Money latest: Easiest countries for Britons to retire to revealed (2024)

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  • Grocery inflation at lowest level since October 2021, industry data suggests
  • Good news for drivers as oil prices hit two-month low
  • Travel sites with highest percentage of scam-related reviews - with Airbnb top
  • Two big moments this week - here's what's happening
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  • Easiest countries for Britons to retire
  • Britons should treat tea more like wine, expert says - as some secrets of improving flavour revealed
  • Money Problem: 'My second-hand Ford is being written off with a known issue - but no one is taking responsibility'
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The easiest countries for Britons to retire

For many Britons, retirement means moving somewhere new.

New analysis from relocation experts Property Guides has found the easiest locations for retirees, taking into account culture, visa requirements, cost and more.

Landing in the number one spot is Ireland, with a lack of visa requirements, English-speaking residents and relatively "safe and happy" environment.

Spain, Portugal and Cyprus claim the next three spots on the list.

However, Spain is high on the minimum annual income requirement.

"Spain's is one of the most expensive. It is currently around €27,000 (£23,000) per year for the first applicant. Just over the border inPortugal, it is less than €8,500 per year.Turkey'sis the cheapest, working out at a little over £5,000, while Italy requires over €30,000," Property Guides says.

Turkey also came out well for the low cost of living - unlike New Zealand.

European countries in general offer visas aimed specifically at those receiving pensions or investment incomes, according to Property Guides.

Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada, however, actively restrict those over 55 from moving there, even if they have a high passive income (income such as pensions, that doesn't require a job).

It becomes easier if retirees have children who are already legal residents.

"Golden visas", which encourage wealthy people to invest in a country, are becoming less common.

"Most countries are now cancelling their residential investment option, includingCyprusandPortugal, andSpainwill soon be closing its own. However, for now, you can still get one inSpain,GreeceandTurkey, for as little as a €250,000 property, and these we have judged the easiest to retire to."

Property Guides also looked at health services. They took rankings from a LegatumProsperity Index.

"Top scorers wereGermany, ItalyandFrance, in that order. Bottom of the pile was theUSA."

The research noted that state pensions are not uprated for retirees in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

It also factored in "sunshine hours", with the top three being Cyprus, Portugal and the US. Ireland came last here.


Good news for drivers as oil prices hit two-month low

By Sarah Taaffe-Maguire, business reporter

Good news for motorists: oil prices are at a more than two-month low at $83.08 for a barrel of Brent crude oil.

Lower prices will likely filter down to the pumps in about 10 days.

But it's not such good news for those in the Brixham area.

The parent company of South West Water - who supplies the Devon area - said 15% don't have normal service.

Shares in Pennon Group, which also owns Bournemouth Water and Bristol Water, fell 6.7% after it reported flat pre-tax profit - £16.8m was recorded for the 2023-24 financial year, the same as 2022-23.

That's despite shareholders being in line for a higher payout of 44.37p a share.

Drug maker AstraZeneca is one of the best-performing stocks on the FTSE 100 index of most valuable London-listed companies today.

After it announced it aims to double revenues by 2030, the share price rose 0.53%.

If you're buying dollars, you can get $1.27 for your pound or €1.17.


Grocery inflation at lowest level since October 2021, industry data suggests

By James Sillars, business reporter

Grocery inflation has eased to its lowest level since October 2021, according to industry data released before official figures tipped to show a big dent in the overall pace of price increases in the economy.

Kantar Worldpanel - which tracks supermarket till prices, sales and market share - said its measure of grocery inflation slowed to 2.4% in the four weeks to 12 May from 3.2% the previous month.

The measure showed there is still upward pressure on the cost of items such as chilled fruit juices, drinks, sugar confectionery and chocolate confectionery - the latter a consequence of poor cocoa harvests.

Prices were still falling fastest in toilet tissues, butter and milk, the report said. It has previously pointed to wider assistance in falling costs from a price war among supermarkets.

Fraser McKevitt, Kantar's head of retail and consumer insight, said: "Grocery price inflation is gradually returning to what we would consider more normal levels. It's now sitting only 0.8 percentage points higher than the 10-year average of 1.6% between 2012 and 2021, which is just before prices began to climb.

