Requirements for retiring in Europe

Old Feb 9th, 2011, 10:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 304
Requirements for retiring in Europe

Just throwing this question out there to see what happens. My husband thinks I am totally obsessed with Europe and he's probably right, what can I say, its true

We are mid 40's at the moment, and just wondering what our chances are of being able to retire somewhere in Europe.
Me - I have the right of entitlement to abode in Uk, as my mother was Scottish.
He - was born in the UK, left as a child, but I assume he is entitled to a UK passport.

Any ideas????
nz101 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2011, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Probably a good idea to read one of many books on moving to Europe - France, or whatever.

Some of the things you should consider - where will you be resident for tax purposes? Lots of financial issues around this depending on where you go, where you are coming from.

Connected with this - inheritance issues, which in France at least are very different from Anglo Saxon countries.

Do you speak the language of wherever you want to be - really useful if you're not in the UK.

Will you have health coverage? France, for instance now requires European passport holders to have their own coverage, if they are not working, for at least 5 years. At retirement age you can then have coverage from the country you worked in - if you havent worked in Europe you may not be eligible for this.

Basically no one wants to take the risk that you will need to be on welfare or require health coverage when you havent contributed to the system.

Just some of the many practical issues. 'Somewhere in Europe' is not very specific, and you'll need to investigate each individual country to check out its requirements. We came 16 years ago with dual British/Canadian citizenship, and thought we had prepared, but only discovered when we were in France some of the things we hadn't thought to ask. So far it's all worked out for us, but you really do need to do your homework and do lots of research.
Carlux is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:17 AM
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The first thing to consider is that there aren't a single set of rules for "Europe", each country has it's own rules for residency.

However having a UK passport puts you WAY ahead of the game as it means you can live and work anywhere within the EEA without the need for visas beforehand.

However each country still has rules for long term residency so you'd probably do a lot better looking at ex-pat websites.

BTW I'm surprised you only have a right of entitlement to live in the UK. I know UK citizenship rules have changed a lot but I would have thought that you would be entitled to British citizenship by descent.
alanRow is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I'm assuming by "Europe" you mean Western Europe, and you're not interested in a life of retired bliss in the Crimea.

Your husband is almost certainly British. Any other nationalities he might have acquired later in life are irrelevant: if he's British, he has an absolute right to live, work and draw the social benefits any other British citizen who's not lived in Europe for a while is entitled to - anywhere in the EU, Norway, Iceland and (though restricted) Switzerland.

You're probably not British. As long as you're living with him, you get most of your husband's EU rights. Your right of abode in the UK DOESN'T give you, in your own right, any rights outside the UK, except those of any other NZ citizen: you'll need to acquire full-blown UK (or other EU) citizenship for that, if you want to insure yourself against the (let's hope unlikely) possibility that you're no longer together at some point in the future. That, almost always, requires among other things, a significant period of full-time, legal, residence in the country you want citizenship of

Little of that, except the definition of the EU (it MIGHT expand to include Croatia or Turkey, for example) is likely to change much in the next two decades, though as Carlux hints the climate for offering social benefits to people who've not contributed to social funds in the country they're retiring to is getting tighter all the time, and will almost inevitably tighten further. Your husband's rights to be treated as a citizen of any EU country, and his right to take you with him, are hard-wired by treaty: your rights of abode in the UK, though, are open to modification at any time - and there's a general move to restrict these "inherited" quasi-citizenship privileges throughout Europe.

So the legalities are pretty straightforward (though check). It's the practicalities that are likely to trip you up. Not just pensions, property prices and the like, but the psychological stuff. NZers tend to have an extraordinarily high sense of enfranchisement: always knowing your next door neighbour but one used to share a flat with the prime minister's sister gives them a sense of belonging, and access to decisions, they can never find anywhere else - not even Ireland, the country NZ in many ways most resembles.

It's easy to find out whether you can legally live and draw a pension in St Andrews or Catania: finding out whether full-time life, for ever, will suit you there needs s very great deal more investigation, on the ground, for significant periods of time. FWIW, NZers I know - even with full UK citizenship, lengthy UK education, almost monthly intercontinental commuting and extensive, outstandingly well-connected, UK social circles - keep on deciding Europe just isn't home any more.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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" I would have thought that you would be entitled to British citizenship by descent"

Through her mother only, if born mid-60s outside the UK?

Thought maternal transmission only applies post 1980-ish?

Obviously needs checking, of course. Easiest place to start:
flanneruk is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi nz,

>Requirements for retiring in Europe <

Lots and lots of money.

ira is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 06:26 AM
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LOL, Ira...for sure and that's just to LIVE there...quality? That's a whole other conversation.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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BTW, for the UK, bear in mind that a great many financial entitlements, such as social security (and possibly full NHS benefits) depend on prior residence, rather than just citizenship. Citizenship will get you in, it won't get you subsidized, until you've been in residence for some time. One more set of things to check, I'm afraid.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Requirements are by country not the whole EU. The simplest ones are temporary resident permits that one can apply for after purchasing property. Being an UK subject should make the process easier.
hkto is offline  
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