Care abroad. Low cost, English speaking and tax free

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
I have been living in Bahrain in the Middle East for 4 years and have come to love the place. We have a British Club voted best in the world and according to the HSBC Expat survey it is the 9th best place in the world to be an expat. The UK comes 22nd. There is no tax here (income or inheritance), English is basically the first language, there are world class medial services at rock bottom prices and the weather is generally warm (a bit too warm in June-Sep, but we all have air conditioning). There are 3 direct 6 hour flights to London per day.

My father has just died. He suffered with Alzheimers and spent his last two years in a care home in the UK. My mother was a superb carer. As I was away, I could not care as much as I should have. But I could see that care in the UK was a tremendous drain financially, was of good quality, but for those of lesser means was dropping off as government cuts bite.

Naturally, those who have loved ones that need specialised care, can afford it and have the time will want their relatives in a place where they can visit frequently. But there must be cases when a support network is not on hand and/or financial considerations come more to the fore.

I am in a position now where I can set up assisted living or elderly care facilities in Bahrain. I was wondering how much of a market there would be for this kind of thing for British citizens interested in much lower cost care coupled with no tax on their savings income, but 6 hours from Heathrow. The idea is that living facilities would also be provided for visiting relatives. I see Thailand becoming popular, but it is hotter and stickier most of the year and is far more foreign than Bahrain which has English as its main language. We even have M&S here!

I welcome comments from anyone.
It's an interesting idea, isn't it? I believe some countries, like Japan, do this already, don't they (not necessarily Bahrain, but I think possibly the Gambia?). In a way it makes sense, because it moves the very elderly to low-labour-cost areas, so they can have more help more easily at less cost than in the UK (or presumably Japan!). Plus they will be warmer!

It's almost just an extension of the 'retiring to southern Spain' that is now so common for 'northerners'.

That said, it would be a huge wrench from family and all familiar things - I don't think I would like to live abroad when I am very very old. UNLESS, of course, dementia were in the picture. If, after all, I didn't have a clue where I was in the first place, and maybe had reached the dreadful stage where I didn't know my own family, then one could argue that it doesn't matter where in the world one is, or who is looking after you, as you won't really be aware of that.

For myself, I'm definitely too 'European' to want to be anywhere else in the world, while I still have mental capacity. Perhaps when one reaches the final stage of one's life, one has a kind of 'homing instinct' that makes us want to stay where our roots are maybe? But that might just be me!
I am sure that there will be many LA funded elderly citizens only too willing to see out their final days on this planet in a warm , sunny enviroment , and being looked after by dedicated staff ?

Or , is such a scheme restricted to only those who can pay whatever costs ?
Chris, we may see in the near future that one way the LAs can break the deadlock (as is in the news this morning!) of too many carees and not enough care-workers (or the money to pay them enough to make it a popular career!), is by making it mandatory that the elderly in receipt of LA funded care HAVE to move to low-cost locations!
The social cleansing continues ... first in housing , now in residential care homes ?

What next ? Government acquiring failed holiday camps ... ?

Continuation of the chemical straitjackets as the only solution for numerous carers and carees alike when they can no longer bear the pressures of their economic and social conditions ?

Once Brexit has been made a reality , transportation to the colonies back on the menu ?

I and my sister just avoided that one just over 60 years ago ... fortunately !

Where does it stop ?
I'd like to think it will stop when the post-war baby bulge has finally been 'egested' from the social system! BUT, if the UK population continues to grow whether from intrinsic growth (more children than just the one-each-per-parent replacement steadystate, to existing citizens) and from external growth (more and more people coming to live here - a good number of whom are here to look after we baby-bulgers as we age!!!!!!), then I don't think we ever will reduce our numbers back again. And all those extra people will at some point themselves need care when they're old and infirm.....

You mention chemical straightjacket - I'm not so sure that that wouldn't be preferable to me in extremity. Maybe I'd rather live out the last years of my life in a haze of pleasant Soma (wasn't that what it was called in Brave New World).....?????

The only alternative is for the state to divert FAR more taxes to social care. Which is arguably money a lot better spent that 'dumb stuff' (HS2 etc etc!) that our taxes are currently wasted on....!!!!!

I guess the preferred alternative, however, is for the 'next generation' coming along now to be far healthier than the current very elderly one, especially in terms of mental health (I do wonder what proportion of the elderly needing care of any kind also have dementia? I have no idea, but it's probably a growing percentage??).

BUT, with obesity starting younger and younger, that 'healthy extreme old age' is unlikely to happen - things will just get worse in terms of care needs.
1984 ?

2017 would make even George Orwell consider that his great novel was a little short on actual realism ?

2018 ? Birth of the UK Eugenics Party ... number one policy being " A cleansing of the hives ? ( Straight out of Quatermass 3 ) .... both genetically and socially ?

Too grim to contemplate ?

Watch this space ...
Thanks for the comments. I will be over in the UK soon. Maybe it is worth speaking to someone in government about their thoughts on paying for low cost care abroad (rather than funding care in the UK for those that qualify) would be of interest. I must admit I thought the tax free aspect may be more of a draw, but I doubt many people who need care have the wealth for this to be a factor.
In that respect Matthew , you'll find a warm reception from the present Government for anyone who can reduce the " Burden " of caring for our elderly citizens.

Care is secondary to the number one priority of preserving the wealth of the few at the expense of , at least , 1 in 4 of the population close to / at the official poverty line.

One slight problem would be Bahrain itself given the internal problems over there , allied with the current Foreign Office guidelines for travellers and concerns about Human Rights.

I would presume that any UK citizens " Transferred " across would be immune from those troubles which , by UK standards , make the wealth gap over there more of a river compared with our stream ? Enough room in the British and other embassies to house our elderly should it really kick off over there ?

Having said that , would be of " Little " concern to our Government if there is good news for their number priority.

Perhaps they could consult the history books for the same arguments used for the future welfare of many children " Transferred " to the colonies upto the late 1960s.

One last consideration would be the cost for any family member to travel to visit their relation. £ 450 or thereabouts may be pocket change for some but , in our world , many would feel that they had won the lottery !

Just out of curiousity , how does our GBP 62.10 per week Carers Allowance / Pittance compare with the salaries paid to the care workers over there who will be providing care on 24/7 365 day basis ?

No doubt , the conditions of " Employment " would be similar ... although the care workers may have one or two safeguards ... a trade union perhaps ? At one time , considered to be a hanging offence ... pleased to see that things have changed starting just over a decade ago.

After all , the prime concern behind your first post was for the future welfare of our elderly citizens ... wasn't it ?
In respect of tax-free, one issue may be any bilateral arrangements the UK HMRC has with its counterpart in Bahrain! Tax liabilities can 'follow us around', and HMRC likes its pound of flesh.....

I would assume that to be free of IHT liability, any elderly person relocating permanently to Bahrain would have to de-patriate all their assets to Bahrain (at least those over the £325k UK IHT exemption threshold for an individual). That in itself might be regarded as risky by the individual??

There might need to be a test case to confirm any exemption from liability by de-patriation from the UK in favour of Bahrain - but the government are now SO desperate to close down ANY tax avoidance schemes (even though avoidance is perfectly legal!), that they might change the law, and indeed, do so retrospectively. ????