One Brit relocates to Tenerife every eleven hours

One Brit relocates to Tenerife every eleven hours

The world has gone mad.  Newspapers spell out doom and gloom with every headline, and turning on the telly has become positively depressing.  Its no wonder that so many people continue to make the move abroad, and the recession is encouraging even more to make the move.  One Briton now leaves the country every 3 minutes to join the 5.5 million already living abroad.  If the figures boil down equally, that means that one British person comes to Tenerife every eleven hours. 

2008 has seen all sorts of studies and surveys to chart the emigration trend, and try to understand it.  People move for all sorts of reasons and at every stage of life, but perhaps the biggest group are those who retire to another country. 

Perhaps the most compulsive reason to leave is the cost of living compared to the cost of earnings, or pensions in the case of retirees.  Age Concern UK reports that there are 2 million older Britons living on or below the poverty line.  When AXA, the UK insurance firm, asked pre-retirees to try to survive on the state pension, they found that the participants overspent by 158%, and that 74% believed that they would still require credit after retirement.  These are frightening results for those in their fifties, and hardly a surprise for those who have already retired.
The worry about retirement is creating a feeling of despair amongst many who are facing retirement.  Crashing stock markets and property price drops have decimated the nest eggs that many of us thought we had.  Britain only came 37th in a survey by International Living Magazine, who ranked each country in a variety of subjects including cost of living, leisure, economy, freedom, infrastructure, health and safety.  Staying in the UK for retirees is a fairly grim prospect.  According to the Daily Mail, “People are emigrating because of a sense of hopelessness… nothing is ever done about the big problems like education, health care and crime.  There is a growing sense that politicians will never deal with the problems.  There is a lot of talk, then people pay more tax and get less back for it.”
Social issues are moving higher up in people’s priorities.  Home Office crime figures show that only 9.7% of ‘serious woundings’, including stabbings, that are reported to the police result in a conviction, the figure is 8.9% for robberies and 5.5% for rape. The Institute of Public Policy Research tells us that 27% of British teenagers are regularly drunk and that 44% of British teenagers have been involved in a fight in the last year.
It is hardly surprising that so many people are choosing to move abroad.  By 2050 the UK will be paying out £6.5 billion in benefits and £1.3 billion in healthcare costs to UK pensioners overseas. NatWest International Personal Banking division conducted a survey of British expats in conjunction with the Centre for Future Studies, and their Quality of Life Report echoes the sentiments of many who have already made the move to Tenerife:

Thirty seven per cent of expats questioned stated that they had moved overseas to find a better quality of life.  For 26%, the standard of living was the deciding factor and 20% opted to move because of the cost of living.  While 92% of respondents said they enjoy a better quality of life than in the UK, 63% actually feel more “at home” abroad and have no plans to return to the UK.  For 87%, life overseas has exceeded expectations and 91% say they are happier having made the move than when they were when living in the UK.

Survey results just released by Barclays asked Brits what their main motivation would be to buy abroad, 35.6% said that retirement was the biggest single thing driving them overseas, while 31.4% were after a holiday home and 25.4% were looking to invest purely for capital gains. Bad weather, a lower quality of life and an expensive cost of living were all listed as reasons for choosing an overseas property for the above reasons instead of the UK. Brits aged 16 – 24 were found to be the most likely to consider buying abroad in the next 12 months.

According to the overall findings of this comprehensive survey, the number of people who will retire abroad is likely to rise to 1.8 million in 2025 and 3.3 million by 2050.  And there are many surveys and reports that would agree with this figure.  According to research by insurance broker, RIAS, over 400,000 Britons in the over-50 age bracket are planning to retire overseas.  The credit crisis and economic uncertainty have added more reasons to move, especially for those who remember the recession of the early 1990s, when unemployment topped three million. 
Despite the uncertain outlook for sterling and the risk of income being inhibited by further rises in the value of the euro, Spain is the most popular destination for potential ex-pats and Tenerife heads the list as the most popular area of Spain for new enquiries about property.