ONE in five of Scots will retire abroad. That seems an astonishing claim. The phenomenon already has a term in estate agency circles - "the silver flight". If the claim is correct, it has vast implications for Scottish business. Many of the effects may be indiscernible now.
If one in five couples, retiring at 60 or 65, flees to sunshine locations, it seems obvious the Scottish property market will have to evolve to accommodate the phenomenon. Yet will people jetting off to Florida or the Canaries sell their homes in Dunblane or Dundee? It seems unlikely they would just leave their primary asset empty. They will either sell up or rent out their homes.
The research was conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research. They also found what are already the favoured locations for this retiring migration. I was surprised to learn Australia is the most popular destination followed by Canada then the US. America seems to mean mostly Florida, already a retirement state for so many New Englanders.
Spain is the top location for Scots retiring to Europe, followed by Italy and France. The statistics are exhaustive in detail - three Scots have retired to Libya, two to Afghanistan and one to Kazakhstan. Is it possible the figures include immigrants in reality settling back in their homelands ?