August 10, 2010 / 4:17 PM / 9 years ago

Europeans opt for sun and sangria retirement

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Sun, sea and sangria come top of the list for European pensioners seeking to relocate for retirement, a new survey showed on Tuesday.

A couple kiss at a restaurant in Torremolinos, near Malaga, in the Costa del Sol, southern Spain, May 26, 2007. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The survey by employee management consulting firm Aon Corporation found that one in four Europeans wishing to retire abroad would like to move to Spain, followed by France, Italy and the United States.

“I imagine it must have something to do with the weather,” Peter Abelskamp, director of health and benefits EMEA at Aon Consulting, told Reuters.

Less than half of the British workers questioned wished to spend their retirement years in their home country, in contrast with 87 percent of Spaniards.

Most French workers were content to stay in France after retiring, unlike German respondents, of whom only 46 percent wished to carry on living in Germany.

“Cheap air travel and the communication tools available over the internet means that retiring overseas doesn’t necessarily mean being completely absent from your family’s life,” said Oliver Rowlands, head of retirement for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Aon Consulting in a statement.

Over 7,500 workers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Britain were polled for the study.

Retirement emigration could force some governments to rethink social policies and healthcare budgets to deal with the needs of a large aging population, Aon said in the statement alongside its survey results.

Top Ten Foreign Retirement Destinations for Europeans

1) Spain

2) France

3) USA

4) Italy

5) Australasia

6) Africa

7) Switzerland

8) Latin America

9) United Kingdom

10) The Netherlands

Percentage of those wishing to retire in their home country

Spain 86.8

France 81.1

Denmark 73.6

Norway 63.4

The Netherlands 61.4

Switzerland 53

Ireland 49

Germany 45.9

Reporting by Isabel Coles, editing by Paul Casciato

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