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Moving abroad or returning to the UK to live

Moving abroad

Many people dream of moving abroad after they retire. However, moving abroad is a big step, and there are lots of things you should consider first, especially when it comes to your finances. Visit the GOV.UK website for further information on the following:

Advice about living abroad

Find out about paying tax if you live abroad

If you wish to keep your right to vote, register your move with the UK Electoral Commission

Returning to the UK to live

Even though you may love living overseas, you may eventually decide to move back to the UK. In the time you’ve been away there may be changes in the UK you need to prepare for. If you’re a British national, you’ll be able to return to the UK to live, but it could take a few months to re-establish your rights to services such as benefits and housing.

Before you decide to return to the UK permanently, think about these questions:

  • Will you still get the income you receive at present when you return to the UK?
  • How do prices and costs compare between countries?
  • How will exchange rates and inflation affect your pension and income?
  • Can you transfer income and assets to the UK?
  • Will your insurance policies remain valid or will you need new ones? (for example, private medical insurance, life insurance).
  • Do you require care? It can be difficult to organise care from abroad, as to receive social care services from a local authority’s social services department you must be able to show that you are ‘ordinarily resident’ in a particular area in the UK. A local authority only has a duty to assess you once you are present in person, plus they may not necessarily have a duty to provide long-term care services following this assessment. Because of the uncertainties of establishing your rights to long-term care, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

Our factsheet has further information on this topic:

Factsheet 25 Returning from abroad


Last updated: May 21 2019

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