International Handbook of Population Aging

Volume 1 of the series International Handbooks of Population pp 341-363

International Retirement Migration

  • Tony (A.M.) WarnesAffiliated withSheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing, University of Sheffield

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This chapter reviews a recent, still unusual but rapidly growing manifestation of affluence and the freer movement of capital and people around the world, international retirement migration (IRM). The phenomenon engages both theoretical and applied gerontological concerns. The migrants include some of the most “culturally innovative” members of the latest cohort of young elderly people, whose approach to old age is positive and developmental and may indicate more widely shared changes in attitudes and aspirations. Among the concerns, the welfare outcomes for the participants are none too clear, particularly the medium- to long-term implications for their access to informal and formal care and support. IRM also interests actuaries, demographers and human-services planners, because the flows have the potential to change a country’s age distribution and the international distribution of government spending on old-age income support, health-services and long-term care.