Minimum Income you will need to Retire from the Gulf to Sunny Southern Europe

Date Posted:Thu, 26th Aug 2021

Minimum Income you will need to Retire from the Gulf to Sunny Southern Europe

By BBG Dubai Member Jason Porter


UK expats who have lived in hot countries, such as in the Gulf, have always loved to spend their retirement years under a southern European sun. But how much money do you need to gain a visa or residency?

UK citizens can no longer come and go as they please – Brexit has meant they are restricted to no more than 90 days in any 180-day period within the Schengen zone, which includes the UK’s three favourite destinations - France, Spain and Portugal.

If you want to go for more than 90 days, you are going to need to apply for a visa, while 12 months and beyond will generally require a residency permit. You can get these from the relevant consulate in the UK.

Each have rules requiring real estate purchase or lease, a minimum level of financial resources and medical insurance.

France uses its minimum wage to set its sufficient financial means but does allow a large degree of leeway. For 2021 this is €18,655 (£15,992 currently), but the authorities assume a deduction for social charges, reducing the figure to €14,667 (£12,574).

Portugal also uses its national minimum wage with a 2021 annual figure of €7,980 (£6,841) for an individual and €11,970 (£10,261) for a couple.

Spain uses an index. This is €6,778.80 for 2021, but then multiplied four times to get €27,115 (£23,245) for an individual, and €33,894 (or £29,057) for a couple.

But financial resources includes general wealth. Cash at the bank, or other savings and investments which can be readily liquidated also qualify.

As most people planning to retire overseas would only do so with some degree of capital or emergency fund behind them, the vast majority will find this, as well as any income they have, should be enough to qualify.

Please refer to and for the latest on how Brexit affects Britons moving to Europe.

Jason Porter is a Director of specialist expat financial advisers Blevins Franks and head of the company’s new European Emigration Advisory Service.