"However, after nearly two and a half years of rapidly rising prices, it could take a bit longer for shoppers to unwind the habits they have learnt to help them manage the cost of living crisis."

Read more on this story below...


Travel sites with highest percentage of scam-related reviews

Airbnb has the highest percentage of scam-related reviews, according to new data.

8.5% of comments left on the holiday-let site warned about scams, travel payment website PayFasto said.

Trivago came in second with 7.5%, third with 6.5%, Myholidays in fourth with 6.1% and fifth with 5.8%.

PayFasto says it is essential to do your research before booking a holiday online.

"Sometimes, if a deal looks way too good to be true, it often is," the company said.

"Make sure you do research on the site and make sure they have legitimate ways to contact them if you were in the position where you needed to. If the site has no contact options, then this is certainly a red flag. "

It also warned holiday-goers to look for the ATOL (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) scheme on websites, which guarantees customers protection separate from insurance when booking a package holiday that includes a flight.

Sky News has contacted Airbnb for comment.


What is the FTSE?

Basically, the FTSE (short for Financial Times Stock Exchange) is an index of the 100 largestcompanies by market capitalisation listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The index, operated by a division of the London Stock Exchange Group, is often referred to by its nickname "Footsie" and was created in 1984.

Among the companies in it are BP,HSBC, Barclays, Glencore and AstraZeneca.

Figures are reviewed every quarter. At each review some companies will exit and others will enter. Promotion and relegation, just like in league football for example, depends on performance.

The value figure presented in the evening is the closing value of the FTSE 100 for that day - representing the combined value of the top 100 companies.

How to invest in FTSE 100

You can buy individual shares of FTSE 100 companies via a share dealing platform.

There is stamp duty of 0.5% to pay on UK share purchases.

Once you've bought shares, you will need to keep track of the markets. If the shares you buy go up in value, you'll make a profit when you sell them subject to any fees.

Losses are only crystallised if you sell below the purchase price.

Tracker funds (open-ended investment companies or exchange-traded funds)provide the easiest way of investing in the FTSE 100.

Trading hours are Monday to Friday from 8am- 4.30pm.


You may have read about the FTSE reaching record highs in recent weeks - but the London-based index is actually a relative laggard this year compared with rivals in the US, Japan and Germany.

Membership arguably doesn't hold the prestige it once did - and an increasing number of major companies are citing the fact they could be valued higher as a reason for snubbing London.

Shell last month indicted it could abandon the city for New York for this reason.

Is it the top British companies?

The index is chock-full of companies that have little or nothing to do with the UK - such as Fresnillo, a Mexican gold and silver miner; Antofa*gasta, a Chilean copper and gold miner; and Ashtead Group, a plant and tool hire company which derives £90 in every £100 it earns from the US.

Even companies thought of as British, such as BP, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Shell and Diageo, the world's biggest scotch whisky and tequila producer, derive the vast majority of their earnings outside the UK. In fact, of the 20 biggest companies in the Footsie, only one - the Lloyds Banking Group - can be said to make most of its income in the UK.

For a better gauge of how corporate Britain is doing, investors are better off looking at the FTSE 250, the next biggest 250 listed companies on the London Stock Exchange and home to household names such as Bellway, Games Workshop and ITV.

Read other entries in our Basically... series:


Britons paying £15.20 extra a month for broadband after April hikes - and most loyal customers worst hit

Britons will, on average, pay £182.40 more a year for broadband and £94.80 for mobile after last month's hikes, according to research by Uswitch.

Price hikes in April mean monthly broadband bills have increased by an average £15.20 and mobile bills by £7.90, with customers who have stayed with their provider for more than five years being hit hardest.

Mobile customers across both pay-monthly and SIM only contracts who have stayed with their provider for eight to nine years paid an extra £13.20 on their mobile bill last month - a huge rise in comparison with the national average price increase of £7.90, Uswitch reports.

Those who switched their provider less than one year ago were the best off, with their increases averaging out at £6.70.

Similarly, broadband customers who stayed with their provider for seven to eight years paid an extra £22.10 this month - significantly more than the national average price rise of £15.20.

Those who switched less than one year ago paid 23% lower than the national average.

