Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 27th 2003, 12:45 pm   #1
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Post Moving back to the UK to retire - bad idea?

I have quite a specific question - perhaps someone can help. My father has lived in South Africa for about 27 years and is now considering moving back to the UK to retire.

The main reason is that due to unforseen circumstances he has not been able to make provision for retirement. South Africa is notoriously hard on people who cannot afford healthcare and accommodation and the government pension is a pittance. His reasoning is that he might be able to find council housing in the UK as well as free healthcare.

He currently receives a UK pension for the years that he has worked in the UK, but he still has to work after retirement age to make enough for him and his wife to survive.

Anyone had any experience of this situation, and does anyone know how easy/difficult it is to acquire council accommodation in the UK? Is his idea misguided?
micatyro is offline  

Old May 27th 2003, 3:59 pm   #2
BigBill
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: recently back in the UK
Posts: 96

BigBill is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Moving back to the UK to retire - bad idea?

Quote:
Originally posted by micatyro
I have quite a specific question - perhaps someone can help. My father has lived in South Africa for about 27 years and is now considering moving back to the UK to retire.

The main reason is that due to unforseen circumstances he has not been able to make provision for retirement. South Africa is notoriously hard on people who cannot afford healthcare and accommodation and the government pension is a pittance. His reasoning is that he might be able to find council housing in the UK as well as free healthcare.

He currently receives a UK pension for the years that he has worked in the UK, but he still has to work after retirement age to make enough for him and his wife to survive.

Anyone had any experience of this situation, and does anyone know how easy/difficult it is to acquire council accommodation in the UK? Is his idea misguided?

Sorry, no direct experience, but try checking out these sites for more info.

www.dwp.gov.uk
www.pensionguide.gov.uk
www.info4pensions.gov.uk

Council accomodation is run local authorties, so i think it would depend on where you were planning on moving back to, as to how likely it was you would get accomodation. However even if you didn't you might still be eligible for help with housing costs. Try

www.over50.gov.uk

and have a look around there. Good luck!
BigBill is offline  
Old May 27th 2003, 5:51 pm   #3
Marion
Just Joined
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 21

Marion is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Moving back to the UK to retire - bad idea?

A member of my family has moved back to the UK to retire, she is 63 (and as you know 60 is retirement age for women over there)and she has lived abroad for about 20 years but of course is still a British Subject. When she arrived back in the UK she only had a limited income so she was able to qualify for what is called "income support". Your income has to be below a certain amount to qualify (I do not know what the guide line is). In her case quite a substantial amount of her rent is paid by the government and as far as I know being retirement age she gets her medications free. I think if you look on the net under "income support in the UK" you will find what the guidelines are. Hope this is of some help.
Marion is offline  
Old May 28th 2003, 6:32 am   #4
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Thanks for the help

Thanks for the help guys, I'll check out the links you posted and take it from there.
micatyro is offline  
Old May 28th 2003, 9:25 pm   #5
Rudy
BE Enthusiast
 
Rudy's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 316

Rudy is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Thanks for the help

Hi,

My mum moved back here from South Africa a little over 3 years ago. She had lived in South Africa for more than 30 years. She does receive free healthcare, although she was on my late dads medical aid in SA for life anyway. She did not qualify for council housing because you have to qualify for habitual residence which I think is 2 years residency in the UK directly before applying for a council house. She has gone into a private rented flat, and does qualify for housing allowance, which covers about two thirds of her rent.

She moved back to the UK as all of my brothers and sisters and myself had flown the nest and returned to the UK, America etc. My father passed away and then she was left with no family out there. She wishes now that she had never come back to the UK, she really misses her friends, her house and the lifestyle, and feels she is too old (only 64) now, and has devalued her money by so much that she cannot go back.

Best of luck!


__________________
We are loving Brisbane!!!
Rudy is offline  
Old Jun 23rd 2003, 7:05 pm   #6
sundarize
BE Enthusiast
 
sundarize's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Dossing with the inlaws
Posts: 302

sundarize is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Moving back to the UK to retire - bad idea?

Quote:
Originally posted by micatyro
I have quite a specific question - perhaps someone can help. My father has lived in South Africa for about 27 years and is now considering moving back to the UK to retire.

The main reason is that due to unforseen circumstances he has not been able to make provision for retirement. South Africa is notoriously hard on people who cannot afford healthcare and accommodation and the government pension is a pittance. His reasoning is that he might be able to find council housing in the UK as well as free healthcare.

He currently receives a UK pension for the years that he has worked in the UK, but he still has to work after retirement age to make enough for him and his wife to survive.

Anyone had any experience of this situation, and does anyone know how easy/difficult it is to acquire council accommodation in the UK? Is his idea misguided?
No matter what happens your father will not be abandoned in the UK. He can throw himself on the mercy of the state and they will provide. He may well consider that he is existing below the poverty level, but many do.

Some people (not necessarily me of course) may well think that its wrong for someone to bugger off from Britain and enjoy the sunshine for the best years of their life and then sponge off society when Britain starts to look attractive again, but hey- loads do it so why not your father?
sundarize is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 8:12 am   #7
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Moving back to the UK

I can fully understand why many Brits would be bitter about ex-pats returning from sunny climes 'to sponge off the state'. The fact is my dad has got himself into the unfortunate situation of not having much choice. England is the place of his birth and he worked there for about 20 years before emigrating, so at least he has a legitimate claim to some help if he decides to go back.

