get in touch with Blevins Franks to ask your questions or for personalised advice.

You can call us on 0207 389 8144, email us or contact us through our enquiry form.