This Uswitch chart illustrates the numbers...

"Customers seeing these price rises can still take action," says Sabrina Hoque, telecoms expert at Uswitch.

"Your provider will let you know when your contract is about to end, so don't be tempted to ignore these emails when they come through. Run a comparison or ring your provider up and negotiate a better deal."


Britons should treat tea more like wine, expert says - as some secrets of improving flavour revealed

We are a nation of tea drinkers – we drink around 100 million cups a day and 70% of us say we'd choose tea over alcohol.

But, on International Tea Day, experts have told Sky News that Britons should be treating tea more like wine.

One key thing not enough of us are doing is checking the back of the packet to see which country our tea is coming from.

Tea is grown in more than 60 countries, with the UK getting most of its supply from East Africa. All tea comes from the same plant – the Camellia sinensis – but where it is grown can really affect its flavour.

Let us know your tea tips, or how you make yours, in the comments section

"The black tea that we tend to drink here are blends, so you could have tea from seven different origins in one bag," the chief executive of theUK Tea and Infusions Association,Dr Sharon Hall, told the Money blog.

"You might have Kenyan tea in there for that really good colour but you might also have teas from Assam in there to give it that really malty flavour which we as consumers love in the UK.

"Depending on where that tea bush is grown, whether it's up high in the Himalayas or down low, the tea leaves off that will really have a different flavour profile. It's just like wines," she added.

If you look on the packet, it should tell you the origins of the tea you are consuming.

According to the Teabackyard website, the following regions have these flavour profiles...

Assam. Assam tea growsin tropical lowlands in the Assam region in India, near the Brahmaputra River. This produces a malty, chocolatey flavour.

Ceylon. Ceylon tea is cultivated in Sri Lanka. Some tea plants are grown at up to 6,000 feet. The flavour is said to be spicy, chocolatey, and citrusy.

Kenyan. Kenya's black tea plants grow in lush green plantations located in lowland regions. This tea is often used in tea blends to provide a robust base because it is strong and full-bodied. It is a tea that almost needs milk to tame down its "bite".

Keemun. Keemun tea is grown only in the Anhui province of China. Some in China claim this was the first breakfast tea - and it is now used in tea blends too. It is a lighter-bodied black tea with a more delicate taste and isn't usually used as a base tea. Hints of smoky maltiness come through in flavour, with a subtle floral aroma.

Two teabags?

Dr Hall said two teabags was quite typical of the UK's habits, with the majority of Britons preferring a strong brew.

Despite this, data from the UKTIA shows only 7% of people brew their tea for the optimal 3-4 minutes suggested by many black tea brands, and nearly a fifth only leave the bag in for less than a minute.

Dr Hall insists tea hasn't become weaker, so if you are using two tea bags, it might be time to check the packet to see what your recommended brew time is and giving that a go to get the "optimal flavour".

"Really in terms of the flavour you get out of those blends, they are very brand specific, like a stronger black tea you might find a brand that delivers that. But in terms of strength, that is really to do with brew time and how you prepare your tea," she explained,

She said that for green tea, she might brew the bag for slightly less time, but she likes to leave her black tea for a good five minutes.

If you are still struggling to make the perfect cup of tea, Dr Hall suggests a key ingredient could be how you boil your water.

One element that she emphasised in particular is using a "smart boil" system to make your tea – basically, measure out the amount of water you need and only boil that amount.

Not only does it save you money, it also means there is more oxygen in your water which "excites the flavours out of the leaves", meaning it could help to make your tea more flavourful, she said.

Your favourite mug, adding the milk after the water, and taking five minutes to relax are also key, she said.

UKTIA has released its latest UK "tea census" today - here are some of the key findings:

  • 70% of Britons are choosing tea over booze;
  • The age group most likely to choose a cuppa over alcohol are30-44-year-olds (81%);
  • 18-29-year-olds are more likely (72%) than 45-59-year-olds (64%) to pass up alcohol in favour of tea;
  • Sweet biscuits are the most popular snack pairing (48%), followed by a chocolate biscuit, cake, a sandwich and chocolate;
  • Britons' preferred types of tea are black tea (84%), green tea (60%), peppermint (46%), ginger (43%), chamomile (37%), lemon balm (22%) and spearmint (20%);
  • Around 40% of people say putting on the kettle helps to encourage someone to open up, according to the UKTIA.


