The attraction of retiring to Spain for Britons has been lost following the start of Brexit, says a new study.
The historic vote to leave the European Union and doubts triggered over the status of expats once Brexit is finalised has led to a flood of inquiries about moving into British care homes and retirement villages.
And one care chain has seen registrations surge by 300% since the referendum in June 2016.
At the same time, the number of Britons considering a move to Spain has plummeted, according to a survey by retirement care and housing provider Anchor.
Researchers found 45% of over 50s asked about their retirement plans are unlikely to move overseas, while 41% who had already decided to move to Spain, France and other EU countries had changed their minds and now intended to remain in the UK.
Retiring in Britain
The main factors fuelling their decisions were wanting to stay near friends and family, fears about the lack of healthcare abroad and the hassle of travelling.
“Our research shows that people thinking about retirement want to feel stable and safe in older age,” said Anchor CEO Jane Ashcroft.
“With so much uncertainty around Brexit deterring people from retiring abroad, we’ve seen a huge surge of interest from people wanting to retire in Britain.”
Ashcroft also revealed that property inquiries to her company were up a massive 641% between the referendum and the end of March, compared with the same period a year earlier, while the number of people signing up for a place doubled.
Spain loses attraction after Brexit vote
Spain has taken top place as the favourite foreign retirement destination for Brits for many years.
More than 300,000 Brits live in Spain, and a third are over state pension age, according to the UK Office of National Statistics
Although only 23% are worried about the outcome of Brexit talks, two-thirds just want a stable and trouble free place to live with easy access to healthcare and travel back to the UK.
The Anchor survey found that 63% of Spanish expats fear losing free healthcare after Brexit and one in four are concerned about securing a place in a care home.