Despite a more than 40-year-old tradition of international retirement migration (IRM) in Europe, relatively little social scientific research has been carried out in this field. Retired European migrants have not been considered to be politically controversial (i.e. they are not viewed as having been the causes of social problems or as needy, poor or deprived). Often, the terms used in the 1980s and early 1990s to describe these populations have been linked not to a migration model but to the model of the social agent of a tourist. The chapter is divided into three parts: (1) a general overview of the flows and socio-economic characteristics of IRM in Europe, addressing the main regions of attraction within Europe and the differences in the social profiles of their retirement migrants and an introduction into the wide range of transnational lifestyles and pensioners’ diasporic lives and leisure as part of their well-being; (2) serious social problems related to wellbeing, health care, social isolation in old age and the lack of attention by local authorities regarding the needs of this population as well as the adaptation of local, regional and national care schemes in response to these problems to address the reality of transnational migration, asking such questions as what integration means under the conditions of transnational lifestyle and what institutions are therefore needed; and (3) reflections about processes of social transformation related to IRM and some methodological problems faced by researchers who study this transnational, often unregistered and isolated type of migration.
- Life Satisfaction
- Home Country
- Destination Country
- Medical Tourism
- Migrant Child
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Examples are the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) of 1994 and the bilateral treaties between the EU and Switzerland on the free movement of people of the year 2000.
These data should be interpreted with caution because they are highly sensitive to the sampling methods used (see Casado-Díaz et al. 2004: 361).
Other major flows extend from the United States to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The United States is the only Western country that has an important national - -> alternative for retirement migrants: Florida and California (Sunil et al. 2007). Flows to South America or Southeast Asia are increasing but are not as significant in volume as flows to the areas previously mentioned.
Similar reasons are reported by Sunil et al. (2007) on the United States policy on international retirement migration- -> to Mexico.
Romanians represent an important nationality when it comes to older migrants. Nevertheless, most belong to the category of ‘joiners’, that is, people who ‘move in order to accompany or join their Community- -> migrant children’ (Ackers and Dwyer 2004: 455).
It is important to note that the survey methods used have their limitations because they are usually based on contact established through IRM organizations and snowball sampling, which favours answers from retirees with a richer social life.
Here the term ‘European’ refers mainly to the European Union- -> but in most cases it applies equally to the European Economic Area (including Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein) and to Switzerland.
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Herzog, B. (2016). International Retirement Migration: Transforming Societies Through Purchasing Power?. In: Amelina, A., Horvath, K., Meeus, B. (eds) An Anthology of Migration and Social Transformation. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23666-7_14
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