Millions of over 50s have planned to relocate in retirement, whether it's to move closer to family and friends, pursue a better quality of life or emigrating abroad.
Some three million (12 per cent) people aged over 50 in the UK planned to relocate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to 2021 research by Legal and General.
There has been an ever-increasing demand for inquiries surrounding moving abroad in retirement, with searches for “best country to retire to from the UK” having increased by 94.1 per cent in the last 12 months.
From living close to loved ones to the cost of living there, there will be a lot of considerations when it comes to choosing where one moves overseas.
Croatia had the highest score of 70.55 per cent
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Digital pensions provider Penfold has analysed multiple factors, such as the cost of living, exchange rate and average flight cost, to rank the top 15 countries to retire in.
Croatia had the highest score of 70.55 per cent, while Spain came in second place with a score of 61.67 per cent.
Full list of best countries to retire in 2023
Croatia – 70.55 per cent
Spain – 61.67 per cent
Republic of Ireland – 60 per cent
Italy – 58.89 per cent
Greece – 58.30 per cent
France – 57.80 per cent
UAE (Dubai) – 55.60 per cent
Canada – 54.40 per cent
Australia – 54.40 per cent
New Zealand – 53.33 per cent
Cyprus – 53.33 per cent
Thailand – 52.78 per cent
Philippines – 48.30 per cent
South Africa – 45.56 per cent
US – 38.89 per cent
Penfold said the top benefits of moving to Croatia in retirement included the exchange rate. The cost of living, including rent, was also branded “exceedingly attractive” compared to living in the UK.
Croatia scores 28.47 on the Cost of Living Index, compared to the UK’s 46.42, meaning that rent costs and the prices of day-to-day living are nearly half of that of living in the UK, the analysis showed.
Spain is also a popular country that UK expats opt to retire in, with cheap flight costs and a relatively short flight time often appealing to expats.
The country also ranks highly in happiness surveys, and, with a score of 83 out of 100 on the World Safety Index, is considered one of the safest countries in the world to settle in.
The Republic of Ireland took third place, and while it may lack a warmer climate, the country is close to the UK and has “phenomenal” healthcare and bountiful green spaces.
Spain is also a popular country that UK expats opt to retire in, coming second in the analysis
To relocate to Ireland, pensioners will only require the equivalent of €7,000 in their bank accounts, Penfold said.
Chris Eastwood, Penfold co-founder, said: “While many people who retire overseas worry whether they will be able to access their state pension, it is possible to claim state pension abroad if you’ve paid enough UK National Insurance contributions and are within four months of your state pension age.
“Personal or workplace pensions can be paid to you wherever you live and you’ll be entitled to any scheduled annual increases in the same way as if you were living in the UK.
“Before moving abroad, it is important to figure out what pension scheme and provider is best for you as some providers may only be able to pay into a UK bank account, so be wary of providers who will apply extra charges.”
Before moving abroad, it’s important to check whether one’s state pension will be affected, as an estimated half a million pensioners do not see the payment rise each year.