Growing older in Malta. Experiences of British retirees

Main Article Content

Anthea Innes


International retirement migration (IRM) is attracting increasing research interest. This article reports findings from an exploratory case study of 16 older people who havemoved from theUKto grow older in Malta. Data was collected using in-depth interviews drawing on a life history approach. This article builds on previous research in the IRM field by providing detailed examples of the push and pull factors influencing the decision to move to Malta and the reported positive experiences of living in Malta. The article also discusses negative impressions of life in Malta, an issue that has not been previously documented in relation to Malta. Future difficulties that the immigrants may encounter are also considered. This article contributes to the growing body of knowledge concerning the experience of IRM.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details



Ackers, L. & Dwyer, P. (2004). Fixed laws, fluid lives: The citizenship status of post-retirement migrants in the European Union. Ageing and Society 24(3): 451–475. [Read this article]

BBC News. (2006). Brits abroad: Country-by-country Source IPPR. (Accessed: February 15, 2007).

Bennett, D. G. (1996). Implications of retirement development in highamenity nonmetropolitan coastal areas. Journal of Applied Gerontology 15(3): 345–360. [Read this article]

Betty, C. (2006). Retiring to the sun: Life as a British retiree abroad. Envisage Spring(5): 3–7.

Betty, C. & Cahill, M. (1999). British expatriates’ experiences of health and social services on the Costa del Sol. In F. Anthias & G. Lazaridis (eds.) Into the Margins: Migration and Exclusion in Southern Europe (pp. 83–103). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

Blaikie, A. (1997). Beside the sea: Visual imagery, ageing and heritage. Ageing and Society 17(6): 629–648. [Read this article]

Bozic, S. (2006). The achievement and potential of international retirement migration research: The need for disciplinary exchange. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32(8): 1415–1427. [Read this article]

Bultena, G. L. & Wood, V. (1967). Behavioral norms among migrant and nonmigrant retirees. Gerontologist 7(3P2): 32.

Casado-Diaz, M. A. (2006). Retiring to Spain: An analysis of differences among North European Nationals. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32(8): 1321–1339. [Read this article]

Casado-Diaz, M. A., Kaiser, C. & Warnes, A. M. (2004). Northern European retired residents in nine Southern European areas: Characteristics, motivations and adjustment. Ageing and Society 24(3): 353–381. [Read this article]

Cribier, F. (1980). A European assessment of aged migration. Research on Aging 2(2): 255–270. [Read this article]

Cribier, F. (1982). Aspects of retired migration from Paris: An essay in social and cultural geography. In A.Warnes (ed.) Geografisk Perspectives on the Elderly (pp. 111–137). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Cribier, F. (1987). Retiring to the seaside: A housing perspective. Housing Studies 2(1): 42–46. [Read this article]

Damer, S. (1997). British expatriates: The parameters of a community. End of award report to ESRC Grant number R000221644.

Deller, S. C. (1995). Economic-impact of retirement migration. Economic Development Quarterly 9(1): 25–38. [Read this article]

Duncombe, W., Robbins, M. &Wolf, D. A. (2003). Place characteristics and residential location choice among the retirement-age population. Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 58(4): S244–S252.

Dwyer, P. (2001). Retired EU migrants, healthcare rights and European social citizenship. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 23(3): 311–327.

Glaser, K. & Tomassini, C. (2000). Proximity of older women to their children: A comparison of Britain and Italy. Gerontologist 40(6): 729– 737.

Glasgow, N. (1995). Retirement migration and the use of services in nonmetropolitan counties. Rural Sociology 60(2): 224–243.

Gustafson, P. (2001). Retirement migration and transnational lifestyles. Ageing and Society 21(4): 371–394. [Read this article]

Haas, W. H. & Serow, W. J. (2002). The baby boom, amenity retirement migration, and retirement communities: Will the golden age of retirement continue? Research on Aging 24(1): 150–164. [Read this article]

Halfacree, K. H., Flowerdew, R. & Johnson, J. H. (1992). Characteristics of British migrants in the 1990’s – Evidence from a new survey. Geographical Journal 158(2): 157–169. [Read this article]

Hardill, I., Spradbury, J., Arnold-Boakes, J. & Marrugat, M. L. (2005). Severe health and social care issues among British migrants who retire to Spain. Ageing and Society 25(5): 769–783. [Read this article]

Hoggart, K. & Buller, H. (1995). Retired British home owners in rural France. Ageing and Society 15(3): 325–353. [Read this article]

King, R., Warnes, T. & Williams, A. (2000). Sunset Lives: British Retirement Migration to the Mediterranean. Oxford: Berg.

Longino, C. F. & Bradley, D. E. (2003). A first look at retirement migration trends in 2000. Gerontologist 43(6): 904–907.

