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For many Britons, living abroad is part of the retirement dream. Some have already made new lives working on a different continent and want to retire closer to home without returning to the UK. Even those who have never been an expatriate may want to escape the long British winters for a place in the sun in retirement.

With its temperate climate, relaxed lifestyle and proximity to home, it is no surprise that Southern Europe is a popular choice. Even with Brexit around the corner, there is little reason for that to change.

However, careful and early planning is essential to secure the best location for you, put appropriate arrangements in place and make the most of available opportunities.

Returning from the Middle or Far East

If you’re a British expatriate living and working in the Middle or Far East, it’s particularly important to consider your next steps, even if you’re years away from retirement.

Retiring where you are may not be an option, particularly in places like Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where work visas expire at 60 or 65. With no pensioner visas available and a limited time in which to leave the country, you’ll need to act quickly once you approach this age. For other expatriates in the region, retiring closer to home is something they’ve always planned to do.

Whatever your reasons for returning to Europe, you’ll need to be aware of the tax and financial implications. By taking specialist cross-border advice now, you can take steps to make your move as seamless and tax-efficient as possible, wherever you go.

Tax considerations

Living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, elsewhere in the UAE, or in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, you’re subject to minimal taxation. The same is true in Hong Kong, Singapore and other parts of the Far East.

You’ll need to be prepared for higher tax rates when you return to Europe. However, there are opportunities to limit your exposure and take advantage of tax-efficient arrangements in your new country. What you do before you move can make a real difference to your tax position, so it’s crucial to seek advice early.

How we can help

Blevins Franks has been providing international tax and wealth management advice to British nationals living in Europe for over 40 years. With local offices throughout France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Monaco and the UK, we offer cross-border expertise on tax, estate planning, pensions and investment management.

Whether you’re planning on moving to Mediterranean Europe or returning to the UK after living abroad, speak to us before you move. We can help you put in place the most suitable tax planning arrangements for your new home, tailor-made for you.

Already decided where you want to move to? Take a look at the relevant country page:   

France   Monaco   Spain   Gibraltar   Portugal   Cyprus   Malta   UK

Not sure where you want to relocate to? Contact us to discuss your options

Retiring to Europe guidebook

Our full-colour, 276-page book ‘Retiring to Europe’ considers the pros and cons of the popular locations for UK nationals. It examines in detail climate, lifestyle, language, travel connections, the affordability of property, access to healthcare and the tax, pension and other financial implications of residency in ten European countries. 

It focuses on the areas of Southern Europe that Britons prefer to retire to: France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Croatia. It also looks at the UK as a retirement option. 

Download or order your copy now