HMRC 'employing people with AI with no human interview' | Ryanair profits - and fares - soar | Business flights in decline

HMRC is reportedly using AI to recruit staff, with some not speaking to a human until their first day.

The hiring process for some junior roles - including customer service adviser - are being done virtually with candidates asked to send a CV and 1,000-word statement to an email address and then answer six questions from a pre-recorded video, according to The Sunday Times.

One current HMRC employee who went through the process told the newspaper it was "so daft and the questions themselves were waffle".

HMRC said that for entry-level roles, recruitment processes were automated to manage the higher level of applicants it received.

Ryanair has reported another year of record profits and passenger numbers.

At the same time, the average fare at the airline, which is Europe's largest by passenger numbers, was 21% more expensive than 12 months earlier, its annual results showed.

But the company suggested a cut in ticket prices could be on the way after this summer when prices will either be the same or more expensive than last year.

Annual profits reached €1.92bn (£1.64bn), surpassing the previous record of €1.45bn (£1.26bn) made in the year ending March 2018.

Read the full story here...

Business flights to and from the UK have decreased by nearly a thirdsince the COVID pandemic.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and examined by the New Economics Foundationfound there were 29% fewer trips in 2023 than in 2019.

In total, businesses shelled out around £2.9bn less on air travel in 2023, a 22% decrease from four years earlier, according to City AM.

"Business use of air travel peaked in 2007 and has fallen further since the pandemic. Today, growth causes major damage to our climate while benefiting only a tiny group of airport owners and wealthy frequent flyers,"Alex Chapman, senior economist at the New Economics Foundation, told the newspaper.


Increase in over-50s looking to buy first home

The number of 56-65 year olds looking to buy their first home has grown by 13% in the first quarter of this year.

The average age of a first-time buyer is 33 - but 2.2% are now in the 56-65 age bracket.

This compares with 44.8% aged 18-30 and 35.6% aged 31-40, according to data from Legal & General.

Further analysis found the average loan searched for at the end of 2023 and beginning of 2024increased by 3.7% from £214,299 to £222,148, pointing to the fact buyers can afford larger loan values due to inflation dropping and monthly earning increasing.

Kevin Roberts, Legal & General Mortgage Services managing director, said: "Our figures show that the desire to own a home remains strong, even for those who are waiting longer to take those first steps onto the property ladder.

"As affordability begins to ease, we'll likely see further activity in the first-time buyer market, especially if inflation continues to fall and the Bank of England reduces its base rate later in the year."


BT delays switch from analogue landlines

BT Group has pushed back its timetable for moving all customers off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and onto digital landlines.

New digital landlines provide services using the internet and will replace 40-year-old analogue landline technology that has become increasingly fragile and difficult to fix.

It aims to allow all UK telecoms companies to offer consumers and businesses clearer and better quality phone calls, as well as new features such as anonymous caller rejection or three-way calling, according to the website.

When is the switch happening?

BT now says the switch is happening in stages.

From this summer, customers who have not used their landline in the last 12 months, who do not identify as vulnerable or have additional needs, have not contacted an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in the last 24 months and live in an area where a data sharing agreement is in place, will be switched - unless they have opted out.

Vulnerable customers or those with additional needs will start to be switched from summer 2025 with theaim to have all customers moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027.

Howard Watson, chief security and networks officer at BT Group, said: "Managing customer migrations from analogue to digital as quickly and smoothly as possible, while making the necessary provisions for those customers with additional needs, including telecare users, is critically important.

"We need all local authorities and telecare providers to share with us the phone lines where they know there's a telecare user."

Money latest: Easiest countries for Britons to retire to revealed (2024)


What is the easiest country to retire from the UK? ›

1. Spain. Many people from the UK choose to retire to Spain. It's got a lot to offer including, warm weather, a relaxed culture and a high standard of living.

What is the easiest European country for a US citizen to retire to? ›

Portugal. Besides being one of the easiest places to get a retirement visa, Portugal is also one of the cheapest countries to retire in. It is a popular destination among retirees who want a place with warm temperatures, a low cost of living, excellent healthcare, and high quality of life.

