A beachon the French riviera, where some Swedes choose to retire. Photo: Scanpix / AP
Retiring abroad

Pensioners living abroad risk losing benefits

Retired Swedes are increasingly moving abroad to spend their pension. But they may be unaware of the economic consequences.

Eva Bergdahl made the headlines in Sweden when she, at 96 years of age, moved from Karlskrona in southern Sweden to join her son in Thailand.

But her move also meant that her pension was lowered significantly.

"When my guaranteed pension was removed I was chocked. I became depressed and cried a lot," she told news agency TT after losing around $US 550 per month of her pension.

Last year around 127 000 people received a Swedish pension abroad. That is an increase by three percent from the year before, according to the Pensions Agency. Most pensioners living abroad reside in the Nordic countries and in Germany.

But those who opt for non-EU countries may lose out on certain benefits. In Thailand, for instance, a private medical insurance is needed for visits to the doctor and dentist.

"I am too old to sign on for an insurance. Everyone has to pay for their medicine and health care here, and staying at a hospital can be very costly," says Eva Bergdahl.

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