The ongoing emigration from underdeveloped countries of South and East Europe started in the 1960s and 1970s. The expected significant return from temporary work abroad has not happened, not even with the first generation of migrants, who receive retirement pensions. Although the landscape of emigration areas clearly indicates that significant personal capital has been invested into increasing the standard of living in the region of origin, permanent reverse migrations has not reached the expected intensity. Instead of permanent returns, temporary migrations occur during longer or shorter holidays, while demographic decline and aging populations characterise emigration areas.
This paper presents results of empirical research conducted with 340 retirees from northeast Serbia. Very important factors in retirees’ decisions to return to their homeland or stay in their host country include differences in the quality of health and elderly care. A comprehensive strategy for stimulating return migration is a necessary condition for increasing foreign remittances to the home country.