What is the cheapest and safest country to retire in? ›

Many countries offer excellent health care, infrastructure and amenities at a fraction of the cost compared to the U.S. The cheapest places to retire abroad include Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

What is the best country to retire to financially? ›

Norway is rated one of the top overall countries to retire to, due to its excellent healthcare, strong economy, beautiful scenery, and focus on work-life balance. Financial security, healthcare system, and lifestyle are the most common factors to consider when choosing a retirement country.

Which country has the best retirement for Brits? ›

The Eight Best Countries for UK Citizens to Retire to
  1. Portugal. Portugal is a country that covers all the bases for the best European country to retire to from the UK. ...
  2. Spain. ...
  3. Australia. ...
  4. Canada. ...
  5. Greece. ...
  6. Thailand. ...
  7. Costa Rica. ...
  8. St.

What is the best country for British people to retire to? ›

The experts named Ireland as the number one country for Brits to retire to - based on how easy it is to relocate. They said: "Ireland was the winner principally because due to the 'Common Travel Area' there is no visa requirement for British people, it is English speaking and is particularly safe and happy.

Where can I retire on $800 a month? ›

Banyuwangi, Indonesia. Insider Monkey Score: 14 Banyuwangi, Indonesia, emerges as one of the best places to retire with no savings, blending low living costs with mesmerizing natural beauty. With living expenses between $700 to $1,000 a month, it appeals to those seeking an economical retirement lifestyle.

What countries do not tax US retirement income? ›

Top 9 Tax-Free Retirement Countries for Americans Abroad
  • Panama.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Portugal.
  • Ecuador.
  • Greece.
  • Belize.
  • Nicaragua.
  • The Philippines.

Which country is no 1 to retire? ›

What Are the Best Countries for Retirement?
1🇳🇴 Norway83%
2🇨🇭 Switzerland82%
3🇮🇸 Iceland81%
4🇮🇪 Ireland80%
21 more rows
Jan 21, 2024

Where is the cheapest place for Brits to retire? ›

Spain named one of the cheapest places to retire - Britons only need a £160,000 pension.

What country do most expats retire to? ›

The 10 Most Popular Countries for US Expats
Top 10 Most Popular Countries for US Expats
CountryNumber of U.S. expats
7 more rows
Mar 25, 2024

What is the easiest country to retire to from the USA? ›

With its stunning beaches, lush rainforests and affordable cost of living, Costa Rica constantly ranks among the best places for U.S. expats to retire. The benefits of retiring in Costa Rica include: An affordable cost of living – Costa Rica generally offers a lower cost of living than many areas in the United States.

Where do the happiest retirees live? ›

Denmark has the highest level of life satisfaction among seniors and retirees, according to the World Happiness Report, which, for the first time ever, ranked countries by age group.

Which European country is best for American retirees? ›

Best European Countries to Retire
  1. Portugal. Portugal has been deemed a secret hot spot for a European retirement. ...
  2. France. The close second to Portugal for retirees came to France. ...
  3. Slovenia. Making its way close to the top of the list for countries in Europe to retire went to Slovenia. ...
  4. Italy. ...
  5. Montenegro.

What is the best country for an American to retire in? ›

What is the best country for retirees? The Netherlands is often considered the best country to retire due to its ranking as having the best retirement system, according to the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2023.

What is the cheapest country to retire to from the UK? ›

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

Which country is easy for UK citizens to move to? ›

The 10 Easiest Countries To Immigrate As an Expat
  • Germany.
  • New Zealand.
  • Singapore.
  • Sweden.
  • Ireland.
  • Netherlands.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Malta.
Mar 22, 2024

Which country is easiest to move to from the UK? ›

Hungary is the easiest country to move to as a British expat, according to the expert team at William Russell. The minimum annual salary required to move to Hungary is 7,264,800 HUF (£15,774) or £12,619 for professions where there are many unfilled vacancies. In 2019, these included pharmacists, nurses and midwives.

Can a retired UK citizen live in USA? ›

If you wish to enter the United States and reside there indefinitely, you will require an immigrant visa. This is true regardless of whether or not you intend to work.

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