Homeward bound - coming home?

Homeward bound - coming home?

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One third of Brits living abroad don't plan on staying away forever, so why come back?

A study by Natwest in 2015 found that just one third of Brits living overseas expected to stay there forever. Most pensioners plan to enjoy their new life in the sun while their health remains good and plan to return to the UK – and the safety net of the NHS - when they may need more support. The outcome of the Brexit process may accelerate these plans for some, as many expats fear they may lose their access to healthcare and index-linked UK state pensions when Britain leaves the EU.

Missing home

A study by the Royal British Legion highlighted that expats are likely to struggle in care homes abroad when they have lived within a close expat community and not learned the language. Even for those fully integrated into their surroundings, it is worth considering a recent report by the Alzheimer’s Society which showed that around 80% of current care home residents in the UK have dementia or significant memory problems and a second language may pose an additional challenge. There are also issues concerning accessibility for regular family contact – the time and cost to of regular flights may limit the number of visits.

Think ahead

It is vital that pensioners consider the issues and plan ahead; aside from the practical and financial considerations, care homes may have waiting lists of varying duration. Furthermore, many people have found that the difference in property values overseas means that they are unable to purchase a new one in the UK on their return. Setting realistic expectations and understanding the importance of planning ahead will smooth the transition when returning to the UK.

Bring your money back

Another important aspect is the repatriation of funds. When selling up to return to the UK, an international money transfer converts the funds in currency from the sale to sterling. Working with a specialist such as moneycorp will give you great rates, specialist support and low transfer fees. If you’re repatriating the funds from the sale of a property, achieving more competitive rates could make a significant difference to the total in received in sterling to invest in a UK property or residential care. Moneycorp also offer a ‘forward contract’ which can help to protect against subsequent exchange rate movements (a forward contract may require a deposit). This secures an exchange rate for up to two years, removing any uncertainty caused by the volatile foreign exchange market. This allows you to have a clear plan and budget in place when the need arises or the time comes to return to the UK.  

 

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