Countries where it’s cheaper to live than the UK: how to earn £700 more and live in the sun by retiring in Spain

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If you write down your dreams of retiring abroad, you should go for it Spain at the top of your list.

Living in Spain costs over £700 less a year than in the UK – and that’s not counting the bountiful sunshine and delicious food.

Spain has been crowned the most affordable country to live in for British expats in a report by foreign property expert Property Guides.

The study found that everyday expenses, including groceries, healthcare, travel and leisure, currently cost a total of £1,996 a year in the UK, but just £1,295 in Spain.

This means you can enjoy the same standard of living in the Mediterranean country for 35% less than in the UK, leaving you with £701 a year to spend on yourself.

Even great British products like English breakfast tea bags can be bought in Spain for less than they cost on the shelves in the UK.

Among the most popular countries for Brits, Italy ranks second cheapest, with prices £544 per year lower than the UK.

According to the report, of the 13 expat hotspots around the world analyzed by Property Guides, only two countries are more expensive to live in.

Australia and New Zealand require a bigger budget (£166 and £311 more respectively) if you want to maintain the same lifestyle.

However, France, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Cyprus – and even the US – are all more affordable.

The results are perhaps no surprise after 18 months of high inflation in the country.

In the UK, annual price rises slowed to their lowest level in more than two years late last year, at 4% in December, but the cost of living there continues to rise faster than in most other developed countries.

By comparison, inflation in the euro zone fell to 2.9 percent in the year ended December.

Christopher Nye, of Property Guides, said: “It seems increasingly difficult to make ends meet in the UK, and more Brits are considering moving abroad for a more affordable, more affordable lifestyle. warm and more exciting. »

So how do prices compare and how easy is it to move if you dream of retiring abroad?

If you're writing down your dreams of retiring abroad, you should put Spain at the top of your list.  Above: Calella de Palafrugell in Spain

If you’re writing down your dreams of retiring abroad, you should put Spain at the top of your list. Above: Calella de Palafrugell in Spain

Living in Spain

With the promise of 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, it’s no wonder millions of people have swapped the rainy weather of Britain for the warmer climate of Spain.

The country has a large expat community of more than 103,000 people receiving the British State Pension in Spain in 2020, according to the latest official data available.

And it’s a financially smart move, as your retirement savings pot will stretch much further afield than just the UK.

The average weekly shop – a basket of 17 common groceries, such as bread, fish and eggs – costs £27.76 less in a Spanish supermarket than on a British high street.

The same items in the UK would cost you almost 53% more, at £79.99 compared to £52.23, according to property guides.

Spanish supermarket prices are considerably cheaper for Spanish food staples.

Alcohol also tends to be much cheaper: the report says a bottle of gin would cost you £9.44 in Spain, compared to £25 in the UK.

The cost of travel, including gas, train tickets, and car rental, is also much cheaper.

Renting a small car in Spain for a week (without insurance or extras) costs £73, compared to £238 in the UK, according to the report.

When it comes to enjoying local cuisine, such as a traditional paella with fruity sangria, a three-course meal at a local restaurant will cost just £15 in Spain, which is £10 less than in the UK. United.

Likewise, a cinema ticket would only cost you £7, less than half the price in the UK.

Among the most popular countries for Brits, Italy ranks second cheapest, with prices £544 per year lower than the UK.  Above: Cirie in Italy, the second cheapest country

Among the most popular countries for Brits, Italy ranks second cheapest, with prices £544 per year lower than the UK. Above: Cirie in Italy, the second cheapest country

Live in France

The country is a favorite among British expats, whether you dream of a castle in a provincial village, a villa on the Mediterranean coast or a chalet in the mountains.

Although life there is not as cheap as in Spain, it is still around 7% cheaper than in the UK, according to Property Guides.

France ranks fifth most affordable when it comes to groceries, with £67.79 for a basket of essentials and a few luxury items, including a bottle of gin and a bar of dark chocolate. Fresh produce is significantly cheaper in season, according to the report.

Wine lovers will be in for a treat: a bottle of house wine at a local mid-range restaurant costs just £13 in France, compared to £20 in the UK.

Electricity in France is also significantly cheaper than in the UK, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal – with average weekly consumption being less than half that in the UK.

Anyone seeking sun in the Netherlands will need a bigger budget to make their retirement a success, as costs tend to be higher than in the UK.

Anyone seeking sun in the Netherlands will need a bigger budget to make their retirement a success, as costs tend to be higher than in the UK.

…but Down Under will cost more

Anyone seeking sun in the West Indies will need a bigger budget to make their retirement a success, as costs tend to be higher than in the UK.

Food, healthcare, furnishing your home, restaurants and car rentals cost more in Australia and New Zealand, according to Property Guides.

The average basket costs £13.14 more per week in Australia, while treating yourself to a three-course meal at a mid-range local restaurant (drinks not included) will cost you £6.40 more, or £31. £35, compared to Great Britain.

You’d save money on fuel: 50 liters of unleaded petrol costs 40% less in Australia than in the UK, or £46.50 compared to £77.

However, these savings are not enough to offset other higher costs, the report finds. It would cost you an extra £166 a year to fund your lifestyle in Australia.

And that’s before you factor in the state pension penalty. Anyone hoping to settle there should be aware that their British state pension will be frozen upon arrival in Australia.

In the UK, the state pension increases each year by the higher of wage growth, inflation or 2.5 per cent, under a policy called the triple lock. But unlike many European countries, this does not apply to those overseas in Australia.

State pensions for UK retirees are also frozen for those living in New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

More than 480,000 pensioners living abroad have received no state pension increase each year as of March 2022, official figures show. In total, 84 percent of them lived in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

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