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Many expats, especially those who are planning to retire abroad, list warm weather as one of their priorities when it comes to deciding where to live. New research from the Expat Insider Survey has listed the top countries for a sunny escape based on the information supplied by 13 000 expats representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries and territories. So if you are planning a permanent escape to the sun here are the destinations you should consider:

Countries to consider for a sunny escape

1. Greece

 

Greece may have come in last in the overall expat destination rankings (largely due to its economy) – but when it comes to weather it ranks the highest. 96% of expats reported they were very happy with the climate and weather in Greece and 15% confirmed it was the main reason why they moved to Greece, together with a desire for a better quality of life, which the warm weather certainly helps! In the words of a South African expat in Greece: “Life in Greece revolves around family, socializing and a good quality of life”. Despite Greece’s poor economic outlook 74% of expats say they are happy with their life in general.

2. Portugal

 

Portugal’s Golden Visa is an attractive way to acquire residency in Portugal – but that’s not all that’s golden in the country – the weather is wonderful and 28% of expats gave the weather and their search for a better quality of life as their main reason for moving. The work-life balance in Portugal is also highly rated, giving expats plenty of opportunities to enjoy the good weather.

3. Spain

 

Spain comes in at third place again and 96% of expats rate the climate and weather positively, with 98% happy with their life in general. Spain’s culture of outdoor enjoyment of the sun, sea and mountains is enjoyed by 89% of expats who highly rate the leisure activities on offer.

4. Costa Rica

 

Costa Rica is always highly regarded when it comes to a country that offers an excellent quality of life. 48% of expats report they plan to stay here indefinitely and 98% report that they are very satisfied with the climate and weather. In addition, 62% of expats believe the move to Costa Rica has benefited their personal health.

5. Malta

 

Over 27% of expats report their prime motivation when moving to Malta was searching for a better quality of life and 93% rate the local climate and weather positively. The sun, sea and tranquil lifestyle on offer has plenty of benefits, with 59% of expats reporting that the move has been excellent for their health in general.

Cash in on the sun and your retirement annuity

For South African expats retiring abroad, you are able to access your South African retirement annuity abroad – even before you turn the age of 55 – due to a change in tax legislation that came into effect in 2008. The only proviso is that you have financially emigrated from South Africa. Financial emigration does not change your status as a South African. You and your partner will still have South African citizenship and your South African passports. What’s more, financial emigration can take place at any time – on your exit from South Africa or many years after you have chosen to live abroad.

At FinGlobal we have simplified the financial emigration process for thousands of South Africans living abroad and have helped them cash in their South African retirement annuities so they can make the most of their retirement abroad. To find out more about how we can assist you with this process, contact us today.