I was actually waiting for someone to bring up the subject of running back home when times get tough. It's a continual talking point in South Africa too - we call it 'the chicken run', when professional South Africans emigrate in their droves to Australia, Canada and New Zealand to escape from a rising crime rate or the perception that a black government may run the place into the ground. A lot of those people are now returning to SA because the grass isn't so green on the other side.

When it comes to the crunch it's a personal choice, and if you are lucky enough to have choices then why not be able to exercise the right to use them. My dad is a very religious man and I'd like to think that he will become a valuable member of any society that he chooses to live in - and not just sponge. This obviously doesn't apply to everybody that decides to return as everyone has their own reasons.
micatyro is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 8:26 am   #8
sundarize
BE Enthusiast
 
sundarize's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Dossing with the inlaws
Posts: 302

sundarize is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

A point well made.

I chatted with a South African business contact last week who is a Surveyor like myself. She said that thousands of SAs are coming to Britain because they cant find work in SA, due to the government ruling that blacks and whites have to be employed in the same proportion as the population. ie 8 out of 10 employees must be black. Whilst that seems to me a good policy, it is not phased in so firms are having to let white professionals go in the short term.

In the short term at least, there is no work for her. She loves the money that she is able to earn in London, but in no way does she want to stay here. Not surprisingly, she says it it way too crowded. She also says it is a much more racist society than South Africa. Despite everything, she maintains that the standard of living is much better in South Africa.
sundarize is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 8:45 am   #9
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Alternative to leaving

The employment equity programme proposed by the SA government is having a very interesting effect on the economy. When it started around 1994 the government was talking about equal opportunity for all, the problem was that people were being placed in postions based on their colour and not on merit or previous performance. This has now changed to some degree as better qualified people come up through the ranks.

One major change has been the proliferation of small businesses (often just a one person cc or pty) as skilled whites have been pushed out and used their retrenchment packages to consult on a freelance basis or start another business. It puts a new spin on the problem when you realise that a fair amount of these businesses now employ people from previously disadvantaged communities, which in the long term benefits the country as a whole.

So there are alternatives to going back to London and being miserable in the crowds, bad weather, rapidly deteriorating transport system and rascist attitudes, although, read on...

The standard of living here is definitely still better for professional people like your friend, but the pressure on big business to use a quota system for employment has definitely not yet reached the point where jobs are safe - and even businesses like mine with only 3 or 4 employees are being forced to comply because a lot of the large corporations are not allowed by law to use outside contractors unless they employ a certain amount of black people or are partly black owned.

Things can get tougher and you might see more white South Africans in London yet...
micatyro is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 8:51 am   #10
sundarize
BE Enthusiast
 
sundarize's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Dossing with the inlaws
Posts: 302

sundarize is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

At least the South Africans come with some skill and potential
sundarize is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 8:55 am   #11
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Skill

And a big thirst for cold lager...
micatyro is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 9:00 am   #12
sundarize
BE Enthusiast
 
sundarize's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Dossing with the inlaws
Posts: 302

sundarize is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Skill

Quote:
Originally posted by micatyro
And a big thirst for cold lager...

Beers warm here though!!

Last edited by sundarize : Jun 24th 2003 at 9:05 am.
sundarize is offline  
Old Jun 24th 2003, 9:13 am   #13
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Going back for the beer

Probably the only reason that the poor excuse for a beverage, Stella Artois, does so well - you can get Castle Lager in London though. I have to confess to being a Real Ale fan, and I'd come back to the UK if I inherited a brewery...
micatyro is offline  
Old Jul 7th 2003, 9:01 pm   #14
kubwasana
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Kondon
Posts: 55

kubwasana is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Coming "home"

Do I hear a couple of "sour notes" creeping into the discussion?
Those who have "buggered off to live in the sun" (Q)return more often than not because conditions have become unbearable in their "adopted" home where they would otherwise have chosen to remain.
Many retirees have had no option but return because of the appalling government policy excluding them from any pension increases thus making their financial situation more precarious with every passing year. This is blatant discrimination. It also seems illogical. With ever-increasing crises in the areas of housing, transport and health care, it must be surely less expensive and in our own interest to increase their pensions in line with others and encourage them to stay away rather than returning to add to those pressures.

"I can fully understand why many Brits would be bitter about ex-pats returning from sunny climes 'to sponge off the state'"

If some DO feel bitter, I'm afraid I CAN'T understand it! The majority of those people aren't asking for a "free ride" - they've made National Insurance contributions for their entire working
lives - unlike some who arrive in the country able to claim all manner of benefit without ever having contributed a penny

Last edited by kubwasana : Jul 7th 2003 at 9:06 pm.
kubwasana is offline  
Old Jul 8th 2003, 6:46 am   #15
micatyro
Just Joined
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 7

micatyro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Hi Kubwasana

In think in some cases it's just a form of jealousy, for example; "How dare these people leave the country, visit exciting foreign places, enjoy the sun and then come back to England when I haven't left the same boring little house that I was born in."

I am not quoting anyone specific here, but have heard similar things said when my family returned to the UK from South Africa back in 1981. We spent 2 years there and found that in many case we weren't made to feel very welcome - although I do admit that a fair amount of the bitterness was directed at the fact that we'd been to live in South Africa under apartheid.

I think that ex-pats returning from Australia, Canada or anywhere else at that time might have had similar experiences. I'm pretty sure that things have changed slightly since then as England, and the rest of the UK, seems to have become a lot more cosmopolitan. That amazing mix of cultures, creeds and races that used to happen only in the large cities seems to have spread out into the countryside a bit.
micatyro is offline  
Closed Thread

 
  Subscribe to this Thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

$ forumrules ***
Forum Jump


Top