Longino, C. F., Perzynski, A. T. & Stoller, E. P. (2002). Pandora’s briefcase: Unpacking the retirement migration decision. Research on Aging 24(1): 29–49. [Read this article]

Malecki, E. J. (2004). Jockeying for position: What it means and why it matters to regional development policy when places compete. Regional Studies 38(9): 1101–1120. [Read this article]

McHugh, K. E. (2000). The ‘‘ageless self’’? Emplacement of identities in sun belt retirement communities. Journal of Aging Studies 14(10): 103–115. [Read this article]

McHugh, K. E. (2003). Three faces of ageism: Society, image and place. Ageing and Society 23(2): 165–185. [Read this article]

McHugh, K. E. & Larson-Keagy, E. M. (2004). These white walls: The dialectic of retirement communities. Journal of Aging Studies 19(2): 241–256. [Read this article]

Myklebost, H. (1989). Migrations of elderly Norwegians. Norsk geografisk tidsskrift – Norweigian Journal of Geography 43(4): 191–213.

O’Reilly, K. (2000). The British on the Costa del Sol: Transnational Identities and Local Communities. London: Routledge.

O’Reilly, K. (2004). The extent and nature of integration of European migrants in Spanish society: With special reference to the British case. Available at for councils1.doc (Accessed: February 28, 2007).

Robison, J. T. & Moen, P. (2000). A life-course perspective on housing expectations and shifts in late midlife. Research on Aging 22(5): 499–532. [Read this article]

Rogerson, P. A. & Kim, D. (2005). Population distribution and redistribution of the baby-boom cohort in the United States: Recent trends and implications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102(43): 15319–15324. [Read this article]

Schiamberg, L. B. & McKinney, K. G. (2003). Factors influencing expectations to move or age in place at retirement among 40-to 65-year-olds. Journal of Applied Gerontology 22(1): 19–41. [Read this article]

Silverstein, M. & Zablotsky, D. L. (1996). Health and social precursors of later life retirement-community migration. Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 51(3): 150–156.

Sriskandarajah, D. & Drew, K. (2006). Brits Abroad: Mapping the Scale and Nature of British Emigration Executive Summary. London: IPPR.

Stockdale, A. (2006). The role of a ‘retirement transition’ in the repopulation of rural areas. Population, Space and Place 12(1): 1–13. [Read this article]

Stoller, E. P. (1998). Informal exchanges with non-kin among retired sunbelt migrants: A case study of a Finnish American retirement community. Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 53(5): 287–298.

Stoller, E. P. & Perzynski, A. T. (2003). The impact of ethnic involvement and migration patterns on long-term care plans among retired sunbelt migrants: Plans for nursing home placement. Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Science 58(6): S369–S376.

Sunil, T. S., Rojas, V. & Bradley, D. E. (2007). United States’ international retirement migration: The reasons for retiring to the environs of Lake Chapala, Mexico. Ageing and Society 27(4): 489–510. [Read this article]

Troisi, J. & Formosa, M. (2006). Supporting Family Carers of Older People in Europe: The National Background Report for Malta. Berlin, Germany: Lit-Verlag Publishing.

Waldron, V. R., Gitelson, R. & Kelley, D. L. (2005). Gender differences in social adaptation to a retirement community: Longitudinal changes and the role of mediated communication. Journal of Applied Gerontology 24(4): 283–298. [Read this article]

Walters, W. H. (2002a). Place characteristics and later-life migration. Research on Aging 24(2): 243–277. [Read this article]

Walters, W. H. (2002b). Later-life migration in the United States: A review of recent research. Journal of Planning Literature 17(1): 37–66. [Read this article]

Warnes, A. M. (1983). Migration in late working age and early retirement. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences 17(5–6): 291–302. [Read this article]

Warnes, A. M. (1991). Migration to and seasonal residence in Spain of Northern European elderly people. European Journal of Gerontology 1(1): 53–60.

Warnes, A. M. (ed.) (2004). Older Migrants in Europe: Essays Projects and Sources. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing.

Warnes, A. M. & Ford, R. (1995). Housing aspirations and migration in later life: Developments during the 1980s. Papers in Regional Science 74(4): 361–387.

Warnes, A. M., Friedrich, K., Kellaher, L. & Torres, S. (2004). The diversity and welfare of older migrants in Europe. Ageing and Society 24(3): 307–326. [Read this article]

Warnes, A. M., King, R., Williams, A. & Patterson, G. (1999). The wellbeing of British expatriate retirees in southern Europe. Ageing and Society 19(6): 717–740. [Read this article]

Warnes, A. M. & Patterson, G. (1998). British retirees in Malta: Components of the cross-national relationship. International Journal of Population Geography 4(2): 113–133. [Read this article]

Warnes, A. M. & Williams, A. (2006). Older migrants in Europe: A new focus for migration studies. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32(8): 1257–1281. [Read this article]

Williams, A. M., King, R. & Warnes, T. (1997). A place in the sun: International retirement migration from northern to southern Europe. European Urban and Regional Studies 4(2): 115–134. [Read this article] PMid:12292969