Brexit neednt wreck plans for a sunny retirement

Brexit or no Brexit, a large contingency of Britons, including former emergency service personnel, will retire to Europe in 2017, attracted by the warmer climate, cheaper living costs and laid-back beach lifestyle.

Regardless of whether British expats retain any of the rights they have now as EU citizens once Brexit occurs, they will continue to be welcomed to hot spots, such as the Spanish Costas, Portugal's Algarve or France's Dordogne.
Getting residency in an EU country may involve a little more paperwork, and the reciprocal agreement to free healthcare for pensioners in EU Member States may disappear. But that shouldn't be enough to deter Britons retiring somewhere sunny.
"Thousands of non-EU citizens move successfully to Europe each year, from countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Australia, America, South Africa, the Far East and Middle East," said Elaine Ferguson, head of the Resource Team at "In Spain, for example, these people manage comfortably within the local healthcare system, whether private or state. In areas with a high proportion of international residents, infrastructure and public services are geared up to accommodate foreign residents from all over the world, not just from the EU."
The appeal of retiring to Europe is increased by low property prices, which remain comparatively cheap in 2017 compared to the UK. For example, in the popular areas of Spain's southern Costa Blanca, a quality two-bedroom apartment within walking distance of the beach could be yours for comfortably less than €100,000, an amount that would bag you a character detached cottage in parts of rural France, such as Poitou-Charente or Limousin.
One observation is that a number of Britons are speeding up their plans to retire abroad, preferring to have made the move before Brexit has officially kicked in, namely two years from the triggering of Article 50. This should increase their chances of claiming the continuation of their EU rights as 'acquired rights' even after Brexit. But, unsurprisingly, the validity and likelihood of this is still an unknown.
Anyone pressing ahead with retirement plans in the EU, shouldn't cut corners when searching for a property. Once you have a clear idea of budget and ongoing living costs, things to consider when choosing a resort include seasonality, access to medical care and amenities, and flight options to the UK (for visiting family and friends).
Once you begin viewing properties in an area, don't feel pressured into sticking with one estate agent and allowing them to control your time there. A good agent will offer to find you a hotel, drive you around, even take you to dinner, but equally will be happy to leave you to your devices.
Once you find a property during your viewing trip, put in place as many of those things needed for completion as possible before flying back to the UK. In Spain, for example, it's not unusual for buyers to have appointed power of attorney to a local lawyer, opened a local bank account and acquired their tax identification number (NIE) before returning home.
Finally, be able to transfer currency at short notice by opening an account with a currency transfer specialist. "It's not uncommon for our clients who are buying abroad to find their ideal home during their first viewing trip and have to pay a reservation deposit before flying back to the UK," said FCA-authorised Smart Currency Exchange. "In the weeks after, they'll then need to pay typically a 10 per cent deposit and the final balance on completion day. Using our service for all of these transfers will ensure you get a competitive exchange rate and your foreign currency is delivered fast and safely to the appropriate foreign bank account. This point is especially important given how turbulent currency markets could become when Brexit happens."

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